I started my blog in 2004 in an attempt to bring the wider world up to date with developmemts in English karate. The following text, lifted from the old Henka-Ryu website, may have some broken links as the material is now quite old. It will however give you a flavour of the fun and games since the dissolution of the EKGB and the progress (or not ) in constituting that elusive mythical beast, the Unified National Governing Body.
English Karate Update 18th Nov 08
I hear that until recently the Sport England website listed Karate England (formerly KiE) as the Governing Body for karate in England. EKF Chairman Carl Lindley, apparently wrote to Perry Crimmins to protest. Mr. Crimmins informed him that Sport England recognised no group as NGB. The website has since been updated to remove the entry.
I also hear that Wayne Otto has been given the job of National Coach, folowing the recently announced retirement of Ticky Donovan OBE from his long-standing position.
English Karate News 5th Nov
With all the hullabaloo over the WKF championships right now you would be forgiven for thinking that the EKF is the only game in town. An email I received from from Leo Lipinski this week, however reminds us that a significant, credible group of karateka (including Shihan Lipinski) still exists with their own claim on Governing Body status. The email notes that this "Karate England" have met with Perry Crimmins of Sport England and are themselves actively pursuing NGB status.
As welll as significant numbers, this group includes such luminaries as Andy Sherry and the KUGB, Steve Arneil and his IKO group, Lipinski's JKF Goju / Seiwa organisation, Steve Rowe's Shikon, Abdu Shaher & Vic Charles' British Sport, and FEKO too.
At the same time the EKF people, and their affiliate the BKF have met Lord Moynihan in his capacity as the British rep for the IOC.
The power struggle continues.
7th Sept 08
Just returned from another enjoyable course with Terry Wingrove at Bisham.
Met lots of new and old friends, and learnt how to render them unconscious.
Click on the image, left, for more photos.
Additionally see Alan Platt's gallery for more pics
English Karate News 16th June 08
Just heard the sad news of the apparent suicide of onetime Karate England Chief Exec, Brian Philcox, and the tragic death of his children.
I had some dealings with Brian, both in his capacity as the fundraiser for the "Fighting for Cancer" cause, but latterly in his political capacity, where I certainly detected some bitterness and unease in the man.
Too early to say too much, but the case has made the national dailys. Read more here:
English Karate News 29th Apr 08
Sorry, my post of 17th April got it wrong. According to FEKO, the NNGBEK has applied for, and received Court permission, to rename itself "Karate England". No further reference (nor indeed any other update) appears yet on the karate-hyphen-england / karateinengland website
English Karate News 17th Apr 08
Now the EKF has held its AGM and formally appointed Carl Lindley as Chairman.
Minutes of previous meetings have been published, but the AGM minutes are still not in the public domain.
Both KiE and EKF have held "National Championships" but the KiE website has apparently stalled, with no updates since the beginning of March.
I note that NAKMAS' logo does not appear on the KiE site, and there is no reference to KiE (or NNGBEK) on the new NAKMAS site either. I don't know if that is significant...
Shikon and Steve Rowe have been vocal in their criticism of EKF. The EKF management has taken an extremely hard line with members in their interpretation of the WKF rules regarding "rival" groups. WKF says its members may not affiliate to other groups. The EKF has interpreted this to mean that its members cannot train, compete or otherwise associate with such dissidents. Shikon are -reasonably in my opinion- critical of this policy, and are pursuing membership of the WKC. Observers on web forums seem to be saying that in other countries it is the National Federations that may not affiliate to WKC/ WUKO etc, but that associations and individuals within these groups are within reason free to do as they please.
Having said all that, it is still WKF that has the backing of IOC and, apparently the vast majority in terms of membership worldwide (both countries and individual practitioners).
Although I am (subject to the above reservations) supportive of the EKF and its efforts, I am saddened by the continued splits and acrimonies between organisations (but, conversely, encouraged by the camaraderie and open-mindedness of individual karateka).
I'll just keep training. (Looking forward to Patrick McCarthy at the end of the month).
English Karate News Dec 07
Not much to add right now. EKF are bedding down and finalising their constituional issues. Despite only one Bronze at the Junior World Championships, the EKF squad turned out in number sufficient to impress the WKF, who have granted provisional membership (nothing fishy in that- all new members are given provisional status for a period). I understand that WKF affiliation fees were paid by Terry Wingrove who, I hear is unwell at the moment.
KarateinEngland are meeting with Sport England in mid December, and believe they have a sufficiently high proportion of karateka within their group to merit SE recognition.
Congratulations to Terry Pottage who has been appointed Chief Referee for EKF (Although the minutes of the first board meeting refer in somewhat disdainful terms to Terry's UKKRO- see the EKF news page for the full published minutes).
There have been noises from some associations, notably Shikon, about the EKF's somewhat strict interpretation of the WKF's "non conficting affiliation" clause which bars association with rival groups such as WUKO & WKC.
The TKGB appear to be settled too and I would be amazed if they ever affiliate to any "National Governing Body" unless compelled to.
EKF Update 8th Oct 2007
The Memoranda and Articles of Assocation are now in the public domain (see www.englishkaratefederation.com ).
No public declaration appears on the KiE site to date although I hear they have continued an active email campaign.
Incidentally, the EKF tell me that the reason KiE have concerns over the name of any new body is because of their association with former Directors of Karate England (2005) Ltd. There exist no such restrictions as far as EKF is concerned as former KE Directors are barred by constitution from holding office.
EKF Update Oct 2nd 2007
So the EKF has beaten the KiE to the punch, and been awarded provisional WKF membership. President Espinos stresses that EKF's ability to send a full squad to the World Junior Championships in Turkey will have a bearing on any decision to grant full membership.
The Draft Mem & Arts of the new body have been shown to me. I shall not publish them as they are only in draft form. Doubtless the EKF site will publish them in full in due course.
I note that KiE believes that the use of the name "English" or "England" in the corporate title is considered a dufficulty (presumably due to the risk of any creditors associating the new body with the activities of KE Ltd).
I also note that the link to KiE's website has been removed from EKF's website front page.
EKF Update 26th Sept 07
I hear from a reliable source that the WKF has written to the EKF informing them that their application for Governning Body status has been accepted.
It is unclear where that puts KSE, who have been declaring the forthcoming BKF championships to be a selection event for the World Junior and Cadet Championships. The KSE group have been aligning themselves with KiE to date. Will they change allegiance?
EKF Update 16th Sept 07
The English Karate Federation met in Birmingham today, a few miles down the road from the KiE meeting in Meriden.
Notably absent were any of the KiE / English Karate Alliance people, who had declared their meeting the "unification" meeting. Willie Thomas from Kaizen Central, apparently representing KSE attended, but declined a nomination for election to the EKF board and a representative from UKASKO in attendance declared himself an observer.
Full minutes will appear on the EKF website, but the interim board was elected as follows:
Not a bad selection, but in my opinion weaker for the failure to select Keith Le Bihan. John Gilliland's decision to accept election is to be applauded for the expertise he brings in terms of corporate governance and finance, as is Terry Daley's, for his honest enthusiasm.
About the only concrete motion passed was that there would be a per captia charge of £2 plus an initial "joining fee" of £250 per association. Pretty well everything else was left to the interim board, who are to agree a date to meet in the next few weeks.
With Mike Dinsdale on the interim board it is expected that WKF recognition will be granted to this body. It is understood that FEKO at least, in the "other group" have nailed their colours to the WUKO mast, effectively disbarring them from WKF membership.
Despite the fact that the KiE "unification" meeting was put back to 4.30pm, I was unable to get down to Meriden in time to attend. To date, no minutes have been published , but their agenda suggests they have some form of Sport England buy-in, and I expect to see a declaration of another "Governing Body" in the next few days.
