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Principal Instructor & Grading Examiner

Jim Palmer (8th Dan) Kyoshi

Beginning martial arts with Judo in 1959 and, eventually gravitating to Shotokan Karate in his 20s, Sensei Palmer began with JKA style shotokan, thereon following Kanazawa Soke as he formed SKIF. On the collapse of SKI Scotland and with the agreement of Kanazawa Soke, he approached Asano Hanshi and was graciously accepted into SKIGB where (at the time) he developed the largest SKIGB group in Scotland.

During this period, Sensei Palmer would regularly invite Kanazawa Soke to Scotland once or twice a year and Asano Sensei four times a year. Where possible Sensei  Palmer would travel and train with as many of the renowned Japanese teachers he could (Enoeda, Ochi, Kase, Shirai, Kasuya, Ichihara,Tsuyama, Kawasoe, Masuda, Oumura  to name a few). To further expand his understanding of Martial Arts, Sensei Palmer also took time to study Aikido (under the auspices of the British Aikikai) training and being fortunate enough to train with Aikido Senseis Chiba and Murashige etc.

Sensei Palmer believes in a holistic approach to teaching Karatedo whereby every student gets the best benefits for  their future and understands the principals of the art. Health, fitness, flexibility, discipline, etiquette, self defence etc.In 2020, Sensei Palmer was recommended for and awarded the Shogo (title) of Kyoshi (meaning professor or "philosophy", and capable of teaching the philosophy of the martial arts) recognising his commitments and advanced abilities by the International Shotokan Ryu Karatedo Shihankai.

Chief Instructor SKBF & Senior Instructor

Mike Bowles (6th Dan), Renshi

Sensei Bowles began karate at the Cambridge University Karate Club in October 1976 (initially affiliated to the KUGB) and was, primarily, graded there by the late great Bob Poynton (then 4th dan). Moving to Milton Keynes, in 1979, he joined the late Paul Perry’s Jin Sei Kai (affiliated to SKIF) eventually grading to Shodan and, later, Nidan with Kanazawa Soke. Throughout this period he also took  every opportunity to train with Asano Hanshi on his courses assisted by the SKIGB seniors such as  Aidan Trimble Sensei. At that time Kanazawa Sensei was introducing Tai Chi training to his syllabus, which we found both different and a challenge.

 In 1986 Sensei Bowles decided to experience Aikido, joining an dojo in Towcester. Aikido is highly complementary and contrasting to karate in many ways and felt he learned and understood a great deal. Moving to Windsor, in 1990, and grading to Sandan. In that period he also trained with a variety of karate clubs in London and Oxford, and practiced two variations of Yang style Tai Chi.

Eventually, moving to Scotland for a new job; in 2000 Sensei Bowles joined the Stirling dojo of Jim Palmer, where undertook his yondan in Stirling, once more with Kanazawa Soke.  In mid-2006, work dictated he become based in the Netherlands, and while there trained with an excellent local Shotokan club, affiliated with the organization of the late Kase Sensei, returning to the UK when possible. Returning permanently to Scotland in 2008 and eventually grading godan (again with Kanazawa Soke).

 In 2015 he attended the SKIF International course in Tokyo where he undertook the examination for Rokudan before a panel of the five senior SKIF Honbu Dojo Instructors, led by Kanazawa Hirokazu Soke. All his Dan Grading have been personally awarded by Kanazawa Soke. Sensei Mike Has, in addition to his karate gradings,  verifiable grades in Yang style Tai Chi, SKIF Bo Jutsu and Aikido. In 2020, Sensei Bowles was recommended for and awarded the Shogo (title) of Renshi (meaning polished or tempered spirit) recognising his commitments and advanced abilities by the International Shotokan Ryu Karatedo Shihankai.

 Recently he has also added training in Yongchun White Crane Kung Fu and Tai Chi, to develop an understanding of Shotokan’s origins.

Chairman SKBF & Senior Instructor

Tom Russell (5th Dan), Sensei

Tom began his martial arts study in 1965 at the Zoshi kan dojo in Edinburgh, This was a Judo dojo but the use of atemi waza made an impression on him. In the 1970s, whilst working overseas, he began Karate training. Moving forward into his karate journey and, returning home, he joined the traditional (Shotokan) Satori dojo in Edinburgh.

In the late 1980s he met Sensei Jim Palmer at an open course and through him was introduced to Kanazawa Hirokazu Soke.  Kanazawa Soke had a profound influence on Tom and his direction, encouraging him to progress deeper into the Budo aspect of Shotokan Karatedo.

As a consequence of the foregoing,Tom became a member of the Kanazawa Shotokan Ryu group (Principal instructor Kyoshi Jim Palmer, 8th Dan) opening the Edinburgh dojo in the 1990s. As a result of his commitment and dedication to the traditional precepts of Shotokan Karatedo, Tom has, over the years, progressed to the rank of Godan, 5th Dan, awarded in Japan, during one of his many visits to train with Kanazawa Soke and other senior teachers. Sensei Russell was considered, by Kanazawa Soke, to have an innovative but practical interpretation of Shotokan techniques, their applications and teaching.

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