Poitou-Charente Shikukai International (France - Private).

Instructor: Steve Greenwood 4th Dan.

Steve Geenwood owns and operates a small private dojo located at his home in the beautiful countryside of Poitou-Charente, France.

My background in Wado by Steve Greenwood.

My first introduction to Wado karate was as a young man in Lancashire in 1974. I had always had an interest and curiosity about the martial arts, although information at that time was thin on the ground, but this was the beginning of the Kung Fu boom and Bruce Lee added further fuel to the fire.

I saw an ad for a beginners course in Burnley and finally took the plunge. This was Joe Balko's club; Wado Ryu under the Tatsuo Suzuki UKKW/UKKF banner.

Because of the popularity beginners classes were huge; around 100 beginners in my first lesson.

Although I was only there for a short period I put myself forward for training sessions and gradings under Maeda Sensei who was a regular visitor to the Burnley Dojo.

To supplement my training I also went for additional training at the Nelson Shotokan Dojo, where one night they were visited by Andy Sherry Sensei who brought with him his young protégé, a teenager who despite being only about 4' 10 showed amazing ability; I was to find out later that this was the young Frank Brennan.

I also took the opportunity to train with Suzuki Sensei on the 1977 UKKW summer course as well as the Ticky Donovan summer course in the same year.

My connection to Ingleton North Yorkshire started in 1976 ( I moved there permanently in 1987) but, eager to continue my martial arts journey, I responded to another local ad for a karate class in a local community centre. The style was a blend of Shukokai (Shito Ryu) and Wado Ryu and the instructor was Bill Pybus, at that time a 2nd Dan. Although there were a lot of differences I learned much from the Shukokai approach. I graded to 4th kyu with Bill before the club was forced to close.

Desperate for further instruction we invited Doug James down from Carlisle . At that time Doug was travelling from his Cumbria base to train with Japanese Wado master Toru Takamizawa Sensei and often invited Takamizawa Sensei up to the North West for gradings, courses and competitions. Through this connection we also attended courses with Eugene Codrington and Ticky Donovan. I graded to 1st kyu in front of Takamizawa Sensei on a stage at the Cumbria Open championships.

As often happens life gets in the way and a short break from training of a couple of years was interrupted by an opportunity to return to karate, and I was invited to teach at a club in Clitheroe Lancashire. Through this I ended up joining Paul Chadwick's Wado Ryu group which at that time was part of Walter Seaton's English Karate-Do Wado Kai but later formed their own group BIKA.

I attained my 1st Dan in 1981, but I had become gradually disillusioned and in 1983 I had ceased training altogether. But in 1985 the opportunity to resume training again presented itself by meeting with Kevin Hamilton-Stewart and Miriam Llewellyn who were running Wado Dojos in the North Yorkshire area. It was through this connection that I ran into an old training partner, Mark Harland, who had resumed training at the Settle Dojo.

Kevin Hamilton-Stewart retired from training in around 2001 leaving the established Dojos in the capable hands of Mark Harland. It was decided at this stage to reconnect with Wado as taught by Japanese Sensei. Mark invited Sugasawa Sensei and Tim Shaw to teach and Sugasawa Sensei particularly impressed me with his unique way of moving that was so different from anything else I had seen. However when the jump was made to ally our Dojo to one of the main Japanese based organisations it was thought that the connection to the South of England was a stretch too far, and the group decided to align themselves with Sakagami Sensei and the Aiwakai who are based in the Midlands.

I trained solidly with the Aiwakai right up until 2004 when I left to live in France. It was in France that I connected with one of Sugasawa Sensei's senior students Steve Chamberlain 6th Dan with Shikukai (also a resident over here) and Steve and I have worked together ever since. I also have good connections with Tim Shaw who has also visited me for additional training. Naturally this prompted my decision to join Shikukai and train with Sugasawa Sensei whenever possible. Even after nearly forty years of training I am now setting out on an enjoyable and challenging journey of discovery within Shikukai.




Contact details:
2 Rue Chez Valade, 86350 Payroux, France.

Tel: From the UK, 0033 549 8756 02
From France: 0549 8756 02


Steve Greenwood (front L) with Sugasawa Sensei and students outside the Dojo.

Steve Greenwood kata training at Mu Jin Jyuku.

Steve Chamberlain visiting Steve Greenwood's Dojo.

L to R George Krethlow-Shaw, Steve Greenwood, Tim Shaw, Paul Clark, after training at Steve's Dojo.

The interior of Steve's Dojo during training with Tim Shaw.

Design: Tim Shaw