English Karate Update 28th Aug 07
The soap opera continues.
KiE are going ahead with their meeting at Meriden on 16th September at 3pm. Just down the road in Birmingham the EKF are convening at 1pm.
KiE claim that their late start will allow interested parties to attend both meetings. Previous attendees at protracted EKF meetings know this is improbable to say the least.
KiE have issued a statement that they wish to be the NGB. EKF have done the same.
Terry Wingrove has issued an email responding to apparent messages from KiE stating strongly that:
"..this is the ONLY OFFICIAL EKF MEETING." (his capitals)
"The EKF Working Group will be in attendance and present their work to the said EKF meeting.
Contrary to some reports received the EKF working group will NOT be attending nor be represented at, or be in any way connected to any other advertised meeting that day."
Sounds like unification is down the pan.
I believe that Abdu Shaher's KSE will be at the KiE meeting. It will be interesting to see at which meeting the referees' group is represented. I assume that the "Alliance" will be at KiE, but I'm not sure, with their apparently split from KiE.
The plot thickens.
British Karate's 50th Anniversary Budosai at Bisham was a truly splendid affair. A namedropper's paradise, and a karate historian's paradise. Great venue. Great training, Great atmosphere, fine catering and entertainment. Truly a must for next year. Click here for some pics
English Karate Federation Update 25th July
A winding up order has been served against Karate England (2005)Ltd.
NAKMAS & FEKO appear to have fallen out with KUGB/ETKB and formed the "English Karate Alliance".
Meanwhile (somewhat strained) dialogue appears to be continuing between EKF and the "remaining members of the WG" (i.e Andy Sherry, Leo Lipinski et al). So it would appear that some progress is being made.
I understand that the M&Rs of EKF have been drawn up and the working group intends to present them at the next Birmingham meeting, then actively pursue WKF (and, although not as a priority, Sport England) recognition.
I shall be at the 50th Anniversary BudoSai at Bisham, and will report back on any on- or off- record opinions.
EKF Update 6th July 2007
Well, negotiations with KiE appear to have broken down irreparably. As I read it KiE continue to lobby Sport England for official recognition as NGB. The combined membership of NAKMAS and KUGB gives them a significant proportion (some claim majority) of practicing karateka.
Meanwhile EKF are continuing to pursue WKF and SE recognition on their own. They claim they can put together a constitution in time for the necessary WKF requirements for the World Championships in Japan in 2008.
Watch the EKF site for regular updates and comments
They have published a declaration that they will put together a squad and national championships structure
English Karate Federation Update 7th June 07
Although the Birmingham meeting was largely more of the same blah blah, the significant thing to mention was that John Bell came as official representative of KUGB and read a message of support from Bob Poynton & Andy Sherry.
All members were invited to the KiE meeting on 24th June and Tery Wingrove's man, Carl Lindley, has agreed in principle to chair it (subject to his availability).
A "Working Party" of five people, including John Bell has been appointed. They are charged with producing draft constitutional / electoral proposals and will be making an interim report on June 24th. The next meeting is pencilled in for September 9th, when their full findings will be published.
A full report with audio will be posted on the EKF site soon.
So far there is no formal agenda for the KiE meeting, but at least there is a dialogue.
English Karate Update 27th May 07
EKF (European Karate Federation) and WKF officer Michael Dinsdale appears to have come to the rescue. On Terry Wingrove's EKF (EnglishKarateFederation.com) he pleaded for an end to the impasse, inviting the disparate groups to meet at the two impending meetings (June 3rd and June 24th). Mike tells me that he has had "positive responses from the other group(s)" which I infer means KarateinEngland and Karate Sport England. Good news indeed. Dinsdale asserts that both the WKF and Sport England will insist on any ruling group representing the vast majority of English karateka. Let's hope this position will galvanise the activists into something positive. Visit this page for news of any progress.
English Karate Update 15th May 07
So now I am confused.
Three bodies all appear to be ploughing their own respective furrows.
Traditional Karate Great Britain www.tkgb.org ,headed by one of England's most senior and respected karateka, Harry Cook, 7th dan; The Karate in England group, www.karateengland.org.uk headed by one of England's most senior and respected karateka, Andy Sherry 8th Dan; and the English Karate Federation not headed as such, but facilitated by- you've guessed it- one of England's most senior and respected karateka, Terry Wingrove (recently promoted to 8th dan in Japan).
The TKGB formed after the dissolution of Karate England in wave of disillusionment with old-style politics and looks set to continue independently.
The EKF looked set to to have a clear run as unified Governing Body with a large number of organisations and some of England's finest 5th-8th dan's on board. As noted elsewhere they are scheduled to meet in Birmingham on June 3rd.
Now however the split appears to be as wide as ever, with FEKO, NAKMAS, and Leo Lipinski's JKF group lining up alongside KUGB and lobbying for Sport England recognition. With the KUGB and NAKMAS, they certainly have a claim to represent a significant number of karateka and are calling a meeting in Coventry on June 24th. Unfortunately I cannot make it as it clashes with the AMA nationals, and Terry Wingrove tells me he also has a prior commitmnet. I'll try and get an update from the KiE people, with whom I am in occasional contact.
English Karate Federation Update 2nd April 07
A very positive meeting in Birmingham yesterday, attended by some of England's most senior karateka, concluded that the working name for the nascent governing body would be "English Karate Federation", and we would continue to pursue membership of WKF (cogniscent of their rule that rival "world bodies", such as WUKO & WKC may not be supported).
On the downside it seems unlikely we will be able to send a team to the European Championships in Bratislava. Neither ETKB (KUGB) nor NAKMAS were officially represented (although John Bell is a member of KUGB, he came as an independent and read out his personal plan for the future body). Molly Samuels-Leporte also read a document from the Sport Karate Group, who it seems would support any new body with a request for some autonomy but not full independence.
Full details will be published on the Terry Wingrove / Cyber-Budo sponsored site, which can now be reached at www.englishkaratefederation.com
Next meeting - which I hope to attend - is scheduled for June 3rd
Karate England update 27th March 07
At the meeting on Sunday there will be a reading of KE accounts by Greg Durant. I am not invited to this meeting, which is for former KE members (association reps) only.
I shall however be at the following meeting which is an open forum to formulate a new body. full details will be posted on the karate-england site, where a draft agenda is already published.
There has been no further update on the karateinengland site to date.
Blowing my own trumpet, on March 10th 2007 I (finally) passed my 4th Dan under the AMA Technical Panel. I am pictured left alongside fellow successful candidate, Terry Rooke, who passed 3rd Dan Shotokan.
Karate In England- Some Considerations For The Future
(n.b. this is a stream-of-consciousness document with some thoughts for consideration at the meeting in April. The reader is welcome to accept or discard any or all of it)
First of all we need to consider if we need a governing body, and if so why. This will partially determine the structure of any such body.
It is my contention that we do need a single governing body for a number of reasons:
• Karate is widely misunderstood (and often misrepresented) and there should be one point that interested agencies and members of the public can approach for information, advice and assistance
• Karate practice encompasses a variety of ethical and technical ideals. Disparate umbrella groups, self-styled GBs and other bodies mislead and allow confusion
• A central single body can set, and monitor standards (technical, ethical, financial etc.)
There has been some talk of two bodies, one to manage sport and one to cater for so-called “grass roots” karate. I believe this is inappropriate because: many practitioners embrace both sides of the discipline, and a great many respected karateka who consider themselves “traditional” also support sport, and vice versa. By splitting the two we risk potentially dividing the lobby that is karate practitioners overall. Even the sport of karate as endorsed by the major bodies (WKF, WUKO) embraces budo values.
