Contact Us

Contact: Simon Jennings
Telephone: 07786 445200




Chief Instructor Simon Jennings took students from the club to the winter weekend course at Crawley with world renowned instructors - Sensei Imamura 7th Dan, Sensei Hanzaki - both visiting from Japan.

The course tuition was up to its usual high standard and culminated in the Dan gradings with success for Paul Ford being awarded his Shodan (1st Dan ). Congratulations to Paul for this, now bringing the total number of 1st Dans from white belt to 99 in number









JKAE Brown & Black Belt Course - Glastonbury

Members of Plymouth Shotokan Karate Centre enjoyed a fantastic brown and black belt course with Sensei Ohta, 7th Dan JKA, this weekend in Glastonbury. We concentrated on fundamental technique, with Sensei Ohta urging us to continually check ourselves to ensure bad habits don't creep in over the years. We also covered various forms of kaishu ippon kumite as well as jiyu ippon kumite...concentrating on correct distancing. We finished by working on the finer details of Bassai dai and Kanku dai katas. As always, Sensei Ohta left us all with lots to work on for our own technique.


Simon Jennings Senei Ohta Jamie Blake


We Have Moved

We have now started training at the gymnasium at Sir John Hunt Community College, Whitleigh.

Our new training times are 7 till 8.30pm.

Our new dojo  has a really good sprung gym floor and changing facilities.

Hopefully we can build up the club membership now that we have secured this new location and more convenient training time.

RIP - Peter Wright

Peter Wright, a long time member of Plymouth Shotokan Karate Centre has sadly passed away recently after a long battle with cancer.

Pete Wright RIP

I first met Pete back in 1986 when training at Whiteway Wilkinsons gym, and was always in awe of his power whilst destroying the gym punch bag and speed ball.
It was pure chance that when I joined Plymouth SKC 1994, it was none other than Pete who took me for my first ever karate lesson. His sessions were always very hard but full of insightful, practical advice on the art of karate.
Later as a shodan, it was always a scary prospect facing him for any kind of kumite...getting caught by him was always painful. However, he always encouraged you to hit him hard and gave you good feedback on whether your technique was effective enough. My best efforts at mae geri to his stomach never seemed to budge him!!


Pete Wright Group

Pete Wright - Bottom Left, with ( from top left - Martin Waterhouse, Les Clarke, Sensei Ohta, Kenny Elliott, Dell Green, John Opie an Denny. Circa mid 80s )


Sensei Les Clarke writes some memories of Pete…..

Peter Wright started training at my club in 1976 aged 21.
He was at that time working for a window cleaning firm as well as being a doorman at various pubs and clubs around Plymouth.He later took over the Three Crowns Pub on the Barbican, which he ran for the next 25 years.

Pete trained and taught at our club and was awarded his 20 year certificate from the Karate Union of Great Britain, our governing body at the time. He was one of only five people  to have achieved that at the time. He would often lead members of the dojo on exhausting  weekend training sessions up on the moors…long runs interspersed with kata, kihon and sparring. Challenging but great fun.

Later as his business grew running a number of pubs around Plymouth as well as his beloved  Three Crowns, he had to alternate his time spent training with business interests. Various health problems over the intervening years kept him out of the dojo, but he always came back to train whenever he could. His last stint being  back in 2015.

Most senior grades from the club will remember Pete for his famous 'slap' ( AKA in karate circles as teisho ) whilst we were circle training. I would have words with him about his lack of control - and he would say -  "Sorry was only a slap". That slap, as many would confirm, would easily knock you back a stance length or two. I would have to remind him that a 'slap' from a 6'2" 17 stone karateka with lots of street experience, was a little more than that.

Petes last 12 months after his diagnosis for cancer was a tough time for him and his family. Continuous chemo and radiotherapy...his partner Christine did a wonderful job of looking after him.
Pete was admitted to St. Lukes Hospice on 10th July and passed away 4 days later.
Peter was a good friend to me over the years and I will miss him.

