Our History

AUTHENTIC JAPANESE SHOTOKAN KARATE TRAINING BROUGHT TO YOU BY RESPECTED HIGH RANKING ENGLISH INSTRUCTORS

Gichin Funakoshi
Gichin Funakoshi - The revered 'Shoto', bought modern day karate in to the world in the year 1906 where it quickly grew to become the most famous of martial arts.

History of Karate

Karate originated in India and was introduced to China 3000 years ago. Tradition has it that an Indian Buddhist monk went to China in AD527 to establish the Zen school of Buddhism. He taught the monks of the Shaolin Temple the art of Zen, then devised a method of training to strengthen them physically and mentally, this he called Kempo. Kempo became the basis of Karate and Kung-Fu.

Following civil wars in Japan, during the 11th Century, many refugees fled to Okinawa, a small island SW of Japan. The Okinawans, mainly fishermen, were proficient in the Martial Arts and after a law passed in 1429 banned the use of weapons an even greater emphasis was placed on all forms of weapons fighting. During the late 1800's Japan put pressure on Okinawa to accept the Japanese Government system which they resisted and civil war again erupted. During this period unarmed combat became known as KARA-TE (empty hands).

1906

Okinawan schoolteacher Gichin Funakoshi gave a demonstration of Kara-Te. It was so impressive that Kara-Te became part of school curriculum.

1906

1917

Sensei Funakoshi asked to give demonstration in Kyoto, Japan. Probably the first time that Kara-Te had been seen in Japan.

1917

1923

1923 Sensei Funakoshi moved to Japan and Kara-Te was taught in military and universities.

1923

1928

1928 Kara-Te accelerated across Japan.

1928

1936

Sensei Funakoshi opened a permanent Dojo (training hall). His pen name at the time was SHOTO and therefore the place where he trained was called SHOTOKAN or SHOTO’s hall.  

1936

1947

Sensei Funakoshi attempted to form an all styles Karate organisation called Japan Karate Association. This was rejected by other styles so the J.K.A. became Shotokan only.

1947

1957

Sensei Funakoshi died and the J.K.A. handed to Sensei Nakayama who continued with his master’s wishes and trained such famous instructors as Kanazawa, Kase and Shirai. These instructors were then sent all over the world to spread the word of Karate.

1957

Shotokan

Gichin Funakoshi, The Father of Modern Karate, was born in 1868 in Naha City, Okinawa Prefecture. He was the son of a Samurai who started training in the Martial Arts as a young man to help overcome his frailness. He became the Chairman of the Okinawa Shobukai in 1913. Funakoshi was a school teacher and a poet who wrote under the pen name of "Shoto". From 1924 until his death in 1957, he travelled around Japan teaching karate at many Universities. He wrote several books on Karate including his autobiography, Karate-Do: My Way of Life, which was completed shortly before his death.

Shotokan Tiger
Gichin Funakoshi’s pen name “Shoto” literally means ‘pine waves’, and today is synonymous with the tiger symbol and Shotokan Karate-do. However, few people understand the relationship of Shoto to what is commonly known as the “Shotokan Tiger”. When Gichin Funokoshi was a young man, he enjoyed walking in solitude among the pine trees which surrounded his home town of Shuri. After a hard day of teaching in the local school and several more hours of strenuous karate practice, he would often walk up Mount Torao and meditate among the pine trees. Mount Torao is a very narrow, heavily wooded mountain which, when viewed from a distance, resembles a tiger’s tail. The name “Torao” in fact literally means “tiger’s tail”.

Master Nakayama (left) Gichin Funakoshi (right)

Master Nakayama (left) Gichin Funakoshi (right)

In later life, Funakoshi explained that the cool breezes which blew among the pines made the trees whisper like waves breaking on the shore. Thus, since he gained his greatest poetic inspirations while walking there, he chose the pen name of Shoto, “pine waves”.

The tiger which is commonly used as the symbol for Shotokan karate is a traditional Chinese design which implies that “the tiger never sleeps”. Symbolized in the Shotokan tiger, therefore, is the keen alertness of the wakeful tiger and the serenity of the peaceful mind which Gichin Funakoshi experienced while listening to the pine waves on Tiger’s Tail Mountain.

Eddie Whitcher

Sensei Edward Arthur Whitcher, was the founding member of the Kenshinkai Shotokan Karate Club, after being given the club name by Shihan Kanazawa.

Sensei Whitcher started Martial Arts around 1960 with Judo. Following a motorcycle accident he was forced to give this up. Out of curiosity derived mostly from American magazines he started karate in April 1963.

The next milestone in Sensei Whitcher's Karate life was in 1965 when four Japanese Sensei arrived, including the two well known Karate Masters, Shihan Enoeda and Kanazawa. In July of that year Sensei Whitcher took an open grading under Sensei Kanazawa and attained 3rd kyu.

In April 1966 Sensei Whitcher was one of the first Western students of Shihan Kanazawa to obtain Shodan. This was soon to be followed in 1966 with Nidan. This is documented under an interview with Nick Adamou (read here).

Shortly after taking Nidan, Sensei Whitcher followed Shihan Kanazawa to Japan, where he would stay for four years, and in fact meet his wife Toshiko Whitcher. He endured daily sessions of brutally hard training, which far exceeds that of today's classes. Further difficulties including finance and the extreme humidity made his stay even more of a challenge. Due to his ability, Sensei Whitcher was directly invited by Shihan Kanazawa, to join the instructor's class.

Sensei Whitcher's time in Japan ended in 1971 when he returned to England as Sandan. This is when he started his own club in Tenterden Road, Dagenham where he continued to train at his incredible pace.

