Kodokan Martial Arts

"Karate and Kobudo Under One Roof"

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Anshin Ryu Karate-Do Book By Sensei Fred Bateman

Over the years I have been teaching many students have asked me if there is a book specific on Anshin Ryu Karate. My simple answer was “No”. I was continually asked to write one, but just didn’t have the time. That is until now!

My first book on this subject is called:

Anshin Ryu Karate-Do Volume 1: Insight from 8th Kyu to 5th Kyu.

It’s purpose is to provide the student with an aid to their training for Tsuki (punches and strikes), Keri (kicks) and Use (blocks) from White Belt to Red Belt. The book provides numerous photos and their explanation to each of the movements in the application of the techniques. In addition I have provided an insight to Renraku Waza (combination techniques), Kata (form) and Bunkai (Kata application). It has topics that explains Dojo Etiquette and the geography, Warm up Exercises, Stances and much more. At the end of the book there is a Glossary of terminology that is used in the martial arts

Here are excerpts from the Foreword:

From his foreword: Sensei Roy Stanhope, Hanshi Kudan – Shukokai

Apart from being very informative, regarding what’s required of the student in terms of a grading syllabus, I was pleased to see a ‘Code of Ethics’, which was understandable, given his own views on what constitutes a good martial artist. I was particularly pleased that there was an element of strengthening exercises, coupled with stretching and joint manipulation.”

From his foreword: Sensei Franco Sanguinetti, Nana Dan – Okinawa Goju Ryu, Hachi Dan -Matayoshi Kobudo

Reading through this publication I can see the deep knowledge of his karate style and equally the importance of his desire to share it with his students for their benefit


It can be purchased on Amazon, cost £15


There is a Volume 2 in the planning stages that is going to be similar to Volume 1, but covering from 4th Kyu to Shodan (1st Dan Black Belt). It is hopefully going to be due sometime in the New Year, 2019.

The Role of Senpai by Marc Faux

The Role of Senpai

By Marc Faux
Shodan in Matayoshi Kobudo

In recent times I have been given the title of Senpai in my Dojo, having become the student with the highest grade. I feel the role is one of responsibility, and I try to assist my Sensei in the Dojo, support the group by whatever means necessary and to lead by example, in all things ‘Budo’. But what exactly does the role entail? What does the term mean? And why does it exist? Like many Japanese terms we adopt in our study of martial arts, we have our own western ideas, but with little understanding as to the real values it holds in Japanese society.


Senpai is pronounced as ‘Sempai’, and the literal translation in Japanese is senior. The term is often applied in school, business, the arts, and of course, the martial ways and refers to a senior or early member of a group. The meaning, however, for those in a traditional martial arts group and in Japanese society as a whole is much deeper.

The Senpai tradition has existed since the beginning of Japanese history, but the role cannot be fully understood in isolation. It is the Senpai – Kohai relationship that we should consider, Kohai meaning junior or later member. This system employs a method called On-Giri, meaning deputy or obligation. The Kohai has a certain debt which is owed to his Senpai by virtue of their willingness to impart knowledge. This relationship of a vertical hierarchy in Japan was primarily evolved from three main factors; Confucianism, the Japanese family system and the Civil Code of 1898.

Confucianism came from China between the 6th and 9th centuries, and its teachings of loyalty and respect for elders were well accepted by the Japanese. At this time, loyalty was taken as loyalty to a feudal lord or the Emperor. In the Japanese family system, the father, as the male head of the household, had absolute power over the family and the eldest son inherited the family property. Because of this, reverence for superior, or elders was considered a virtue and from the earliest age a Japanese citizen was indoctrinated into these attitudes. The Civil Code of 1898 further strengthened the rules of privilege of seniority and reinforced the traditional family system, giving clear definitions of hierarchical values. This was called Koshusei, meaning family-head system, giving the head of the household the right to command his family, with the eldest son due to inherit the position. This tiered family system can still be seen in other cultures, such as the British Royal family, for example, where the eldest son is the natural heir to the throne. In Japanese society, however, this attitude is deeply ingrained into the culture. The code was abolished after the Second World War, when many things changed, but, by then had played a key role in shaping relationships in Japanese society.

In the Japan of today, the Senpai – Kohai relationship applies to great extent in junior and senior high schools, where older students have great powers and influence over their younger pupils. The seniority system is also a cornerstone in interpersonal relations within the Japanese business world. For example, at meetings the lower-level employee should sit in the seat closest to the door, while the senior employee sits next to an important guest. The terms of kamiza and shimoza are used in describing the layout of the board room, in a similar fashion to that of the dojo. Most Japanese people, even those who are critical of it, accept the senpai – kohai system as a common sense aspect of society.

The position that we, as martial artists are familiar with was prevalent in the Japanese Samurai and Okinawan Warrior Society as far back as records go. Originally Senpai was the most senior warrior in a group, under the group’s commander or leader. The Senpai was responsible for development and direction of the lower warriors, and, critically for protection of the leader. No other position in a warrior group had these responsibilities.

As time progressed, the role remained very much the same in Japanese martial arts, with Senpai sitting between Sensei and Kohai in the hierarchy of a martial arts dojo. Senpai would maintain the relationship between Sensei and the students. But the role could be a turbulent one, with Senpai constantly observing the Kohai with an element of distrust as to who may be looking to replace them in a power struggle.