We have already at least three groups beginning to form. In the early stages of KE demise one group considered themselves not to be represented by the “sport centric” and formed “Traditional Karate Great Britain”. Another split appears to be forming roughly along the lines of the former EKGB and ETKB/NAKMAS dipole. It is my earnest hope that all three groups, and indeed any outside of this triumvirate can be brought together in some form of common purpose. There is no reason, given the current association structure that exists, that all these groups should not continue within a single NGB.
It is important to consider the role of Sport England in these plans. If Paul Clifton is to be believed SE has an agenda to dissolve the Association structure. This, given the history, is I believe a fruitless exercise doomed to failure. If John Bell is to be believed, he already has an inside track to Sport England. This could be exploited. Conversely, Mr Bell is clearly aligned to the former Directors of KE. If SE require a viable business plan in order to resume funding, presumably that plan cannot include these guys at the helm, as failed directors will not be allowed (legally, or by popular concensus) to head a new company. Apparently, though, SE’s original brief to karate was “unify, or no funds”. At this moment “karateinengland” cannot deliver on this criterion.
There is of course the possibility of forging ahead with independent commercial funding. This has to be considered within the wider context of sport/education/ social policy generally. Whilst it is perfectly feasible to imagine a financially self-supported body, the implications of running independently of the Government agency responsible for what might be loosely termed “physical education” are not, in my opinion, viable.
A governing body needs to:
• Establish and maintain standards
• Inform and educate (members and outside parties)
• Lobby outside bodies for support
• Represent its members’ disparate needs
• Deliver services for its members
• Act as a police force to control non-aligned or non-compliant bodies
All the above must be fulfilled in an environment of transparency and propriety. I believe that the failure of the previous body actually supports the notion that the new GB should be a limited company. Although certain bits of information still remain to be revealed, due process means that there will be accountability and scrutiny. There is no point in trying to run even a benign dictatorship. As Tony Benn has said, one definition of a democracy is that the leaders can be got rid of. However Tom Paine, two centuries before, warned that a democratic government must ensure that the will of the people is represented. That means constant reference back to electorate (members). As I and others have said this has not been the case with KE.
Doug James has proposed a trimmed down governing body with a lean, effective management. I support his structure proposals with two exceptions. First of all if we are to get all of the karateka in England in one body we need to make it two things:
1) attractive to all (so they want to join)
2) so undeniably legitimate that karateke simply have to join (hence my assertion that we need SE recognition)
In order to secure the wide support that will give the body an immediate critical mass the sempai/kohai culture so ingrained in karate needs a universal sempai. This figure should be a non-executive President that commands the respect of the majority. Despite his publicly voiced reluctance to stand, I suggest Terry Wingrove would be a suitable candidate. This ex-offocio presidential post would serve to sense-check the decisions of the executive, whilst remaining non-political (in the party sense).
Secondly there should be a commercial officer. This post would undertake the duties that should have been fulfilled by Stel Grekos. Both a publicity and marketing public face of karate, but also a creator of revenue. Terry Wingrove suggested in Coventry that there are two alternative sources of funding: SE and commercial sponsorship. Why not take both? Karate could accept the SE funding stream whilst developing its own sources of income. These may be Terry’s own £1.3M contributors, but could equally be other sources. In addition, there are plenty of other sources of revenue, many of which I prresented to SE when I was interviewed for the KE Commercial & Marketing Directorship. For example: merchandising-using sales of logoed goods at various festivals, tournaments, or via the website; courses; tournaments; a levy on all independent tournaments (as is currently done by the AAA for road races etc.); GB sactioned equipment sales; courses- many independents already run successful seminar & course series- the Governing Body could run their own commercial seminars; and from time to time other commercial activities.
This financial independence and technical credibility would create a strong viable Governing Body, embracing BOTH sport and non sport, as well as the infinity of shades along that continuum.
(for those that desperately need it, the relevant parts of my CV are: 31 years in karate, sandan in two styles; columnist and sometime contributor to martial arts press; 22 years commercial and marketing management in electronics with a portfolio currently turning over $10M+; press officer formerly for EKGB and AMA, currently for AMA)
Martyn Skipper 8th March 2007
KE Update 3rd March 07
The AMA are urging people not to support the "National Championships" on March 18th. There appears to be a body of support for this boycott.
Luke Scott has published a constructive, cogent proposal via the karate-england website/ forum.
KE Update 3rd March 07
Apparenty the old KE Board do not give credence to the suggestion that any new body with broadly similar interests that they might head, could be pursued for KE debts.
The old Karate England (no hyphen) site now links to a kareteinengland.org site that lists Shaher, Sherry, Charles, Lipinski and Ellis' organisations as supporters (as well as Steve Arneil's BKK, and Dave Sharkey's EKO). Effectively then this is the same old split that existed before EKGB wound up and begs again the question, "why didn't the other two organisations agree to dissolve?".
KE Update 26th Feb 07
I understand that the maverick "England team" put together by Abdu has boycotted the Spanish tournament in support of Ticky.
Keep up to date on the Shikon and KU forums, and on the news page of the Karate-England website, still being maintained by Terry W and CyberBudo
Karate England “Special General Meeting” Coventry 18th Feb 07 (notes updated 7th March 07)
I attended this meeting not as an association representative, but as an interested party, having both applied for professional positions with KE (of which more later) and as a volunteer contributor to both KE and EKGB before and since.
Upon my arrival Abdu politely informed me that although I was not officially invited, I may remain if I did not speak, or draw attention to myself. Tough as it was for one as opinionated as me, I complied.
At the top table were Abdu Shaher, Bob Poynton, Andy Sherry, and Steve Arneil. Apologies were received from President Vic Charles as he was returning from holiday. The top table was later joined by Ticky Donovan OBE, national team manager. The meeting was informed that Leo Lipinski had tendered his resignation on 16th Feb 07.
Apologies for absence were also heard on behalf of; inter alia, Terry Pottage, Chris Thompson, Leo Lipinski, Paul Campbell and Pauline Bindra.
Bob Poynton welcomed the gathering and invited the meeting to thank Abdu Shaher for his contribution to KE in recent weeks and especially for his efforts in setting up the Redcar office. His calls for appreciation were met with decidedly muted applause. Bob, in his introduction sagely pointed out that if the politicos of old continued in their efforts to drive schisms between karateka, “then we will have failed”.
No clear agenda was presented, and Abdu was at pains to point out that this was not a formal AGM, but an informal opportunity to examine past mistakes and look for future solutions.
The meeting opened with the floor nit picking at KE statements and procedures in an apparent attempt to undermine the current management. Questions were asked about who the Companies House listed directors were (in an obvious attempt to discredit Abdu, Vic and Andy - only Bob Poynton is officially listed). Poynton, and others used the “if it looks like a duck…” principle to illustrate the fact that in law, if one acts in the role of director, and is accepted as such, in effect the law would accept that position. (Abdu had resigned his directorship to take up the post of Performance Director). John Gilliland from the floor supported this assertion.
A colourful, animated character called Keith LeBihan from BKA pointed out that the statement in the handout sheets (which can be viewed at the CyberBudo website) erroneously claimed the Deloitte & Touche report on the Company’s finances was audited.
He warned that were this statement not corrected, Deloittes may be inclined themselves to sue.
LeBihan it is noted is apparently a big cheese in HM Revenue and Customs.
Throughout this introductory phase, and indeed for the rest of the meeting, Andy Sherry said almost nothing.
Poynton and Shaher repeatedly pointed fingers at the former CEO, Nick Halafihi - recently dismissed for alleged gross misconduct, claiming that his alleged misdemeanours were against the wishes of the Board. They did not respond to the floor’s comments to the effect that the CEO was their employee, and therefore they were responsible; though to his credit Abdu admitted that he had been directly responsible for Halafihi’s appointment, and conceded that in hindsight this had been a mistake.
