Here at Haxby Shotokan Karate Club we have a very dedicated team of instructors who together have over 140 years of combined experience in training and instructing karate, and all of the instructors are supported by the committee, all of which are chosen by the club members and parents.
Chief Instructor - Mike Gude, Rokudan (6th Dan)
Senior Instructor & Co-Founder - Ian Shaw, Yondan (4th Dan)
Senior Instructor - Ian Teasdale, Sandan (3rd Dan)
Instructor & Chairman - Jim Bamford, Nidan (2nd Dan)
Instructor & development Officer - Ben Lacey, Nidan (2nd Dan)
Welfare Officer - Helen Baker, 1st Kyu
Treasurer - James Vince, Parent Volunteer
Chief Instructor - Mike Gude, Rokudan (6th Dan)
Mike is the Club Chief Instructor with over 50 years experience of teaching Karate. He first started taking an interest in the late 60s and enrolled at York Karate Club in 1970. He quickly climbed through the ranks and was awarded his Shodan grade in 1973 by Sensei Enoeda’s assistant, Sensei H Tomita.
Shortly after this he became the senior instructor of the York club and was attracting other senior Dan grades from around the area to his training sessions and was ably assisted by his own instructors at the same time. Mike travelled quite a lot to train regularly with such people as Sensei Kanazawa, Sensei Enoeda and Sensei Andy Sherry who was a 3rd Dan and was one of the most senior British instructors at that time, and also especially with Sensei Steve Cattle who was originally from York and always visited the club when he could.
Mike always wanted to move forward in the rankings and was awarded his Nidan grade in 1975 at a very tough weekend course hosted by Sensei Asano with many other senior instructors including Sensei Kanazawa who was taking the gradings.
After a number of years Mike decided to retire as there were a lot of politics within the karate world and all he wanted to do was train and pass on his knowledge to anyone who wanted it.
Mike became involved again in 1989 when his son wanted to do karate. Mike took his son to a different club because the intention was to let his son make his own way (he was awarded his Shodan in 1999). Eventually Haxby Club discovered Mike’s background and invited him to join the club, which he did.
Both York and Haxby clubs had joined up with Sensei Kato who asked Mike to take his Sandan grade in 1993, then his Yondan in 1999. Over the years he kept training with world-class instructors such as Sensei Asai and many others who came on the large courses held at York. Eventually Mike was awarded his Godan in 2007 under Sensei Kato. The club is now affiliated to the JKS under Sensei Kagawa.
After the club settled into the JKS organisation, Mikes experience and expertise was immediately recognised by the Chief instructors, one of which he had taught many years before.He was offered the chance in October 2013 to take his 6th Dan grading with Kagawa Shihan at the main Dojo in Tokyo,Japan. Unfortunately Kagawa Shihan had some urgent business to attend to while Mike was there, so the grading had to be rescheduled although Mike really enjoyed the whole experience. Kagawa Shihan was set to tour Europe in March 2015 and he was due in England on the 6th and 7th so Mike again stepped up his training and after a long and tiring course, he finally took his grading and was awarded with the rank of 6th Dan (Rokudan).
Co-Founder and Senior Club Instructor Ian Shaw, Yondan (4th Dan)
Ian has over 40 years of karate experience. Sensei Ian remains at the club as it last training co-founder and to this day his experience is drawn on by Sensei Mike and the club as a whole. Sensei Ian started karate in 1977 at Nothallerton karate club where, in November 1980, he gained his 1st Dan with Sensei Asano (SKI). After moving to York in 1981, he helped to set-up the Haxby Karate club. In September 1988, Sensei Kato graded him to 2nd Dan and then in December 1999, Sensei Ian obtained his 3rd Dan, again with Sensei Kato. On March 12th 2014 Sensei Ian was awarded his 4th Dan by Sensei Kagawa, Chief Instructor of JKS.
Over the years Ian has competed at local, national and international levels, after competing at the Asai world cup 2000 in Hungary, he decided to retire from competition, but still helps out with judging at competitions. Trained with many top Japanese instructors such as Kanazawa, Asai, Kato Kagawa and Asano
Ian philosophy is to be a good karateka, kihon is a very important part of your karate, without good basic techniques the rest of your karate will suffer, your kata will look poor and in competition you may not win, in kumite your attack won’t be as effective and in championships you might not score that winning point.
As Ian says ‘With poor practice your karate will stay poor, correct practice will make you better, good practice will make you good. Only perfect practice makes you perfect. Hopefully you will use the perfect practice and help Haxby club continue long after I am unable to train any more, as you will be the future of the club’.
Senior Instructor – Ian Teasdale, Sandan (3rd Dan)
Sensei Ian has always had an interest in martial arts, ever since his brother and sister took up Taekwondo and he was too young to join, but a few years later it was almost fated for him to try martial arts out as his dad showed him an advertisement in the local paper for York Karate centre (YKC) running a beginner’s course.
While training at YKC Ian saw many different variations on Shotokan karate through the various associations the club was affiliated with and the instructors this came with, initially the club was associated to the Northern Karate Association (NKA) under Chief instructor Ray Wilson, the NKA was also part of the wider British Karate Association (BKA) as their main governing body. With the ever-growing popularity of karate and expanding associations YKC decided the best move for the club was to join the Amateur Karate Association (AKA) which was headed by Chief Instructor Colin Whittaker (7th Dan). In May 1983 Sensei Ian first took the floor for his Shodan grading and attained the grade, shortly followed in 1987 when he took his Nidan both under Sensei Colin.