As the senior member of the dojo, Senpai had trained under Sensei for many years. This developed an understanding of Sensei, their training methodologies and philosophies. There is, after all, more than a little of the art itself residing in the personality of the teacher. With this relationship, that was often more personal than others in the dojo, came trust from Sensei, reciprocated by responsibility from Senpai. With these privileges, Senpai had the sole responsibility of protecting Sensei with his life. In times of war, depending on the skill and strength, Senpai could either be the strongest or the weakest link in the command chain. A Senpei who was not the strongest, was therefore quickly replaced, out of necessity to survive.

In today’s society, and in particular Western Dojo’s the Senpai role has been diluted somewhat. You may find that the actual expectations and responsibilities in any particular school, differ from similar roles in Japanese dojos, but the title of Senpai still retains its essence in commitment to Sensei, the Dojo and responsibility for promoting the art and culture of Japanese and Okinawan Budo.


Within the dojo, Senpai is predominantly responsible for Kohai etiquette or reigi in Japanese. Senpai means that you are personally accountable for the training of your Kohai in reigi, and this is a key part of the role. If Sensei deems students to be lacking in this discipline, it is Senpai who is to blame. In this respect the Senpai of the dojo, is parallel to the role of Senpai in other aspects of Japanese society, as discussed earlier. As in business for example, some line managers are held responsible, not solely for their subordinate’s work, but also for their behaviour on a personal level and the manner in which they conduct themselves out side of work. In Western society, this would cross many ethical boundaries, but echoes the spirit of Japanese culture and its allegiance to the Senpai – Kohai system. In the dojo it was Senpai’s responsibility to immediately correct any breach in reigi toward Sensei from his Kohai. Senpai will lead by example in reigi so his kohai can follow. In doing so, Senpai sets and maintains the attitude in the dojo. But there will also be occasions when clear direction is given and even reprimanding of kohai if repeated failure to follow reigi occurs.

Sensei has the most valued skill and experience to impart knowledge of his art to the students, and the group should therefore cherish Sensei’s time. The delegation of responsibility for reigi to Senpai, means that more time can be dedicated to developing the art through Sensei’s teaching. Much of what martial arts teaches us, extends beyond the mere practice of the skills and develops our values. The teachings that are delivered in the true spirit of martial arts will help us to grow in confidence and stature, but to maintain humble thoughts and a culture of respect. This is another reason why Senpai is often called upon to deliver correct etiquette. While Sensei should and rightly does command respect, it could be seen as egotistical for Sensei to demand this respect on his own behalf, and so Senpai is there for guidance. Whenever I have attended Gasshuku’s in my chosen art, I have witnessed the Senpai remonstrating students for poor etiquette. On this occasion the Senpai was 5th Dan. This fact alone helps to remind us that regardless of skill and experience, we are all still Senpai with Sensei above us and Kohai beneath, with knowledge to impart and much to learn.

Part of the role, regarding reigi, in a traditional school is for Senpai to order the students to line up for Sensei at the start of class. This should be done as Sensei enters the Dojo, or, when Sensei is already in attendance, that it is obvious to Senpai that Sensei is ready to begin. This shows respect for Sensei in not keeping him waiting, and not wasting any training time. Senpai will align himself at the right of the dojo line. This is where the high grades line up at the high seat or Joseki. Elements of this tradition have crossovers into the board rooms of Japanese business, and most likely other ceremonial events.  It is traditional for Senpai to position himself slightly forward of the line and facing at a 45 degree angle, while the Kohai are facing forward, to Kamiza. In ancient times this positioning comes from Senpai’s role as protector of Sensei. He positions himself with this viewpoint to ensure he has a clear view of both Sensei and anyone who would be a potential attacker. While it is unlikely that a loyal student would deem to attack Sensei, there may have been occasions in wartime where enemies may try to infiltrate a dojo for such purposes. Depending on the art, and adherence to tradition, this position may vary slightly. Due to the unlikely threat from students in the modern Dojo, the position of Senpai may be in line with other students, or slightly forward, but facing direct to Kamiza. Senpai also leads the same protocol at the close of training following instruction from Sensei to do so.

During training Senpai will conduct himself as a role model for others in the dojo. This extends to correct performance of reigi, consistently dedicated training and assistance to Sensei in demonstration and teaching where required.  As the senior, and most likely, the longest serving student, Senpai has a great deal of experience to pass to his kohai. It is Senpai’s role to tutor Kohai along whenever possible. Often the instruction is not as formal as the Sensei’s; rather it is given by example. Senpai should be positive, kind and display respect in his guidance, thus showing proper budo. The Senpai is acting more like a big brother, rather than the fatherly figure of Senpai. In this respect the role of Senpai is the first of many steps towards becoming Sensei. In return for their guidance Senpai learns new experiences from the Kohai by way of developing a sense of responsibility.

From a Western perspective, the Senpai of the modern dojo is the middle management of business, the big brother of the family and the ally of Sensei. He is a direct reflection of Sensei’s teachings, in the same way as the kohai are of Senpai’s example. From a Japanese viewpoint, the role is steeped in the traditions of loyalty and respect to figure heads and permeates the very fabric of all society. Such relationships are not easily translated or fully applicable in our own Western culture, but are an interesting insight into the culture from which martial arts stem.


