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HDKI Karate Cheltenham

History of karate
Sonchō on the roads

A Brief History of Karate

Karate originated in the Okinawa Islands in the 14th and 15th century and was developed from the martial arts from China, in fact the original meaning of karate was ‘China Hand’ this was later changed to empty hand. In 1921 the famous karate instructor from Okinawa Gichin Funakoshi demonstrated karate to the crown Prince of Japan (later to become Emperor Hirohito) whilst on a trip to Okinawa. The same year he was invited to Japan to demonstrate karate and was soon spending most of his time there spreading karate throughout Japan. Karate was now seen not just as an unarmed self defence system but a way of keeping the body healthy and improving the character of the individual. One of Funakoshi’s quotes is ‘ The ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the character of it’s participants’ and this still holds true today. Funakoshi is known as the father of modern day karate. After the second World War karate was introduced to the United States of America and from there to the rest of the world.

Karate styles are as varied as they are numerous.

From the ancient Shuri-Te and Naha-Te to the more recent styles like Shito-Ryu, Goju-Ryu, Wado-Ryu,

and Shotokan, Karate spawned dozens and dozens of styles, each with their own technical repertoire and philosophy.

Sonchō Karate Club 
on the roads

We train with everyone and anyone!

Follow our karate travels here or even better share the opportunities with us.

We love learning and are always on the lookout for more events with great instructors.

HDKI Cheltenham Soncho Karate Club

Where: Oldbury

When: 10-11/12/2022

HDKI GB Christmas Course

Whole weekend full of karate training and karate talks.

Instructors: Scott Langley, Bob Rhodes, Felipe Martins, Simon Bligh

Sunday Training Bob Rhodes Natalie Bottcher

Where: Faversham

When: 16/10/2022

Sunday Training

Absolutely fantastic sessions, small group with big budo attitude! Kata and Kumite

Plenty to take home and work on. 

Instructor: Bob Rhodes

HDKI Soncho Karate Cheltenham

Where: Cheltenham, Balcarras Sports Centre

When: 25/09/2022

HDKI GB Southern Squad Training

What a great morning full of training, competition kata and kumite practice,

agility training, referee talks

Instructor: Becky Cox Symmonds

Kata and Kumite Course Bob Rhodes Natalie Bottcher

Where: Faversham

When: 11/09/2022

Kata and Kumite Course

Lovely day at Canterbury Shotokan Karate Club, we looked at details and bunkai applications of Heian Nidan and Sochin kata and had a good challenging kumite session.

Instructors: Bob Rhodes, Natalie Böttcher

Simon Bligh Natalie Bottcher Karate Cheltenham HDKI Gloucester

Where: South Leverton

When: 19-21/08/2022

Shogai Summer Camp

An absolutely smashing weekend full of karate training and talks.  Massive thank you for all the fantastic sessions.

Instructors: Julie Nicholson, John Holdsworth, Andrea Carbon, Justin Senseis 
and Simon Bligh Sensei

HDKI Natalie Bottcher Soncho Karate Club Cheltenham

Where: Dudley

When: 24/07/2022

HDKI GB Squad Training

Yet another fun and sweaty day at the squad training, kata, kumite, great atmosphere and a fantastic coaching.

Instructors: Julie Nicholson, John Holdsworth, Nick Keys

HDKI Cheltenham Soncho Karate Club Natalie Bottcher

Where: Plymouth

When: 03/07/2022

Seminar & Dan Grading

What a fantastic session, technical, full of details, challenging and absolutely awesome.

Thank you to Plymouth Karate Club

Instructor: Scott Langley

Rick Hotton Sensei Seminar Natalie Bottcher Soncho Karate Club Gloucester

Where: Basingstoke

When: 12/06/2022

Rick Hotton Sensei Seminar

Brilliant day full of karate and aikido

at the Rick Hotton Sensei seminar in Basingstoke.

Instructor: Rick Hotton

Sonchō Karate Club Cheltenham

Where: Dudley

When: 08/05/2022

HDKI GB National Squad Training & Selections

Fantastic sessions today led by our squad coaches, concentrating on elements of kata and kumite performance together with what the referees are looking for. Great to see and train with everyone again. 