Till we meet again,

Glastonbury Course and Grading

Congratulations to Jamie Blake, who was graded 3rd kyu by JKAE Chief Instructor Sensei Ohta last week in Glastonbury.
Jamie trains regularly at both the Blisland and Plymouth dojos. All that hard work is paying off. Well done Jamie! ( Photo courtesy of Glastonbury Karate Club ).


Jamie Blake



JKAE National Championship Success

Huge congratulations to club student Mike Grandpierre, who recently won Bronze in the 6th - 4thkyu Kata(16rs+) division.

Fantastic achievement Mike, well done!!

Mike Grandpierre wins Bronze in kata at the JKAE National Championships 2017


Mike Grandpierre wins Bronze in kata at the JKAE National Championships 2017Mike Grandpierre wins Bronze in kata at the JKAE National Championships 2017Summer Shutdown

The club is closing for a summer break.

Training resumes on Monday 26th June.


JKAE Nationals

Mike Grandpierre is entering both kata and kumite in this years JKAE National Championships on June 24th.

Good luck Mike!


JKAE Nationals


If anyone wishes to enter the JKAE nationals this year ( June 24th ), please ensure I have your entry forms in by JUNE 8th at the latest.

We Have Moved....

Please note from May we now train on Monday nights at 6-7pm in the Drama Studio, Eggbuckland Community College, Westcott Close, Eggbuckland, PL6 5YB.

There is a further session at Blisland Village Hall every Wednesday 7.30 - 9.30pm at Blisland, Bodmin, Cornwall, PL304JY

Chief Instructor Les Clarke is stepping down and Simon Jennings who has trained with Les for 23 years is now taking the role.

Please contact Simon for more information on: 07786445200.



As a footnote to our 50 year article, the Evening Herald have published a full page obituary claiming John Smith brought karate to Plymouth in 1972 and that martial arts were unknown at that time. I think Paul and Jack and Viv Nash who started their club just before us would stongly disagree with this. By 1972 the both clubs were strong and well established with regular courses from top Japanese instructors and many clubs from the southern region attended. 1966 was the start of karate and those 

that managed to start clubs up then deserve the credit. John established his organisation by mid 70's and was very sucessful but he certainly did not bring karate to Plymouth.



September saw the club complete 50 years karate in Plymouth.It started in 1966 as the Bushido Karate Club training at the Astor Institute at St Judes. Extra sessions were held evenings at the YWCA and weekends at the Citadel barracks, both on the Hoe.In 1970 we changed venue to the Civil Service Social Club at Beacon Park and unfortunately had to change the club name to that. Extra training was carried out at Bridwell Road, St Budeaux.Two years later we moved to St Simons church hall where we stayed for over 30 years untill moving to

Coombe Dean Sports Centre where we train today.

We have had top instructors some of which were only starting out with their karate, Mick Peachy, Bob Poynton, Alan Smith and Andy Sherry.

Then began our relationship with the JKA insructors, Sensei's Kanazawa, Takahashi, Sumi, Kato, Tomita and Ohta all over seen by Sensei Enoeda who was a regular visitor to our clu throughout the 70's, 80's and early 90's. Excellent years for training when karate was still a martial art.

As for student we must have had over a 1,000. Early 70's we had Iranian and Iraqi navel cadets and just about every branch of the armed forces including bomb disposal and submariners. We even had a navy seal on secondment with the marines for a couple of months. The majority of course were all from Plymouth from every walk of life.

 Les Clarke who is chief instructor at the club has also completed 50 years, and assistant  instructor Simon Jennings who has trained with Les for the last 22 years arranged a celebration meal at the Mountbatten Inn to celebrate.

Students from the past and present and from other organisations dropped by to have a drink to socialise and complete a nice evening and thanks to those who travelled from further afield for turning up. Disappointing that there was no response from any one in JKAE for Les completing this amount of training.

