Who We Are... Information about Kodokai and it's instructors
is a representative association of the Shotokan Karate do
International Federation (SKIF) in Tokyo. With over two
and a half million members in over 100 countries, SKKIF belongs
to one of the world's largest Shotokan Karate bodies. The
association is dedicated to following the teachings of Soke
Hirokazu Kanazawa 10th dan, as it offers a solid grounding in
Shotokan karate, a well thought-out teaching structure that
results in high technical standards and the ability to utilise
techniques in real fight situations. SKKIF offers a
comprehensive training syllabus for this traditional style in
both set and freestyle fighting.
Karate club was formed in 1998
and joined the SKIF organization in June 2002 after leaving Jin
Sei Kai. The club is headed by Sensei Kevin Leigh 6th Dan
and train primarily in Watford, with regular scheduled SKKIF
Yudansha (senior black/belt classes) SKKIF courses and annual
competitions. Sensei Leigh believes the secret of the
club's success is keeping his teaching fresh, innovative and
organising regular courses, National and International events.
Kodokai is one of the most technical classes you will find in
Hertfordshire and rigorously follow the teachings of Soke
Hirokazu Kanazawa who named the club 'Kodokai' in November 2002
after one of his many visits to the Watford club.
Renshi 7th dan
Kevin Leigh Renshi Karate history is long and varied
spanning many years. He started training with ASKA in 1977
and whilst there he achieved 2nd Kyu under the tuition of
Sensei Malcolm Phipps and graded by Sensei Blante 4th Dan.
Kevin joined the Jin Sei Kai organisation in 1981
whist it was a part of SKI and graded to 1st Dan in 1982
under Soke Hirokazu Kanazawa. Jin Sei Kai left SKI in 1982
and he continued training under the direction of Sensei Paul
Perry 8th dan. He achieved 2nd Dan in 1985, 3rd Dan in 1991
and 4th Dan in 1997. After re-joining his club to SKKIF in
2002 Soke Kanazawa regraded Kevin his 4th dan in 2003 and
awarded him 5th dan in Lillishall in 2005. In 2009 he
captained the SKKIF UK squad at the SKIF World championships
in Athens, gaining 4th place in senior individual kata and
second place in team senior kata. Renshi Leigh received his
6th dan from Soke at the Watford dojo in November 2011 and
was subsequently elected vice Chairman of SKKIF in December
2012. Kevin was made Renshi by the SKIF organisation, Tokyo
in September 2016.
From 2006 Renshi has run an annual Kodokai course in the
Czech Republic, this introduction to SKIF Karate led to the
creation of SKIF Czech Republic and now there are SKIF clubs
swimming, skiing, guitar (lead guitar & semi notoriety in the
early 80's with pop/punk band 'Anorexia'), cycling, photography and squash.
Renshi Was awarded 7th dan in April 2022 by Nobuaki
Kanazawa Kancho 40 years to the date after receiving his Shodan
from his father Kanazawa Soke in 1982.
Sensei Steve Naughton 5th dan
started karate in 1991 at a SKIF club near Luton.
In 1998 he was
awarded 1st Dan by Sensei Kanazawa, since then he's
achieved 2nd Dan in 2001. He has
trained at two SKKIF clubs in Bedfordshire. In 2005 joined
Yama Kai under Sensei Steve Marriot.
In 2006 he was
Dan by Sensei Kanazawa and over the last ten years has been a
visiting student at Kodokai and supported their major events.
October 2015 Steve became an official member of Kodokai,
training under Sensei Leigh.
In May 2016 he
was awarded 4th Dan by Nobuaki Kanazawa Kancho and in
May 2022 awarded 5th dan from Kanazawa Kancho. Stevens
other interests include playing badminton, football and
listening to music.
Thompson 4th dan
First dabbled with
Karate in 1988 with a local club before joining Jin Sei kai at
Newcastle University and achieving 1st Dan under Sensei Perry in
1997. After travelling for 3 years and experiencing a variety of
different Dojos and styles she joined the IASK and gained 2nd
Dan under Sensei Nick Adamou in 2003. Sharon joined Kodokai in
2009 but has been an active participant in Kodokai events for
many years since meeting sensei Leigh through Jin Sei Kai.