Instructors: Julie Nicholson, John Holdsworth, Nick Keys

HDKI Cheltenham Karate Competition

Where: Cheltenham

When: 02/04/2022

Interclub Karate Competition

A massive congratulation to all competitors who took part in our friendly Inter-club competition between Cheltenham and Shotokan Tora Winchcombe.
What a great little introduction to competition with some brilliant performances. Well done all, you made us all very proud!!!

Organiser: Natalie Bottcher

Soncho Karate Gloucester Natalie Bottcher

Where: Sheffield

When: 05/03/2022

AMA International Karate Open 2022

They say train with the best and learn from them! Well this is exactly what I did today!
Incredibly grateful for all the advice and experience Shelly Collinson has shared with me today. We even got to fight in the finals, can’t wait to see you again Shelly
Oh and I arrived late so missed my kata event 😣

Soncho Karate Club Gloucester competition training

Where: Chipping

When: 20/02/2022

HDKI GB Open competition training

An energetic HDKI GB Open competition training today with Nick Keys Sensei and John and Julie Sensei. Brilliant kata and kumite sessions, plenty covered and great to be able to catch up with our karate friends.

Instructors: Nick Keys, John Holdsworth and Julie Nicholson

Natalie Bottcher Becky Cox Symmonds HDKI GB Cheltenham

Where: Guildford

When: 09/01/2022

HDKI GB Open Competition Training

Cracking HDKI GB Open Competition Training with Becky Sensei. Great atmosphere and full dojo!

Instructors: Becky Cox-Symmonds

Natalie Bottcher Karate Cheltenham

Where: Leigh

When: 24/10/2021

EKA Open Karate Championships

It was a good day at EKA Open Karate Championships today! Great to be back and see all those fabulous people again.
Plenty of brilliant advice from Lucie Marsh and it was so good to catch up with Andrea Carbon. Congratulations ladies, you were AMAZING.

Natalie Bottcher karate cheltenham

Where: online

When: 19/09/2021

Online kata competition

I like to spice things up. I got inspired at Shogai karate summer camp a few weeks back and toyed with this new idea that was planted in my head by Andrea Sensei.
So I entered an online kata comp with a goju-ryu kata and placed 2nd!
Not bad considering last time I competed with this kata was 21 years ago 

gb open natalie bottcher karate gloucester

Where: Birmingham

When: 05/09/2021

GB Open Karate Championships

It’s been a great day with karateka from all corners of the country and beyond. I got to meet some brilliant people, had the most amazing coach for the day Lucie Marsh who gave me tons of advice and was an absolute superstar. I am ever so grateful for all the support from the one and only, awesome Shelly Collinson. Thank you so much, your support is very very much appreciated.

Great experience at today's GB Open, 2 shiny medals made their way back to Cheltenham. Natalie Bottcher

Karate Gloucester Natalie Bottcher

Where: South Leverton

When: 20/08-22/08/2021

Shogai Summer Camp 2021

Dreaded morning run followed by karate training sessions and karate talks. Fantastic weekend full of karate. Referee training with Nick Keys and Paul Uren Senseis, followed by a mock dan grading for all those hoping to grade for Shodan to Sandan within the next year or so. Everyone was tired but it was such a good opportunity to put ourselves under pressure a bit, learn something and step out of our comfort zones. 

Instructors: Paul Uren, Simon Bligh, Justin Beattie, Andrea Carbon

Karate Cheltenham

Where: Lancaster

When: 27/06/2021

North HDKI GB Kata Squad Training

Brilliant day training with both seasoned and novice competitors alike, the training helped raise the overall standard of everyone's kata performance. The aim was to develop potential, widen access and encourage aspiration at all levels.

Instructors: Julie Nicholson, 

John Holdsworth

lockdown karate training

Where: online

When: 25/04/2021

Black and Brown belt training

I really enjoyed this online session all the way from South Africa, some fantastic advice and another great opportunity to train while in lockdown.

Instructor: Sandra Louw

karate lockdown training gloucester

Where: online

When: 24/03/2021

JKS online training

Superb online session with Matt Price Sensei tonight! Sweaty, aching but happy - another brilliant lockdown training

Instructor: Matt Price

karate gloucester

Where: online

When: 13/03/2021

Kumite Seminar with Leonie Kersey

A totally awesome Kumite Seminar with Leonie Kersey, proper sweaty workout and very interactive training.

