ISSUE 15, October 2005
Editorial
Historic: Nelson and Freemasonry
Grand Lodge: Pro Grand Master's Speech
Grand Lodge: Quarterly Communication
Hurricane Katrina: Grand Charity Relief Chest
Royal Arch: John Knight
Masonic Embroidery: A stitch in time...
Travel: Walzing along the Danube
Specialist Lodges: Martial arts
Library & Museum: The two Freemasons' Halls
    Anniversary: Jersey's Liberation
Anniversary: Dorset's 225 years
Obituaries: Lord Swansea OSM
Pro Grand Master: Whither directing our course?
Charmian Hussey: A Mason's wife on Masonry
International: The Grand Lodge of Israel
Education: Sheffield's big plans
Education: Forthcoming events
Education: The Second Degree
Masonic Charities
Letters, Book Reviews, Gardening

 Previous Page 
PLEASE USE THE LINKS ABOVE - OR ON THIS LINE - TO MOVE BETWEEN PAGES
 Next Page 








Photos: David Peabody

    There is a strong affinity between the philosophy of Shotokan Karate and Freemasonry, and this led to the formation in 2002 of the Shotokan Karate Lodge No. 9752, which is made up predominantly – but not exclusively – of brethren with a past or present interest in martial arts.
     The principles and tenets of the Craft ever bear a near affinity to those practised by instructors and students of Shotokan Karate in their dojos – martial arts training centres – and their daily lives.
     If ever there was a physical and spiritual activity in total harmony with the objectives of Freemasonry, then it is surely Shotokan Karate. Both Art and Craft have been enriched by the formation of the Lodge which, by its very nature, ensures that brotherly love, relief and truth are practised daily beyond the temple door, and in ways that bring credit to the movement, the Lodge and its members.
     Forming the Lodge, which meets at Freemasons’ Hall in London, was the original idea of Michael Randall, the first Master, Anthony Kirby and John Green, its secretary. Michael Randall studied under Dr Vernon Bell, who introduced the art into Britain in 1956, and was among the first in the UK to be graded to black belt under the Japan Karate Association. He represented Great Britain in kumite (sparring) in 1970.
     In 1976 he was British team coach for the Shotokan Karate international team that visited Japan. In 2003 he was awarded the MBE for services to karate. At 8th Dan he is Europe’s top non-Japanese Shotokan Karate sensei – Master.
     Other members who are leading martial arts exponents include Mick Dinsdale, general secretary of the English Karate Governing Body (EKGB) for many years and European individual silver medallist (open weight) in 1977, while Mick Billman currently serves on the EKGB. Anthony Kirby has published books on the art, and along with Gursharan Sahota and Dave Clark, they are all Shotokan Karate Masters who have competed at world or European levels.
     Gursharan Sahota was originally from Kenya, but has lived in Bedford since he was 12. He opened his first club in the Luton- Dunstable area in 1981 and in 1993 formed his own organisation TISKA – the Traditional International Shotokan Karate Association. He now has a wide network of clubs throughout Britain and in many other parts of the world.
     Overseas members come from Greece, Brazil, Bermuda, Lebanon, Barbados and the United States, and include Jouk Barakat, the former Lebanese judo champion.
     Dave Clarke has represented Barbados in international competitions and is an international judge. In addition, several members – such as Mick Billman – are, or have been, part of the security teams of royalty, foreign dignitaries and pop and sporting celebrities.
     Membership of the Lodge is drawn from all over the UK and abroad. In the short time since its formation, the Lodge has already conducted 13 initiations, with nine more candidates waiting to join and has attracted a further eight joining members.
     To make meetings more interesting, a Lodge innovation is that during ceremonies candidates are dressed in a white karate suit – known as a gi – and wear a white belt. So how did the words “Shotokan Karate” come about? Shotokan is made up of two words – shoto – the pseudonym of Okinawa teacher Master Gichin Funakoshi, who introduced the ancient oriental art to Japan in 1922 – and kan – which means “hall”. The literal translation is therefore “Hall of Shoto”.
     Shoto means “pine waves” and Funakoshi chose this name because the rustle of pine leaves at night under the starlit heaven after training alerted him to the deeper, more spiritual aspects of nature, life and “The Way” of karate. Karate is formed by joining two Japanese words – kara – which means “empty” and te – meaning “hand”. Karate is therefore simply translated as “empty-hands”.
     Further information about the Lodge can be obtained from its website at www.shotokankaratelodge.com or from the secretary, John Green, 268 Carterhatch lane, Enfield, Middlesex EN1 4BG. T. 020 8482 4359 or email: johnlgreen@enfield268.fsnet.co.uk

Paul Hooley MBE is a member of Shotokan Karate Lodge No. 9752


 Previous Page 
PLEASE USE THE LINKS ABOVE - OR ON THIS LINE - TO MOVE BETWEEN PAGES
 Next Page