During this time in 1978/9 the club was very small and consisted of students like Glen Moulds and Peter Edwards until he sadly passed away in 1990. The name Kenshinkai was handed over to his two most senior Instructors Glen Moulds and Bernie Heerey. Bernie still trains at the old dojo in Dagenham but has changed to more Jujitsu type training, and Glen Moulds runs the Kenshinkai Shotokan Karate Group, continuing in the footsteps of Sensei Whitcher.

Sensei Whitcher was one of the first westerners to achieve Shodan, he spent 3 years training in Japan and became the first Britain to receive his 3rd Dan from the JKA in 1971. In 1979 as he helped setup the ESKA as joint chief instructor, leaving in 1981 because he was tired of associations; deciding to train indepenedtly.

Sadly, in 1990 Eddie Whicher passed away, though he left his mark upon the heritage of Shotokan Karate and gave us the Kenshinkai legacy to uphold.

Kenshinkai

Kenshinkai Shotokan Karate Club is one of the oldest Shotokan Karate clubs in the country (established June 1972). It was founded by the late Eddie Whitcher who trained in the JKA Instructors class in Japan under Sensei Nakayama in the 1960's. Sensei Nakayama was the senior student to Gichin Funakoshi, the founder of modern day Karate. This puts our club only four levels down from Funakoshi Sensei and maintains the pure Japanese Shotokan lineage.

Kenshinkai has it's own dedicated training hall which is mirrored, air conditioned and has a wooden sprung floor. The main training hall (dojo) is available for students to train 7 days a week and for our adult members there is access to a small licenced bar.

Kenshinkai has a team of instructors. All adult instructors have experience in teaching and hold current DBS certificates.

All members of the club are required to have karate insurance which is included in the annual membership fee.

The club is currently run by Glen Moulds 5th Dan who is refered to as Kancho which means 'master of the house and owner of the dojo'. With more than 40 years karate experience Kancho was the senior instructor to Eddie Whitcher and took over the club on his death and was graded to 5th Dan under Sensei Mikio Yahara 8th Dan and a Japanese grading panel in June 2005.

Kancho is assisted by Chief Instructor Sensei Andy Walls 4th Dan who has been with the club and training for over 20 years.

Kenshinkai welcomes both adult and children beginners and advanced students to join the club. We also welcome other clubs to join us if you are looking for a friendly and traditional Shotokan organisation with the emphasis placed on training.

Kenshinkai Club Lineage

This timeline illustrates the pure and direct path from the foundations of Shotokan Karate to the current day practice of Kenshinkai Shotokan overseen by our Chief Instructor, Sensei Moulds 5th Dan, Japan.

c.1827/28 - 1906

Yasutsune Azato

Master trainer of

Gichin Funakoshi

c.1827/28 - 1906

c.1830/32 - 1916

Yasutsune Itosu

Master trainer of

Gichin Funakoshi

c.1830/32 - 1916

1868 - 1957

Gichin Funakoshi

Founder of

Shotokan Karate  

1868 - 1957

1913 - 1987

Masatoshi Nakayama

1913 - 1987

b. 1931 SKKIF

Hirokazu Kanazawa

b. 1931 SKKIF

1941 - 1990

Eddie Whitcher

Founder of Kenshinkai

1941 - 1990

1957 -

Glen Moulds

Chief Instructor Kenshinkai

1957 -

Seinsei Moulds

My name is Sensei Glen Moulds. I hold a Black Belt 5th Dan in Shotokan Karate. I have been training continuously in Authentic Japanese Shotokan Karate since 1979, over 40 years.  

All of my grades have been achieved at grading exams and not just awarded. My current grade of Black Belt 5th Dan was in July 2005 under Sensei Mikio Yahara 10th Dan along with my Instructors, referee and examiners qualifications. My previous grades have been at exams by H. Kanazawa 10th Dan and Abe Sensei 9th Dan. I am a UK GCSE and A Level Examiner in Shotokan Karate.  I have represented some of the most senior Karate Instructors in the world both as an Instructor, examiner and competitor. I am experienced in both competition and self defence.    

 
Under my teaching you will learn authentic Japanese Shotokan Karate as it was taught many years ago.    Your progress tests under myself and my Instructors will be recognised worldwide with my name as the examiner, your Karate will do the talking and your level will be recognised.    

When I started Karate in 1979 we trained six days a week and often six hours a day, we lived and breathed Karate but for the majority in 2020 this is not an option. So I have come up with an alternative.

My Online Karate is 18 years in the pipeline, 2 years of hard work and creates the same passion for Karate for me as real training, knowing that I can pass on pure authentic Japanese Shotokan Karate to people all over the world, in any language and help them to develop physically, mentally and spiritually. This online system is not designed as a quick fix or a race to Black Belt but a fighting system that works, that you can do in the comfort of your own home and at your own pace. Each grade is split into a number of modules to be completed before you record your grading exam and submit it for assessment. When successful you move on to the next grade. The system provides you with all the information for your current grade, the same as being in a class, you can focus and perfect before moving on. Watch out for Podcasts, webinars and other stuff to help you proceed in your online karate.

Best wishes

Sensei Glen Moulds

(5th Dan)

Sensei Glen Moulds 5th Dan

Sensei Glen in action over the years

Train with our respected & high ranking English instructors

Sensei Glen Moulds Black Belt 5th Dan (Japan) leads the team of Instructors with Andy Walls 4th Dan. With over 60 years of experience between the two of them, we will guide you through each module allowing you to get guaranteed quality personal attention.

We look forward to seeing you in the Dojo

Join Our 1,245 Happy Students Today!

Nowhere else will you be able to learn such an effective fighting system by a team of very experienced Karate Instructors for such a low cost. Join today and start your journey.