• Karate is for you

    Karate can be practiced by the young and old, men and women alike

  • Be the BEST version of you

    The purpose of Karate is to train the human body to become as hard as rock and as strong as iron.

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  • Work together as you develop


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  • To seek the perfection of character
  • To follow the path of truth
  • To cultivate the spirit of effort
  • To esteem etiquette
  • To admonish brute courage

About the ESA

The English Shotokan Academy (ESA) was founded in January 1991, by the late Steve Cattle 6th Dan, and a group of like-minded karate-ka.

For many years Steve had been a student of the late Shihan Taiji Kase, 9th Dan. In order to expand his own study of Traditional Shotokan Karate, as taught by Sensei Kase, and that of his own students, Steve formed the ESA.

Can Anyone Practice Karate?

Anyone who is in reasonable health can train at Karate.

Yes, men, women and children, including people with physical disabilities, can do karate.

The true spirit of karate is more about effort than ability. The only requirement is that you can maintain concentration for the duration of the lesson.

The ESA Today

Today, the ESA is a fully constituted association, with democratically elected officers, all dedicated to the continuation of the traditional values and practices of Shotokan Karate, as passed on by Steve Cattle and Sensei Kase. The ESA maintains strong international links with the KSKA.

Membership of the ESA provides a clear and well defined structure for all grades. Senior members of ESKA play a pivotal role in the education and training of the junior Dan grades, who in turn are tasked with the maintenance of standards at club level.

Grade Examiner status is available to karateka who have achieved Sandan or above, instructor-status being awarded to those who have successfully completed the requisite training and assessment.

All senior grades are encouraged to attend courses to ensure their continued progression and maintenance of standards. Through membership of the English Kase Ha Shotokan Ryu Academy (a group within the ESA dedicated to the study of advanced Shotokan karate), selected members – Nidan or above – can study the system taught by Kase Sensei, and may progress to KSKA membership at Sandan or higher

All members, depending upon grade, have access to Coaching Qualifications: free Black and Brown Belt Courses, Squad Training Sessions, subsidised Regional Courses, and National Courses taught by National and International Instructors.

The ESA is an Association committed to the furtherance of Traditional Shotokan Karate as originally taught by the World’s recognised Masters. Membership of the ESA is on application by groups, clubs and individuals. Application forms and further information can be obtained from our General Secretary, details enclosed.

A few of the many benefits include the following:

  • Free Instructors’ courses.
  • Free Black & Brown Belt courses.
  • Regular access to internationally renowned instructors.
  • Annual residential gasshuku.

Through the year, in locations around the country, the ESA holds numerous courses. For more information, see the ESA Events Calendar.

Shihan Taiji Kase

Taiji Kase was one of the last of the direct students of O’sensei Gichin Funakoshi and his son, Master Yoshitaka Funakoshi. Many years prior to his death in November 2004, Kase Sensei had formed an Instructor Academy, selected from talented and experienced karate-ka from around the world. In later years, this individual members group became known as the Kase-Ha Shotokan-Ryu Academy (KSKA) and its members are dedicated to the continued development of this unique line of Shotokan Karate.

Many of the senior instructors of the ESA are members of this elite academy, leading the way with their technical skills and knowledge, learned directly from Shihan Kase.