All posts by Cailey Whitcher

Two FREE Karate Courses – Saturday 20 March

On Saturday 20 March we will be holding two free karate courses open to everyone.

The courses will be run by Sensei Cole (7th Dan) with over 55years experience, Sensei Lewis (6th Dan) with over 30 years experience and Sensei Whitcher (6th Dan) with over 25 years experience.
Over 100 years of experience between us all!

Course one starts at 4pm

The first course is a special introductory course and offer for one day only for anyone who left martial arts and would like to return and for beginners who would like to try Shotokan Karate for the first time. Students must be 10 years old and above.

We are happy to accept younger children if a parent participates with them.

The lesson will start with a  warm up, with fitness and stretching.
Then we will go in to a nice slow lesson learning basic moves to start with – blocks and punching techniques plus different kinds of kicks and stances. Distance and timing work and loads of other stuff which you will learn as you proceed on the path for the Back Belt.

As part of the special offer:

  1. You can come back at the grade you left on we will recognise the rank from any association or style.
  2. No joining fee
  3. Just pay a Licence fee of £30
  4. Your Licence will start on 20 March for one year then you renew again in twelve months time
  5. If you have lost your licence book and your grading history and courses we will give you a FREE book all signed up (this includes students from other styles and other karate groups.)
  6. You can buy a karate suit, belts, SSKA badges or embroidered badges for your suit. All prices are on our website or you can wear your old white karate suit and belt if you have one.
  7. We will direct you to your nearest SSKA Club and introduce you to the instructor.
  8. If there is no club in your area we would be willing to set one up.


Course two starts at 4.50pm

This lesson is for all SSKA registered students.
The lesson will be a basic lesson concentrating on basic moves, detail of moves and technical detail on combinations as well as focus, timing, flow of moves and inner strength. We will cover the grading syllabus too.

If you need to renew your licence if it’s run out please contact Sensei Cole directly as every students circumstances will be taken into consideration  due to  Covid 19 and the lockdowns that have been in place. Contact Sensei Cole to discuss on 07557532676 or email

Please note for both courses: Younger children must have a parent with them when they are on Zoom for safeguarding reasons. You train at your own risk on Zoom. Dress code is karate suit or lose clothing you can wear feet protection as well.

Numbers are limited so register early to avoid disappointment.
To register text Sensei Cole on 07557532676 or email

If you decide you like Shotokan Karate and you  like the SSKA we will tell you the procedure to get your licence and join the SSKA you can do everything on line.Just email for bank account details.

My Karate Journey: Helen Sheldon

I attended karate as a child but drifted away from it in my teenage years. My son and daughter started training in Faringdon, and as I sat on the side lines watching, I was surprised by how much I could still remember. I was encouraged to join in and we have been training as a family ever since. That was over 10 years ago and we now train in Brize Norton with Sensei Cowling.

I work at Oxford University as a scientist for Cancer Research UK. I love my job and I was devastated when the laboratories closed during the first lock down. Like many others, I was forced to stay at home and found it hard to exercise. We all really missed training during this time and it was great to start again, even if it was initially in a playing field! My daughter even managed to achieve her black belt in October which was the highlight of the year.

Thankfully I am able to work during the current lockdown. Cancer Research UK and many other charities have suffered financially due to COVID so it’s great news that research can continue. Once again, I am forced to practice my katas in the kitchen. I look forward to the day when we can get back to training, I am hoping to grade for my 2nd Dan so I certainly need the practice!

FREE Virtual Kata Course 

FREE Virtual Kata Course
Saturday 20 February, 4pm-5pm
This free kata course will be hosted by Sensei Cole, Sensei Lewis and Sensei Whither via Zoom. If you would like to attend please register by 5PM on THURSDAY 18 FEBRUARY.
To register simply email
We look forward to seeing you there.
For safeguarding purposes parents should be in the same room any children participating. Appropriate clothing i.e. Karate suits should be worn. Please make sure you have a suitable space to train – you train at your own risk. You must have your camera switched on at all times. Please mute your sound so that participants can hear the instructors. 

Important Update – Instructor’s Course 24 Jan

Our Instructor’s Course that was due to take place on 24th January in Swindon will now take place virtually. All instructors should have received an email inviting them to join the virtual course which will be between 9.30-10.30am.

If you would like to attend but have not received a link to join please get in touch by emailing Likewise if you would like to consider becoming an instructor please contact Cailey Whitcher on the same email address.

Merry Christmas

We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our students and their families a very Merry Christmas. We can’t thank you enough for your support over this last year.

I would like to as you to join me in thanking our dedicated team of Instructors who have worked so hard during the pandemic to keep their clubs running and have found new ways to teach their students. It’s been tough, but their strength and motivation has been amazing, so thank you!

I hope you all have a very great Christmas, stay safe and look forward to seeing you all again when we can train face-to-face again.

Best wishes

Sensei Cole


It is with regret that due to the latest Government restrictions we will have to cancel our kata competition planned for Sunday 10th January 2021. Please keep checking the website and our Facebook page for the latest updates and information from the SSKA.


Due to the Government announcement this evening that Berkshire is in Tier 4, it means the Reading leisure centre must close and our Gradings planned for tomorrow cancelled. We will aim to rearrange the gradings in January. Sorry for the short notice and inconvenience.


Reading Grading Update – 17 December

Following the government’s announcement today, Berkshire is now in Tier 3 which means that we can no longer accept anyone over the age of 18 to grade on Sunday in Reading. We ask that any adults who were planning to grade on Sunday contact Sensei Cole directly by 7pm on Friday 18 December so we can make alternative arrangements. We apologise for any inconvenience

Full December Grading Times

Details of training and grading times.
It’s the same times for all venues.
Arrive between 8.30am and 9.00am to do your paperwork at your chosen grading venue for a lesson 9.00am to 10.30am, Gradings start at 10.30am.
Black Brown Belt course and black belt grading at Reading the 13th December. Please make sure your students have registered for Black Belt grading.
Swindon 19th December.
All grades course and kyu grading at Swindon 19th December.
Reading 20th December.
All grades course and kyu grading at Reading 20th December.
Please check your students Licences are in date. If not try to renew on line before gradings.
Reading you must wear foot protection.
Swindon it is your choice if you want to wear foot protection.
No changing rooms are available at all centres you must arrive in your karate suits
Toilets are available at all centres.
We will be still following the sports centre and government guidelines.
Thank you for your continue support.

Swindon Grading 19 December

We are delighted to confirm that our Swindon Grading will take place on Saturday 19 December as planned at Grange Leisure & Community Centre, Grange Drive, Stratton St. Margaret, Swindon SN3 4JY


Please keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for more information.