Zen-Shin Squad at International Competition

On Sunday 17th November 2019, the University of Worcester Arena hosted The Central England 7th International Open. Nine different countries were represented, with over 500 competitors taking part.

Zen-Shin took our new squad down to gain some experience from this prestigious event. There were some really high level competitors in the arena, and I expect to see some of the same faces in the Olympics next year in 2020.

Our first success was early on the in the morning with Alanna Grant and Nerone Montgomery. The duo placed 1st in the ‘9 and under pairs kata’ category. They have come a long way since a disappointing result earlier in the year. They work together great as a team, and it’s great that they have the discipline to keep improving.

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Kayla took 3rd place in ‘8-9yrs girls kumite.’ There were a lot of other great karate-ka competing against her, but Kayla put up a good fight in order to secure her medal.



Phoenix took silver in individual kata for boys 9-11yrs. Phoenix showed great focus through the early rounds, and looked to have been the favourite. A slight lapse in concentration under pressure may have allowed the gold to slip through his fist. However Phoenix did a great job, and now he is hungry for gold.

Micah, the master of long katas, entered the Learning Difficulties Kata Category and came away with 3rd place. We are so proud of Micah. His first external competition, and after that performance it won’t be his last.


Many of these competitors have been training many years before they chase their ambitions of glory to compete against other clubs. Harry and Steve both break the mould. Both students have been training for around 6 months, and have already competed multiple times. It takes bravery to compete against someone on the same level. Harry showed us what kind of bravery he has when he shouted out ‘Heian Shodan’ (considered a low level kata) as the kata he was to perform in front of an audience of international, seasoned black belts and judges. Harry proceeded to perform his kata showing great focus. Although he didn’t come away with a medal, that experience was priceless.

Zen-Shin Mens Kata

Steve came away with a Gold in his category for Males over 40. Steve has made a lot of progress and has built on the experience gained from the last Zen-Shin competition in October.

IMG-20191117-WA0015Jane and Suzy participated individually in the Women’s 35yrs and above category. They both took joint 3rd place with their kata performance. There were some other really talented ladies competing, so they did great to come away with a medal.

As well as Kata, we had students competing in kumite. We expected a high level of competition, and it didn’t disappoint. Many students came for the experience, and the chance to learn. Our team did their best, but were unable to sustain a winning streak long enough to get a medal. There are many lessons to be learned from this experience, and the Zen-Shin coaches have paid attention on how we all need to adapt in order to stay competitive in the evolving sport. In the coming months we will look to expand our squad training times and sessions, and hope we can                                                                                have as many willing karate-ka on board for the                                                                            journey.

In total we took home 2 Gold Medals, 1 Silver Medal, and 4 Bronze Medals.


Out of 62 teams,   Zen-Shin finished 10th! We are very happy with that result considering the international competition that was there. 



Well done to all the competitors, those that went home with or without a medal. This was a valuable experience, so now is the time for us to focus on our weaknesses in order to improve.


Below is a list of our students who competed at this event:

Alanna – 1st place Team Kata 9 and under & individual kata

Nerone – 1st place Team Kata 9 and under & individual kata

Phoenix – 2nd place Kata 9-11 & Pairs kata

Lauren – Kata

Miriam – Kata

Diana – Kata

Kayla – Kumite 3rd place, pairs kata & kumite

Morgan – Kata & kumite

Kyle – Kata, pairs & kumite

Kishan – Kata & pairs

Daniel – Kata

Harry – Kata

Steve – 1st Kata 40yrs plus

Shania – Kata & Kumite

Jane –  3rd place 35 years and over Kata

Suzy – 3rd place 35 yrs and over Kata

Micah O’Connor – 3rd place Learning Difficulties Kata

Morgan – Kumite & Kata

Mohammed – Kumite

Liam – Kumite

Omar – Kumite

To view the statics from the event click this link

Half Term Hangout

Zen-Shin held it’s first ‘Half Term Hangout’ this week at the Zen-Shin Studios. It was a program offered to students and the public for 2 days of fun and creativity. Take a look at the photos to see what we got up to. Click on the photos below to enlarge.

We have had some amazing feedback from the kids and their parents and have been asked to have another ‘half term hangout’ over the christmas half term!  So pencil Monday 19th and Tuesday 20th December into your diaries.

Here is some parental feedback: “I wish it was on the full week because my son absolutely loved it. Thanks again to Fi, Abian and Jumoke for giving him such a great time, money well spent. And thanks Kyoshi for allowing them to paint the wall it’s a testimony to how Zen-Shin is more than just a martial arts club, but has the emotional welfare of its children at heart”


Olympic News

5 new sports have been added by the International Olympic Committee for the Olympics in Tokyo 2020, including baseball, skateboarding, surfing, climbing and KARATE!

This is great news for karatekas and people who have never been exposed to the art of karate. What a great time for it to be introduced in the perfect location Tokyo, Japan, the country where karate was established.

It’s been a long time coming, and I’m so excited that we are going to be able to watch the best karatekas from around the world perform from our TV screens!

Judo was brought into the Olympics in 1964 when Japan hosted the Olympics last time and Judo seems very popular in Japan now, and has over shone karate. No doubt karate will start a new adventure throughout the world after it is televised in 2020. Let’s hope it inspires others to take up the art.

It would be great if our Zen-Shin students could be involved. It will take a lot of hard work and time.

The best preparation for tomorrow is to do your best today” H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

When you have sand where it shouldn’t be…

Once a year Zen-Shin invites students and their families for a weekend away in Devon Cliffs. But it is not just any old weekend by the beach, this is a 3 day training camp which involves karate training and a lot of fun!

This year we had perfect weather along with the sea and sand, and with a great crowd. It is a lovely sight seeing everyone appearing out of their caravans in their Zen-Shin tracksuits and brand new Devon t-shirts ready for a morning’s jog down to the beach and martial arts training. This year we incorporated a bit of Thai Chi and Chi Gong into our morning workout which was a great experience to do in such a serene environment.

Since the course we have had such great feedback from parents and students already eager to put their name down for next years course! So… here’s the date for your diaries:

Friday 5th May till Monday 8th May 2017 

We usually arrive on the friday and leave on either the Sunday evening (if we have to get back to school/work) or Monday morning. We will soon have letters ready to hand out to book your caravans. If you are interested in joining us in our next adventure please let us know, the quicker we get our deposits in the cheaper the caravans are.

Here’s a quick list of just a few of the things we get up to in Devon: 3 days of karate/kickboxing training- learning new katas, kumite training, classes on the beach, making new friends while drinking an orange juice (or two) at the bar, and all the entertainment that Devon Haven Holidays provides (e.g. multi-level swimming pool complex, evening performances, abseiling or climbing, crazy golf, restaurants, the South Beach Cafe and more!)

My brother (Abian) and I were thinking of ways to show people who have never come on our Devon trips before how much fun there is to be had along with the intense training sessions. Here is a video that we put together of bits of our time at the 2016 Devon Spring Course (please excuse our messing around).

Like and Subscribe to our YouTube page!

Pass, Merit or Distinction?

Junior low grade grading

Every 3 months we have gradings for our students. This is basically a karate exam where the students have to perform our Zen-Shin syllabus to the examiners. At the beginning of the grading Sensei asked all of his students “what grade do you want, pass, merit or distinction?”. With smirks on their faces the children had clearly made their mind up on what they wanted to achieve, and this was seen in how hard they worked.

Here are a few shots of our Juniors with their shiny new belts they are sporting proudly.

Excited Mere Green Peewees

DSC_0660Well done everyone! Hard work pays off, keep up the good work.