In June 2002 a new Karate school started in Whitstable, Kent. The school was founded by Justine Sibley and Phil Baldwin with the aim of providing a Dojo for all who wish to study Karate.

Both Justine and Phil began their Karate training with another Karate Dojo in Whitstable; but both felt it had begun to loose its way. The decision to start the Whitstable Karate Kai was a difficult one, but in the end was the only way forward.

Both had teaching responsibilities at their original Dojo while Phil also run his own classes which provided the experience of the back ground administration responsibilities required to run a Dojo in the UK. With the decision taken the doors were formally opened to the public.

 

Kamishin Ryu Karate Do

Towards the end of 2003, Phil attended a seminar hosted in Margate, Kent;  at the time Phil was unaware how this seminar would effect the direction of his Karate.

The seminar was based around a version of Pinan Yon as taught by Snewin sensei of the Kamaishin Ryu Karate Do Association. A great deal of emphasis was given to the Bunkai contained within the Kata. This approach really resonated with Phil, so at the end of the seminar Snewin sensei and Phil discussed all things Karate.

At which point Phil was extended an invitation to attend the next Kamishin Ryu instructor seminar in Birmingham; this seminar left Phil realising he was missing much needed guidance to take his Karate forward. So when Snewin sensei extended a further invitation for Phil to become a personal student, this was kindly accepted.

Once Phil had demonstrated he was an able Karate-ka Snewin sensei gave permission for the WKK to teach Kamishin Ryu Karate Do.

For further information regarding Kamishin Ryu Karate Do within the UK, please visit the hombu website using the following URL - www.kamishinryu.com.

 

The Tournament Connection

Justine like most women in the martial arts brings a grace in movement that men are unable to replicate. While training with her original Karate club she felt the need to find another outlet for her Karate. Kata performance was one area of Karate she was unsurpassed within the club; therefore she decided to look into the Kata tournament circuit.

(For a more detailed account of her competitive career please refer to Justine's profile in the Whitstable Karate Kai Instructors section of the web site.)

Being placed in the top three in a variety of UK open competitions and representing England in multiple WKA world Championships; this inspired a number of students at her original Karate club to take up the challenge of competing on the competition circuit within the Karate Kata section's with Justine. Of those there were a number of teenage girls, one of which was Justine's younger sister. Needless to say Justine was a bit of a heroine to these girls who in turn wanted to emulate her achievements.

The results were very respectable with the girls often being placed in the top three.

Justine also worked hard putting together group creative Kata routines for these girls to perform, at the various demonstrations we were invited to take part in. With the combination of Kata and the accompanying musical sound track, these routines would be used to finish the demonstrations giving the spectators a little more than a routine Karate demonstration.

After setting up the WKK, Justine's sister was one of a handful of students who joined the Dojo, through the connection to WUMA, Justine's sister Danielle took part in the WUMA 2004 European championships and was placed second in the junior Japanese Kata section.This would make Danielle eligible for the WUMA world championships in 2006 to be hosted in Malter.

However this time Danielle would no longer be taking part as a junior but would have to move up into the senior section. So it was a very pleasant surprise when she was narrowly beaten into second place by the then 3 times WUMA world champion.

 

 Goju Ryu Karate

Through WKK's association with the Dentokan since 2005, initially with Iaido (see the Iaido connection below), Phil has also been able to experience many of the other Martial Arts taught within Dentokan, however, Goju Ryu was Phil's main focus given the relationship between Goju Ryu and Kamishin Ryu. Phil continues to study Goju Ryu under the guidance of Hobbs Sensei with the support of Malpas Sensei.

In January 2016, Whitstable Karate Kai was formally recognized within Dentokan as Goju Ryu Dojo and Phil is assisting Dentokan by coordinating the dissemination of Goju Ryu within the Kent area.

 

Ryu Kyu Kobujutsu

Phil was exposed to Ryu Kyu Kobujutsu through Snewin sensei who is also a senior student of Ryu Kyu Kobujutsu studying under Mead Sensei of Ryu Kyu Kobujutsu Association Great Britain. Over the years Snewin sensei shared some of his knowledge of Kobujutsu with Phil, introducing Bo jutsu, Sai jutsu and Tekko jutsu.

Hobbs sensei and Malpas sensei of the Dentokan have also been kind enough to share their Kobujutsu knowledge with Phil, allowing him to extend his understanding of  Bo jutsu, Sai jutsu, Tonfa jutsu, Kama jutsu, Nuchuku jutsu and Tekko jutsu, and is looking forward to studying the other weapons within the Dentokan Kobujutsu syllabus.

Whitstable Karate Kai runs specific Kobujutsu dojo sessions which are open to anyone with an interest in the weapons of Okinawa. The group practices in a open format without any association politics and there are opportunity for members to formally study as part of Dentokan if so desired.

 

Iaido/Battodo

In April of 2005 Phil became a member of the University of Kent at the Canterbury's Iai-jutsu club. The aim was to expand his knowledge of the martial arts.

The university club was practising Dento Shoshin Ryu Iai jutsu; which is based on the Toyama Ryu Batto jutsu as taught at the Toyama academy in Japan pre-world war II, for officers in the Japanese armed forces; so is therefore considered a Gendai (Modern) Martial Art.

Toyama Ryu was created by a committee of Koryu Iaido sword masters who originally codified five Kata, which later was extended to consist of the seven Kata that exist today with an additional eighth Kata being added later. These Kata contain the essence of using the Katana or the World War II Gunto. It was designed for military officers to become reasonably adept with the sword in a modern theatre of war, in the event an officer came face to face with the enemy without other means to dispatch them.

Through the University club Phil was able to received instruction in Zen Nippon Kendo Renmei - Iaido Kata (Seitei Iaido) and Muso jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaido, from a Japanese overseas student.

Phil has continued his Toyama Ryu Iaido/Battodo studies under guidance of Shimojo sensei the president of the Dai Nippon Iaido Kyokai based in Kyoto Japan, and still has close ties with the Dentokan Iaido school.

Through the study of Japanese swordsmanship, Phil’s' Karate and Kobujutsu have been made stronger and vice-versa; This should not be considered a surprise since the principles of Budo are common to all the martial arts.

 

WUMA

Before the Whitstable Karate Kai Dojo could take students, there were many things to consider. One of the priorities was to find an organization to affiliate too, for the purpose of insurance for both students and Instructor public indemnity.

With their original Dojo they were members of the United Kingdom All Styles Karate Organisation (UKASKO). However, on inquiring into membership they were informed that it was not possible to have two Dojo's within the same town.

This left the problem of finding another organization to align with; anyone who has ever read a Martial Arts magazine knows there are many organizations to choose from, with new ones cropping up on a regular basis.

Although the Whitstable Karate Kai does not teach sport Karate, a decision was made to join the WUMA (World Union of Martial Arts).

The WUMA does not dictate how the member Dojo's should be run. It acts as a facilitator for essential services such as insurance cover, child protection, etc. While bringing a variety of Martial Arts under a collective umbrella.