History of Leeds Shotokan Karate Club
Leeds Shotokan Karate Club has been established over 50 years ago and, throughout that time, the club has produced many students who have gone on to represent their country at national and International level. Indeed, some have gone on to become karate champions at regional, national and international events. The club has had various venues during its time and its present locations are at the 17th South West Leeds Scout Headquarters, Wesley Road in Armely, Leeds.
Sensei Ronnie Wade, 4th Dan, was the original instructor when the club was formed. He himself went on to become an international competitor. When Sensei Wade gave up the task of chief instructor at the Leeds Shotokan Karate Club, one of his students, Sensei Bob Rhodes, took over as club instructor. Sensei Robert Rhodes, 8th Dan (or Bob as he is fondly known by his students) ran the club with a firm hand and continued to produce many excellent karatekas, many of whom went on to become national and international competitors. Sensei Bob Rhodes won many medals both at national and international level.
Indeed, Sensei Bob Rhodes was part of the Leeds team that won the KUGB national team championship back in 1973, as well as a member of the British National Squad that won the World Championships in Los Angeles. He has continued his karate career, becoming an international referee and is now a senior instructor within the KUGB. His sensational ability of application of Kata (form) is well known throughout the karate world.
When Sensei Bob Rhodes decided to move on to pastures new, he left the running of the club to Sensei Randolph Williams, 6th Dan. Like the other instructors before him, Sensei Randy Williams was also a KUGB and England International with winning medals at both national and international level.
As a member of the KUGB England team, Sensei Randy Williams won several European team gold medals and was also a member of the squad that won gold at the World Championships against Japan team in 1990. Sensei Randy Williams was also 4 times KUGB Shotokan Cup individual champion but, at the age of 40, after winning the National Individual Kumite Championship, he decided to retire from competition and concentrate on the running of the Leeds Shotokan Karate Club.
The untimely death of Sensei Randy Williams in February 2012 gave rise to Sensei Richard Backhouse agreeing to take over the helm of running the club and converting the club into a non-profit organisation with a community spirit. Sensei Richard Backhouse and continue to foster the same club ethics that are woven into the club's history as chief instructors. Leeds Shotokan Karate Club welcome all new members to our community club to train and learn karate in the same spirit that has created so many success stories over the last 50 years.