Here at Haxby Shotokan Karate Club we have a very dedicated team of instructors who together have over 80 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)
Instructor - Ian Teasdale, Sandan (3rd Dan)
Instructor & Chairman - Jim Bamford, Nidan (2nd Dan)
Instructor - Brendan Mitchell, Shodan (1st Dan)
Instructor & development Officer - Ben Lacey, Shodan (1st 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 45 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 35 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’.
Club Instructor - Ian Teasdale Sandan (3rd Dan)
Ian First joined the club back in 2015 after coming back to karate after an extended break due to family and career commitments, but you couldn't tell he'd been away for the last 10 years.
Ian first began training back in the late 70's he soon attained a passion for karate and especially in competitions, where he soon made a name for himself with his skill on the matts. Attaining his Shodan in the early 80's and Nidan soon there after before taking a break.
Since Joining the club Ian has added a wealth of knowledge to that already in the club, along with a fresh prospective and ideas. After 4 years back in the Dojo it was time for Ian to step back out in front of the crowd but this time it was for his Sandan grading moving him on to the next step of his karate journey which we look forward to him continuing on it.
Club Instructor & Chairman - Jim Bamford, Shodan (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.
Instructor - Brenda Mitchell Shodan (1st Dan)
Brenda first started training at Haxby 8 years ago at the age of 60, and for Brenda karate was going to be just another way to keep fit during the week. Not long in to her karate career it became quickly apparent that she was determined, and ready to prove that age is but a number and to this day shes still proving that if you believe you can do it you will do it.
Brenda's compassion and love for karate really shows when shes instructing the youngsters in the early class as all of them no matter how young they are always have full focus and spirit when shes in-front of them.
Three years ago Brenda decided that it was time to push and drive for her Shodan (Black belt) and for any karate-ka this is the biggest step in their karate journey and Brenda was no exception, as in the lead up to her grading there was plenty for time blood sweat and tears along with some very long nights practicing and in December 2016 she went for it, but unfortunately this time it wasn't meant to be as she failed the kumite section of the grading.
In the true spirit of karate though the next week she was back in the Dojo raring to nail her grading the next chance she got, and in February 2017 that is exactly what she did.
Sadly not long after attaining her Shodan Brenda was taken ill being diagnosed with cancer early 2018 at which time she was unable to train due to the strain of the treatment she was receiving but all the while she was keeping tabs on the club and making sure we were all still training hard.
Thankfully in early 2019 and after a very long road to recovery Brenda returned to the dojo in her gi ready to begin training for her Nidan and at the age of 68 after battling cancer that is the level of determination and dedication that Brenda is known and loved for at the club.
Club Instructor and Development Officer - Ben Lacey, Shodan (1st Dan)
Ben joined the club on the 6th 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.
It didn’t take long for Ben to take to karate as he enjoys the challenge of hard training and the advancement in his karate journey. Ben tries to take part in all courses and competitions available to him, because he believes this will help in the journey to attaining his Shodan.
With an ever-growing interest within the club and karate Ben started to not only attend the main class but also the junior class for the first hour of the night. After training with the junior class for a while and helping the young karate-ka in any way he could Mike Sensei and the other instructors started to ask Ben to help with demonstrations whilst instructing. Having recently given him the chance to take small groups and take them through certain aspects of karate. This not only helps bring the youngsters on but also helps Ben in his training through instruction.
Ben’s interest in the club and passion for karate was recognised by his nomination as Development Officer in May 2018.
Welfare Officer - Helen Baker 1st Kyu
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.