Karate - Martial Arts

Karate Do Shotokai (KDS) Penarth

Practising and teaching karate as taught by Master Mitsusuke Harada

Training information

The club temporarily closed its doors in 2017, but now in 2022 we are keen to re-open and welcome a new generation of budding martial artists and continue the journey towards “the way.”

Jonathan is keen to invite new members to join the club and would also love to catch up with old members who are interested in renewing their training or just to catch up with old memories and acquaintances on a social night out.

If either of these interests you, please contact Jonathan on:

Mob: 07875-430001 or email: jdeclaire@live.co.uk.

Club instructor: Jonathan de’ Claire - 4th Dan

Jonathan was hooked by the Karate bug after noticing the club training in the school gymnasium as he left Penarth Youth Club in Stanwell School, as a 14 year old, back in 1976. He was immediately struck by the energy and enthusiasm of the class and decided to join in the next practice as one of the instructors (Alan Jones) budding martial arts students.

Many years on, as a highly regarded 4th Dan, Jonathan has coached the length and breadth of Britain and accompanied Master Harada on several overseas courses to assist the Master pass on his method of Karate around the world. Jonathan was also one of Harada Sensei’s hand-picked team to display at the Shotokan Dojo during the infamous 1998 KDS Japan tour. Some of the other countries Jonathan has taught Karate in are: the USA, Portugal, Spain, Estonia and France. All this occurred because he had joined Alan at his Karate club in 1976. 

The opportunities that have come about as a result of Jonathan’s association with Harada Sensei and his KDS organisation have shaped Jonathan’s life in more ways than just the physical and health elements. He was the administrator and first contact for the organisation for several years, which gave him the opportunity to meet many highly regarded martial arts officiondos from around the globe. Through his interest in teaching Karate, Jonathan retrained and redirected his career from construction into science and then onto teaching. In fact, Jonathan completed his Science degree by undertaking a study related to glucose intake and its effect on recovery at a KDS summer school. Harada Sensei, ever the forward thinking leader, was really interested how performance might be improved. Jonathan joined Headlands Special School where he has taught for the past 20+ years. It is there, at Headlands, where the club presently train at their gymnasium.

Jonathan very much values the friendships he has made near and far through his association with the KDS and the Penarth Club.

Jonathan’s relationship with Harada Sensei grew stronger over the years and Sensei was happy for Jonathan to publish interviews with him in the Shotokan Karate magazine, Traditional Karate Magazine, Fighting Arts Magazine and other martial arts magazines in the USA and Australasia. Jonathan was also a keen photographer for the KDS for some time. In fact, the majority of the photos of Sensei you will see were the product of Jonathan’s keen eye for the catching Harada Sensei in the moment.

Penarth KDS club history

The original founder of the Penarth based club was Alan Jones. He was inspired by the organisations founder, Master Mitsusuke Harada, to form a locally based martial arts club in 1974 to spread the Shotokai way. Over the following decades, numerous budding Karate students have trained at Penarth. In that time, the club has touched the lives of many locals. Many of whom, still keep in touch even though they may have moved on or retired.

As result Alan’s inspirational coaching and drive to develop the club, Alan’s legacy has spread far and wide, benefiting the KDS organisation’s growth immensely. Some of his prominent students have gone to become key components in the development of Harada Sensei’s Karate. Examples such as Roy Margetts 5th Dan, Ian Mackenzie 5th Dan and of course Jonathan, have had a considerable input into the continuous development of the KDS both nationally and internationally. One of Jonathan student’s - Steve Court 3rd Dan, has also worked tirelessly to support the Penarth club’s development and coach at a national level.
Harada Sensei had a great relationship with the Penarth club and would often attend their annual social events.

The late Peter Jackson also helped the Penarth Club immensely by forming a junior section many years ago. Peter was quite extraordinary in that he didn’t begin training until the age of 60 and was a 1st Dan blackbelt by 65. At an age when most people are looking forward to retirement, Peter was looking to broaden his horizons! Peter became good friends with Harada Sensei and the pair of golden oldies would often swap stories of their lives over a Guinness. Peter’s junior legacy continued to thrive under the guidance of Jonathan and two 1st Dan’s - Gail de’ Claire and Dan Lindfield. Many of the older juniors progressed into highly skilled cadets training at the senior club, wearing hard earned black-belts or on the cusp of reaching this special level of achievement.

Cadet students have used their Karate development at the club towards achieving a GCSE in Physical Education or Duke of Edinburgh qualification. Although the junior club is not presently functioning, many locals still remember the great experiences they gleaned from that time. This included Jonathan and Gail’s daughter Olivia, who having commenced training as a 5 year old, rose to a very accomplished junior black-belt by the time she was 11 years old.