Leo McDermott – 7th Dan JKF Wadokai
Dan grade history
Shodan. 1977 with England Karate Do-Wado-Kai. Walter Seaton Sensei 7th Dan.
Nidan. 1979. EKW. Seaton Sensei.
Sandan. 1982. EKW. Seaton Sensei.
Yondan. 1990. EKW Seaton Sensei.
Godan. 2007. JKF Wado-Kai. (Confirmation Grading) Shingo Ohgami Sensei 8th Dan JKF Wado Kai.
Rokudan. 2014. JKF Wadokai – Tokyo, Japan.
Nanadan. 2019. JKF Wadokai – Hamamatsu, Japan.
2nd Kyu Kata Referee Licence JKF 2013.
3rd Kyu Instructor Licence – JKF 2013.
2nd Kyu Examiner Licence – JKF 2015. Tokyo, Japan.
Bannatynes Kids Club
Pam White – 4th Dan JKF Wadokai
Instructor, Licensing Officer
After seeing the benefits and confidence karate brought to my husband and daughter, I decided to join them in the dojo, that was 2001.
Since then I have trained with Japanese Masters and experienced Sensei, meeting karateka from around the world.
In 2004 I was given the opportunity to instruct at my local Junior Club where I am privileged to guide my students on their Wado journey.
Alex Hodgson – 5th Dan JKF Wadokai
Alex began his karate journey one Tuesday night in 2000 as a shy young boy. Little did he know that something he started to try and build up his self esteem would become a life long passion.
Over the years Alex has trained with many Japanese instructors in an attempt to improve his technique and also competed at the British National Championships in 2004.
He will mostly be found at the clubs around Ingleby Barwick and his karate journey has come full circle as he now teaches in the very Tuesday night class he started in.
Martin Tiffen – 4th Dan JKF Wadokai
I started my karate training in 1998 at my local karate club My local club was part of the England karate-do Wadokai where I achieved the rank of 3rd dan. Not long after taking my 3rd Dan I started to train over at Cumbria Wadokai under the guidance of Sensei Lesley Fisher and Sensei John Stephenson. After training at Cumbria Wadokai for some months, I decided to leave the EKW and join the ABWK to further my learning of traditional Wadokai.
Dan grade history
1st Dan 2004 EKW
2nd Dan EKW
3rd Dan 2015 EKW
1st Dan JKF February 2016 ABWK Technical Committee
2nd Dan JKF September 2016 ABWK Technical Committee and Tamaki Sonoda
3rd Dan JKF November 2018 ABWK Technical Committee
Karl Wolfe – 4th Dan JKF Wadokai
I started my training in Wado in 1983 with the EKW. After an invitation from Leo Sensei to train with ABWK and the JKF, I have had the opportunity to train in traditional Wadokai with many Japanese instructors both here and in Japan. I hope to pass on their instruction to my students in the future.
Dan grade history
Shodan 2005 EKW
Nidan 2007 EKW
Sandan 2012 EKW
Shodan JKF Aust 2015, Nagoya, Japan – JKF Technical Committee
Nidan JKF September 2016 – ABWK Technical Committee and Tamaki Sonoda
Sandan JKF November 2018 – ABWK Technical Committee
John Stephenson – 6th Dan JKF Wadokai
Instructor, General Secretary
I started my formal training at Billingham Karate Club in September 1979 under Ian Hales and Keith Howard being part of England Karate Do-Wado-Kai under the leadership of Walter Seaton Sensei 7th Dan.
I was privileged enough to be made both a National Coach and Chief Coaching Officer for the EKW and greatly enjoyed these roles over the years.
After receiving an invitation to train with the ABWK at Bannatynes in Ingleby Barwick I found that I greatly enjoyed not only the excellent Wado training and teaching but the friendliness of the students who welcomed me with open arms.
Dan grade history
1st Dan 1983 with England Karate Do-Wado-Kai. Walter Seaton Sensei 7th Dan.
2nd Dan 1985 with England Karate Do-Wado-Kai. Seaton Sensei
3rd Dan 1989 with England Karate Do-Wado-Kai. Seaton Sensei
4th Dan 1994 with England Karate Do-Wado-Kai. Seaton Sensei
5th Dan 2001 with England Karate Do-Wado-Kai.
