Cambridge ESKA

Traditional Shotokan Karate around Cambridge


Oss Team Cambridge,

As the heading states – HAPPY FRIDAY –

– We are a another week closer to getting back into the Bar Hill Dojo

– We are another week closer to getting back into the Cottenham Dojo

– We are another week closer to getting back into The Ley’s Dojo

– We are another week closer to our first ever virtual Association Christmas event

– We are another week closer to a great Christmas break

– We are fit and healthy and we have a focus


We have a lot to look forward to…see you tomorrow and have a great weekend.

Jeff Sensei


Hanshi Michael Randall MBE

We received sad news last week that Hanshi Michael Randall MBE (9th Dan) passed away.

Hanshi Randall was one of the founding members of our association back in 1979. He originally trained with Soke Kanazawa in the 1960’s and was one of the first Karate-ka in the UK to gain a Black Belt under Soke Kanazawa.

Hanshi Randall awarded our own Chief Instructor, Hanshi Michael Nursey (9th Dan) with his Shodan, (1st Dan Black Belt) back in 1970.

Hanshi Randall authored and was featured in several books, one of the most notable being, ‘The Shotokan Book of Facts’ which he co-authored with Hanshi Nursey and Dr Clive Layton.

Both Hanshi Nursey and Hanshi Randall are a key part of our lineage, as they inextricably link us to the UK origins of our art in the 1960’s. As further verification of our credibility, I among many others, have met and trained with both Soke Kanazawa and Hanshi Michael Randall.

Thank you Hanshi Randall for all your teachings. Oss.

A General Covid-19 Update post

Oss All,

Well, we’ve been in this lock-down for several weeks now and for many families, it has been very difficult. In terms of our Club, I believe that our virtual training sessions have been going very well and we will continue to develop them. Many of you have engaged with us and as a result, you have maintained or improved your health and fitness, further developing your Karate. Well done! This is a great team effort, which would not have been possible without your Instructors or the Seniors grades putting-in their time and commitment during these challenging times. We will continue to run and develop these sessions until further notice and I confirm the details below.

Additionally, our Association is running virtual sessions, on Mondays and Thursdays, to which you are all welcome – I know that many of you have been attending with great success.

Please remember that we are additionally posting training videos onto our Facebook page.

Let us keep this going so that we can all benefit.


Oss All,

As you are probably now all aware, due to the major issue regarding the COVID-19, we have taken the unprecedented step of suspending all Karate training at all three of our Dojo’s Bar Hill, Cottenham and The Ley’s until further notice. We have done this to safeguard everybody and in the very real interests of Health and Safety and our own Code of Conduct and Duty of Care to you all, our Karate family.

Please monitor this website, our Facebook page, my emails and the Association website for further information and updates.

Above all – keep practicing. I and the team will be posting help and advice on this to further assist you………Russell Sensei has already posted his Press-up challenge on to our Facebook page…….and in time, you will get to see my new ‘On-line’ Karate assistant instructors!

AMA Championships

Our Association is very fortunate to have among its Senior Dan Grades, two ex. World Champions and several International Medal-Winners, including our very own Masaya Sensei (Sandan).

Between them and under the expert guidance of John Gillespei Sensei (Rokudan – 6th Dan) Ex. World Champion, they have formed the Kata Squad, a specific group created to enter both National and International competitions, in the categories of Kata and Kumite, (fighting).

This year, Katie and Antonio took part in the AMA’s in Sheffield over the weekend of 29th February/1st March and did extremely well, bearing-in-mind that this was their first time representing the Association. Katie, doing Heian Yondan, was entered into the under 12’s Kata category whilst Antonio entered the Kumite.

Well done both of you! More pictures to follow.

Antonio strikes a superb Oi Zuke in the his kumite category, Sheffield Championships March 2020



Dates for our Diaries – 2020!

Here are the most important dates for the upcoming year – 2020.

Coloured Belt/Kyu Grading dates

Sunday 29th March
Sunday 21st June
Sunday 13th September
Sunday 20th December

Black Belt/Dan Grading dates

Saturday 16th May
Saturday 14th November

Association Championship

Sunday 1st November

41st Christmas Dinner Dance

Saturday 28th November

Grading Success in Cambridge!

The journey through Karate is different for everybody, but the start is usually similar for most people. Here, we celebrate the success of some of our newest Team members who graded at out Bar Hill Dojo. Well done to you for taking the first and second steps on the journey.

As one of the many Japanese proverbs states – “A journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step”

A great presentation event!

Following the last grading of the year in December, we organised our presentation event in January to celebrate the continued success of Team Cambridge.

This event comprised demonstrations of kumite (sparring), kata (forms) and tameshiwari (trial by breaking). Videos of the tameshiwari will follow shortly.

Congratulations to all who graded successfully – WELL DONE!

Master Soke Hirokazu Kanazawa 10th Dan

It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of our great Master, Soke Hirokazu Kanazawa, (10th Dan), on December 8th this year. A truly great man who trained under Master Funakoshi and was a key figure in bringing Shotokan Karate to the United Kingdom in the 1960’s.

Our own Master Hanshei Nursey, (9th Dan) trained under him as did many of us, including myself in 2010. Master Nursey was graded to Shodan by Master Kanazawa in 1971.

I am privileged to have trained with Soke Kanazawa and shaken hands with one of the very few people who trained with Master Funakoshi.

Rest in Peace Soke Kanazawa and thank you for your teachings. Oss.


Soke Hirokazu Kanazawa 10th Dan

ESKA 40th Anniversary


…..Oss Jeff

Many thanks for your kind words.

It’s instructors together with their students like you that make ESKA what it is today.

I’m very proud of all the things ESKA has achieved over the last 40 years with all the great instructors and students we have.

Thank you Hanshi Nursey for the ‘Thank you’. OSS.

Similar fantastic figures were presented to each of the senior club instructors in celebration of the associations 40th Anniversary. As Senior Instructors, we consider ourselves very fortunate and privileged to be in this position and if it were not for our club members and the instructors, who I consider are also recognised by this trophy, we would not be where we are.

So thank you all, especially Team Cambridge ESKA – this is for you. Oss.

Sempai Jude Crawley Shodan Presented with his certificate at the 40th Anniversary Christmas Diner, with Founder and Chief Instructor Hanshi Nursey 9th Dan and Shihan Gavin Paul 7th Dan

Sensei Russ McAlinden receiving his Sandan (3rd Dan) Certificate at the 40th Anniversary Christmas Diner with Hanshi Nursey 9th Dan, Founder and Chief Instructor and Shihan Gavin Paul 7th Dan.

A very surprised and Happy Jeff Sensei having been presented with his Chief Club Instructors Bronze figure, celebrating the 40th Anniversary.

Senior Club Instructor Trophy