Instructor: Leonie Kersey

karate gloucester

Where: online

When: 06/03/2021

Open Seminar with Christophe Pinna

Fantastic online training with the kumite champion Christophe Pinna Sensei. Thank you Kanzen Karate for organising.

Instructor: Christophe Pinna

karate cheltenham

Where: online

When: 21/02/2021

Online Open International Course

Such brilliant sessions this weekend, fantastic online training. Thank you Traditional Shotokan Karate UK for organising.

Instructors: Sensei Asuka Sasa
Sensei Ayano Takaki
Sensei Aidan Trimble

10k karate.jpg

Where: online

When: 29/12/2020

10k Karate Clash

An absolutely brilliant killer session, thank you JT

Instructor: Jordan Thomas

Coming soon karate cheltenham gloucester



More travels to be added soon

Watch this space for more karate travels from the past, there's loads to come...

HDKI Gloucester Soncho Karate Club

Where: Dudley

When: 30/10/2022

HDKI GB National Squad Training

4 energetic hours of competition training, we looked at elements of kata and kumite 

Instructors: Julie Nicholson, John Holdsworth, Nick Keys

HDKI Gloucester Karate Championships

Where: Birmingham

When: 08/10/2022

HDKI GB National Open Championships

Fantastic day, outstanding performances.

Congratulations everyone!!!

Karate Club Cheltenham Natalie Bottcher Cheltenham

Where: Bury Castle

When: 18/09/2022

AMA Northern Open Championships

Great atmosphere and some fantastic performances, very successful day for many. We brought home 2 medals,

gold for kumite and silver for kata.

HDKI Karate Gloucester Soncho Karate Club

Where: Liverpool

When: 06/11/2022

HDKI GB Northern Squad

Absolutely brilliant afternoon full of hard work and loads of feedback.

Instructor: Stuart Amos

Karate near me

Where: Online

When: 08-11/08/2022

Shidoin Geiko

A busy, hot, sweaty penultimate session of Shidoin Geiko. We joined these fantastic people online for 4 days of training.

JSKA European Championships Natalie Bottcher Karate Cheltenham Soncho Karate Club

Where: Guildford

When: 16-17/07/2022

JSKA European Championships

A phenomenal weekend, plenty of medals between the squad members in team and individual events, including our very own Natalie - 2x gold, 1x bronze.

HDKI Squad Training Natalie Bottcher Soncho Karate Club Gloucester

Where: Guildford

When: 26/06/2022

HDKI GB Open Competition and Southern Squad Training

Great sessions and plenty of feedback from Eden Sensei which I’m always super grateful for.

Instructor: Becky Cox Symmonds

Chrissie Howard Natalie Bottcher Nijushiho Soncho Karate Club Cheltenham Exeter

Where: Exeter

When: 29/05/2022

Nijushiho session

Totally awesome session at Dokuritsu Karate Club in Exeter, loads of details and applications. Thank you for having me

Instructor: Chrissie Howard

Soncho Karate Club Cheltenham

Where: Cheltenham

When: 07/05/2022

Open seminar with Simon Bligh Sensei

Gohon kumite, 2 against 1 reaction kumite, kicking kumite, 2 tough but excellent sessions hosted here in Cheltenham. Thank you for coming down to teach Simon Sensei.

Instructor: Simon Bligh

Natalie Bottcher Cheltenham Karate

Where: Leigh

When: 27/03/2022

EKA Open Karate Championships

We had fun at the EKA Open Karate Championships today. Especially pleased with the kata performance. Colossal thank you goes to Lucie Marsh for all the advice she shared with me again. Fantastic to see Shelly Collinson as always. Natalie brought home 2 bronze medals for kata and kumite.

Natalie Bottcher Chrissie Howard Cheltenham Karate Club

Where: Guildford

When: 26/02/2022

Seminar with Sensei Chrissie Howard

We really enjoyed this fantastic seminar with Chrissie Sensei hosted by Kanshin Karate Club, Guildford.

Encouraging lots of thoughts about where our energy, strength & power come from.
How to best use our bodies to deliver, the best of ourselves and how to use your opponents intention against them.

Instructor: Chrissie Howard

HDKI Soncho Gloucester karate

Where: Blackwater & Hawley

When: 13/02/2022

Karate workshop

What a a fabulous day training with these wonderful people. Well done everyone who attended and trained, sweated, worked hard and laughed. 