‘Being Senpai’ – Internet Article by Kobukai (2014)

‘Senpai vs Sempai’ – Internet Blog.

‘Senpai and Kohai Traditions’ – Internet Article by Dave Lowry

‘Senpai Responsibility’ – Internet Blog (2000)

‘Senpai and Kohai’ – Internet Article by Howard Collins (2013)

‘Okinawan Karate and Kobudo’ – Essays by Mike Jones (2011)

‘In the Dojo’ – Dave Lowry (2006)

‘The Senpai/Kohai relationship’ – Wikipedia.

‘The Heart of the Warrior’ – Catharina Bloomberg (1994)

Hiki-Te (Pulling Hand)

Below is a small article dealing with Hiki-Te, the pulling hand.

Hiki-Te (Pulling Hand)

This is a term that I refer to in Karate as the preparatory hand. The hand that is ready to strike or receive an attack. It is of course much more than this as it is the hand that has just finished a movement, such as in a block or a strike etc.

Most students tend to forget about the importance of this hand until they need it to strike with it or to block with it. They forget the hand that has just has just applied the technique and concentrate more on the hand that is applying the technique.

Before I carry on let’s just look at the term Hiki-Te. What does it mean? Well Hiki translates as “pulling” and of course Te is “hand”. So Hiki-Te is pulling hand. So, although I refer to the hand on the side of the ribs as Hiki-Te (which has just finished pulling) the hand extended is now the pulling hand, see picture:

The student in this picture has just committed a strike with her left hand. However, just prior to this strike the Hiki-Te hand (Right hand now on her ribs) has just finished pulling.

Most low kyu grade students only concentrate on the pushing hand in the strike (left hand in picture) and little attention is paid to the pulling action of this Hiki-Te. Why is it important? Well firstly there is a balance of rotation between both hands, equally pulling and pushing causing the correct centrifugal force that is needed in the strike, or block. Secondly it reinforces the momentum that is generated from our hips equally Thus, providing the power in the technique.

Hiki-Te is not only related to Karate, but also to Kobudo as well, no matter what the weapon is we should always not forget the Hiki-Te. See some example of where it can be applied below:



Similar to a strike in Karate


Although the hands are now linked with this Bo, it is important that the pulling hand does provide the same acceleration as the pushing hand to help create a powerful strike.

So, next time you train in either Karate or Kobudo, think about Hiki-Te and pay some more attention to it.



Beckie Challans – Shodan Essay

Apart of becoming a Shodan (1st Dan Black Belt) our students have to complete an Essay on a choice of Martial Art topics. This encourages them to research material on martial arts thus expanding their knowledge. They then have to submit this essay prior to taking the Shodan test. Below is Beckie San Essay of Enoeda Sensei.

Life of a Karate Master – Keinosuke Enoeda Sensei

Born on July 4th, 1935, in Kyushu, South Japan, Keinosuke Enoeda was widely known as ‘Tora’ – or, the Tiger. Gaining this nickname, through his reputation and skill as a competitive and extremely successful Karateka. It is not surprising that Enoeda Sensei was so highly revered by his fellow martial artists.

            Sensei first started out as a martial artist at the age of seven, when he took up Judo, alongside other massively popular activities in Japan at the time; Kendo, and baseball. He proved to be very skilled, and the art came naturally to him, allowing him to achieve the grade of Nidan at the age of just sixteen, laying the foundations for his future life in the martial art world. Not long after achieving this grade, however, Enoeda Sensei found himself at a Karate demonstration, held at Takushoku University, and showcasing two of the main instructors of that group – Senseis Okazaki and Irea. He found himself to be inspired by what he saw that day, and upon enrolling on a degree in Economics, he joined the group, and began to train in Shotokan Karate.

            After just 2 years of tuition from instructors such as Okazaki and Irea, and even Sensei Gichin Funakoshi himself, Enoeda was awarded with his Shodan, the first of the eight dan grades he would achieve over his lifetime. A further 2 years saw him take on the role of Captain for the competition team associated with the university, which allowed him to enter a large number of competitions for the university, in particular within the kumite division of the JKA All-Japan Championships. With each year of entry, he saw evermore successful results, from 3rd in 1961, to 2nd in 1962, and he won the kumite title in 1963, the period in which he had earned his nickname of ‘Tora’.

            Following his graduation from the University, wherein he completed his degree, he enrolled in the JKA’s instructor’s programme, with the aim of gaining a teaching licence for Shotokan Karate, which would allow him to help spread the knowledge and prevalence of the system. He studied this course under the instruction and guidance of Sensei M. Nakayama, and Sensei H. Nishiyama, and after three years, he was permitted to begin his career teaching the art; Keinosuke Enoeda was now a Sensei.