John Gilliland asked why, if the Board were made aware of financial irregularities in March 06, nothing was apparently done.
He also asked for details of the creditors comprising the total debt of £279 000.
Abdu replied that a Finance Director, Tim Shaw, was appointed in April 2006, and that his statement to the Board in May 06 indicated “all was ok”. Allegedly Shaw then went to Sport England, without reference to the Board, and warned of problems.
Brian Philcox jumped on the “let’s blame Halafihi” bandwagon and said that the board had been misled by Nick. Brian continued, he (Philcox) had volunteered for redundancy based on Halafihi’s counsel, to save the corporation money, and had been personally significantly out of pocket (and out of work) as a result.
After John Gilliland declared “this would not have been allowed to happen on my watch” (as FD of EKGB) Abdu went on to explain that investigations of finances had been hampered by the changing of passwords allowing access to computer records.
He explained that until these had been cracked, accounts were based on: extant cheque book stubs; World Class Bureau accounts; odd receipts & sundry documents.
Asked for the detail of the £279k creditors, Abdu revealed £20k (sorry your writer did not hear), £39k Temple Publishers (Paul Clifton’s Traditional Karate, Combat etc.), £40k Inland Revenue PAYE; undisclosed sums for office, computer equipment, Pitney Bowes franking machines etc.
Andy Sheridan (Mujushin) asked that the blame and accusations be curtailed in favour of a more forward looking view. Abdu thanked him from the chair and said that the later part of the meeting would be devoted to the future.
Terry Wingrove (CyberBudo) stood and noted 1) “I am not defending anyone” and 2) “I am not calling into question the integrity of English karate as a whole”, before continuing.
He went on to describe the “Whole Sport Plan” (WSP) as a “bureaucratic nightmare” and conceded that to comply with it a number of tricks would have had to be pulled. The Board was in effect constrained by the terms of the WSP because the promise of £5M depended upon meeting its various landmarks and metrics. Sport England was “emphatically competition-centric”, but apparently have now, in some Orwellian trick of double speak, changed the “C for competition” to “C for Community” and claimed it was ever thus!
Terry went further to say the WSP was “impossible to achieve”. He also implied (but did not state explicitly) that he believed the CEO was not competent for the job.
He concluded with the question “should we relinquish the WSP and SE support?” He clearly believed we should as he stated “there is more than one way to skin a chicken"
Aidan Trimble conceded that almost all public and private projects go over budget, and asked whether Sport England should not take some blame for failing to keep the KE management in check.
He wondered whether we have any cause to call SE to account over the spending issue (This writer agrees that SE must take some of the blame).
Terry Wingrove expained that he had met the Minister, Colin Moynahan, and pointed out that both Hockey and Judo are in similar financial difficulties.
John Howell in contrast observed that it seems bizarre that we should criticise SE as they hold the puurse strings and are therefore "the boss". He noted that despite historical differences, TaeKwonDo, for example seems to survive well under the SE/WSP regime.
Keith LeBihan pointed out that he and the BKA had voted against unification in the first instance, as they foresaw the short-lived existence of the unified body. He observed that should any new GB have the same management board that they would in all likelihood be pursued by the creditors (notable amongst whom are of course the Inland Revenue).
Abdu said that 4100 members had been registered since Nov 06. About 50% have not paid, and and the approx £2k has not been banked.
Discussions turned to the legal status oof the membership. It turns out that due to a legal dragging of heels, only one member association has officially been registered with KE. That is the AMA, represented today by Peter Allen & Kevin Hamilton-Stewart, two VPs. Some discussion ensued about AMA's status as "Shareholder or Subscriber", semantics that made little difference
to the substance of the discussion. Either way the AMA is required to sign off the liquidation of KE, and Abdu called upon Peter to endorse this and sign the documents.
Someone called Colin from, I think BSKU said that the problem was essentially one of transparency. Why would members subscribe to a body without understanding and confidence of the management. He asked why we had to be bound by Sport England for funding. He pointed out that karate potentially has other qualities that other Government agencies may support in the interest of, for example, health and obesity concerns; social cohesion; crime reduction.
Wille Thomas observed that the WSP was an off-the shelf document which lacked karate specificity, and urged members to draw up a more appropriate plan.
John Gilliland noted that if SE had delivered funds, KE would not have been insolvent. He did however also note that in recent months KE itself has not been providing any services to its members.
Shikon's Steve Rowe noted three points:
1) Shikon's disappointment that, although it had voted for unification, KE was in such a poor state so soon after inauguration
2)Who is to blame? Sport England, Nick Halafihi?
3) What is the way forward?
Abdu Shaher again stated that Nick H mismanaged, and did many things without board approval.
John G asked if we could pursue Halafihi for his prepaid expenses and other outstanding funds. AS replied that the liquidator could possibly do this.
Someone called Geoff asked whether, in the event of voluntary liquidation, the existing Directors could sit on the board of any new body. LeBihan replied that if financial impropriety could be proved, then they could not. Sport England could pursue this line, independent of Karate England. Lebhan stated that the individual Associations could not be held liable for any of the GB's debt.
Abdu noted that some £404k of Karate England money came from the World Class Programnme, a fund effectively ring-fenced for and by Sport England. It was not and is not possible for Karate England management to get direct access to this.
Ticky Donovan OBE noted that he is a creditor, to the tune of £20k and pointed out that he had had PAYE deducted from salary.
As the PAYE is now a creditor, could he as an employee be pursued for unpaid tax? The concesus was that he could not.
Mike Burnad asked if there was any legal action pending against Karate England or any of its directors? Apparently 75% of creditors have to agree before a company is wound up.
John Gilliland said that KE can apply for voluntary liquidation. Alternatively any creditor could apply to appoint its own receivers. The inland Revenue could in theory apply to lift the "Veil of Incorporation" that protects the directors of a limited company, and pursue the indiviuaual in certain circumstances. He speculated that the member associations too might be pursued "because thet's where the money lies".
Peter Allen called into question the ability of the board to run a business (with a common, but profane vernacular turn of phrase pertaining to the manufacture of beer). Abdu noted that he had in fact run several sucessful companies.
Peter asked for members' views (a vote) on whether the AMA should accede to the board's wishes and sign the document agreeing to liquidation. Abdu noted that this was not a formal, constituted meeting but an informal gathering of interested parties. The concensus was that legal advice needed to be taken before agreeing to such a decision.
Colin asked for a written statement from the Board outlining the legal position, the liabilities known and potential to the members, and a full and detailed list of creditors.
Terry Wingrove noted that while KE could be left to sort out its liquidation etc, there was nothing to stop a new body from being created.
John Bell, in his capacity as a member of Sport England in the North West described some of the funding and administrative issues surrounding sport and explained how Government Policy affects - and is affected by- sport participation.
Steve Rowe asked John Bell if he could confirm that the original WSP, much criticised in this meeting, had originated from his office. Mr Bell denied this.
Bob Poynton Pointed out that the old Martial Arts Commission (MAC) had been a dictatorship and KE was "not run by karateka". Any new body would have to be dempcratically run, by practicing karate people.
Terry Wingrove then spoke about funding. He posed the question "Do we need Sport England?" He said that Michael Dinsdale would endorse the view that WKF membership was not dependent on SE recognition. He revealed (first posted on this website some months ago) that financial independence was a possibility. He had written (but under NDA) offers of some £1.3M of
commercial sponsorship from "bluechip UK companies" (based on certain conditions, but largely "without strings" in terms of any obligations upon any new GB).
