Who We Are...  Information about Kodokai and it's instructors  

SKKIF 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. 
Kodokai 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 Kevin Leigh 6th dan

Sensei Leighs 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. Sensei joined Jin Sei Kai in 1981 under the tuition of Paul Perry 8th Dan whist it was a part of Kanazawa's SKI.  He graded to 1st Dan in 1982 under Kancho Hirokazu Kanazawa.  Jin Sei Kai left SKI in 1982 and Sensei Leigh 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. Kancho Kanazawa awarded sensei Leigh his 5th dan at the National sports centre in Lillishall in 2005. In 2009 sensei Leigh 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. Sensei received his 6th dan from Kancho Kanazawa at the Watford dojo in November 2011. Sensei Leigh was elected vice Chairman of SKKIF in December 2012 and was made Renshi by the SKIF organisation, Tokyo in September 2016. Sensei enjoys swimming, skiing, guitar, cycling, photography and squash.

 

Sensei Sharon 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 Kancho Kanazawa in Watford. She achieved 4th dan with Kancho Kanazawa in May 2016 at the Watford Kodokai dojo.
 

 

Sensei Steve Naughton 4th dan

Steve 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 awarded 3rd Dan by Sensei Kanazawa and over the last ten years has been a visiting student at Kodokai and supported their major events. In October 2015 Steve became an official member of Kodokai, training under Sensei Leigh. In May 2016 he was awarded 4th Dan by Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa, his other interests include playing badminton, football and listening music.

 

 

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 Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa in May 2016. His other interests include small-boat angling, beekeeping, hiking, camping and caravanning.

 

Michael Godding 3rd dan

Michael began 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.

 

Vit Stencel 3rd Dan

Vit began his training in 1988 in Czech with sensei Sochatzi 2nd 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 Kancho Kanazawa 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.

 

Ben Gill 3rd dan

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 running. Ben 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 Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa.

 

Cary Leigh 3rd dan

Cary began training with his dad sensei Leigh when he was 5 years old and received his 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 ski-ing. Cary received his 2nd dan from Kancho Kanazawa in November 2011 and 3rd dan with Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa in May 2016.

 

Danny Leigh 2nd dan

Danny first 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, ski-ing and swimming. Danny is a qualified Life Guard and is now a Personal trainer, he received his 2nd dan with Kancho Kanazawa in 2010.

 

Remus Nistorel 2nd dan

Remus

 

Paul Gray 2nd dan

Paul started in karate when he joined Kodokai in 2003 and achieved 1st Dan in May 2008 under Sensei Kanazawa. In his spare time Paul enjoys reading, squash, music and do-it-yourself. Paul received his 2nd dan from Kancho Kanazawa in November 2011.

 

Anna Cockin 2nd dan

Anna started training in 200 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 Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa in May 2013. Anna when not working spends her time with her horse and she enjoys cycling, ski-ing and swimming.

 

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 Kancho Kanazawa in October 2015.

 

 

 

Nikita Kotecha 2nd dan

After moving to Watford Nikita joined Kodokai Karate club in 2009 aged 11, she has taken part in 2 National SKKIF competitions coming 1st in freestyle and 2nd in team kata. Nikita's Hobbies when not studying are drawing, coaching/playing tennis, ski-ing, reading and running. She graded to 1st Dan in October 2014 with the newly appointed SKIF Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa.  She achieved 2nd dan with Kancho Kanazawa in May 2016 at the Watford Kodokai dojo.

 

 

 

Thomas Durn 1st dan

Thomas started 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 Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa in May 2013 and 2nd dan with Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa in May 2016.


 

 

Simon Middleton 2nd dan

Simon 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 is also a member of the local running club, competing in distances from 5K to half marathon. He also enjoys the occasional ski trip , and squash, regularly being beaten by sensei Leigh by varying margins. Simon obtained 1st Dan under Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa in May 2013 and has represented SKKIF at the European championships in Germany in 2014. Simon achieved 2nd dan with Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa in May 2016.


 

 

Danayan Luxmanan 1st dan

Danayan obtained 1st Dan under Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa in May 2013.
 

 

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 studied and 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, under Sensei Furlong-Walker in Fulham and moved to Kodokai in November 2008, achieving 1st Dan in November 2010 under Kancho Kanazawa. Yotko’s other interests include CrossFit and weight lifting.

 

 

Laura Cox 1st dan

Laura started karate at the age of ten years old and attended her local Shotokan karate club in Milton Keynes. She trained with the late Sensei Stephen Bell and achieved her 1st Dan in 1997. She then had a fifteen year break from training and after moving to Watford she joined Kodokai at the end of 2013. Her hobbies include mountain walking in the Lake District, going to the theatre, discovering new places around the world and dining out with her family and friends.  Laura had her dan grade ratified within the SKIF system by Kancho Kanazawa in May 2016 at the Watford Kodokai dojo.
 

 

 

Ahilan Luxmanan 1st dan

Ahilan started Karate at Kodokai at the age of 8. His hobbies include reading and playing the violin. He also plays in orchestras and receives first aid training at St John Ambulance. He graded to 1st Dan in May 2016 under Kancho Nobuaki Kanazawa.
 

 

Picture to follow

 

 

Monique Page 1st dan

 
 

 

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