            Not long after his completion of this course, Sensei found that his reputation from the many competitions he successfully completed, and his senior’s high regard for him, was to lead to him being specially selected by Master Nakayama to travel with him, first to Indonesia, to teach the presidential bodyguards, the police, and members of the military, for use in close combat and to assist their ability to handle and dispel violent situations quickly. His love of this was then combined with the respect of senior ranking members in the JKA, which saw him then moving on to travel all over the globe, to places such as South Africa and Hawaii, to help the JKA spread ‘true’ knowledge of their system, aiming to prevent mimicry and watering down of the style through links to the Japanese-based Honbu Dojo.

April 20th 1965 saw Sensei’s move to Percy Street, in Liverpool, England, being permanent. Venturing to the United Kingdom with Sensei Hirokazu Kanazawa, a good friend of his, and despite earlier hesitations and worried about the huge changes he inevitably faced, he fell in love with the British culture, and took up residency in the city’s centre, from where he began teaching classes, full time, at the Red Triangle Dojo, alongside his role as the Chief Instructor for the Karate Union of Great Britain. Notable alumni of this Dojo includes both Terry O’Neill and Andy Sherry, well known in the martial arts and competitive worlds.

 Sensei could be found every day at nearby Sefton Park, training with a small handful of his students, from 7.00 am, so he could keep his own personal training going, something he viewed as being extremely important, given that he had such an influential role over what the clubs under the KUGB’s umbrella, which quite clearly paid off. His time as Chief Instructor saw one of the most successful competitive groups under the recognition of the JKA, to date, with members such as Frank Brennan and Bob Poynton.

His role as Chief Instructor, and reputation for incredible fighting skill also attracted interest from the cinematic entertainment industry, seeing him hired to teach a large number of famous actors, working on some very large films, such as Sean Connery, whom he trained during his time in the role of James Bond, an extremely high profile British film franchise.

            Balanced between these jobs and his regular training and teaching, Sensei also wrote a number of textbooks for Shotokan Karate, publishing titles such as Karate: Defence and Attack, and Shotokan: Advanced Kata, plus many more. These were paired with various demonstration and instructional videos, providing an in-depth insight into his style and skill when training in Shotokan Karate throughout his (later) life. 1973 saw him take part in filming a live demonstration for the BBC, appearing on the programme Open Door, which became the first British TV programme dedicated solely to karate and its surrounding components. This saw Sensei showing his skills in Kihon, Kata, and Kumite, alongside some of his students, such as Dave Hazard, who demonstrated the breaking of Japanese hardwood boards.

            Sensei married his wife Reiko in 1969, following which he settled in Kinston, Surrey, to raise his 2 children, Daisuke and Maya. His final years of teaching were carried out at the Martial Street Baths, in London. Sensei Keinosuke Enoeda achieved 8th Dan before his death on March 29th 2003, leaving his legacy of a very high standard of Karate within the KUGB that he left behind. Sensei was quite quickly awarded, posthumously, the grade of 9th Dan, by the JKA, after his death, serving as an honour, to commemorate his life and his service to the karate world; not just in Japan or the UK, but internationally.

By Beckie Challans – Part of Shodan Testing


Heart Condition: Atrial Fibrillation (AF)

Some students are worried about training with heart conditions, well all I can say is that I have one and most doctors would recommend some form of training. However, my advice is always check with your GP first and tell them what you intend to do and get their approval. Then inform your trainer.

Here is my story:

Some years ago I started to suffer from a condition called Atrial Fibrillation, or AF for short. It is a heart problem that gradually got worse and affected my life and training over the years, but is now being managed. In the early period of my condition I used to panic as the symptoms were unpleasant and scary to say the least, now when I get them I don’t panic as much but that are still scary! I have even trained and instructed when having an attack, which I would not recommend.

So what is AF and why am I writing this article. Well the answer is to inform our members about AF and how to deal with it.

AF is quite a common condition, especially in older people. Nearly 50,000 cases are diagnosed each year in the UK. It affects about 1% (1 in 100 people) of the UK and has no age boundaries. Although its prevalence increases with age, being unusual below 30, but affecting 1 in 20 people above the age of 65. I have been told that it is common amongst rowers and athletes that have worked their hearts strongly, but again I don’t know how true this is. There are some that don’t even know that they have AF.

Now before I go on to describe AF I would like to explain how the heart works. Any Human Biologists out there if I have it wrong then please feel free to correct me!


Our Heart

The heart is one of our strongest muscles and is constantly working, amazing when you think that other muscles get tired and need to rest – it’s a good job our hearts don’t!

It is composed of four chambers – two Atria (top) and two Ventricles (bottom). These chambers need to squeeze in order to pump our blood around our body. This needs to be done in the correct order to be efficient and of course to keep us alive. This squeezing mechanism is what gives us our heart beat that we can hear and a pulse that we feel.

The sequence is as follows:

  1. Right and Left Atrium contracts to pump blood from these chambers into the Right and Left Ventricle. Then the Ventricles contract to pump the blood out of the heart to your body (oxygen rich) via the Aorta from the left ventricle, and to your lungs via the Pulmonary Artery (oxygen deficient) from the right ventricle. This function is clinically known as Systole.
  2. In the second stage the heart relaxes and the heart fills up with blood again and the first stage above repeats. This function is clinically known as Diastole.