Aiden Trimble asked how UKCC/ CLubmark staus would be affected if karate decided to run independently of Sport England. The meeting appear to bellieve that UKCC and Clubmark recognition was still being formulated and that probably status would be unaffected.
Colin Howell asked for a written statement of Mr Wingrove's sponsorship proposals for consideration by the members. Having misheard part of Terry's proposal, Howell blamed "hot air" from the floor. Terry misunderstood this as a personal attack and promptly walked out, saying he had worked tirelessly and selflessly for English Karate over the last 7 months, and would; "take his money elsewhere".
Ticky wondered aloud what sort of idiot Mr Howell might consider himself!
Back to the new body:
John Law stated that lack of preparation had blighted previous unification attempts.
Andrew Genery declared that Sport England recognition was a must.
The Top Table then invited Paul Clifton of Traditional Karate to speak.
Clifton pledged his support for the future of karate in England, but dropped a significant bombshell. He stated that in an early meeting with Nick Halafihi, the then CEO explained that his brief from Sport England was to break the Association structure within karate. His comment to Paul was "You are all F****d".
Mike Burnand asked former President Joe Ellis what NAKMAS's intentions were. It was pointed out that Joe had personally funded this meeting to the tune of some £600. Joe stated that NAKMAS had pulled out of KE once it became clear that the M&A's required member bodies to be Limited companies (Editor's note-if this is so then how did AMA become a member?).
Ticky Donovan asked about the legal / insurance status of sending a team to Madrid for an all-expenses paid tournament. The assembly agreed that without iunsurance this was not advisable. Ticky understood, and regretfully accepted the decision not to send a squad.
The meeting began to disintegrate at this point with lots of sub-discussions going on. At this point I left, understanding that a new meeting to discuss the way forward was to take place on March 26th. I later found out this was moved to April 1st. I will be there.
KE Update 1st Feb 07
It looks like the end for KE, but a number of bodies are jostling for position. NAKMAS are making representations at government level, but Joe Ellis' tirade in Feb '07's Traditional Karate has not done his credibility any favours in my eyes.
See below from Karate England..
To All Karate England Members
I am writing on behalf of the Board to update you on the latest position.
At our meeting on the 4th January, we discussed with Sport England a number of different options we might explore to help us secure a stable financial position going forward. One of the options open to us was entering into a Corporate Voluntary Agreement (CVA) with Karate England’s creditors. Sport England had told us that one of the precursors to resuming funding was that we devise a recovery plan which would have the effect of creating a zero balance on Karate England’s finances.
The Board sought advice on the CVA from three insolvency companies and this highlighted the risk of entering into a CVA which would quite likely fail due to the lack of certainty regarding income, taking in to account the Sport England position on financial input into a CVA and with Sport England funding not being reinstated. In addition, it is clear that members are not prepared to commit further registrations in the current situation.
We therefore believed the only viable option was that we inform all member associations, creditors and Sport England that Karate England 2005 Ltd should cease to trade and we notified Sport England of this decision on Friday and informed them that we would make a public announcement after the weekend . This is the course we have been advised to follow and we have done this with great reluctance.
We continue to recognise the importance and need for a National Governing Body for Karate and are proposing a new approach to Sport England which we believe could meet the need of Karate in the future, meet Sport England requirements and command broad support from the Karate family in England.
We believe this is best way forward and we will provide further details in the next few days and hope to have the opportunity to discuss the issues in full on 18 February.
Karate England Company Secretary
31 January 2007
This makes interesting reading in conjunction with the following..
at the meeting of the EKGB Management Board held at the Holiday Inn Coventry on 27/1/07, the matter of the dissolution process was debated. After taking legal advice, it was decided to postpone any decisions until after the AGM of Karate England to be held on 18 February 2007.
After we have met post the AGM, I will send out a further communiqué.
In addition take a look at the Karate Underground Forum http://karatethejapaneseway.com/karate_underground/viewtopic.php?t=6437. There is an active discussion there about the formation of another non-aligned traditional karate body, TKGB.
KE Update 4th Jan 07
A New year, but sadly no new leaves turned over by KE. A wall of silence remains in place. There is a request on the KE website for nominations for elections to the board prior to the AGM on Feb 18th. A request from the AMA for clarification of the terms of such an election and the status of KE, as well as information on certain constitutional issues, however remains unanswered. .
I understand that the former EKGB management are meeting at the end of January. It will be interesting to see what arises from that!
Good news is that KE now appears on the WKF website as the representative for England, so it seems our national re-recognition by the World Governing Body is complete. Although there are noises about other World GBs on various web forums (e.g. WKA & WKC) flexing their muscles, it seems that the IOC remain confident in the WKF, having invited some WKF officers to a recent European Olympic meeting. Watch www.wkf.net though as it seems that many more changes to competition rules are in the offing.
KE Update 23rd Nov 06
So KE had their meeting with SE, but appear to be back to their old ways of obfuscation and secrecy. A notice on KE's website www.karate-england.org refers to "frank & open discussions" (a euphemism for a barney?) but gives no substance. Apparently KE are now writing to SE with a suggestion for a recovery plan.
Meanwhile Terry Wingrove on the Karate Underground Forum http://karatethejapaneseway.com/karate_underground/viewtopic.php?t=6041 promises "more facts" to be published on www.cyberbudo.com tonight.
KE Update 22nd Nov 06
Apparently there was scheduled to be a meeting between SE and the KE board today at 2.30. I don't know if it took place, and if it did any outcomes.
I hear that a large corporation has in theory agreed to a substantial sponsorship deal with any future karate governing group, but that this is being held back util the position with KE is clear.
Les Cutting has now gone public on his side of the story regarding the Child Protection officership and his grievances. You can read his statement on the Karate Underground Forum. http://karatethejapaneseway.com/karate_underground/viewtopic.php?p=122208#122208
KE update 16th Nov 06
Following Bob Poynton's disappointing radio performance yesterday, more disturbing news for KE. I have it on reliable authority that one of the aggrieved former employees has won a claim against KE, due to the GB failing to respond to an industrial tribunal within the requisite time limit.
KE Update 14th Nov 06
Apparently the scheduled meeting between KE and SE did not take place today as SE put a condition on the table that full and audited accounts of KE had to be available. On the face of it that sounds completely unreasonable under current circs.
Additional news: the saga has further national coverage, with the debate making BBC Radio 4's "You & Yours" tomorrow (15th Nov). Listen out from 12 noon when Bob Poynton for KE is confronted by Lisa Wainright representing Sport England. Hear the broadcast again http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/youandyours/
KE Update 12th Nov 06
It seems John Gilliland (Former EKGB Treasurer) has led a petition of no confidence aginst the current KE management and has proposed that interested parties lobby Sport England and Sports Coach UK to dicourage them from bailing out KE, on the grounds that the management team in place are those under scrutiny for alleged mismanagement. A letter to association heads I have seen proposes a meeting of interested parties in the imminent future.
KE Update 11th Nov 06
I have not added any updates for a while for three reasons. 1. Pressures of time 2. Terry Wngrove seemed to be doing an admirable job in keeping people up to date, and 3. threre is simply loads of info on two or three karate / budo forums (see links page). However for those who want a quick & easy distillation of recent events:
Terry has resigned from KE board citing as a factor the activities of ingrates and backbiters casting doubt on his intentions and integrity. Matthew Sayed has published two articles in the Times exposing some of the shenanigans of Mr Halafihi et al (rumours are that other papers, and TV channels are also on the case). KE has called in the receivers but now Sport England have indicated that they are willing to step in to assist financially after all(after the horse has bolted?).
In fairness, Vic Charles and the existing KE board are at least keeping membership informed of developments via the new KE website (www.karate-england.org).
I'm at the British Championships in Sheffield tomorrow. I'll keep my ear to the ground for gossip.
