Sensei Frank holds a 4th Dan black-belt in Shotokan karate and began studying karate in 1974 in the UK. He was awarded his 1st Dan in 1980 by the Chief Instructor of the Thames Karate Federation the late Sensei Ray Fuller. His first teacher, Sensei Paul Masters, was the former Chief Instructor of the British Karate Federation and a student of the late Vernon Bell. Widely regarded as the father of modern day karate in Britain, Vernon Bell was the first Briton to be awarded a karate black belt in 1957. A senior student of Sensei Shahab, Sensei Frank is also the Head Instructor of the Shotokan Karate-Do Upper Harbour dojo, based on Herald Island.

Ikken Hissatsu


Kid's, go play outside ... this ain't for you!

What does Ikken Hissatsu mean? 'To kill with one blow.' This is a controversial topic and there's a whole lot of stuff on the internet about it. This is just my personal take.

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Taiso, Warm-up and Calisthenics

Most karate students will know that class begins from the moment they step across the threshold of the dojo door on the way in and does not end until they step across again on the way out. Arguably, training does not end when you walk out of the dojo and therefore, the next time you walk back in, it's not really another beginning, just a continuation from where you left off last time.

To some, the attitude appears to be that the karate training does not begin until the warm up has concluded. This is incorrect. Most instructors are aware of their students deficiencies; they are also keenly aware of their students attitudes by observing the way they carry and conduct themselves before, during and after class. There's not much that goes unnoticed.

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Surviving a Sudden Assault


For Senior Black-belts & Adult Students Only

Parental discretion is recommended.

In his book, Meditations on Violence, on the subject of Sudden Acts of Violence, Sgt. Rory Miller says,

"... skill at fighting is the least likely to affect your survival in a sudden assault. It's better to avoid than to run; better to run than to de-escalate; better to de-escalate than to fight; better to fight than to die.

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Never Complain, Never Explain

This has been adapted from my blog at

Occasionally, prior to class, I get approached by a student who proceeds to describe in great detail an injury or ailment they are carrying and without meaning to sound heartless I find myself thinking, "Why are you telling me this? I am a karate instructor not a physician. If you are that badly injured, don't train." I suspect the reason for the upfront explanation is that we all know what is expected of us in a training session. It requires effort and commitment. That being the case, why come and ask me for a permission slip to take it easy for the night.

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