Instructors: Rangan Ravindran, Steve Bailes, Amanda Gisby, Angela Gasperini & Avi Wolfsthal

Soncho Karate Gloucester

Where: Dudley

When: 11/12-12/12/2021

HDKI GB Christmas Course 2021

Such an honour to spend the weekend with these amazing senseis who so passionately shared their knowledge at the HDKI GB Christmas Course 2021. A massive thank you to HDKI GB for organising the event!

Instructors: Scott Langley, 

Bob Rhodes, Ricardo Galina

Natalie Bottcher Karate Club Cheltenham

Where: Guildford

When: 26/09/2021

JSKA championships

I love a good challenge and today was no exception at JSKA championships. 
2 beautiful trophies have just made their way to Cheltenham. But there’s so much more to competing than winning, something that can’t be won, something that can’t be awarded….. I really enjoyed today and that’s what it’s all about! Natalie Bottcher

Soncho karate club gloucester

Where: Basingstoke

When: 12/09/2021

Scott Langley and Christian Øygarden Seminar

Another fabulous seminar and a great opportunity to learn. This felt like a special treat today as I’ve been wanting to take Nijushiho apart for ages and this was an absolutely fantastic opportunity.

Instructors: Scott Langley and

Christian Øygarden

Soncho karate club cheltenham

Where: Chipping

When: 29/08/2021

HDKI GB competition training and WUKF rules course

So glad I went to the HDKI GB competition training and WUKF rules course today, 
soooo much information regarding the rules, great to see some familiar faces and meet new people. 
There’s always something that I find extra special at these events, today it must have been training and a friendly spar with Shelly Collinson.
Thank you for organising, Natalie Bottcher

Instructor: Nick Keys

Soncho Karate Cheltenham

Where: Exeter

When: 31/07/2021

Open Female Shotokan Karate Training

Wonderful day in the Dojo full of training, fitness, flexibility, karate chatter + more.

Thank you for a fantastic day

Instructor: Chrissie Howard

karate gloucester

Where: South Leverton

When: 05/06/2021

Black and Brown belt training

HDKI dan grade syallbus for 1, 2 and 3rd Dan candidates, kihon, kumite and kata practice with feedback

Instructors: Simon Bligh, Justin Beattie

online karate training Cheltenham

Where: online

When: 10/04/2021

1m² Karate - Hombu Dojo Sensei

Online training with the HDKI Headquarter instructors. Each instructor taught for 30 minutes each, with a short break between. Great experience of the eclectic mix that makes up the teaching team of the Hombu Dojo.

Instructors: Scott Langley, Ross Stewart,
Audrius Janusauskas, Ru Mew

lockdown training karate cheltenham

Where: online

When: 21/03/2021

Scottish Karate Seminars

Fantastic online seminars with Kanzen Karate. Very informative and brilliant lockdown training, thank you to all instructors!

Instructors: Roy O'Kane, Kevin Slaney, Gordon Mathie

rick jackson.jpg

Where: online

When: 10/03/2021

Sensei Rick Jackson online meditation session

Really grateful for these sessions. A phrase that caught my attention tonight was: "Don't think too much, you'll create a problem that wasn't even there in the first place."

Instructor: Rick Jackson

me colin putt_edited_edited.jpg

Where: online

When: 27/02/2021

SKDUN International Online Seminar with Brett Halliday & Colin Putt

Excellent morning at SKDUN International Online Seminar with Brett Halliday & Colin Putt Sensei going over Gogushiho Sho and kumite

Instructor: Brett Halliday & Colin Putt Sensei


Where: online

When: 07/02/2021

Tividale Shotokan Karate Club TV
Hosts Tommy Joe Moore

Thoroughly enjoyed this class, incorporating the hand pad for self practice drills was excellent and I’d definitely like to do more. Thank you Tommy for taking the time this morning sharing your experience and thank you Tividale Shotokan Karate for hosting this fantastic opportunity for everyone.

Instructor: Tommy Joe Moore

matt price bristol.jpg

Where: Bristol

When: 17/10/2020

Sensei Matt Price - face-to-face seminar

What a fantastic afternoon, loved every minute of the seminar, even the endless painful shiko dachi squats followed by punches in kiba dachi. Learned Junro Godan, had a quick go at Yondan as well, kumite drills, met some lovely people and lots & lots more. Loved it, thank you Bristol Karate Academy.

Instructor: Matt Price

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