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  How the National Karate Association was started?  

We (Graham and Terry) set up the National Karate Association (NKA) after many years teaching and training within the Martial Arts, reaching our 2nd Dan's in Traditional Wado-Ryu Karate. Our first club opened in Worcester during 1984 and the Association expanded accross the Midlands and the South of England. In 1985 we officially joined the British Karate Association (B.K.A.) under the guidance of the chairman, and friend, Danny Connor. (Below)

We originally started Karate in 1970/71 with a Traditional Wado-Ryu club run by Suzuki & Associates in Redditch and Worcester near Birmingham. We trained there for a few years, but only having taken one grading, we looked elsewhere.

We then joined the Tera Karate Organisation based at the Temple Karate Centre in Birmingham, run by the Chief Instructor Toru Tokamizowa, 7th Dan. During this time we attended many courses and competitions (some courses were a week long) with our instructor Clayton Marrain. Other instructors include Eugene Codrington, Greg Wallace, Dicky Wu, John Richards, Josh Johnson, Patrick Scantlebury, Ivan Riley etc.

To gain even futher experience regarding Traditional Tournaments etc, we also trained under invitation with Nick Sinclair and the Higashi Organisation.

Our Experience

When the Tera Karate Organisation ceased, we continued training with Clayton Marrain and his new A.M.A.A. which was a turning point in our History. This was Sport Karate-Traditional based, but with more Freestyle adaptations. We both graded to our 2nd Dans in 1982 and were are now teaching Freestyle Karate full time as well a organising and running one of our own clubs.

During the last fifteen years we have have constantly trained with Danny Connor, expanding our knowledge in all styles, with different masters of Martial Arts. This has taken us around the world meeting new people and also studying Wing Chun under the guidence Yip Chung, ( Yip Chung, eldest son of Yip Man who was the instructor of the late great Bruce Lee), in Hong Kong and China, as well as various courses in the UK.

We were highly honoured to have our picture in Yip Chungs book of Wing Chun (ISBN 0-09-175022-9) and also to be invited to his birthday party in Hong Kong.

Presence of Danny Connor

In 1986, Danny Connor and Peter Consterdine graded us to our 3rd Dans, in a very cold and wet Manchester, at the B.K.A. dojo where we also studied Tai Chi with Danny.

In 1991 Danny Connor graded us to 4th Dan and since this time we (our association) have put together various squads which have competed in Traditional and Freestyle competitions. Our first World Champion was in the W.K.A. Tournament in Holland in 1991 in the Womens section. Our Association members have had successes in Europe (Holland, France, Germany etc) and Canada to name but a few places, also many successes in our own Country in Traditional, Freestyle and Kickboxing.

In December 1996, we travelled the long road to Manchester for our 5th Dan Black Belts. Again we succeeded but I think this was in some way due to the fact that we took a team of eager students to Canada (as reported in the Combat Magazine) to the 25th Canadian Open Championships,under invitation from Fern Cleroux during November (With our students doing extremely well). Achieving amongst other honours, the Open Creative Kata and Junior Canadian Grand Champion.

In 1997 we also took a couple of students to Manchester to be graded by Danny Connor to their 3rd Dans. Later recalling Danny's awesome presence on the day.

We would like to pay our own tribute to Danny Connor who passed away hours after seeing in the new Millenium. His knowledge humour, energy and friendship is sadly missed.

Wado Ryu; The Beginning

Wado Ryu Karate (the way of peace) was created by Hirnori Otsuka. Otsuka's training in Martial Arts began in his childhood. He was born in 1892 and spent most of his youth training in Shindo Yoshin Ryu Jujitsu. Otsuka, after many year of study became a headmaster of the style.

Otsuka was introduced to Karate by Dr. Kano, the inventor of Judo, Otsuka began to train in Karate at the age of 30. He studied Shotokan under Gichin Funakoshi for more than 10 years. He then broke away to form his own style. For a time Otsuka's style had no name until Otsuka visited a Martial Arts festival in 1940, Otsuka was asked to register the name of his school, he called it Wado Ryu (Ryu means school).

Otsuka began to make very noticeable changes within his Karate, he used much of his knowledge of Jujitsu, which he mixed with Shotokan techniques. This became apparent in the more upright stances and more fluid techniques, the opposite to Shotokan. In the use and ideas of Jujitsu, with the emphasis on non-opposition to strength, and the traditional ways of the Okinawan Karate gave a softness to Wado Ryu Karate.

Hironori Otsuka's Wado Ryu style is tremendously fast. Otsuka is also remembered for his formulation of Karate. In 1982 Otsuka was recognised as being the old practicing Karateka, at 89, in the world. Sadley Otsuka died on January 29th 1982 just before his 90th Birthday.

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