KE Update 19th Oct 06
There have been a few web criticisms of the English team for their one Bronze medal in Tampere. Please, however don't forget that, in reaching the bronze position we beat the then World Champions, France. Please also don't forget the sterling peformance of Jonathan in the Kata. He was a whisker away from our first World kata medal in many years.
Terry Wingrove has been appointed to the Board of Karate England. Here's hoping his no-nonsense approach portends an end to all this uncertainty.
Terry's swiftness in establishing the new website and enabling the team to go to Finland show he's a man of actions and not mere words.
KE have also agreed to attend the "EGM" at the end of October in Burton-on-Trent although the statement on www.karate-england.org does not use that term, preferring "special general meeting", or just "a general meeting". Good to see they will be there. Without them I fear that little would have been resolved.
KE Update 12th Oct 06
I'm off to Tampere so will be out of action for a few days. It seems the Karate -hyphen- England site has the endorsement of the Management Board and is providing up-to-date info on our progress in the World Championships.
The following letter from KE President Vic Charles appears on the Shikon Forum and apparently went out to Association Heads:
KE Update 8th Oct 06
Sorry, I should have published this earlier. I didn't bother as I thought it was freely available, but here is official notice of the EGM:
EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETING
SUNDAY 29 OCTOBER
Please accept this letter in conformation of the email sent by Mr Peter Allen, regarding the Extraordinary General Meeting requested by members in August 2006 and which the board have not actioned.
As a consequence, this meeting is hereby convened in accordance with section 368 of the Companies Act, by the members concerned.
The meeting is to take place at:
2nd Floor Britannia House
DE 15 0PP
Starting at 10am
The agenda for the meeting is as follows:
1. Reason the members called the meeting (information topic)
2. Status of the Governing Body including:
a. Status of the Company – trading or ceased trading
b. Financial details of the company
c. Details of current debtors and amounts (Employees etc)
d. Details of the Deloitte and Touche report
e. Requirements of Sports England
f. Any other items not yet known which arise through discussion
3. Consideration of the Company Articles and Memorandum of Association
4. Consideration of the activities of the board since incorporation, including:
a. Employment of individuals without open recruitment
b. Removal of employees
c. Why minutes of meetings have not been forthcoming
d. Consideration of actions/inaction due to the financial status of the company
e. Suspension of services and activities without notice or further information
f. Consideration of the activities of the CEO
5. Finances of the company, including:
a. Current funding situation with Sport England
b. Amount held in the company bank accounts
c. Costs of goods and services since incorporation including
i. Membership database system
ii. Members newsletter
iii. Any other costs (over £1000 in a single transaction)
iv. Employment costs
d. Athlete/Squad grant fund situation
e. Why Membership returns claimed for NAKMAS and ETKB members do not reflect the actual returns
f. Consideration of the Annual accounts (Due for Submission in October)
6. Registrations – including
a. Why the previous Chairman was allowed to default on member registrations
b. Why associations in membership have been allowed to maintain NIL membership figures
7. Actions required by the members to safeguard the company and therefore the Governing Body, and to put in place the means and mechanisms to move forward effectively.
Whilst it is not unusual to include any other business (AOB), note may be taken of any issue by the members, over and above the agenda items which can then be minuted and considered at a later stage.
For and on behalf of the members
26 Sept 06
cc Karate England Board Members
Sport England – FAO Lisa Wainwright
KE Update 27th Sept 06
Spoke to Terry Wingrove today. He asked me to point out that he and Cyber Budo are supporting the England team, both with sponsorship, but also a win bonus for the forthcoming World Championships, but are NOT claiming affiliation with the current Karate England management.
Terry has set up a new website: www.karate-england.org with the intention of providing transparent, up-to-date information to English karateka.
(He tells me the "Old" KE website cost them -us- £47k. Just for comparison, this site costs me £2.50 a month. Is there any wonder KE are in financial trouble?)
KE Update 24th Sept 06
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. A reliable source tells me that Nick Halafihi has been dismissed, after a contre temps with a senior karate figure. I'll see what else I can find out.
Meanwhile Ticky has announced the squad for the World Championships. Thanks to CyberBudo for publishing this list first.
The full squad is as follows:
53KG: EMMA O’CALLAGHAN
-60 KG: KERRY GUNN
+60KG: JODIE MORRIS
OPEN: MELISSA LEWIS
KATA: SAMANTHA CANNON
-70KG: JASON LEDGISTER
-75KG: ALTON BROWN
-80KG: DAVIN PACK
+80KG: LEON WALTERS
OPEN: RORY DANIELS
TEAM: BAKHTYAR KHAZAEI
TEAM: JORY CHATHER
TEAM: PAUL RICHARDS LOXLEY SIMMONDS
KATA: JONATHAN MOTTRAM
KE Update 14th Sept 06
Good news and bad news. First the bad news. KE have again promised more information "soon". This time they have committed to releasing the minutes of board meetings to member associations. The venue for the rebel EGM has not apparently been published yet.
Now the good news. CyberBudo have today announced (http://www.cyberbudo.com/index2.htm) that they will sponsor Team England to attend the World Champs in Tampere, though they pointedly remark that this does not constitute an endorsement of KE per se.
As I said, internet permitting, I hope to send you daily bulletins from Finland.
KE Update 11th Sept 06
It seems that Brian Philcox was made redundant on 23rd August, so Nick H is officially back in the chair as CEO, although sources close to the previous administration tell me that the situation is not as cut and dried as one might be led to believe. It appears Nick did indeed resign, then thought better of it having previously wished Brian well (?) Allegations abound of fraud and corruption, the suggestion being that the KE board declared earnings falsely, knowing these earnings would be matched by SE funding. It is also alleged that certain members offered to "bail out" KE with representation to SE, provided unpaid back salary was settled. An offer of a reduced salary was refused.
I am told that a squad is being selected for the World Championships, but how they will be funded is unclear, and I believe to date no official entry from England has been submitted. Some senior officials including Terry Pottage, head referee have funded their own journeys.
I shall be in Tampere and hope to be able to "Blog" a daily update on this site. I sincerely hope I will be able to report on English attendance and, indeed medals. Watch this space....
Apparently the "EGM" is being rescheduled to 29th Oct to avoid the clash with the World Championships Finals
KE Update 6th Sept 06
The "rebel" group now state that the below meeting is an EGM within the meaning of the Companies Act, and the existing KE Management are invited....
KE Update 4th Sept 06
An Emergency Meeting has been arranged for all Karate associations in England interested in the future of English Karate.
Date:15th October 2006.
Venue: Unit SF1, Little Heath Enterprise Park, Old Church Road, Coventry, CV6 7NB
The agenda will include discussion on the current state of Karate England 2005 Ltd, the failure of the Management Board, its employees and Sport England to administer the Company and the 4 year plan, their failure to be open, transparent and accountable for their actions and for us to determine the way forward from here.
A full agenda and any other relevant information will be sent out 7 days prior to the event.
It’s about time we sorted this mess out!
Please let me know if you are attending and confirm your email address as space is limited and we need to prepare information packs and places.
KE Update 3rd Sept 06
At last an official update, but little in the way of detail. see www.karateengland.org.uk for the full statement.
An apology is made for previous lack of communication, but still not much to redress that. An AGM is called for November 15th and KE operations are suspended until then. A new Whole Sport Plan will be presented and a new board voted on, based on ACTUAL membership returns. I hear that Vic Charles is Acting President, but Nick Halafihi's status is still unclear.
KE Update 27th Aug 06
Still no official announcement after the Board Meeting last Wednesday.
A little bird tells me, however that Peter Allen was approached with a view to his reinstatement as VP.