Sharon also enjoys generally keeping fit and travelling and in
2011 she was awarded 3rd dan by Kanazawa Kancho in Watford.
She achieved 4th dan with Kanazawa Kancho in May 2016 at the
Watford Kodokai dojo.
Steve Marley 4th dan
Steve joined the KUGB under Sensei Gordon at Birmingham
University in 1979 reaching 3rd Kyu. In 1982 he joined
SKKIF under Sensei Hpa at Northwick Park and graded Shodan with
Sensei Kanazawa in 1984. Steve joined Trained with sensei
Asano whilst in Nottingham and graded Nidan in 1993. After
moving to London he joined Fudokai with Sensei Wise at Greenford
and in 2009 moved to Kodokai under Sensei Leigh, he
achieved 3d dan with Kancho Kanazawa in 2009 and 4th dan with Nobuaki Kanazawa
Kancho in May 2016. His
interests include small-boat angling, beekeeping, hiking,
camping and caravanning.
Peter Crawford 4th dan
Peter started karate training in 1975 at
his fatherís Shotokan karate club in Langley, Berkshire. Since
then he has studied Shotokan, Shotobudo, Goju-ryu and
Matsubayashi Shorin-ryu karate as well as judo and aikido.
Peterís karate is very much centred on kata, and the
interpretation and application of the moves within. This has led
him to research kata from other styles, as well as the older
versions of current Shotokan kata.
Peter has a deep interest in karate history and he is a
long-time member of a number of karate-related internet
discussion forums. Peter achieved his 4th dan in May 2015 with
Sensei Vit Stencel
Vit began his training in 1988 in Czech with sensei Jan
Sochatzi, 7th Dan CSKe/WKF. He was a member of the Czech
national team in kumite in 1994/95. Vit achieved 1st Dan in 2000
and then joined Kodokai in 2005 when he came to England,
achieving 2nd Dan with Kanazawa Kancho in November 05. Vit has
now moved back to Czech where he runs the Kodokai club in Brno
after being highly instrumental in setting up the newly formed
SKIF in the Czech Republic. He received his 4th dan in Tokyo at
the SKIF Honbu dojo in April 2018
Sensei Ben Gill
Ben started Karate at
seven years old
and attended his local KUGB club in Exeter. He trained
under Sensei Collacott 3rd Dan and obtained his 1st Dan with
Sensei Enoeda. After moving to the Watford area Ben joined
Kodokai at the end 2007 and passed his 2nd Dan in Watford in May
2009. His hobbies include tennis, playing guitar and
has represented SKKIF at the World championships in Athens
2009 and the European championships in Germany in 2014 and later
in that year received his 3rd dan from Nobuaki Kanazawa Kancho &
4th dan from Sensei Tanaka in November 2023
Durn 4th dan
Karate at Kodokai in 2004 at the age of 9, he is a qualified
cricket coach and hobbies include playing rugby, football and
running. Thomas was awarded his 1st Dan under Nobuaki Kanazawa
Kancho in May 2013
and 2nd dan
with Nobuaki Kanazawa Kancho in May 2016. Thomas received
his 3rd dan with SKIF Honbu instructor Shinji Tanaka in 2019
& 4th dan from Sensei Tanaka in November 2023
Senpai Cary Leigh 3rd
training with his dad sensei Leigh when he was 5 years old and
1st dan with Kancho Kanazawa in May 2008. Cary is a qualified
Life Guard and Personal Trainer and his hobbies include playing
guitar, the piano, swimming and skiing. Cary received his 2nd
dan from Kancho Kanazawa in November 2011 and 3rd dan with Nobuaki Kanazawa
Kancho in May 2016.
Michael Godding 3rd dan
training in 1987 at the YMCA in Watford but after reaching 3rd
kyu took a long break. Resuming his karate career with sensei
Colin Martin in 2000 as a white belt he then re-graded back to
brown in 2004 with Jin Sei Kai. In 2004 he joined Kodokai and
passed his black belt in Nov 2005 with Kancho Kanazawa and
2nd dan in May 2008, in May 2013 he received his 3rd dan with
newly appointed Kancho of SKIF Nobuaki Kanazawza 6th dan.
Michael enjoys swimming, golf and squash.