This contracting mechanism occurs by way of electrical impulses from bundles neurons and fibres, which are called the Sinoatrial Node (SA # 1 in diagram), Atrioventricular Node (AV # 2 in Diagram) and Atrioventricular Bundle (AV # 3 to 5).

heart #1

The SA Node is like a built in timer as it fires off the electrical impulse at regular intervals of around 60 to 80 per minute when you are at rest and faster during exercise; controlling the heart rate. This impulse spreads across both top chambers as seen in the diagram above, causing the chambers to contract and pushing the blood through one way valves into the bottom chambers.

As the impulse reaches the AV Node at the lower right of the chamber (#2 in the diagram), there is a small delay and then it carries this impulse through the AV Bundles (#3 to 5 in diagram) causing them to contract.

The heart then relaxes during Diastole and the sequence starts over. Thus for a normal heartbeat the rate is between 60 to 80 beats per minute as cause by the SA Node.

What is Atrial Fibrillation (AF)

Basically this is a fast and erratic heartbeat and the force of the beat can vary in intensity. What happens is the controlling timer of the SA Node is overridden by random electrical impulses causing it to fibrillate. This effect causes the atria to only partially contract, but very rapidly up to 400 times per minute. Only some of the impulses get through to the AV Node causing haphazard contraction in the ventricles, usually between 140 and 180 times per minutes, producing irregularity in contractions and with varying force.

Therefore you can feel this affect in your chest and throat. If you take your pulse you may count up to 180 beats per minute and it feels erratic and varies in strength.

In the early stages it might only last a few minutes, however, as the condition develops it can go on for hours, days and weeks depending on the type of AF you suffer from. I know when mine runs into several hours once it returns to normal heartbeat function I feel like I’ve run a marathon and suffer with the after effects.

However, this is only the minor downside to this condition, the dangers of AF are an increase risk of a stroke due to blood clots, and less common are heart failure, cardiomyopathy (weakening the heart muscle) and angina.

Types of AF

There are three types of AF and these are:

  1. Paroxysmal AF.
    This is recurring sudden episodes that come and go and will stop without treatment within seven days (usually two). The heartbeat stops as sudden as it had started going back to its normal rate and rhythm. The occurrence between each attack can vary greatly and even occurs when you’re sleeping; it has woken me many times in the night. Although it does go back without treatment, if you have suffered with this for more than 1 hour you are glad to get it under control with treatment. Also remember that while the heart is undergoing its AF you are at risk with the dangers mentioned above!
  2. Persistent AF.
    This means that AF lasts longer than seven days and is unlikely to revert back to a normal rhythm. People that suffer with permanent AF are treated to bring down their heart rates, but the rhythm remains irregular.


Cause of Atrial Fibrillation (AF)

There are various conditions that will bring about AF. One of the most common is high blood pressure as it puts strain on the heart muscle. Other are also associated with the heart such as atherosclerosis, the blocking of arteries by fatty substances, such as cholesterol. Other heart problems are associated with the heart valve and congenital heart disease at birth, cardiomyopathy (the wasting of the heart muscle), and perocarditis (inflammation of the hearts lining).

Other medical conditions associated with AF are: hyperthroidism (over active thyroid gland), pneumonia, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, diabetes, pulmonary embolism (blockage in a vessel in the lungs) and carbon monoxide poisoning.

These all sound frightening but not everyone with AF falls into one of the above groups. Some people with AF have no other conditions, and no cause can be found. This is known as Lone Atrial Fibrillation. For example, it can affect extremely athletic people.


Triggers of Atrial Fibrillation (AF)

There are various triggers that set the heart away to fibrillate, and I assume they will be different for each person.  Some of these are:

  1. drinking excessive amounts of alcohol, particularly binge drinking.
  2. being overweight
  3. drinking lots of caffeine, such as tea, coffee or energy drinks
  4. taking illegal drugs, particularly amphetamines or cocaine
  5. smoking
  6. stress

I’m glad to say that I don’t have problems with 1, 3, 4 and 5 above. Also I was not overweight when my condition started. However, I do suffer with stress in my job. I have also noticed that certain foods set off an AF attack, especially cheese, which I love but don’t eat so much now. So for me the main trigger is definitely stress, which can come in various forms. Sometimes I don’t even notice that I’m under stress until my AF flares. Apart from the obvious work related stress, it could be worrying about missing an appointment, or trying to get the bike back on the road.


Symptoms of Atrial Fibrillation (AF)

Talking to other people that suffer with AF, I’m quite lucky as their AF tend to go on for days. It’s bad enough that my worst case has been about 12 hours. It knocks you off your feet, and the after effects once it settles down don’t help. Some of my symptoms are:

  1. Fast heart rate and irregularity in rhythm and force. I first become aware of this in my throat; it feels like I have a lump there. I can then feel it in my chest and sometime can hear it in my head.
  2. Dizziness. Because the oxygenated blood is not getting to my head as it should I become dizzy and can’t stand.
  3. Breathlessness. If I have a bad attack I become very breathless, even to walk a short distance. It feels like you have just run a marathon.
  4. Chest Discomfort. This is a minor discomfort for me, but can be worrying as it is associated with angina as the heart is beating too fast and becomes less efficient.
  5. After Effects. Once the heart reverts back to normal, I then suffer with headache, lethargic and tiredness. All I want to do is rest and sleep.