Paul Ford presented Les with a hand crafted Japanese bridge and club members gave a Japanese granite lantern which was much appreciated.





Karate classes starting on Mondays at 7.00pm, loose clothing is all thats necessary untill you are sure you will stay on and there are two free taster sessions. There will be licence and a karate suit costs later but again no joining fees or unnecessary costs to start with.

Age range is from 10 years upwards to senior classes, so call in and give it a try.


Monday 29th August (bank holiday) 2016

Thursday 8th September 2016




The sports hall is closed on Monday so training commences on Thursday 31st March


Instuctor Simon JenningsInstuctor Simon Jennings

 Plymouth Instructor Simon Jennings has opened a club called Blisland JKA at Blisland Village Hall, Blisland, Nr Bodmin PL30 4JB.

Training is on Thursday evening,  call Simon on 01208 850247 for further details.








The last training session wil be on Monday 21st December 2015. We will commence training on Monday 4th January 2016 all grades start 7.00pm

Have a good Xmas and a happy new year to all.




Plymouth SKC held their training and grading course with Sensei Ohta. Black and brown belts were given kata sessions with Basi Dia and Basi Sho and sparring techniques.

This was followed with a grading in which 17 members were sucessfully upgraded.


September was also the start of the clubs and Instructor Les Clarke's 50th year training. The club was originally called the Bushido Karate club in the 1960's but had to be changed to the Civil Service Karate club when they supplied the training hall for us, not a name we would have chosen. In the early 1970's we became Plymouth SKC as we are today.





Antonio from Spain with group.June 2015Antonio from Spain with group.June 2015

Plymouth Instructors say good byePlymouth Instructors say good bye



   Antonio Mon Zarzuela a Shodan with Shito Ryu pictured with instructors Mike James and Les Clarke Antonio has been on a work visit from Spain for two months and has trained at our dojo in this time. We had a farewell drink to wish him well on Thursday. Also Jake who has trained with us for two months has returned to Australia and is currently looking to continue with a JKA club near him and we also send our best wishes to him.







If you wish to try authentic Shotokan karate call in any Monday at 7.00pm for a weeks free trial. Loose clothing is all you need to start no unnecessary expense until you are sure you'll like it.

We look forward to seeing you.

Age: 10 years upwards.




The last training session will be on  Thursday 18th December 2014 and will commence on Monday January 5th.2015

Have a good Xmas and a happy new year.




Plymouth SKC in conjunction with their sister club Looe SKC held  a training and grading course at Coombe Dean Sports Hall this weekend. The senior section was well attended and were given an excellent session of combinations in body evasion and Yoriashi training finishing with the finer points of the kata Jion.

Those grading were taken through the basics and kata required for their exams again a enjoyable session. The numbers for this were as with many clubs now rather low and all instructors and paticipants wish to express their thanks to Sensei Ohta for taking the time and trouble to drive from London and back in the same day. Quite a change from when he first visited our club aged 25 with Sensei Enoeda back in 1984. Ours was the first club out of London Sensei Enoeda brought Sensei Ohta to after traveling from Japan. Gradings then had over 100 students taking their exams and would last for 3 hours or more.



Call in to see us any time through out October for a free trial.


PLEASE NOTE: the will be no training on bank holiday Monday August 25th

Training through the holiday period due to possible day closures of the centre could be interrupted so either email me through the web address or telephone if you need information.


Coombe Dean has a open night on Thursday 12th June so there will be no training.

There will be no training on both of the May bank holidays.


Training will finish on Thursday 12th December. The gym is closed for repairs on the floor and the heating from the 16th December so we will not be able to train.

We commence training on Monday 6th January 2014.



Sensei gave the senior grades basic and kumite training with emphasis on the Yoriashi aspects and finished with the kata Basi Dia, an interesting and informative session. He then instructed the purple bellts and below for a further hour with no signs that he had taken the course at Bath the previous day. The grading took place after lunch to finish an enjoyable day. 



