Clevedon Karate Kai was founded by Kevin Barrett and Nigel Langson, still the senior instructors, and first opened its doors on October 16th 1992. Since then we have passed many milestones. Our first student to pass a black belt grading was Ross Clarke, in 1993. Our first students to be selected for the national squad of our then association, Higashi, were Kevin Barrett (junior) and Rory Daniels, later in the 1990s. Our greatest competitive achievement came in November 2004 when Rory Daniels, by then training at Bristol, won the men’s individual open-weight kumite World Championship title in Mexico, and then followed that in August 2005 by taking both men’s individual and team kumite gold at the Commonwealth Championships in New Zealand. Rory and other former students have collected a string of further international and British individual and team titles over the years, most recently Shaun Langson with the 2013 British International Open individual under-75kg kumite championship, and a succession of national team titles in which both Rory and Shaun have featured. At the less exalted, but no less important end of the scale, we have trained literally thousands of students of all ages during our history and have, at the last count, brought forty-six of them through to achieve their black belts.
Each of our instructors has full individual public liability insurance. We also have male and female instructors trained in first aid. Students may not engage in contact activities without a current licence, adequate protective equipment and qualified supervision, and additional restrictions are in place for juniors. Western Karate Union fully supports the equal opportunities guidelines set up by the government and our club is also an active participant in the Child Safe programme in conjunction with Avon & Somerset Constabulary, with all instructors having been through DBS checks.
The senior instructors are both 6th Dan grade, Nigel having been a British kumite (fighting) referee and Kevin having been a British kumite and kata referee. They have decades of experience of training, competition and officiating between them. They are backed up by numerous additional instructors ranging from 3rd to 1st Dan. In addition to progressing through the grades, students are encouraged to participate in the bi-annual Western Karate Union competitions and other open events, and to try for selection in the WKU squad for regional and national events. This, however, is not mandatory, and students are welcome to keep their participation to club training. The club bases its training on the Wado Ryu style of karate, but we also teach kata from other styles to allow our students to progress through open and national championships.