Karate - Martial Arts
Karate Do Shotokai (KDS) Penarth
Practising and teaching karate as taught by Master Mitsusuke Harada
You’ll find a warm welcome and supportive atmosphere to help begin your martial arts journey at the Penarth club. After a sabbatical, the Penarth club reopened in January 2023. It is again, a thriving club with a great atmosphere, where old and new members are coming together with renewed energy and vigour.
Harada Sensei’s Karate is a fluid and mobile karate, built on strong postures and designed to develop students to reach their personal potential. No shouting, breaking or competitions to be concerned about, just training, learning and steady Karate progress at your pace. So, irrespective of fitness, strength, flexibility, age, disability, previous martial arts experience or whatever it is that’s holding you back, the chances are – we can help you to become a better version of yourself!
We take both physical and mental preparation very seriously at Penarth Karate do Shotokai: Yoga style stretches to prepare your limbs, improve your bodies mobility and range of movement. Along with breathing to clear and ready the mind. Pilates style positional holds to improve core strength and strengthen joints. These along with callisthenic movements to challenge your weight transitions. After this, you ready for some high quality Karate practice.
The lead instructor is Jonathan de’ Claire 4th Dan. He has received all of his gradings directly from the world renowned Master Mitsusuke Harada MBE. Jonathan knew Harada Sensei for many years, travelling with to assist him teaching on many international Karate courses. Many of photos and video footage you can find, will have been Jonathan’s work.
Jonathan is also an experienced teacher of young people with special needs and traits of Asperger’s syndrome. He presently teaches Karate on the sixth curriculum at Headlands School.
So, with all this knowledge and experience awaiting prospective members, what’s stopping you giving us go? Just bring a willingness to be a better you and we’ll do the rest. We look forward to seeing you soon. You won’t regret it!
19:00 – 20:30
18.15 – 19.30pm
£5 per session
Headlands School Gym,
2 St. Augustines Road,
About present day 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 officionado’s 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 places great value on the friendships he has made near and far through his close involvement with Harada Sensei, the KDS and the Penarth club, in particular.
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.
About Penarth Karate-do Shotokai and its origins
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 3 rd 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.
Jonathan and Gail’s daughter Olivia, who having commenced training as a 4 year old, rose to a very accomplished junior black-belt by the time she was only 11 years old. So the family tradition continues.