During Ian’s time at the YKC he partook in many regional competitions focusing mainly on the kumite side of the competitions and often taking gold at this level in both team and solo events, Ian’s love for competing sometimes saw him competing with and for other associations such as the KUGB along side Mick Sawyer and Paul Mendham.
Club Instructor & Chairman - Jim Bamford, Nidan (2nd Dan)
Jim has been training for more than 10 years with the club. Like many of us he dabbled with martial arts when he was a teenager, but it was when he was looking for an activity to do with his much younger (and much more flexible) daughter Holly, that he found a club that he was happy for his family to train at.
Coming back to karate later in life, along with his daughters, and looking for an activity where he could all progress alongside his children. Jim found that he enjoys the challenges that karate offers both physically and mentally. It is this challenge and complexity that karate offers that keeps Jim coming down to the Dojo.
Since joining the club in 2007 Jim has made steady progress through the grades to achieve Shodan in 2011 and Nidan in 2015. Both of his daughters have also trained at the club, with Holly achieving Nidan in 2015, and Bethany attaining 2nd Kyu before deciding to have a break from training.
Jim’s proudest moments of his karate career are linked to training with his family: The Bamford family (Jim, Holly and Bethany) coming first, second, and third! in the family Kata section of the local Selby Shotokan Karate Club competition in 2010 and 2011, and Holly finally overtaking him and achieving her Nidan before him (after starting at 13th Kyu aged 8!) in 2015.
Having been involved in Instructing for several years Jim firmly believes that determination, dedication and lots of good practice are much more important that flexibility or natural ability if you are serious about your training. There is a Black Belt in everyone, only if you have the determination and dedication to put in the hours of practice it will take to bring it out of you.
Club Instructor and Development Officer - Ben Lacey, Nidan (2nd Dan)
Ben joined the club on the 6th of June 2016 after a lot of consideration after his brother Joe, who also trained at the club had passed away in the April of that year.
Ben takes pride in his enjoyment of a good mix of hard training, advancement of his karate journey as well as seeing and helping others to improve their own karate. To make sure that he keeps up with the current training, along with the help of his instructors, Ben also tries to take part in all the courses and competitions available to him both locally and through the wider JKS.
As for all Karate-Ka the ultimate goal is to gain their black belt and when the time came Mike sensei told Ben he was ready to take the grading in February 2020, and after that the hard work began to get ready and it all paid off when he eventually gained his Shodan grading. Shortly after this however the world went into its first lockdown with the Covid-19 pandemic which put a pause to a lot of peoples training but entering 2021 everything started opening again and training resumed and again Mike sensei told Ben it was time to grade and in October 2021 that’s exactly what he did gaining his Nidan.
Over the years Ben has taken on more responsibilities from assisting the instructors during training to successfully running online training during the lockdown for the club, along with this ben was nominated in 2018 to become the club’s development officer and has been doing the role ever since, working on and developing the club’s communication and website.
Welfare Officer - Helen Baker 1st Kyu
Helen started karate about 9 years ago, initially she joined to train alongside her cousins & ended up getting hooked on the karate journey from there.
Some of Helens favourite karate highlights are – joining other clubs and training on the beach for Kangeiko and Bears on the beach each year hosted by Kaizen No-Michi karate club in Cleethorpes, performing in demos at the Haxby carnival and taking part in the JKS national championships.
Karate for Helen is an escape from everyday life, challenges her beyond what she thought she could do, building friendships near and far across the country and helps with her fitness and confidence.
With all her hard training over the years and the dedication she’s put in Helen is hoping to go for her Shodan grading in 2022.
All of Helens hard work and the love for the club has always been obvious to the club, the instructors and most importantly the other members of the club, this was made evident in 2020 as at the clubs annual general meeting she was elected to be the club’s welfare officer and has retained the position ever since. Her role within the committee is to offering advice to and helping make sure everyone is safe and enjoying training. As well as ensuring all the instructors vital training such as first aid and safeguarding is up to date and that all their DBS checks are up to date. Finally, she is a vital part in organising and running events hosted by the club such as end of year events and the Haxby carnival.
Treasurer – James Vince, Parent Volunteer
James has been involved with the club for over 5 years, as first his son William and then his daughter Annabelle started to train at the club. James has successfully resisted our many attempts to entice him to put on a Gi and give karate a try, but when the club were in need of someone to take up the Treasurer’s role, he kindly put himself forward and has been the Club’s treasurer every since.
James has brought a wealth of knowledge and experience to the role, and has been slowly bringing the clubs finances and financial procedures up to date. With his children progressing so well with their training, we are sure that he will continue in this role for many years to come.
As life moves on for all of us sometimes things get in the way of karate and that was the case for Ian, in 1994 work commitments pulled Ian away from karate and eventually he had to stop training seeing as he couldn’t commit the correct level of attention to his training and that of his students at the time. However, in 2014 with his eldest daughter having a growing interest in karate and wanting to give it a go he saw this as an opportunity to get back into it himself, first joining back at pocklington karate club and then in 2015 finding and moving to join us here at Haxby Shotokan Karate Club.
After having initially turned down his Sandan grading in 1991 at 27 when he was confident, he could gain the grade but didn’t feel he was yet ready for the grade, it wasn’t until 4 years after joining HSKC that Sensei Mike said to him that it was time, and it was this that spurred Ian into some hard training directly under Sensei Mike where they spent many hours working towards the grading. It was in March 2019 that Ian stepped up to the mark and Graded to Sandan under Shihan Masao Kagawa (9th Dan) head of the JKS. After all the hard work and effort put into his grading, his aim now as one of the clubs senior instructors is to give back to the club and its members and share his wealth of experience and knowledge, and above all show that no matter what happens in life with work, age or circumstance you can always achieve your goals.