6th Dan 2010 with England Karate Do-Wado-Kai.
England Karate Do-Wado-Kai National Coach.
England Karate Do-Wado-Kai Chief Coaching Officer.
1st Dan JKF Wadokai with Tamaki Sonoda 7th Dan.
2nd Dan JKF Wadokai with Koichi Shimura 7th Dan.
3rd Dan JKF Wadokai with ABWK Technical Committee and Hideo Takagi.
4th Dan JKF Wadokai with Hideo Takagi and Tamaki Sonoda.
3rd kyu Instructor Licence. JKF 2015, Tokyo, Japan.
Lesley Fisher – 5th Dan JKF Wadokai
Lesley has been training Wado-Kai karate for 32 years. Lesley started training with ABWK at Ingleby Barwick 2 years ago and was that impressed with the Instructors and Students alike, she affiliated with them. Cumbria Wadokai did not want to lose Lesley, so they asked if they could move with her. Since then, CWK have gone from strength to strength with ABWK, attending many of the courses that they organise, which has given them the opportunity to train Wado-Kai with Japanese Masters and Senior ABWK Instructors all over the UK.
Wesley Benn - 3rd Dan JKF Wadokai
Dan Grade History:
Shodan: April 2015. All Britain Wadokai Technical Committee.
Nidan: August 2015. Wadokai World Cup, Nagoya, Japan. JKF Wadokai Technical Committee.
Sandan: November 2018 – All Britain Wadokai Technical Committee
Gene Buchanan – 5th Dan JKF Wadokai
Dan grade history
Shodan 1995 WKF
Nidan 1998 WKF
Sandan 2002 WKF
Sandan JKF Wadokai 2007 (Confirmation grade) Shingo Ohgami Sensei.
Yondan JKF Wadokai 2013 Hideho Takagi Sensei.
3rd kyu Instructor Licence. JKF 2017, Gifu, Japan.
Godan JKF Wadokai Tamaki Sonoda Sensei 2019
Lewis Neale – 2nd Dan JKF Wadokai
I started training when I was 24, this was in Leicester. The club I joined was part of British Karate Kyokushinkai, I trained with them Until I left the area, a very happy six years.
I turned up at Sensei Leo’s club, I had been searching for a club for my Son, saw how they trained, and the rest, as they say, is history. I took my first Dan some years later.
Continuing under Sensei Leo’s guidance, I passed my 3rd Dan In 2005. Having trained with most of our senior Japanese instructors, I continue to grow and learn, passing this on to our students.
Jean Neale – 4th Dan JKF Wadokai
Instructor, Child Protection Officer
I started my karate life shortly after both my boys and husband started training.
My first major achievement was passing my 1st Dan in 2002, I achieved my 2nd Dan in 2004.
My JKF 2nd Dan confirmation grade was taken in 2007, and my JKF 3rd Dan in 2011 both were taken in Sweden with Sensei Ohgami.
I have attended many courses over the years, training with Japanese instructors.
I train regularly at Bannatynes under the instruction of Sensei Leo and currently run Kaizen Karate Club with my husband Lewis, teaching children and adults.
San Nichi-Yobi Karate Club
Graham Chilton – 6th Dan JKF Wadokai
I began training September 1975 with Sensei Walter Seaton, over the years I have trained with many great instructors past and present and I am forever striving to improve.
1st Dan in 1982 with Sensei Walter Seaton EKW
2nd Dan in 1992 with Sensei Walter Seaton EKW
3rd Dan with the WKF
4th Dan with the WKF
1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th Dan Confirmation Grades with Sensei Shingo Ohgami JKF Sweden
5th Dan with Sensei Shingo Ohgami JKF Sweden
6th Dan with the JKF Technical Committee in Hamamatsu, Japan
I have been an Instructor for many years now teaching at various clubs starting with Teesside Polytechnic in 1980. I also had a junior club within Billingham Forum for over 10 years and saw many students obtain their Dan Grades.
I have constantly trained for almost 40 years now and I shall continue to do so with dedication, commitment and loyalty to Karate and the A.B.W.K.