Cambridge ESKA

Shotokan Karate Club

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

Many people may not be aware that the training continues, following the award of Shodan or 1st Dan Black Belt. This is really only a relatively short way into the Karate journey. At Shodan stage, I believe that one has what may be referred to as the ‘alphabet’ from which the words are formed and sights are set on preparing for Nidan or 2nd Dan. The Nidan Grading can not be considered until a further two years training has been successfully completed. The Sandan or 3rd Dan Grading potentially follows after a further three years successful training……..and so it continues. Each ‘Dan’ or level, has its own unique ‘Demands’ or requirements, for example, the Grading to Sandan is predominantly a teaching examination, in which the physical elements can last up to four hours. It includes all aspects of the art, Kihon, (Basics), Kata, (Form) and Kumite, (Sparring) in addition to the written test papers. The Grades that follow can not be attempted until the correct number of years training, related to the grade have been successfully completed, for example, a further four years to Yondan, (4th Dan).

It is hoped that you will appreciated the dedication and quality of both our Junior and Senior Instructors.

Sunday 10th November was the official 40th Anniversary Championship event of our Association. We will post the result tables, but in the meantime, we were placed 3rd out of 20 association clubs and we had some fantastic results, including Gold and Silver medals for our junior beginners, many of whom had never take-part in anything like this event! WELL DONE!

This is a small selection of photographs – more to follow!!

Stuart, Katie, Aleena and Jose 40th Anniversary Champions

Some of the 40th Anniversary Championship Team

40th Anniversary Championship Trophies and Medals

Antonio – Gold in the Junior Kumite Association Championships!








I was extremely lucky to have been able to visit Japan earlier this year and to train with the Japan Karate Association in Tokyo. Fortunatley, my ability to count to 10 in Japanese came in very useful, because I was instructed to count one of the Gyaku Zuki exercises!

The training and language was very familiar and I was fortunate to have been taught by one of the JKA Senior Masters.

I was unable to take any photographs of the training session, but here are some photographs of the JKA building, The Dojo and some other general photographs of Japan.

If you have the opportunity to visit this wonderful country and experience its peoples’ courtesy, please do so, it is a fantastic experience.

Photograph of Master Gichin Funakoshi – JKA Headquaters Japan

A somewhat cloudy Mount Fuji.

Training Dojo at The JKA Japan

The Sumurai Museum Tokyo. Many of the exhibits, the ones in this photographs, are over 500 years old.

The Shinto Shrine – Mount Fuji.

The Japan Karate Association Tokyo Japan.

Entrance to the Dojo’s JKA Headquaters Japan.

Dojo JKA

A beautiful Japanese Garden just south of Tokyo Japan.

Pre-Championship training at The Leys – the Kumite end!

Pre-Champioship training at The Leys – Kata at one end and Kumite at the other!

We are very fortunate to have excellent, very highly qualified and experienced Senior Instructors in our association. Amoung them are Masaya Yumeda and Russell McAlinden Sensei, both Graded to rank Sandan (3rd Dan). In-order to hold the instructor qualification, all must undertake a stringent course, which includes First Aid training and Child Protection. This course follows many years of training in which valuable Karate experience is gained. As instructors, we all attend CPD, (Continuous Professional Development) training, which includes annual First Aid training.

Here are just a few photographs of a typical Saturday’s training at The Leys School Sports Centre in Cambridge.

Juniors begin Kumite training – correctly protected.

Keeping an ever watchful eye on the stances!

Masaya Sensei – Sandan Senior Instructor begins the basics warm-up.


September saw the club continue along the road of success with some excellent grading results, thanks to a lot of hard work and training from those grading and fantastic support, as always, from the club instructors, without whom, none of this would happen. Thank you and well done.  We additionally celebrated the success of those Junior and Senior grades and instructors who, ‘after great effort in the course of hard discipline’ were awarded Shodan and Senior Dan Grades.

Sensei Masaya – a very worthy Sandan and multi medal winner and a fantastic instructor!

The Grading Team!

Sensei Russ – a very worthy Sandan and a wonderful Instructor!

Jude – a worthy Junior Shodan!



Matthew, who previously trained in Spain and is now making great progress in Cambridge.


Leo – well deserved Spirit Trophy Winner!


Katie – The Progress Shield after receiving a 100% score in her grading!

Johnny – well on the way to his Junior Dan Grade!



Aleena and Jose