Josh Shil – 2nd Dan
I started training at Kings Cross Shotokan Karate Club in 2006 as a 6 year old, about 6 months before Adam Sensei took over the dojo.
I trained regularly in Adam Sensei’s classes even when there wasn’t a kids class, training with the adults twice per week and passed my Shodan blackbelt in 2013 alongside three other members of the Dojo taking Dan gradings that day and my second Dan in 2017 alongside Harvey & Maria. I am planning on working towards my third Dan in 2023.
By this time I had been bitten by the competition Karate bug and competed whenever I could winning medals at Seishinkai internal competitions, the SSKI Shotokan Shield Open, the Portsmouth Open, the AKA Open and the Legend Open Championships. I have also been lucky enough to train with & learn from a number of other instructors on courses that Adam has arranged such as Dave Hazard Sensei, Simon Staples Sensei and Vinicio Anthony Sensei.
After a brief stint where my training was affected by college & university, I am back training regularly, back competing after the COVID break and have been assisting Adam Sensei at the Club helping to develop the dojo in the way that others before me helped me develop.
Harvey Perkins – 2nd Dan
I started training at the age of 45 at another dojo but was feeling pretty disillusioned with what & how I was being taught and I was on the verge of quitting. I started training at the Kings Cross dojo in 2011 after getting a recommendation from a friend who trained there and I haven’t looked back! I found what I was looking for and have thrown myself into training for nearly 10 years and reached the grade of Nidan (Second Dan) in December 2017. Since then I have also been assisting Adam Sensei in the Kings Cross children’s class.
If I could travel back in time to when I was a kid, I’d tell young me to start Karate. It’s a huge personal annoyance now that I started so late, because as some level I knew I should try it when I was younger but always found a reason not to.
And starting Karate young is clearly the best way to do it. As an instructor, it’s amazing to watch kids start out all shy and uncoordinated and see their confidence and technique build. Of all of my experiences in Karate, I’d say that probably the bit I enjoy the most, working with the children’s class and seeing them improve beyond recognition.
That said starting Karate at 45 is still pretty cool and although there’s still so much to learn, it is fantastic to see how far I’ve come, creaky knees and all. Of course I could have poured my energy into golf. But there’s just not enough kicking people in Golf….
Maria Nicolau Sumaria – 2nd Dan
I was first introduced to Shotokan Karate at around 5 years old, when my dad and brothers started training in the late 80’s early 90’s. Having older brothers who watched films starring Bruce Lee, Jean Claude Van Damme and Sylvester Stallone definitely influenced my interest in Martial Arts.
I started attending Karate lessons at around 10 years old and competed in The London Heathrow Youth Games in 1997 and 1998, having won Silver and Bronze in Kumite. I went on to achieve Shodan (1st Dan black belt) aged 16. Shortly after, I stopped training. School, university and other life experiences took priority, and sadly Karate became a distant memory.
Fourteen years had passed and a neighbour who knew I’d trained in Karate before asked if I wanted to join him for a lesson at his dojo. In 2014 at the age of 29 I went to my first lesson at the Kings Cross dojo and this was the place that was to reignite my passion for Karate. I trained every Monday and Thursday religiously. I attended all the courses that Sensei Adam arranged for us, from traditional Shotokan Karate to other arts and I pushed myself out of my comfort zone. With much dedication and hard work, under Sensei Adam’s training and guidance I achieved my Nidan (2nd Dan black belt) in 2017.
I went on to have a baby, (trained until 8 months pregnant) then took a year out, and during lockdown I trained via Zoom. No matter what is happening in my life, Karate will always have a place.
Nick Ross McCall – 2nd Dan
Nick began training in 1997 with Sensei Mark Birkbeck in Plymouth. He has since trained with several Sensei including Sensei Ohta in Oxford and joined SSKI in 2004 under Sensei Thurlow. He was awarded his Shodan in 2005 by Sensei Phipps and now attends the Kings Cross Shotokan Karate club. He finds karate an excellent way to stay fit and particularly enjoys kata. He was lucky enough to be graded first Kyu by the late Sensei Enoeda
Christopher Boon – 3rd Dan
After I left university, I went to live in Japan for three years and took up karate whilst there. I trained in JKA Shotokan Karate in a large, custom-built budokan in Ogaki City, situated in the middle of Japan’s main island of Honshu. I had two teachers, Tamura Sensei and Kubota Sensei, both of whom taught a fairly traditional form of karate.
I passed my sho-dan test in 2004 shortly before leaving the country and, after a brief hiatus, returned to karate in the UK with the Muswell Hill Karate Academy – affiliated to the Eastern European Fudokan style – under the tutelage of Islam Berisha Sensei. I passed my ni-dan test in 2008 during a seminar hosted by Ilija Jorga Sensei (10th Dan).
I joined Kings Cross Dojo in 2010. It’s a fantastic club and I have learned a great deal from Adam Sensei and all the other instructors.
In 2020 Chris moved to the South of France
Caspar Mahoney – 2nd Dan
I first started training, alongside my brother & sister in 1997, when I was fifteen, at Carn Brea Karate Club in Cornwall, under the tutelage of Sensei Bryan Temby. It was an incredibly old school club, with an emphasis on discipline, etiquette, and stances as long as you could possibly make them!
Eventually my siblings moved on to other things but I never really seriously thought of doing anything but karate, which has always felt like the right martial art for me, both psychologically and physically.
After taking a break to concentrate on my studies at University, I found the Kings Cross dojo and I’ve been blessed to find what must be one of the best clubs in the country. To prove an old adage (if at first you don’t succeed… I picked up my shodan at the third time of trying(!) in June 2010 and then passed nidan in December 2013.
In 2020, Casper moved out of London making training at the dojo very challenging.