Kazoku Karate BadgeAnshin Ryu Karate – A History

Back in the early 80’s Keith Bell, 4th Dan in Wado Ryu and training in Shotokan under Sensei Kanazawa, decided to establish a system that incorporated the best from both styles. This new founded style became “Anshin Ryu” (translates as “Peace of Mind” or “Heart and Mind” depending on the kanji translation). The content of the style is much the same as Sensei Bell's training in the Wado Ryu system, except that the stances became lower towards the Shotokan style, but not as deep. This had the effect of making the style look more powerful like Shotokan, but still retaining the speed of the Wado system. The kata were split, the basic still being Pinan from Wado with some advance kata, such as Kushanku and Chinto, up to and including first Dan, but then the system changes into the Shotokan advanced kata, such as Unsu and Nijushiho etc.

Hironori Otsuka SenseiKanazawa SenseiOver the years from the 80’s Sensei Bell established Sentenashi Karate Kosai were clubs covered the North East area, from Barnard Castle, Hurworth, Sedgefield, Newton Aycliffe and Catterick Garrison. The main Honbu Dojo was in Darlington. This was where the Kodokan Sensei trained twice a week, in addition to twice a week at the Newton Aycliffe dojo.

Then in 1992 Keith Bell decided to retire from karate, his interest lie in other directions. At this time Sentenashi disbanded, the Dan grades deciding to go their own way. Some decided to go back to the Wado system, others learning a complete new system, such as Isshin-Ryu, and a few remained with the Anshin-Ryu system.

After leaving Sentenashi, it was on 31st March in 1992, that Sensei Fred Bateman founded Kazoku Karate, along with Chris Bateman and Stuart Bateman. The Honbu dojo was set up in St Anne’s Church Hall, Welbeck Ave, Darlington; and still remains there to this day. The school is affiliated to United Kingdom All Styles Karate Organisation (UKASKO) and the associated Karate Governing Body. All three of the Sensei (Plural), Fred, Chris and Stuart Bateman all started to train under a well-known Shotokan Sensei over in Stockport, by the name of Terry Mathur (5th Dan). Sadly Sensei Mathur is no longer with us today and he is sadly missed. Much of their advanced Shotokan knowledge of the system's Kata and Bunkai (application) comes from their training with Sensei Mathur. He was also UKASKO’s English Karate Kata Squad coach. All three of Kodokan Sensei competed for the English squad winning trophies and medals during the time Sensei Mathur was their coach.

Kata BunkaiBetween 1992 to 1998, the Anshin Ryu Karate under these Sensei expanded, not only by way of introducing new techniques, partner drills and self-defence etc., but setting up theoretical syllabus to teach the students about the history and philosophy behind the martial arts.

While training in Kobudo (Okinawan Weapons), Sensei Fred Bateman got the chance to study Karate and Kobudo out in Okinawa, Japan. This occurred in 1998 and from this he was able to expand the knowledge of the Anshin Karate and the Kobudo arts here in England. But more importantly it gave him the stepping-stone to study under his new Sensei Phil Snewin (5th Dan) in Kamishin Ryu. He is now Kamishin’s instructor for Darlington, although still retains and teaches the Anshin Ryu system with the help of his wife, Chris and his son Stuart.

Anshin Ryu Karate Classes

Anshin Ryu contains all the fundamental elements of a traditional style of karate. A great deal of emphasis is based around building and expanding the student's mental and physical well being through this martial art. Each student learns the traditional etiquette, history, philosophy of the art, and not just the physical nature of karate training. Having the theory alongside the practical aspects of the martial art produces confidence, self-esteem, motivation and respect to handle life's future challenges.

The essential techniques are encompassed in Kata (Kata is a mould or form), using combinations of attacking and defensive techniques against multiple imaginary opponents. The study of the Bunkai of Kata, or analysis, gives a deeper understanding of the art form, whereby drills from the Kata are carried out with a partner enabling self-defence applications to be carried out in a controlled manner. Also taught within the system are self-defence lessons, involving locks, holds, throws, ground work and weapon training.

Furthermore, Anshin Ryu Karate provides the students, if they so wish, a chance to compete at various tournament levels, at regional national and international. It also provides opportunities for students to train with and become members of the English National Competing Squads. Therefore it is a popular system for children and adults alike.

Junior & Senior student places available

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