Traditional Karate Union

Traditional Karate Union. Instructors. Instructors. Diary. Gallery. Gallery. Gallery.

 Traditional Karate Union - Introduction.

Welcome to the official website for the Traditional Karate Union, which was formed in 1988 and places emphasis on the shotokan style of karate.

Traditional Karate Union are affiliated to the Federation of English Karate Organisation International (since 1989).

TKU can be contacted at:







Traditional Karate Union



February 2019 

February's Winter Series Classes were conducted by Sensei's Dave Bilson, Jeff Walker and Mark Bounds.

Sensei Bilson coached the juniors with emphasis on kihon and uke, whilst Sensei Bounds coached the Seniors with emphasis on combinations, which were later put into practice (partner work), followed by a breakdown of the Heian katas and Tekki Shodan.

Sensei Bilson was presented with his Godan FEKO certificate after the classes.


January 2019

The instructors annual presentation evening dinner was held at Monksbridge Farm near Rotherham on Sunday, 13th January. The evening was well attended with all meals and drinks being paid for courtesy of the TKU. Bouqets of flowers were presented to the instructors wives and girlfriends. There were 3 presentations made during the evening, with Sensei Jed Pollard receiving his 7th Dan award, Sensei Dave Bilson receiving his 5th Dan award and Sensei Jeff Walker receiving his 25 year service glass plaque.

Sensei Pollard made a speech around how long the association has been in exsistance (30 years), and that it still holds a fundemental base. He then went onto say how much Shihan Ken Hillyard would be missed, after his passing in August, and that all Dan gradings would now be done in house after gaining advice from FEKO, following their regulations. He then went onto to say that 2018 had been a successful year for the TKU, with 60% of our members gaining grading promotions. He thanked the instructors for all their hard work during the last 12 months and mentioned the Student of The Year Award, which went to Ben Porter at Laughton TKU.


December 2018 

Congratulations to Ben Porter who has been awarded with the 2018 Student of the Year Award. The award was presented to Ben by Scott Wilkinson, who was last years winner.

Sensei Jed Pollard paid a visit to Rotherham and conducted a course for all grades, with emphasis on basics, pad work and jiyu ippon kumite. The kata Heian Godan was analysed and practiced by all grades.

The following students were successful in their latest kyu grading examinations: Harvey Boocock, Thomas Smith, Ben Porter and Adam Taylor.


August 2018

The Traditional Karate Union wish to pass on their condolences to the family of Shihan Ken Hillyard who passed away on the 14th August.

Shihan Hillyard will always be remembered by the Traditional Karate Union because of the support that he has given to the association over the last 27 years. He leaves behind a caring family and many friends, especially from the karate world.


May 2018

Congratulations to the following karateka who have passed their Spring kyu grading examinations: Adam Smith, Matthew Boocock, Adeline Chan, Thomas Smith, Daniel Taylor, Ewan Kenny, Amelie Chan, Evan Smith and Jack Botham. Belts and certificates were handed out the successful karateka by Sensei Jeff Walker (South Yorkshire Area Instructor).


January 2018

The annual dinner was held at the Travellers Rest, Brookhouse near Rotherham. The evening dinner was attended by instructors and their partners. The dinner and drinks were provided courtesy of the TKU and bouqet of flowers were presented to the instructors wives and grilfriends.


December 2017 

The 2017 South Yorkshire Student of the Year Award has gone to Scott Wilkinson. Congratulations were passed onto Scott at the presentation ceremony by all his club colleagues and instructors alike. It is not the first time that Scott has won this award as he previously picked up the award in 2012, which equals that of his brother Nathan, who won the award in years 2003 and 2005.

The following students have passed their December grading examinations: Luke Kenahan, Adam Taylor, Ben Porter, Oliver Boocock, Ewan Kenny and Kevin Fordham.


November 2017

The Autumn course was well attended and Sensei's Pollard and Walker took the class through fundamentals, before working on shuto uke and shuto waza (knife hand defence and knife hand strikes), whilst working on their applications. Sensei Walker then did a class drill with the sole emphasis being on geri (kicking).

The karateka on the course were also given an insight into various kata bunkai (form applications).

