Sensei Mike Tanaka

Sensei Mike Tana. Photo by Keith Farrell, 2021.
Sensei Mike Tana. Photo by Keith Farrell, 2021.

I was born in the small mountain village called Iidate in Fukushima Prefecture in Northern Japan.

As my father was a school teacher, he had to accept all relocation requests made by the local education authority if he wished to keep his occupation. So we grew up in different places during my time of primary, junior high and senior high school.

My first experience of sports was baseball at primary school, then volleyball at junior high school.

I was also fascinated by Karate moves shown by one of my school friends during my junior-high, and started having a Karate game at local temple where we normally played fun games. I was then attracted by rugby for 3 years during high school. I went on to university in Tokyo to study physics in the faculty of science, and there I practised Judo (Kodokan) for 4 years as physical education. I moved to England in 1972 when I graduated from university.

While I was living near Crystal Palace in 1979, I met Shihan Steve Arneil (now Hanshi 10th Dan, running the dojo in Wimbledon) at the Crystal Palace Dojo where he was then the Chief Instructor. I observed his training sessions a few times and was encouraged very much by his performance. One day, I approached to speak to then-Shihan Steve Arneil and I joined the dojo by his recommendation. I managed to achieve 6th kyu under Shihan Steve.

Due to my work commitment, I had to move to Milton Keynes, and trained under Shihan Martin Okeleke (now 5th Dan). I graded to 2nd kyu in Dec 1991, when I also took a course to become an instructor for BKK. After that, I had to stop training due to Nephritis until Jan 2002. In the mean time, due to work commitment, I had to move to Staines in order to work at Heathrow Airport, and there I joined BKK Cranford Dojo run by Sempai Karl Din, 2nd Dan, and again took an instructors course to be qualified.

In June 2002, I took part in the knockdown tournament at Llantrisant, Wales, and placed joint-3rd in Middleweight. At a heavy weight knockdown tournament in Milton Keynes, Jun 2003, I became unplaced due to injury sustained during the bout. However, I achieved my 1st Dan Blackbelt in Aug 2003, and then took a further instructors course for higher level in Jan 2004. I had my farewell fight in the tournament at Llantrisant again, and placed in 4th, but was awarded a Special Fighter’s award being the oldest ever to take part in the fight (54 years old – oldest ever to have fought in the Kyokushin Tournament history in the world).

I continued upgrading at the instructors courses in Jan 2005 and 2006, and achieved 2nd Dan Blackbelt in Aug 2006. I established Staines Tigers BKK Dojo in Oct 2006 and became Chief Instructor with a membership of 140 seniors and juniors).

I qualified as Clicker Referee in Nov 2006, Kata Judge in Feb 2007, and Knockdown Judge in May 2007. I then qualified as a Dojo Grading officer in Dec 2007. In Aug 2009, I achieved 3rd Dan, and was nominated by Executive Committee to receive 4th Dan in Oct 2018.

In Feb 2019, I established Lowton Karate Kyokushinkai and became Chief Instructor here. In addition to teaching at the club, my further involvement in karate is to be an official at the national tournament.

Sensei Mike Tanaka, 2019
Sensei Mike Tanaka, 2019

Why not get in touch and see about coming along for a session? We’d love to speak with you and answer any questions you might have.

Your first class is free of charge.

Lowton Karate Kyokushinkai

Lowton Community Cafe
Newton Road

7:00 – 8:30 PM

10:00 – 11:30 AM

Would you like to come along and give it a try, or do you have any questions?

Send us an email here!

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