The course will be held on Sunday 1st December 2013 at Coombe Dean Sports Centre .

Training times will be as follows - Black & brown belts: 11.00am - 12.15pm

                                             - Purple down to white belts: 12.15pm- 1.30pm

Grading will start at 2.00pm.



Instructor Mike Whitmarsh attended the September JKAE course in London and sucessfully passed his 2nd Dan (Nidan) grading. Congratulations to him from all club members and instructors.




From Thursday 12th September we resume training in the refurbished gym, training times as before. New reception and changing rooms so big improvement at last.



A new beginners course will commence on Monday 2nd September and carry on  each following Monday through until xmas. Those interested can either call up to the sports hall by 7.00pm or telephone Steve on 07729435198

or Les on 01752/480963 if you need further information. The minimum age will be 9 years old there will be no charge for a taster lesson and any loose clothing will be fine to train in.

Hope to see you there.



The sports hall will be closed from the 12th August until the 26th August for maintenance work.

Our last session will be on Thursday 8th August and we commence training again on Thursday 29th August after bank holiday Monday.



Date: 30th June 2013

Location: Plymstock School - Plymouth

Congratulations to all those that passed their kyu gradings on Sunday from Plymouth and Looe SKC clubs.

Even after a long day at the Nationals on Saturday Sensei Ohta still did the 4 hour trip down to Plymouth to train and grade for the afternoon then drive staight back to London which was much appreciated.

Sensei took the senior grades through an in depth version of Jion breaking each movement down in every detail then finished with the kata Wankan. An enjoyable and informative day.


Training - Time Information

Location: Combe Dean School Sports Hall

The sports hall will be out of use from Thursday 13th June , Monday17th and Thursday 20th June. Training resumes on 24th June with the grading to follow on Sunday 30th June


Gym - Refurbishment.

Training - New members.

Location: Combe Dean School Sports Hall

To all new members please park in the main school car park - from there you will see the large sports hall, please continue down the steps and in through the fire door on the left hand side, walk around the edge of the sports hall to the other end - Plymouth Skotokan Karate Club train in the far end of the sports hall.


Sensei Keinosuke Enoeda - 9th Dan Tenth year of Sensei Enoeda’s passing

Location: Yotsuya, Tokyo, Japan.

To many instructors, the mere mention of his name invokes memories of the last 50 years of karate in the UK and beyond. To those who did not know him, only now realise just how influential a legacy he had achieved and the many he had inspired in the karate community.

Born in Fukuoka, Japan in 1935, his parents were descendants of Samurai families. Initially grounded in Judo, after a chance demonstration of Karate while at Takushoku University he was taught by the founders of modern karate and after graduation joined the famous Japan Karate Association (“JKA”) Instructors class earning the nickname “Tiger”. After winning the Japanese Championships in 1963, he embarked on many overseas teachings and finally settled in the UK.

He became the Chief Instructor of the Karate Union of Great Britain (“KUGB”) in 1968 and maintained close links with the JKA through international courses, such as Crystal Palace inviting JKA HQ instructors to teach the many instructors and students who attended from all over the world. He was also one of the founding members of JKA W/F Europe and was constantly in demand as a teacher, instructor and technical expert in Karate and grew the sport in the UK from relative infancy to a wide and successful membership base.

His achievements in ensuring his squads won many events at a European and World Championship level are legendary. Since Sensei Enoeda’s death on 29th March 2003, his passing marked the creation of a new association, JKA-England which carries on the traditions established by Sensei Enoeda and the closeness to Japan through the JKA World Federation.