Clubs are now preparing their kyu grades for their forthcoming grading examinations, which are scheduled in December.


June 2017

Sensei David Bilson has returned from Okinawa where he met Tetsuhiro Hokoma Hanshi (10th Dan) at Hanshi's dojo in Naha, Okinawa.

Sensei Bilson trained with Hokoma Hanshi and they practiced kata, before presentations were made and gifts were exchanged.

Alongside meeting Hokoma Hanshi, Sensei Bilson was shown around the Okinawa Prefectral Karatedo History Museum by Hokoma Hanshi before Sensei Bilson went to pay his respects at Grandmaster Funakoshi's monument and shrine at Onoyama Park in Naha, Okinawa. Grandmaster Funakoshi was the founder of Shotokan Karatedo.

Photographs of Sensei Bilson's visit to Okinawa can be viewed on the galleries page.


March 2017

Congratulations to the following karateka who passed their recent kyu grade examinations in Rotherham: Ewen Kenny, Oliver Boocock, Thomas Smith, Dan Taylor, Ben Porter, Adeline Chan and Isobel Wheeler.


 January 2017

The annual dinner was held at Monksbridge Farm near Rotherham. This was attended by instructors and their partners and all meals and drinks were provided courtesy of the TKU. Bouqet of flowers were presented to the instructors wives and girlfriends.


December 2016

Laughton's Oliver Boocock has been presented with South Yorkshire's 2016 'Student Of The Year' trophy. The award was handed over to him by his brother, Matthew, who won the award last year.

A South Yorkshire Senior Coach, commented on the award explaining that 'Oliver deserved the award, which was judged on appearances, effort in training and individual achievements. It is the first time on two accounts: Firstly, Oliver being the lowest grade ever to receive the award (9th Kyu) and secondly for the award to stay in one family over two years.'

Meanwhile, the following karateka who were successful in their latest gradings were: Scott Wilkinson, Adam Smith, Adam Taylor, Daniel Taylor, Matthew Boocock, Ben Porter and Thomas Smith.


November 2016

Laughton Shotokan Karate Club have sponsored St. Giles Special School (Retford) for £200, which has gone towards the school's campaign of 'A Ton 4 A Tablet', which helps towards the purchase of an iPad for one of the pupils at the school.

A club spokesperson at Laughton commented that ' We recognise that no two children are the same and that some children need more support than others, for whatever reason. Therefore, we felt that this was a worthwile cause and that our sponsorship will help to benefit the school towards the development of it's pupils. Our association's Chief Instructor has a grandson who attends the school and we are informed of the forward development that his grandson is making'.


May 2016

After a quite couple of months, brown and black belts attended a course at Nottingham, which was run by high ranked black belts: Shihan Hillyard, Sensei's Pollard, Fletcher, Pearson, Keys and Bilson. The course was split into sections with each instructor teaching a different theme. Emphasis was also placed on the grading syllabus as brown belts were preparing for their forthcoming grading examinations.

Congratulations to the following South Yorkshire karateka who passed their recent kyu grading examinations: Nicholas Sanderson, Isobel Wheeler, Matthew Boocock, Thomas Duce, Adam Taylor, Ben Porter, Thomas Smith, Luke Keenahan, Ashlie Radford and Oliver Boocock.


December 2015

Congratulations to Matthew Boocock, who was awarded with the 2015 Student of the Year Award. Matthew trains with his colleagues at Laughton near Rotherham, and he has been training with the TKU for 4 years.The award was presented by Thomas Deuce, who was last year's winner.


November 2015

Sensei Jed Pollard travelled to Rotherham to conduct the Autumn all grades course and covered basic breakdowns, dimensional training and partner work. The course was well attended by TKU members.

South Yorkshire karateka who have passed their recent grading examinations are: Matthew Boocock, Farhaan Butt, Thomas Duce, Adeline Chan, Adam Taylor, Ben Porter, Thomas Smith, Ashlie Radford.


May 2015

Karateka from South Yorkshire who passed their kyu grades over the Bank Holiday period were: Farhaan Butt, Aidan Chan, Ellie Bennett, Dan Taylor, Adam Taylor, Isabelle Walker, Caitlin Waite, TJ Flint, Thomas Deuce, Adeline Chan, Adam Smith and Scott Wilkinson.