I think all this has to do with the fact that the heart is not performing as it should and the oxygen is not getting to the various parts of the body in the correct way. Because of the poor performance of the blood flow there are serious complications that could occur.


Possible Complications of Atrial Fibrillation (AF)

Because of the turbulent blood flow in the heart during AF and that it does not get pumped out as it should it causes the blood to pool. This could then lead to small blood clots forming. These cots then travel around the body until they get stuck in small blood vessels, such as in the brain leading to a stroke. This risk of this varies and depends upon various factors. These factors are calculated by your doctor who then decides what treatment to provide such as Warfarin or Aspirin to help prevent clotting. Other complications have already been discussed such as Heart Failure, Cardiomyopathy and Angina.

Once I knew I had a problem my doctor sent me to hospital for various tests. They included electrocardiogram (ECG), which confirmed the condition, blood tests and echocardiogram to look for underlying causes, such as heart problems or overactive thyroid. Luckily I did not have any heart and thyroid problems. It appears my AF falls into the Paroxysmal AF condition, although my attacks are regular.

So how can this be treated?


Treatment for Atrial Fibrillation (AF)

There are mainly two ways, either by medication or by catheter ablation. Another way, but don’t necessarily prevent it from returning is cardioversion. This is where the heart gets shocked to revert it back to its normal rhythm. I have known a couple of people that have had this and it was not a cure as their symptoms returned within a week or so later. Most patients are on medication and some have had catheter ablation. I was offered ablation but so far have rejected this. The reason is as follows:

Catheter Ablation

A thin wire is passed from the large blood vessel in the thigh up into the heart chamber and towards the pulmonary vein. Once there the ablation process starts by burning the tissue so that it is unable to conduct the abnormal electrical impulse that causes AF.

heart #2

This treatment is only suitable in certain cases and does not always work, it is supposedly has an 80% success rate. However, I know of two suffers that have tried this on three occasions and in all cases their AF had returned. Furthermore, like any heart surgery there are associated risks, such as stroke, perforation of the heart, narrowing of the pulmonary vein and death. They are fortunately unusual, between 1 – 2% depending on your local area.

In my case I want to stay and try the medication route.


Medicinal Treatment

These are called anti-arrhythmics and can restore the heart to its normal rhythm and control the beats. However, it not as simple as prescribing some medicine as it depends on the type of AF, how well it responds to the treatment and side affects of the medicine. In addition to these are the medicines that help to prevent strokes, e.g. anticoagulants.

I have tried several beta-blockers that did not control my AF, but finally the one that worked was Flacanide Acetate. However, it is not completely under control and I still get attacks. When I do I have the opportunity to take an extra tablet hoping to bring it under control. Sometimes this does not work and I have to wait for it to go away by itself.

I also take Aspirin to help prevent blood clotting and reduce the risk of strokes. I know of other patients that take Warfarin which has more serious side affects than Aspirin, so I’m glad I’m not on that yet!

As with all medication there are side affects, and you’ll need to weigh these against the condition you are suffering from. The whole situation is a chance of risk, but one which needs to be taken.


My Outcome

I have been suffering with AF now for several years and my consultant said that there will be a time when the AF symptoms increase and I’ll have more attacks. I used to have an attack every week, then I started my medication and it went down to once every two weeks and then finally I noticed I was going for long periods without an attack, several weeks leading into months. Now all of a sudden I started getting daily attacks again, whereby I have to take the extra Flacanide tablet to bring them under control. I was getting quite concerned as I did not want to go for the surgery.

Then Mr. David Owen, one of our student’s parents had heard that I suffered and suggested vitamin treatment. He sent me information on Vitamin E, and Magnesium Chloride Oil, and just recently Vitamin B-100. This has been a big breakthrough for me because I’m back to normal again and have stopped taking the extra Flacanide tablet. In fact when my heart tries to go into arrhythmia it stops and goes back to normal, or I just put on more magnesium chloride oil.

As this treatment seems to work I thought I would inform people about it. The information that was sent to me by Mr. Owen will be put into another article, if that's of any help? Please let me know. I have also informed some of my friends about the benefits of vitamins E, B-100 and Magnesium Chloride and they too have started taking them.

In addition to this I went onto a low sugar diet and lost weight. I have now reduced my medication in-take and don't get as often AF attacks.

I hope this article has helped anyone who suffers with AF as it is very common, in fact more common that you think!


Useful Links for Further Information

British Heart Foundation

Greater London House, 180 Hampstead Road, London, NW1 7AW
Tel (Heart Help Line): 0300 330 3311 Web: http://www.bhf.org.uk/


Atrial Fibrillation Association

PO Box 1219, Chew Magna, Bristol BS40 8WB
Tel: 01789 451837 Web: http://www.afa.org.uk/
This is an international charity which provides information, support and access to established, new or innovative treatments for atrial fibrillation.

