Cambridge ESKA

Traditional Shotokan Karate around Cambridge

Instructors

Sensei Jeff Rand, Godan  (5th Dan) – 2018

  • ESKA Qualified Senior Instructor
  • ESKA Senior Grading examiner
  • ESKA Senior Kata Official
  • Edward Docwra Spirit Cup 2009
  • ESKA Open Kata Champion 2012
  • Began Training: 1981

Sensei Jeff is ranked Godan (5th Dan) which was achieved with ESKA in 2018. He is one of the associations Senior Instructors, Senior Kata Official, a Senior Grading Examiner and is a qualified further education teacher. In 2009, Sensei Jeff was awarded the prestigious Edward Docwra Spirit Cup which recognises outstanding dedication, discipline and spirit and in 2012 he was declared the associations Open Kata Champion.

Sensei Jeff originally trained under Sensei John Van Weenan in the early 1980’s. He joined ESKA in the mid 1980’s training under Sensei Mike Nursey, our current Chief Instructor. This was followed by a short time with the Martial Arts Academy training under Sensei Paul Toby.

He followed this by training under Sensei Steve Austin where he gained his Shodan (1st Dan) and Nidan (2nd Dan) under the watchful eye of Sensei Nicholas B Adamou (9th Dan), who is one of the original ‘7 Samurai’, training under Kancho Hirokazu Kanazawa (10th Dan) throughout the 1960’s and 1970’s. Sensei Adamou is currently the Chief Instructor of the International Association of Shotokan Karate. Sensei Jeff is privileged to have trained under the renown Kancho Hirokazu Kanazawa (10th Dan), Sensei Shinji Akita (5th Dan) of the SKAI (Shotokan Karate-Do Alliance International) and Sensei Wayne Otto (5th Dan OBE) 9 times world Kumite Champion.

Sensei Masaya Yumeda, Sandan (3rd Dan) – 2016

  • ESKA Grading examiner
  • ESKA Open Kumite Champion 2015 & 2017
  • ESKA Team Kumite Champion 2017
  • Edward Docwra Spirit Cup 2017
  • Began Training: 1989

Sensei Masaya began training in 1989 at age 8 in a small independent village Dojo in Suffolk, under Clive Ingham Sensei. In 1999 Sensei Masaya was accepted to Loughborough University and joined the Shotokan Karate Club, a part of the Doryoku Shotokan Karatedo Federation (DSKF). The University club instructor, Tom Martin Sensei was a direct disciple of Sadashige Kato Shihan when he was the Chief Instructor of the JKA in the UK. It was here that his Karate was completely overhauled. Improved teaching structure and a deeper understanding of the technical aspects of Karate reignited his passion for the art and is key to his current Karate. In 2000, he served as the University club captain (Bucho) which he held until his graduation in 2002 and competed in several competitions and tournaments during his time there.  It was also with this club that he gained his Shodan (1st Dan) in 2000 and Nidan (2nd Dan) in 2002.

In 2007 he started a new job and once again an opportunity for some lifestyle changes and found a Dojo to train in Cambridge. This Dojo was run by Ashley Martin Sensei who ran his own association, Just Karate. Then in 2015, Sensei Masaya found the English Shotokan Karate Association (ESKA) Dojo in Cambridge under Jeff Rand Sensei where he continues to train to this day. He gained his Sandan (3rd Dan) in 2016 and ESKA’s prestigious Edward Docwra Spirit Cup in 2017.

 

Sensei Jo Potts, Sandan (3rd Dan) – 2017

  • ESKA Qualified Instructor
  • ESKA Grading examiner
  • ESKA Open Kumite Champion 2016
  • ESKA Team Kumite Champion 2017
  • Began Training: 1996

Sensei Jo Potts began his journey into the martial arts in 1995 training originally in the art of Judo, however he gave that up when he moved down to Cambridge with his family. In 1996 he started Shotokan Karate with his dad and brother at the local TISKA (Tradional International Shotokan Karate Association) club training under Senseis Kym Watson and Colin Thorp (both 4th Dan). He was very much involved in the life of the club, progressing through the belts, attending special courses and competing in the annual tournament. He was graded to Shodan (1st Dan) by TISKA’s chief instructor Sensei Gursharan Sahota (now 8th Dan) in 2001.

During his A-Levels studying had to take priority over training and wasn’t able to train as much as he’d like and by the time he went to university he took a break from karate. On returning to Cambridge he wanted to get back into training and in looking around for somewhere suitable joined our Cambridge Club in 2011. He has been fully involved from the beginning and was awarded Nidan (2nd Dan) in 2013, his Sandan (3rd Dan) in 2017, and is also an ESKA qualified instructor.

Sensei Russell McAlinden, Sandan (3rd Dan) – 2019

  • ESKA Qualified Instructor
  • ESKA Grading examiner

Sensei Russell McAlinden receiving his Sandan (3rd Dan) certificate from Founder and Chief Instructor Sensei Mike Nursey and Sensei Gavin Paul at the association’s 40th Anniversary Christmas Dinner in 2019.

Russell McAlinden’s Karate history goes back some time. Through his previous training and experience comes a wealth of knowledge which is invaluable.

He joined us, motivated by his son, Harry, some-time after we had started at the Leys School. It was quite clear from the outset, the he had a quiet confidence which is a fantastic benefit to the club and the association.

He has brought his experience and ability from his ‘day job’, to the dojo, in the form of excellent and effective communication together with great knowledge of physical exercise and stretching.

With his son Harry, who is also a member of the club, Russell Sensei gained the Bronze position in the 2019 40th Anniversary Championships, Family Kata category – an excellent result!

Sensei Claire Leggott, Shodan (1st Dan) – 2006

  • ESKA Qualified Instructor
  • ESKA Grading examiner
  • Began Training: 1995

Sensei Claire Leggott stepped-back from in training in 2018 to focus on her family commitments, up to that point, Sensei Leggott was the longest serving member of the club and the Club Secretary. Along with instructing at our various dojo’s she created and managed our very first website, from which this new one has grown. Sensei Claire additionally manages the attendance, takes the grading photos and helps with grading and license administration.

She has been involved in Martial arts for as long as she can remember doing some training in Judo, Kuk Sool & Goyararu before joining Steve Austin (then 5th Dan) in 1995, and beginning her journey in Shotokan Karate gaining her Shodan (1st Dan) in January 2006 with the IASK (International Association of Shotokan Karate).

 

Sempai James Pawley, Intermediate Dan – 2017

  • ESKA Yellow-Purple/White Belt Kata Champion 2013
  • ESKA 1st Kyu-Int Dan Kata Champion 2016
  • Began Training: 2012

James originally joined the club in 2012 as a complete beginner, and has grown and very much developed over the last few years. He has competed in all but one of the association championships and medalled in every one he entered; winning two.

James stepped-back from training in 2019 to focus on his family.

He was actively involved in taking warm-ups, instructing, social events, and extra training in other clubs – including the infamous “Suicide Saturday” where participants train for 5 hours at three different clubs around ESKA. He passed his Intermediate-Dan in November 2017 and also won the club’s Progress Shield in March 2017 for his improvements towards his dan gradings. He is now working towards getting his Shodan (1st Dan) in the near future and becoming fully qualified as an ESKA instructor.