December 2014

Congratulations to Thomas Deuce who has won the TKU Student of the Year award for 2014. Thomas trains at the Laughton dojo near Rotherham. The award was presented by Ellie Bibby, who was last year's winner.

Rotherham club instructors James Bilson and Jeff Walker both passed their 3rd dan black belt grading examinations infront of a panel headed by Shihan Ken Hillyard (9th Dan).

A TKU spokesperson commented that: 'both James and Jeff had worked hard during the last 12 months in preparation for this grading. They have received some top quality coaching from senior TKU instructors and have also prepared themselves both physically and mentally, for what proved to be a very hard and tiring grading. They both deserved their just rewards and the TKU would like to take this opportunity to congratulate them both'.

TKU instructors were treated to their annual christmas lunch at the White Post, Farnsfield, in recognition of all the hard work that they had done during the last 12 months.


 November 2014

Karateka of all grades visited Rotherham on Sunday 23rd November, where an Autumn course was held.

The course was very well attended with Shihan Ken Hillyard and Sensei Bren Fletcher instructing all grades, starting with kihon (combination work) before leading onto kata. The brown and black belts on the course trained in a different class and were taught advanced combinations and kata bunkai (application).

Course certificates were presented to all participants and Shihan Hillyard was presented with a glass cut keepsake, in recognition of the support that he has given the Traditional Karate Union over the last 25 years.

Congratulations to the following karateka who passed their Autumn kyu grade examinations at Rotherham: Isobel Wheeler, Matthew Boocock, Sophie Wheeler, Adam Jones, Ellie Bennett, Daniel Taylor, Thomas Duce, Adam Taylor, TJ Flint, Isabelle Walker, Caitlin Waite and Nicholas Sanderson.


September 2014

A brown and black belt course at Nottingham was well attended with karateka from both Nottingham and Rotherham, and Sensei Bob Roberts the course instructor, started with basic blocks and shuto work in combinations. This was followed by partner work, incorporating shuto blocks and strikes, including hip movement.

The course then progressed onto kata work, with the basic katas being practiced in opposite directions and in reverse, before the katas Bassai Dai and Gojushiho Dai completed the day.

After the course, it was decided which black belts would be taking their next gradings in December 2014.


June 2014

Nottingham was the venue for this brown and black belt course which was headed by Shihan Hillyard, Sensei Fletcher and Sensei Pollard.

Sensei Fletcher took the class through dimensional blocking and counter attacking, with the emphasis being on foot movement, before the katas Sochin and Meikyo were practiced.

May 2014

Congratulations to the following karateka who passed their recent kyu grading examinations: Thomas Duce, Sophie Wheeler and Scott Wilkinson.


March 2014

This year's first brown and black belt course at Nottingham on Sunday 16th March was well attended by karateka from Nottingham and Rotherham. The course covered kata application and combination work. Shihan Hillyard and Sensei Roberts were the course instructors.


December 2013

Congratulations to Ellie Bibby who has won the TKU Student of the Year award for 2013. Ellie trains at the Laughton dojo near Rotherham.

Instructors were treated to christmas lunch at the White Post, Farnsfield, in recognition of all the hard work that they had done during the last 12 months.


 November 2013

Congratulations to the following karateka who passed their kyu grade examinations in Rotherham: Thomas Duce, Matthew Boocock, Sophie Wheeler, Isobel Wheeler, Adam Smith, Bella Bounds, Ellie Bibby, Scott Wilkinson and Nicholas Sanderson.

Brown and black belt course was held on Sunday 24th November at Nottingham with coaching from Sensei Bob Roberts (6th Dan). The course covered kata application, incorporating locks and disengagements.


May 2013

A special dinner and presentation evening was held at the Cartwheel near Rotherham, in recognition of the TKU's 25th year. All instructors were presented with a new badge embroidered gi and their partners were presented with a bouqet of flowers. The dinner and drinks for the evening were honoured by the TKU. 

Also, in recognition of the anniversary, all classes provided free training for their members.