History of Karate by M. Dean

Below is a recent addition from one of our 1st kyu grade students that have to submit an essay in order to go for Dan Grade. The following essay is by Michael Dean:

The history of karate

The true history of karate is impossible to trace due to the lack of written records and the secrecy surrounding its origin. However it is known that the martial arts of japan and Okinawa had a strong influence from those of mainland Asia, mainly from the Chinese martial arts which in turn had Indian influences. The first Chinese influence on Japanese fighting techniques came as a result of the Zen teachings of the Shaolin monks who were widely recognised as the finest fighters in China, who had been taught their style of fighting by a Buddhist monk from India named Bodhidharma. The Shaolin Monks travelled to Japan to preach the Zen branch of Buddhism along with their fighting style, this was called Shorinji Kempo. This religion was soon accepted by the Samurai warrior class, it is this acceptance that led the Shaolin teachings to have an influence on all traditional Japanese fighting styles as the Samurai were the fighting elite, the Japanese equivalent of the Knights of Europe, and when it came to combat and fighting techniques, where they went other less prestigious fighting men followed.

 Karate itself was developed on Okinawa, a small island 300 nautical miles to the south of Japan, 400 nautical miles to the east of china and 300 nautical miles to the north of Taiwan, it is this location, at the crossroads of some of the most important marine trade routes in Eastern Asia between countries such as Japan, China, Thailand and the Philippines among others that allowed Okinawan fighting techniques to develop further with influences from all over Asia. Possibly the most important factor in the development of Okinawan fighting styles was the introduction of an oppressive ruling regime in the form of king Sho Shin who ruled between 1477 and 1526, who forbade common people to possess weapons in order to keep the peace and remove the threat of any meaningfully armed rebellion, this ban was continued by the Japanese Satsuma Clan who took over the island in 1690. The ban on weapons caused the native combat schools to go underground and start training in secret as discovery would have led to arrest and punishment, as the rulers would have seen these training schools as a threat to be removed. One other factor which had a huge impact on Okinawan martial arts was the other martial arts brought by the foreign nobles who traded on the island, the major one being Chinese Kempo from Fukien Provence in China.

Alongside these open hand fighting schools the people of Okinawa developed a sister martial art alongside Karate meaning empty hand called Kobudo meaning old martial way which used weapons such as the Bo, Sai, Tonfa, Yari and Nunchaku. It is rumoured that these weapons originated as traditional Okinawan farming tools but modern experts and historians have not been able to find proof of this, however it is possible as many of the weapons used are very similar to farming implements and tools still used in poorer, less developed areas of Japan. Some weapons, on the other hand such as the Sai and Yari (Spear) seem to have originated solely for the purpose of being weapons.

Karate developed mainly in 3 of the major towns on Okinawa, these were Shuri, Naha and Tomari. Each of these towns was the cultural centre point for a different class of people and so each developed its style to suit its need. Shuri was the main city for Kings and nobles and so developed Shuri Te which developed into the modern schools of Shotokan, Shitō-ryū, Shōrin-ryū, Shudokan, Shōrinji-ryū, and Motobu-ryū, Shure-Te is often seen as the most “Japanese” of the three early Karate styles. Naha was the city of the middle classes, such as merchants and land owners, and the style that developed there led such styles Gojo-Ryu and gave us Kata like Sanchin and Seishan. Naha-Te was influenced most by Chinese martial arts due to the large Chinese population in the Kume village in the City. Tomari was a much more low class city of fishermen and farmers, and the style it developed was very similar in style to Shuri-Te, giving us Kata like Rohai. Despite these differing foundations the towns of Shuri, Naha and Tomari are only a few miles apart and so the differences in their styles are more differences in emphasis and not so much style. Collectively the three styles were known as Okinawa-Te or Tode and gradually became divided into 2 distinct styles; one of these was Shorin-Ryu which developed from the Shuri and Naha schools. The other was Shorei-Ryu which developed from Tomari-Te.

Okinawa-Te continued to be practiced even after the end of Satsuma dominance over the island following a successful rebellion in 1872 and the only “enemies” were the other schools, in fact the only reason Karate came out of the shadows was because of a declaration by the Japanese education commissioner, Shintaro Ogawa in 1902 stating that Karate would be an excellent addition to the physical education curriculum in Okinawa’s first Middle school.

Despite the decline in the need for Karate as Jutsu (Art) and as a method of self-defence during the early 20th Century, Karate did remain popular as a method of character building and as a way of keeping fit, it also remained an important and valued part of the curriculum in first Okinawan schools and then schools all over Japan. Karate was taught in schools by such masters as Anko Itosu, Chojun Miyagi, Kenwa Mabuni, and Gichin Funakoshi, who is regarded as the father of modern karate.

Following the Defeat of Japan by the United States in 1945 many American soldiers who occupied the country in the following the months learned these styles and brought them home, where they became very popular. One such soldier was Elvis Presley who later went on to adapt the techniques he learned in Japan to form is famous dance routines. The soldiers were followed by many of the Japanese masters who saw the west as an opportunity to spread their knowledge and maybe make good money. Since those first few masters left Japan, Karate has exploded onto the world stage becoming one of the most well-known martial arts to come from the Orient along with others such as Kendo, Taekwondo and Kung Fu.

Of course karate in the west is not just practiced as a way of keeping fit and as a way of building character, put it has branched out and taken on a completely new persona, that of a sport, which is practiced in competitions world-wide, and runs parallel to traditional Karate and lacks many of its elements such as Budo. Modern Karate  has also developed many new styles which combine different Japanese styles, one example of this is our Anshin-Ryu which combines Shotokan and Wado-Ryu.


