General news

It gives me great pleasure to announce that we have a newly qualified ESKA Instructor.

On Monday night Sempai Tony successfully completed his final assessment to become an official Karate instructor of ESKA.

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It gives me great pleasure to announce that we have 2 newly qualified ESKA Instructors.

On Monday night Sempai Aidan and Rennan successfully completed their final assessment to become official Karate instructors of ESKA.

Sempai Aidan and Rennan Tilbury have been assisting Sensei Steve teaching at the Ickleford club for the last 4 years. Both Aidan and Rennan are passionate about their karate and put everything into their teaching. It is great having 2 individuals that are so dedicated to their training and enjoy passing on their experience to others, as part of the club.


Sadly both will soon be departing us for university, but not before there biggest challenge to date… Running the club whilst Sensei Steve is on holiday. Sempai Aidan and Rennan will be covering Sensei Steve’s holiday and then depart off to university at the beginning of October, but I am sure they will be back for Christmas! I know they will definitely be there at the ESKA Dinner & Dance to collect their Instructors certificates.



Are you a coach or an instructor? 

For most of us, when we took that first step into teaching martial arts, we became an “instructor” or an “assistant instructor”. There may have been style based ranking titles that went with that position (such as a Sempai or Kohai) but fundamentally you saw yourself, and were seen by others, as an instructor.

According to the Webster dictionary an instructor is: “ a person who teaches a subject or skill: someone who instructs people.”

That pretty much sums up how I started – teaching the subject and skills of martial arts to other people. Stances, footwork, striking, blocking, kicking, throwing, restraint and control.

Sure, there may have been a few life lessons I threw in there along the way, stories and anecdotes, but my class preparation simply revolved around what practical SKILLS I was going to teach the class and what DRILLS I was going to use to teach them.

So how is that different to a coach? Most people will think of a coach in a community or professional sporting scenario. That is, the coach of your junior sports club, or the coach of your favourite football or basketball team.

But I’m not talking about sport or competition.

I’m talking about much more than that. I’m talking about really making an impact on those young people you are working with on a weekly basis.

Impacting them on an individual level to be the best – not the best kicker, the best puncher or the best listener but to be the best person they can be. describes coaching as: “formal, professional coaching is carried out by qualified people who work with clients to improve their effectiveness and performance, and help them achieve their full potential.”

The key words there?…

Formal. Professional. Qualified. Improve. Achieve.     

Coaching is about so much more than skills and drills. That’s the instructors part.

A coach provides a formal and professional environment for individuals to improve and achieve their full potential. Not just in martial arts but in their work, their education and their personal life.

A coach guides physical, mental, emotional and spiritual growth. Why not start your journey today…Click here to begin?

The Orchard

We are pleased to share the great news, that the Biggleswade Club is now OPEN!

After a slight hiccup with the first planned opening date of the 11th August (No one opened the hall for us), we re-scheduled the opening for the following Friday, Friday the 18th August at 6pm.

Opening Day

This Friday we managed to get into the hall (now having keys) and we welcomed 8 brand new Karate-ka (Karate Students) to the club. The first lesson was a huge success with smiles all round. It is always a challenge opening a new club, as the students don’t initially have anyone to follow or copy from, so the first lesson has to involve a lot of explanation but at the same time keeping it fun!

Here is what we covered on lesson 1:

  • Warm up – Essential to get those muscles warm to prevent injuries
  • Introduction of Instructors
  • Standing Bow and Kneeling Bow and the etiquette behind this
  • Demonstration of the 3 K’s
    • Kihon – Sempai Tony
    • Kumite – Sempai Tony & Sempai Rennan
    • Kata – Sempai Rennan
  • Split off the lesson into Juniors & Adults
    • Punching
    • Kicking
    • Introduction to blocks
    • Pad work
  • Games for Juniors, Self Defence for Adults


Here are some pictures of the lesson

What to join us?

Do you want to join the Biggleswade club and be one of the very first students? Get in touch on our contact us page…

We are a member club of the English Shotokan Karate Association (ESKA).

The Orchard

Oss All, I am pleased to share the really exciting news, that we WILL be starting a new club in Biggleswade!!!

We have had confirmation from Biggleswade Council that our first lesson will be 11th August 2017 at the brand new Orchard Centre on the Kings Reach estate.

Check out the Photos

Currently the lesson will be from 7-8pm every Friday. We have asked for the 6-8pm slot, but there was some confusion, meaning we are waiting to hear whether we can have both hours.

Either way its great news and we will be busy advertising for new students as well as hosting lessons for existing Ickleford students.

If you know someone who would like to join the Biggleswade club, then tell them to make an enquiry here.

Oss Sensei.

The Orchard

We have some more great news, we are looking to open a new karate club in Biggleswade! After nearly 4 successful years of the Ickleford Karate Club, we are venturing towards opening another club in Biggleswade on the new Kings Reach estate.

The location we are looking at is ‘The Orchard‘ which is a community centre in the heart of the Kings Reach estate. Kings Reach is only a short drive from the A1, making it a perfect location. The community centre is brand new and isn’t even open yet, so we are unable to confirm a date at this moment. Either way its exciting news and we wanted to share it.

The centre is brand new and comes with some great facilities.


  • Large air conditioned hall with bright LED lighting and a soft sports floor
  • Male, Female and disabled toilets and changing rooms
  • Shower facility
  • A meeting/training room
  • Fully equipped kitchen

Check out some of the pictures below…

I think you’ll agree, the place looks great!

There is still much to sort out, however if you are interested in being one of the first students of the Biggleswade Karate Club then you can submit your interest here.

We will keep you updated with regards to dates and times. If you are an existing student of Ickleford, we will be putting together an offer to train here for a reduced price. Therefore if you miss a lesson or need 2 in a week, it needn’t break the bank.

Sensei Steve

New Website

Hey everyone, we have some exciting news to share, we have a new website!

Lets be honest, it was about time that we updated our website and joining ESKA seemed like the perfect time to do it.

Whilst it is pretty basic at the moment, it contains the essentials (dates for events, competitions and gradings). We will be adding to it and improving it over the coming weeks/months.

We have the following ideas planned:


  • Instructor bios
  • Beginner page – what do you need to know.
  • Gallery of Pictures and Videos
  • Current students and grades
  • Grading page – tips for grading and grading information.
  • Online Syllabus – online grading syllabus
  • Karate history

Do you have any ideas of what you would like to see on here? Let us know.