Senpai Simon Middleton 3rd dan
first joined Kodokai in 2004 after previously playing football
at a good level. A Sky diving injury then led to a 2 year
absence before rejoining in 2006. Away from Karate Simon enjoys
running, competing in distances from 5K to half marathon, skiing
and squash. Simon obtained 1st
Dan under Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa in May 2013 and has
represented SKKIF at the European championships in Germany in
dan with Nobuaki Kanazawa Kancho in May 2016. Simon received his
3rd dan with SKIF Honbu instructor Shinji Tanaka in 2019.
Anna Cockin 3rd dan
Anna started training in 2000 with the KUGB under sensei Willis
5th dan. In 2001 she joined ESKA under the tuition of sensei
Hitchings in Norwich. Anna joined Kodokai in 2002 and achieved
1st dan with Kancho Kanazawa in March 2006 and 2nd dan
with the newly appointed Nobuaki Kanazawa Kancho in May 2013 and
receiving 3rd dan with Leigh Renshi in December 2020.
When she's not
working, Anna enjoys spending time with her family, going to the
theatre, playing squash and skiing.
Monique Page 3rd dan
Monique started judo
at the age of 4 until the age of 10, then starting Karate at 11
with Kodokai. Whilst at University she was captain of the karate
team and received her Shodan from Nobuaki Kanazawza in 2017.
She achieved her 2nd dan with SKIF honbu instructor Shinji Tanaka in 2019,
she received her 3rd
dan from Sensei Tanaka in November 2023.
hobbies include skiing and cycling,
Danny Leigh 2nd dan
started training under sensei Colin Martin 4th dan (Jin Sei Kai)
in 1998 and joined SKKIF in 2002 and graded to 1st Dan
with Kancho Kanazawa in May 2005. His hobbies are playing guitar
in his band, skiing and swimming. Danny is a qualified Life
Guard and is now a Personal trainer, he received his 2nd dan
with Kanazawa Kancho in 2010.
Adelina started Karate at 9 years old in
2013 with Leigh Renshi at Kodokai and she received her black
belt in 2019 from SKIF Honbu instructor Shinji Tanaka 7th dan.
In that year Adelina won the junior Kumite at the SKKIF
Nationals in Windsor and achieved Nidan with Sensei Tanaka in
November 2022. Her hobbies include going to the gym, kumite
training, and explore new places.
Olga Vassilyva 2nd dan
Olga moved from
Kazakhstan began training Karate at Kodokai Watford under Sensei
Leigh in 2009, she obtained her 1st Dan under Kancho Nobuaki
Kanazawa in May 2013 at the Watford Kodokai dojo. In her spare
time Olga also enjoys dancing classes, playing volleyball and
going to the gym.
Olga achieved 2nd dan with Kanazawa Kancho in October 2015.
Yotko Kirov 1st dan
Yotko trained in Judo from 1977 to 1981 in high school in
Bulgaria, achieving 1st Kyu. From 1983 to 1987 he
studied Kyokushinkai Karate, achieving 1st kyu. From
1987 to 1993 he worked in Germany, where he trained
in various styles of Karate. He moved to UK in 1993 and
continued Kyokushinkai under Hanshi Steve Arneil 9th
Dan. In 1999 Yotko started Shotokan Karate in the famous
Marshall Street dojo under Sensei Keinosuke Enoeda 8th
Dan JKA, achieving 3rd kyu in 2003. In 2005 Yotko
joined SKKIF and moved to
Kodokai in November 2008, achieving 1st Dan in
November 2010 under Kanazawa Kancho.
Alan first trained in Shotokan Karate between 1978 and 1984 with
the late Sensei Colin Williams, Sensei George Strong in Luton
and with Sensei Malcolm Phipps in St Albans. He then returned 30
years later and joined Kodokai Watford dojo. In May 2017 he was
graded to 1st Dan by Nobuaki Kanazawa
. Alan is a keen dog
handler and enjoys walking.
started karate aged 8 with Kodokai. In 2019, she received her
Shodan from SKIF instructor Shinji Tanaka. Her other interests
include running and music.
Shevchenko 1st dan
Victoria started Karate at the age of 6 with Renshi Leigh at
Kodokai Watford dojo. She received her Shodan from SKIF GHQ
instructor Shinji Tanaka in November 2022. Victoriaís other
hobbies include artistic gymnastics, where she successfully
competes at regional level, ice skating, netball, and reading.
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