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UK KDS Karate-do Shotokai

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Group photo at the end of a course

Newcastle KDS is one of the oldest clubs in the KDS and was one of the first Karate clubs in the North East of England. 

Originally called Chowa Karate Academy, the club was based at North Shields and was founded in 1964 by Ray Knudsen, George Hatt and Bob Wilson. Chowa became famous in the 1970’s as the largest Karate club in Europe, at its peak over 40 Black Belts as well as numerous other grades were practising

Over the decades we have practiced at several venues all over Newcastle and have now came full circle back to North Shields.

Running the club are Norman Watson (5th Dan), Suneil ‘Sonny’ Raj (2nd Dan) and Mark Gash (1st Dan).

Every year we hold a National All Grades Course which has been taken by several members of the Technical Executive and the 4th Dan Group. In recent years we have also been honoured by visits from Harada Sensei MBE.

We’re a friendly club with male and female members of all abilities.

We train three times a week throughout the year and organise frequent club trips to attend courses held elsewhere in the country. We also have regular socials throughout the year as well as after most practices.

The first lesson is free and we welcome everyone, regardless of ability, age or experience, to all practices.

If you’re interested in learning karate, keeping fit or just want to try something different, then we recommend you come along for an exciting practice!


Suneil Kumar Raj, 2nd Dan

Norman Watson, 5th Dan

Norman started his Karate training in May 1972 at Chowa Karate Academy based at Wallsend Sports Centre and Willington Quay High School.
Norman attended his first Summer School in 1974 at Keele University.

In 1975 Norman was awarded his 1st Dan Black Belt and in 1977 received his 2nd Dan.
Also in 1977 Norman, along with Ziggy Boban (5th Dan), accompanied Harada Sensei to the first and last course held at Monte Carlo. The special one off course was politically organised and involved members of the Royal Family.

In 1980 Norman received his 3rd Dan and in 1984 he got his 4th Dan. He was awarded his 5th Dan Black Belt in 1990 by Harada Sensei at Summer School held at Canterbury University.

By the early nineties, Norman had taken over as Chief Instructor of Chowa Karate Academy.

Norman currently oversees the Adult practice three times a week at Newcastle.

Training times

18:30 – 19:30
Juniors / Cadets
Main Hall

19:30 – 21:00
Adults Only
Main Hall

19:30 – 21:00
Adults Only
Pine Hall

11:00 – 12:30
Adults / Cadets
Dance Studio


The Parks Sports Centre
Howdon Road
North Shields,
NE29 6TL

1 - 3 March, Spring School all grades courseCourse information