He has at this point declined the invitation but said he "may" reconsider after any EGM.
Karate England Update 20th Aug 06
Not surprisingly, there are two sides to every story, and I am starting to hear some of the other side (apparently certain members of the management team pursuing maverick agendas without the support of the board, for example).
The current board are constrained legally from going public, but I understand there is a board meeting on Wednesday 23rd Aug, and a statement will appear on the KE website after that.
It does appear by the way that there was a cock-up when the new company was incorporated. I understand that it is a requirement of Sport England that its Governing Bodies have Limited Company status. By some accounts the M&A's of Karate England (2005) Ltd state that only limited companies (or similar incorporated bodies) may be members of it. This means that most (if not all) of the Associations affiliated to KE do not meet this criterion and therefore should not be members! Presumably though this is a relatively easy technical issue to rectify with legal advice, and not the major bombshell many of KE's detractors are claiming? Let's wait and see.
KE Update 16th Aug 06
So Joe Ellis has resigned (www.nakmas.co.uk).
That still leaves loads of unanswered questions:
What about the apparent conflict between Nick Halafihi and Brian Philcox?
What is the staus of English karate vis a vis the World Championships?
Who is the current board? Are there vacancies?
That will do for starters
Unlike some I have no particular axe to grind with Joe Ellis other than his apparent singular lack of willingness to share information with the members.
That position, apparently, remains with Ellis' departure.
KE Update 15th Aug 06
At last a statement. Regrettably, however that statement is "there is going to be a statement".
The following appears on NAKMAS' site today:
The Karate England Chair and two Directors attended a meeting in London yesterday with the official Karate England solicitors. The solicitors will be approving an official KE press release and this will be made available asap.
KE Update 11th Aug 06
Niow I'm really confused. I have seen an email from Nick Halafihi on KE liveried email implying that he is still CEO and berating any actions by the CED (Brian Philcox).
The following notice appeared briefly, then disappeared from the NAKMAS site:
BRIEF STATEMENT ON
KARATE ENGLAND (2005) LIMITED
Chair of NAKMAS/Chair of Karate England
Joe Ellis 6th Dan
For five years, NAKMAS was in negotiations with Sport England, English Traditional
Karate Body and the English Karate Governing Body with the view of uniting English
karateka under one unified national governing body. Following extensive negotiations,
Karate unified on the 7th November 2005 at the Loughborough University in
Leicestershire under a new governing body known as ‘Karate England’.
I always felt from the outset, that it would be a difficult job in the early stages. I was
elected as a Director of the company and also elected at the President/Chairman. I was
supported by competent and highly qualified senior karateka, some I have got to know
through the unification process. Some are now close friends. But some of the old guard
within the previous EKGB did not give us a chance. They wanted to see it fail from day
There have been loads of e-mails flouting around on the internet claiming all sorts. The
majority of the contents of these e-mails are incorrect. Some are complete and utter lies
which I will challenge in due course.
It is true to say that Karate England is going through difficult times at present. We are
working with Sport England and the official Karate England lawyers to work through
turbulent times. Although I would love to make a detailed statement to all English
karateka, I cannot at present as my hands are tied. I am due to meet the official Karate
England lawyers in London again on Monday, alongside the Karate England Director and
Company Secretary Bob Poynton 7th Dan. I will insist on an official statement being
made via lawyers, to be made available to all English karateka on Monday giving you the
very latest and updated information. This I promise.
In the meantime, please wait until Monday where I will have a better understanding
myself and a statement will appear both on the Karate England and NAKMAS websites
KE Update 11th Aug 06
Regrettably, there is still no info on the official site. There are many rumours around which I will reproduce, but be wary, these are un-corroberated allegations:
KE is allegedly trading insolvent, and Sport England have stopped funding.
Some employees have apparently not been paid
No date has yet been set for an EGM, despite asuurances that it would be convened
One member has requested information under the Freedom of Information Act. His request has been referred to the board for response
Karate England Update 19th July 06
No sign yet on KE website of an EGM date
The following is an open email from Peter Allen dated 18th Jul
I've asked the Karate England board questions relating to the CEO. I asked a question of the board if it was true that Nick Halafihi was planning to leave on the 1st August and if a package was being given to him by the KE board. Nick at the moment is on compassionate leave, I ask who is acting as CEO at the moment? who is dealing with the development side of the 4 year plan since the resignation of Phillip Don? and who is looking after the Child Protection issues since the resignation of Les Cutting?. Also if true about Nick leaving will his position be advertised along with the other positions?.
We have a web site that doesn't seem to be used for what it was intended, which is to give the members information.
To date I have had no reply back from Karate England Board on any of these issues.
Karate England Update 14th July 06
Following pressure from members, and a letter from Pete Allen, KE have announced they are indeed to call an EGM. According to the KE website, the date is to be advised on karateengland.org.uk.
Below are Peter's letter and the official KE response:
14th July 2006
Dear Karate England Board,
In accordance with section 368 of the companies act. We the members of Karate England call upon the Karate England Board to convene an EGM addressing all issues previously mentioned in emails sent to yourselves by the members of Karate England, plus any other points that the members may wish to be added to the agenda.
AMA (Karate) Full member of Karate England.
Cc Sport England
RE Call for an Extraordinary General Meeting
We would like to inform the Karate England membership that following detailed
discussions within the Karate England Board of Directors and requests from
Karate England members, the Karate England Board will be calling an
Extraordinary General Meeting.
The date will be announced by the Karate England Board next week via
advertisement on the www.karateengland.org.uk website.
Note to Editors
1. Karate England is the official Governing Body of karate recognised by
2. Karate England will announce the date of the meeting via its home
website early next week
3. The agenda for the meeting will follow in due course.
For further information please Karate England on firstname.lastname@example.org
and/or 01628 487 555
Karate England Update 13th July 06
All is not well at Karate England. I can confirm that Philip Don has resigned as Developmemt Director, apparently in reaction to constraints by the management. In a separate development Child Protection Officer Les Cutting has left, again citing differences with senior board members.
It seems also that Abdu Shaher has been sacked as Performance Director, on the grounds of failure to meet KPIs (Key Performance Indicators).
Peter Allen has resigned his position as Vice President, although he remains a member of the Management Board. Allen's concerns are a matter of public record (see below for a copy of his email), and it seems he is being supported by Doug James, Greg Durant and John Gilliland (John has apparently written to Sport England voicing his concerns with the management of KE).
Although there are various concern of specific and general issues, the main thrust of the dispute appears to be a perception that KE is not being open with the membership or management in its dealings.
Some concerns were raised that certain high profile associations were tardy in registering their members. Although some registration shave since been submitted, it seems that the number of registered members is well below those suggested by audits of the three constituent bodies prior to the inauguration of KE.
Calls for an EGM have been made. This is expected to occur in August or early September. There are rumours that over 30 association hreads have agreed to meet outside of the auspices of KE if the EGM does not go ahead.
I shall be contacting the President and CEO for official statements in due course.
Watch this space!
The Allen Email:
I'm writing this email in response to the many requests from association heads and their worry's over the direction and the false promises that we the board gave to them at the inaugural meeting in November 2005.
We agreed that we would act in their best interests, they feel as do I that we are not. Outlined below are real issues that are disturbing to the membership of Karate England, I call the board to act in the best interest of the KE membership. As Vice President of Karate England and in line with the M&R's, I call the board to answer these issues set out below to council. I hereby give 28 days notice and ask that we call an EGM on the 2nd or 3rd Saturday in September 2006.
