Karate was originally developed as a civilian self protection art and we firmly believe in ensuring that the Karate that we teach maintains that element to it.

Many Dojo’s will only teach the standard “3 x K’s Karate” which consists of:

  • KIHON – Basic training of individual techniques & combinations
  • KATA – Pre-Rehearsed forms
  • KUMITE – Fighting or sparring

Whilst we embrace the foundation of “3 x K’s Karate” we also ensure that we give equal importance to other forms of training to maintain the self protection aims of the art:

  • IMPACT WORK – Hitting bags and pads and not just thin air
  • BUNKAI – Analysis of the fighting principles and techniques contained within the Kata
  • GRAPPLING – Whilst Karate is predominantly a striking art it does contain throws, locks and grappling which are trained so a student is comfortable in all areas but is used as a back up to the primary method of striking

“In karate, hitting, thrusting, and kicking are not the only methods, throwing techniques and pressure against joints are included … all these techniques should be studied referring to basic kata … One must always keep in mind that since the essence of karate is found in a single thrust or kick, and one should never be grasped by or grapple with an opponent, one must be careful not to be defeated through being overly concerned with throwing an opponent or applying a joint punishment hold.”   Gichin Funakoshi Sensei from Karate-Do Kyohan (1935)



At Total Shotokan Karate dojos we practice a wide variety of different sparring and place equal importance on all depending on your level of experience.

  • Basic One Step, Three Step and Five Step Kumite.   Trained to teach strong blocking and movement.
  • Jiyu Ippon Kumite – Semi Free sparring.  Trained to teach movement, body shifting & dynamic counter attacking.
  • Jiyu Kumite – Free Kumite.   Trained to test reactions, speed, timing and most importantly- Spirit.   The culmination of basic training.
  • Shiai Kumite – Jiyu Kumite aimed specifically at Competition Karate.
  • Randori or Dojo Kumite – All in Kumite with no prohibited techniques.   Is done with or without protective equipment.
  • Ne Waza – Grappling on the ground.   Used to train a student how to get back to their feet effectively
  • Bunkai led sparring – Using sections of kata to create sparring situations.
  • Self Defence Kumite – Defences against “street” attacks – Swings, hooks, grabs, wild kicks, head locks etc.   Develops from basic movement to more live training similar to the progression of One Step Kumite through to Jiyu Kumite.



We firmly believe in the benefits of Competition Karate for younger (and sometimes slightly older!) students.   It develops courage, reactions, timing, a calmness under pressure & explosive movement  and also provides an often needed competitive outlet to ensure that we consistently train hard with a goal in mind.

With Karate’s recognition as an Olympic Sport from Tokyo 2020, Total Shotokan Karate exposes our competitors to training and events that may lead long term to Olympic recognition.

However Competition is not the sole focus of our training, just a part of a much bigger whole.



We have an open attitude towards training and firmly believe that you can learn from anyone anywhere.   We have nothing to hide in terms of our training and our confident that our teaching and training ensures that people want to come back and train with us regularly.  With that in mind our students and instructors are openly encouraged to train on other course and with other instructors & groups and do so on a regular basis.

We also regularly have guest instructors and open courses within Total Shotokan Karate, seeking out the best instructors to benefit our students, including:

  • Simon Staples Sensei
  • Vinicio Antony Sensei
  • Rick Hotton Sensei
  • Iain Abernethy Sensei
  • Malcolm Phipps Sensei
  • Steve Orton (Krav Maga)
  • Gabriel Van Rel Sensei
  • Darren Jumnoodoo Sensei
  • Matt Powell Sensei