In this, the 10th anniversary of the establishment of JKA-England, its founder and Chief Instructor, Sensei Yoshinobu Ohta (7th Dan) has continued to forge ever closer links to the global network of the JKA and continued activities such as the International Courses held twice a year in England with leading instructors from Japan and other countries.Sensei Enoeda's Shrine -In this tenth year of Sensei Enoeda’s passing, the final ashes of Sensei were laid to rest at a shrine in Yotsuya, Tokyo, Japan with the assistance of Sensei Ohta and JKA-England and the blessing of Sensei Enoeda’s wife, Reiko. The shrine is also dedicated to other International JKA Instructors, such as Sensei Nakayama Sensei Nishiyama, Sensei Kase and Sensei Miyazaki's whose names also appear on stone who passed away abroad.

We encourage anyone who knew Sensei Enoeda (including those from different associations) if they are able, to visit the shrine to pay their respects. The shrine is visited every year by many students who just wish to pay their respects. The shrine is open to anyone to visit.

For further details please contact for further guidance and assistance. Article - JKAE.



Date: 16th March 2013

Location: PLYMOUTH

Congratulation to all who passes their kyu grades today and also we would like to say thank you to Sensei Ohta for the very interesting and enjoyable training sessions before hand.




Date: 16th March 2013

Location: Plymstock School - Plymouth

Venue - Plymstock School, Church Road, Plymstock, PL99AZ

Instructor - Sensei Otha 7th DanBlack and brown belts 11.45am - 1.00pmPurple and white to white belts 1.00 pm - 2.00pmGradings will commence 2.30pm onwards approxTimes are approximate, make sure you are early, Please note the hall is in use untill 11.30am.


China Fleet Course - Feb 2013

Grerg Regan 4th Dan Cheif Instructor Ryu Ju Jutsu invited Les Clarke over to his dojo at the China Fleet Golf and Country Club to instruct a session with his senior members, Although Greg has taught Jutsu since the 1970's he has always had an intrest in Shotokan Karate and incoporates various techniques that he thinks will enhance there training - Les Clarke was assisted by Mike Whitmarsh.


Welcome back - Jan 2013

Training has started after the christmas / new year break at coombe Dean, the gym is not ready for us to move back into so please keep checking the website for updates on times and locations of sessions, both session will still be running on a monday and thursday in the main hall at the moment.



Date: 17th December 2012

Location: Coombe Dean

Monday 17th December training will be at 7pm for all (last session before christmas)



Date: 8th December 2012

Location: Plymstock School - Plymouth

Venue - Plymstock School, Church Road, Plymstock, PL99AZ

Instructor - Sensei Otha 7th Dan

Black and brown belts 11.00am - 12.30pm

Purple and white to white belts 12.30 pm - 1.45pm

Gradings will commence 2.15pm onwards approxTimes are approximate, make sure you are early!




Date: November / December 2012

Location: Plymouth

October 29th - November 1st no training (half term)Monday 12th November - sports hall (Coombe Dean)Thursday 15th November Plymstock schoolMonday 19th November ports hall (Coombe Dean)Thursday 22nd November Plymstock schoolMonday 26th November ports hall (Coombe Dean)Thursday 29th November Plymstock schoolMonday 3rd December sports hall (Coombe Dean)Thursday 6th December Plymstock schoolSaturday 8th December grading Plymstock schoolMonday 10th and Monday 17th December sports hallNo training on either Thursday



Date: 28TH - 30TH SEPTEMBER 2012

Location: CRAWLEY All brown and black belts must bring mitts and gum sheilds ,K2 Crawley, Pease Pottage Hill, Crawley, West Sussex, RH11 9BQ



Date: 17th JUNE 2012

Location: PLYMOUTH

Congratulations to all who completed their grading @ Combe Dean school with Sensei Ohta - a number of clear grades and high achievements



Date: 22 APRIL 2012


Over 70 students arrived at Glastonbury in Somerset for the South West regional brown/black belt course with chief instructor Sensei Ohta. after a warm up with a squad member, Sensei Ohta took the class and we worked on combinations of punching, kicking and blocking on our own and then pairing up doing the combinations with a partner. For the first hour, students undertook the dan grading syllabus where sensei ohta showed exactly what the examiner is expecting to see in the basics with sensei going through shodan and nidan, kihon (basics), so anyone grading soon would see what is expected and had the opportunity to practice in this hour.

