Instructors

SHOTO Senseis (Instructors)

Every instructor at SHOTO has been taught by Hanshi Mick Randall MBE 10th Dan.


Hanshi John Blain 8th Dan

John Blain
Hanshi John Blain 8th Dan

Hanshi John Blain 8th Dan began karate training along with a school friend in 1971 at a small club in Hertfordshire. Shortly after its closure he was in Southgate North London and saw an advert in a newsagent’s window for a club in Winchmore Hill; he applied and received a letter back from Sensei Adamou inviting him to join.

In the early 1970s the Winchmore Hill students training under Hanshi Mick Randall MBE 10th Dan consisted of many Karateka who were to go on to form their own associations: Nick & Chris Adamou, Paul Perry, Eddie Witcher, Will Mannion, Roger Hall, and John van Weenan, among others.

Classes at Winchmore were on Tuesdays and Fridays; he also trained at Picketts Lock on Wednesdays under Senseis Ron Stock and Mick Billman. As he didn’t drive at the time and didn’t live near the dojos, he either took buses and trains or got a lift on the back of a fellow student’s motor bike, returning home close to midnight.

Gradings were held by the Japanese Masters: his first grading was under Hirokazu Kanazawa (JKA) in 1973 and subsequent gradings were under either Hanshi Hirokazu Kanazawa 10th Dan or Shiro Asano.

Hanshi John Blain 8th Dan was awarded his Shodan in May 1978 by Hanshi Hirokazu Kanazawa 10th Dan (SKI) and was graded 8th Dan by Hanshi Mick Randall MBE 10th Dan in March 2015.
He is now Chief Instructor and Head of Association for SHOTO and Chair of the Council of Members.

  • Grade: Awarded 8th Dan in 2015.
  • Titles: Head of Association, Chairman of SHOTO, Club Owner Harpenden Karate.
  • Club: Harpenden Karate Club (Club Owner).

Hanshi Tony Kilcullen 8th Dan

Tony Kilcullen
Hanshi Tony Kilcullen 8th Dan

Hanshi Tony Kilcullen 8th Dan began his Karate training in 1976 with Hanshi Mick Randall MBE 10th Dan at the Islington School of Karate in the Michael Sobell Sports Centre. At that time this was part of Hanshi Hirokazu Kanazawa 10th Dan's Shotokan karate International (SKI), but he stayed with Hanshi Mick Randall MBE 10th Dan when he set up his own organisations, ESKA, SKA, and eventually SHOTO.

He has trained under many karate masters, including Senseis Kanazawa, Kato, Asano, Enoeda, Yahara, Kawazoe, and Terry O'Neill.

Kyoshi Roy Gerondaes 7th Dan

Roy Gerondaes
Kyoshi Roy Gerondaes 7th Dan

I started training in 1977 when Bruce Lee Martial Arts films were the trend then. I decided to find myself a club and join in. I found Hanshi Mick Randall MBE 10th Dan’s karate club in the Michael Sobell sports centre in Islington and never looked back. Hanshi Mick Randall MBE 10th Dan was the head instructor there and his lower grades took beginners classes: the training and teaching were amazing and my new life had started.

During my many years of training, I performed in many karate demonstrations, open days, and opened a club with Sensei Tony Bourne in Swiss Cottage sports centre. It was very successful club with many keen karateka for a number of years until the sports centre closed. I continued training with associated clubs in North London.

In the last few years, other commitments have taken up my time, but I am looking forward returning to regular training, even at my age.

Kyoshi Chris Martin 7th Dan

Chris Martin
Kyoshi Chris Martin 7th Dan

I started Karate in 1983 at the age of 22, under the instruction of Hanshi John Blain 8th Dan and Sensei Morgan at their dojo in Harpenden, Hertfordshire. During this this time I had the pleasure of meeting and training with some wonderful people and achieved the rank of 3rd Dan in 1996.

In 2003 I moved to South Devon where I run a small club in Kingsbridge following the same principles as my original instructors.

  • Grade: Awarded 7th Dan in 2020.
  • Titles: SHOTO Council Member, Club Owner Kingsbridge Karate Club.
  • Club: Kingsbridge Karate Club.

Kyoshi Jil Rickards 7th Dan

Jil Rickards
Kyoshi Jil Rickards 7th Dan

I started karate as a beginner in 1985 at the Sobell Sports Centre and have trained consistently under the guidance of Hanshi Mick Randall MBE 10th Dan, Chief Instructor SHOTO.

I teach at North London Karate Club, at all levels from beginners to senior black belts. My role now as Senior Instructor gives me the great honour of encouraging new students into karate, progressing established students, and passing on the traditional teaching that I have had the good fortune to benefit from.

  • Grade: Awarded 7th Dan in 2020.
  • Titles: SHOTO Council Member and Technical Committee Member, Senior Instructor North London Karate Club, Custodian of the Dan Grades.
  • Club: North London Karate Club (Owner).

Kyoshi Gareth Waldram 6th Dan

Gareth Waldram
Kyoshi Gareth Waldram 6th Dan

Gareth started karate training in September 1984 at the Harpenden dojo under Senseis Hanshi John Blain 8th Dan and John Morgan, with gradings under Hanshi Mick Randall MBE 10th Dan. Initially this was with ESKA, an organisation of which Sensei Randall was a founding member, before moving with Hanshi Mick Randall MBE 10th Dan to SHOTO (Shotokan Traditional Karate Organisation) in 1996.

  • Grade: Awarded 6th Dan in 2018.
  • Titles: SHOTO Council Member and Technical Committee Member, Instructor & Qualified First Aider.
  • Club: Harpenden Karate Club.