2012 Night out for Seniors & Party Night for Juniors

As we do every year the seniors get together and go out for a meal. This year was a Burtree Inn and there were 17 of us enjoying good company and a nice meal. However, the only picture I could get as I was pinned in the middle of the back row up against the wall is of the following three hansom looking men?


L to R: Jason (Kamishin), Ken (Kobudo) and Andy (Kamishin)


The party night for the Juniors and the Little Dragons went down well again, playing team events involving press ups, sit ups, star jumps. Also match events of dodge ball and basket ball was enjoyed by the students. We finished the night by awarding the Kodokan Martial Arts Awards (see home Page for 2012's Awards) and the Fancy Hat Competition. Here are just some photos of the night:


Free Kobudo Seminar

Sensei Bateman is giving Free Kobudo Seminars to any new interested participant that would like to try this martial art. Dates will be specified in the Upcoming Events section on the right. So if you are interested in this Free event and have never trained with Sensei Bateman before then please reserve you place by contacting him on

Tel: 0780 782 7978


Email: sensei.fredbateman@gmail.com

Kamishin Ryu Seminar – 28th July 2012 in Darlington

Another great seminar was had by all who attended this. Instruction was given by Sensei Phil Snewin, 5th Dan in Kamishin Ryu Karate. The day, 4 hours long, covered one of Kamishin Ryu's advanced kata, called Seienchin. Sensei Snewin taught the Kata and the related Bunkai in Ippon and Randori format. All enjoyed the course which was physically and mentally exhausting by the end of the day.

Students Essays

From time to time I shall put some of our students essays on as posts, for people to read and comment on. Others can be found under training  on the Navigation bar. These are essays that have to be written before taking certain grades. It is designed to expand the students knowledge of the martial arts as they have to do some research on the subject, aid in their education and give them further interest in their studies.

Below is the first one published as a Post. It has been written by B. Challans for her 1st Kyu Grade in Junior Anshin Ryu Karate. Hope you enjoy it? If you want to leave her some encouraging comments then please do.

History of Wado-Ryu in England by Beckie Challans

After viewing a Wado-Ryu demonstration at a London Kendo club, a British student asked the Japanese Karate Federation to send an instructor to the UK to start a school in England. Mr Tanabe was sent in 1964 as an official instructor, where he founded the All Britain Karate Association. This was the first Wado-Ryu organisation to be established in Europe. Shortly after his arrival, Mr Tatsuo Suzuki moved over to London to teach Wado.

In May 1965, Mr Suzuki was joined by another Japanese instructor; Mr T. Kono, who, at the arrival of Mr Masafumi Shiomitsu, moved over to the Netherlands to spread the knowledge of Wado-Ryu farther through Europe. Due to a quickly growing demand for training in the UK, over the next few years more instructors transferred: in 1966, Mr T. Takamizawa and Mr Hayawaka came to England from Japan; in 1968 Mr K. Sakagami arrived in the UK; in 1969 Mr S. Suzuki moved over to Ireland, and Mr Kobayashi and Mr Maeda also arrived in Britain. With some of these original instructors returning to Japan, they were replaced by other British and Japanese instructors, and the numbers were then quickly added to by students of Wado, helping the style spread even farther across the UK.

Up until 1970, the All Britain Karate Association was the main setup in the UK, but Mr Tatso Suzuki decided to leave the organisation and set up his own; The United Kingdom Karate-Do Federation. After a short while, most of the Japanese instructors joined this organisation. Mr T. Takamizawa also set up his own association. Mr Masafumi moved first to France, then Madagascar to teach, but later returned to the UK to join the re-named United Kingdom Karate-Do Wado-Kai in 1976.

This new organisation took over to become the primary one in the UK, until 1989, when Mr Masafumi expressed dislike towards the direction the style and its teaching had taken under the United Kingdom Karate-Do Wado-Kai organisation and therefore he chose to leave the association to form his own, the Wado-Ryu Karate-Do Academy. Mr K. Sakagami, Mr T. Takamizawa and the majority of the now Dan graded British students. However, after a short while, Mr K. Sakagami decided to leave the Wado-Ryu Karate-Do Academy and to set up his own organisation, the Wado-Ryu Aiwakai Karate Federation. With this organisation also set up, the UK now had three major Japanese headed Wado-Ryu organisations:

The United Kingdom Karate-Do Wado-Kai, with Mr Tatso Suzuki who was an eighth Dan at its head. This association is also linked to the Wado-Ryu International Karate Federation, and Mr Tatso Suzuki is also head sensei for this organisation.

The Wado-Ryu Karate-Do Academy’s head was Mr Masafumi Shimoitsu, also an eighth Dan. His academy was affiliated to the Wado-Ryu Karate-Do Federation, and the chief instructor for this organisation is Mr H. Ohtsuka II, the Grand Master of Wado-Ryu Karate-Do. Mr H. Ohtsuka is a ninth Dan.

The Wado-Ryu Aiwakai Karate Federation is led by Mr K. Sakagami, a seventh Dan. This association is connected to the Japan Karate Federation Wado-Kai, headquarters, in Japan.


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