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Welcome to Bilston

Karate - Shizen-Do Karate Kai

Shizen-Do Kai has been established for over 30 years at various locations. It was originally founded by The Late Eric Cheshire as Bilston Karate Club who had over 20 years experience in Karate and attained 4 Dan Black Belt status. Shizen-Do Kai is now a UK based group for Traditional Karate and Applied Martial Arts with
clubs within the Midlands area. The Bilston club currently boasts 10 Dan grade (Black Belt) students. Instructors are fully qualified, first aid and CRB checked and are under continuous training themselves.

While Shizen Do seeks to maintain all of the essential disciplines and basic techniques of the Wado school , we believe there is much to be learned from incorporating techniques from other styles . We therefore practice Kata (form) and
combat techniques from other sources.   At its best Karate teaches self-discipline , self-defence and confidence and is one
of the best forms of fitness training for all ages and both sexes. The minimum age is 6 years. There is no upper age limit - we find that many people take up or return to karate in middle age . There are also opportunities to take part in competition Kumite (sparring) and Kata though this is not compulsory  We hope to create a feeling of well being and confidence. We are a friendly group
open to all new members.

The Origins of Karate

The origins of Karate (empty hand) can be traced back as far as 520AD to the nomadic monk Bhodidharma, who developed a system of exercise and self-defence based on animal movements. This developed over time into the many styles of Kung Fu still taught in China today. With the influx of Chinese immigrants to the Japanese island of Okinawa in 1392 , the art was passed onto the Japanese although it wasn't until the early 20th century that it became popular on mainland Japan . In particular Gichin Funakoshi founded one of the most popular styles - Shotokan around 1921.

Wado Ryu Karate was founded by Hironiro Ohtsuka around the same time incorporating some moves from Ju Jitsu. Unlike Shotokan, a power styles whose stances are much longer, Wado emphasizes speed. Wado Ryu (meaning Way of Peace) was first imported into Britain in the 1960s by Tatsuo Suzuki and has become one of the most widely practiced forms of traditional Karate in the West .