Kyoshi Steve Johnson 6th Dan

Steve Johnson
Kyoshi Steve Johnson 6th Dan

I began training in 1985 under Hanshi John Blain 8th Dan and Sensei John Morgan with gradings under Hanshi Mick Randall MBE 10th Dan. Initially this was with ESKA before moving to SHOTO in 1996. I undertook my Shodan grading aged 17 in May 1989. Most recently I received the grade of 6th Dan in October 2018 and continue to train with Hanshi John Blain 8th Dan following Sensei Morgan's retirement from teaching some years ago. I have also been privileged to instruct for over 25 years.

  • Grade: Awarded 6th Dan in 2018.
  • Titles: SHOTO Council Member and Technical Committee Member, Instructor.
  • Club: Harpenden Karate Club.

Renshi Robin Welch 5th Dan

Robin Welch
Renshi Robin Welch 5th Dan

Robin started his training in 1991 in Swiss Cottage, London under Sensei Tony Bourne and Kyoshi Roy Gerondaes 7th Dan and subsequently under Hanshi Mick Randall MBE 10th Dan in both Islington and Muswell Hill. He took Shodan in 1997, achieved Sandan in 2005, and was awarded Godan in 2016. Robin is married to Suzanne, also a SHOTO black belt graded by Hanshi Mick Randall MBE 10th Dan, and has five children who’ve all trained with SHOTO.

Renshi Paul Wilson 5th Dan

Paul Wilson
Renshi Paul Wilson 5th Dan

Paul started his Shotokan Karate journey in the mid-eighties and passed his Shodan in July 1990 under the watchful eye of Charles Mack. After training for many years in the local area he was invited to join SHOTO in 2011 by Hanshi Mick Randall MBE 10th Dan. He teaches Traditional (non-sport) Karate but links this to modern day applications.

  • Grade: Awarded 5th Dan in 2017.
  • Titles: SHOTO Secretary and Technical Committee Member, Chief Instructor and owner of Sawbridgeworth School of Shotokan Karate.
  • Club: Sawbridgeworth School of Shotokan Karate.

Renshi Mike Trogal 5th Dan

Mike Trogal
Renshi Mike Trogal 5th Dan

Mike began karate in 1996 under Sensei John Floyd (of SHOTO), and from 1998 progressed under the guidance of Hanshi Mick Randall MBE 10th Dan, Chief Instructor SHOTO. Awarded 4th Dan SHOTO in 2015, he also holds 3rd Dan in Ken Shin Kai / Yoshinkan Aikido.

Sensei Konomi Yajima 4th Dan

Konomi Yajima
Sensei Konomi Yajima 4th Dan

Konomi took up Karate in 2005 under Sensei Mevlut Yilmaz from a leaflet through the letterbox. She moved to SHOTO in 2008 and has worked hard under Hanshi Mick Randall MBE 10th Dan, Chief Instructor SHOTO. In 2009 she attended an Open Course under Great Master Hirokazu Kanazawa 10th Dan.

She is an Instructor for the Children’s Sections of the North London Karate Club and Winchmore Hill Karate Club and has run Self Defence classes at schools and community centres.

Sensei Eche Ginikanwa 4th Dan

Eche Ginikanwa
Sensei Eche Ginikanwa 4th Dan

I began training in Shotokan Karate at the tail end of 1995 at the Hornsey School Dojo in Inderwick Road, Crouch End London, under the tutelage of Hanshi Mick Randall MBE 10th Dan; my early training was punctuated by bouts of illness.

I began training because I had simply wanted to get a black belt in a martial arts figuring I would stop once this was achieved. Bruce Lee and the TV series Kung Fu played a part too. I stuck with it because there was always something else to learn and my health improved.

I also hold a 3rd Dan in ITF / WTF Taekwondo and trained in Wing Chun Kung Fu for two and a half years.

I enjoy helping people learn new things, learning new things myself, the levelling effect of the gi and the slightest chance to practice my "Hollywood" kicks.

Sensei Keith Brewer 4th Dan

Keith Brewer
Sensei Keith Brewer 4th Dan

Keith started his Karate journey in 1970 aged 13 with Kykoshinkai for two years and later recommenced training with Shotokan in 1988 up till the present day.

Initially training with the Toyakwai Association Keith took his Shodan grading in June 1996 in front of the Toyakwai Association grading panel. Having moved he joined ESKA and graded to Nidan in March 2004 with Sensei Roger Hall. Gradings to Sandan in October 2009 and Yondan in October 2013 followed with the EKO under Sensei Dave Sharkey 8th Dan. Now training within SHOTO, Keith is an “old school” experienced karate practitioner who is always willing to share, teach and enthusiastically contribute to lessons.

Grade: 4th Dan.
Titles: SHOTO and SSSK.
Club: Sawbridgeworth School of Shotokan Karate.

Sensei Heather Mollison 3rd Dan

Heather Mollison
Sensei Heather Mollison 3rd Dan

Heather started training with Shotokan Karate Ryu (SKR), part of the English Karate Organisation - (EKO) in 2005 alongside her sons. She achieved Shodan in 2009, Nidan in 2011 and Sandan on 2014 as well as EKO instructor certification. She started training with Sensei Paul Wilson at SHOTO's Sawbridgeworth Club in 2016 and is now the child protection officer for the SHOTO and SSSK.

"For the last fifteen years I have trained regularly, firstly with EKO and now with SHOTO. Although I started training because of my children, I have found personal satisfaction, challenge and empowerment through karate training. I very much enjoy the family friendly nature of the Sawbridgeworth club and there is always something to learn and to teach. For me, karate is truly a journey for the mind, body and spirit."

Grade: 3rd Dan.
Titles: Child Protection Officer, SHOTO and SSSK.
Club: Sawbridgeworth School of Shotokan Karate.