After a short break, the second hour over focused on to kata, students that were grading soon had a chance to go through the kata of their choice, which was jion, empi, kanku sho, and gojushiho sho, and Sensei Gary Stewart went through bassai dai, with the brown belts. Sensei Ohta went around each group looking at students practicing the chosen kata, and then each group performed their chosen kata in turn.

We then went on to kumite practice and the referees had a chance to practice while the kumite took place.A great course with a lot of information given out by Sensei Ohta not only for those that may have been preparing to grade, but to all students to improve their karate. This is why it is important for all students to attend as many of these courses as possible to gain knowledge, feel the "atmosphere" in a large group all training, and can say most people still get "butterflies" before these course start but a great feeling during and afterwards.

A big thank you to Evan Poeti and Ralph Johnson from Glastonbury SKC for organizing the event at their dojo, along with a nice roast dinner with for the instructors! Written by Glyn Morgan 5th dan Regional Officer SW.


PLMOUTH SHOTOKAN KARATE CLUB WOULD LIKE TO SAY THANK YOU TO DAVE KIRK FOR SUPPLING A NUMBER OF THE OLDER IMAGES IN THE GALLERY - if anyone else has any images or stories from days gone by at the PSKC please get in contact via the email address



Date: MARCH 2012

Location: PLYMOUTH

Well done to all who completed their grading on the 10th March 2012 @ Plymstock school with Sensei Ohta - a very successful day!




Date: DEC 2011


Congratulation Rich on your 1st Dan.



Date: MAY 2011


Congratulation mike on your 1st Dan.



Date: 21ST MARCH 2010

Location: BATH UNI

Thyanna has been with the club since 2006 and has trained regularly. She has achieved her 1st Dan grading at Bath University on 21st March 2010, congratulation.



Date: DEC 2010

Location: PLYMOUTH

Sensei Denny Horrell has decided to retire from Plymouth SKC. This has coincided with his retirement from work and will give him more time to travel with his partner Dell Green. Dell was a Sandan with the club and instructed before she finished training some years ago. Denny has trained for 38 years, teaching and fighting for the club from the mid 70’s he travelled to many of the Southern regions black and brown belt courses and the Crystal palace weeks.

The only training he missed in all those years was for holidays and was an example of what a good karateka should be. We will miss him but wish him well. Denny was presented with a glass plaque and is in the photo with of the other senior instructors Left to right Peter Wright, Denny Horrell, Les Clarke and Steve Elliott (chief instructor of Plymouth University) Peter and Steve both started training with Les circa 1977)



Date: AUG 2009


Congratulations mike on your sensei grade (3rd Dan)



Date: 06th December 2006

Time: 10:00 - 22:00

Location: Plymouth 2006 comes to a close, and Plymouth Shotokan celebrated the fact that Sensei Les Clarke has now been training hard for 40 years and still shows no signs of slowing down, as anyone who has sparred with him recently will know! All through that time he has been training,teaching and running Plymouth Shotokan Karate centre, helping hundreds of students learn the art of Karate.

Sensei Clarke has guided over one hundred people to their Black Belt ( Shodan ), and many more to the higher grades of Nidan, and Sandan. Sensei Ohta came down to the club for training and grading and joined the senior members of the club, along with many other past and present students for a celebratory meal in the evening. Good fun was had by all. Well Done Sensei Clarke!!! Long may you continue to keep us all on our toes!!!



Date: September 1996

Location: Plymouth

Les Clarkes wife Bernice manage to arrange a 30 year surprise reunion for his 30th year presentation, getting together this many old friends and training partners was no easy task and even harder trying to keep it a secret



Date: September 1986

Location: Plymouth