1. Appointments of Directors and time scales.
2. Board members stepped down to take other posts and not replaced.
3. Appointments of staff without open recruitment.
4. Resignation of Development officer ( reasons?)
5. Resignation of LCPO officer ( reasons?)
6.WKF Membership? ( we still don't have answers)
7. Long term relationships between WKF and KE
8. Inauguration of members was 250 its now 1'000
9. Sport England funding?
10. BKF relations was good with EKGB now tainted.
11. JKA England not being allowed membership ( reasons)
12. WKC issues.
14. Contracts of staff not signed in 2 months.
15. CRB Disclosure of Directors.
16. The appointment of Abdu Shaher and then his dismissal. (reasons)
17. M&R's any and all changes?
18. Minutes of board meetings, it was agreed that they would go on the web site and sent to the members, they have seen none. 19. Membership fees, The £1 registration that we joined on, may be increased.
20. EKF & WKF personnel appointments, who, what and why.
21. Karata Ka magazine -
22. Coaching programme.
23. Financial structure.
24. List of Current Members in Karate England at the time and date of this email/letter.
These are only some of the issues that council would like to ask the board at an EGM for its agenda.
In closing, if we don't call this EGM then the reasons above will show the council that we are not open and transparent and not acting in the memberships best interest. This will then have ramifications with Sport England and UK Sport.
Do the right thing now and agree to the EGM.
Vice President Karate England.
c.c Nick Halafihi CPO Karate England.
And the Karate England Press release in response:
RE Response to request for EGM
Following a scheduled Karate England Board of Directors meeting on Friday 7th July 2006, the twenty five  items that appeared on a list posed by the Amateur Martial Association (AMA) were answered.
All Karate England member Associations will receive the minutes of all Board of Director meetings, together with telephone conferences manuscripts early next week. These documents outline discussions and answers to the list of 25 questions posed by the AMA along with other relevant Karate England matters.
Furthermore, the new Karate England membership magazine – ‘Karate-Ka’ - will be launched in the August edition of ‘Traditional Karate’. All Karate England member Associations will receive a hard copy of the new magazine in the post in addition to appearing in ‘Traditional Karate’.
Karate England, its staff and elected Board of Directors are fully committed to developing the new Official Governing Body for the benefit of all the karate community.
Note to Editors
1. Karate England is the official Governing Body of karate recognised and funded by Sport England
2. Board meetings are scheduled months in advance and minutes to meetings are openly available to all member Associations
For further information please contact Karate England on 01628 487555 and/or email@example.com
Karate England News 9th July 2006
It truly saddens me to write that I am compelled to resurrect the "gossip column" element of this page.
I hear that Philip Don, Development Director and Peter Allen, Vice President, have resigned their posts, apparently amid some discontentment with the President Joe Ellis. It's a great shame that after less than a year the whole venture appears to be shaking a bit, and particularly sad in this World Championship year when hopes of England medals are being nurtured. I'll keep my ear to the ground and come back with any details. Meanwhile Chris Thompsons BTKA site and Andrew Genery's BWKU site are running copies of Peter Allen's resignation letter.
15th May 06
I have just been on an excellent weekend (Friday-Monday) seminar with top Japanese 8th Dans; Shiomi, Hisenaga, Kiyohara & Sato. A full write-up will follow, but this was an in-depth seminar on Goju kata. I loved it.
Pictured left are (L-R): Hisenaga, Shiomi, me, Kiyohara, & Sato
6th April 06
I spoke to current WKF World Champion Paul Newby (left) at the AMA North West Open at Bury this weekend. He told me he found the transition to professional boxing fairly easy as he had no problems with the fitness, and he had always favoured hands over feet anyway. He continues to coach karate but has given up competing, and therefore will not defend his World Title this year in Tampere, Finland. He has his second pro fight in two weeks time. I wish him luck.
Unification update 7th Feb 06
My chum Les Cutting (above left) has been appointed CPO (Child Protection Officer) for KE, a role he held with the AMA. Congratulations Les, and good luck.
Unification update 18th Jan 06
I've just come back from a really positive, upbeat meeting with KE management. There is loads going on.
World Junior Champion Katie Hurry (below left)has been first Karate recipient of a Sport England training bursary.
KE has just held the first Squad selections for the unified group, and two members of the ETKB/KUGB squad have been selected to the England Squad.
Bisham just held a press day, and Karate was one of the featured sports.
Most of the former EKGB member groups have registered with KE, including some of those with dissenting voices. Only about 20 groups have yet to come on board, but already the membership is around 110 000.
The KE Website is beginning to take shape. Watch out for daily updates at www.karateengland.org.uk
Unification update 12th Jan 06
The Karate England website now publishes a release confirming the new management positions. It is reproduced below. Apparently the Web developer has been amongst the first to deploy the lastest MS development software, called VS2005, and has been experiencing teething problems. The website should be up and running in January 2006
Meanwhile, the official release:
KARATE ENGLAND ANNOUNCES SIX NEW STAFF
Karate England has recently announced that six new appointments have been made and each will start work in early-mid January 2006.
These appointments have been put in place a month after their Chief Executive was announced and confirms that the ambitions and corporate governance strategy of its Board of Directors has a clear emphasis on both Performance and Development strategies as well as a new focus on Commercial opportunities.
The Chief Executive Officer will be the line manager for all of the newly appointed staff who will be based at the company’s new Headquarters at the Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre in Buckinghamshire.
The Karate England President Joe Ellis said, “These appointments indicate how successful we want to be in each of these areas; Performance matters because it is imperative that we continue to strive for international success, Development Strategies are crucial as we must deliver effective services to all our members and the launch of a new vibrant Commercial Department proves how professionally and how seriously we are working towards the provision of a strong financial platform”.
The new structure:
Philip Don-Development Director:
Karate England has shown just how serious it is in this focus area with the announcement that it has appointed the former Sport England Development Manager and Football Referee Controller Philip Don to the head up the body’s new Development department.
This area is crucial as it will work tirelessly alongside the associations to provide them with a professional and viable service on many fronts. One of Philips first areas of work will be within the key initiative of effectively delivering Karate England’s new ‘Kite-Mark’ process. This internal system of assessing each association against new vibrant minimum standards criteria will be closely linked to Sport England and specific awards/funding streams.
Philip said “This is a challenging position which I will relish getting stuck into, I have witnessed the new developments which Karate has made recently and I have been very impressed with all of its latest structures”
Abdu Shaher-Performance Director:
This new position has been created to fall in line with other Governing Bodies and will provide a position which has the responsibility of all performance related matters including elite competitors and coaches, competitions and performance pathway strategies. After much debate and consultation between the Board of Directors and the Chief Executive it was agreed that Abdu Shaher be appointed to this highly demanding role.
Abdu has vast experience in these fields and his position was welcomed by the Chief Executive who commented; “Abdu’s specific experience in all these fields will help the Governing Body in every aspect of its performance governance from competition to new Long Term Athlete Development initiatives”
Ticky Donovan OBE-National Squad Director:
This position is also a new one and one which will lead the way for a new type of structure which focuses on various staff identified in the Whole Sport Plan. Ticky has been appointed because of his wealth of experience in this field and he will lead this department in a proactive way introducing new and innovative ways to get the very best out of the competitors. Once again the Board of Directors and the Chief Executive agreed that Ticky Donovan OBE be appointed to this role. Ticky was a natural selection for this role and will be supported by an innovative structure of assistant coaches for specific competitions, selected according to current ability; Cadet, Junior or Senior competitions and a series of Kata consultants will also strengthen the National Coaching Unit.
Asterios Grekos-Commercial Director:
This subject area is certainly one which indicates the dawn of a new era, and one which Karate England hopes will prove to be a very successful one. The successful candidate, Asterios (Stel) Grekos has been involved in the highly specialised area of Business and Sport for some time now and he has recently held key positions with both another high profile governing body and the Youth Sport Trust where he was responsible for signing up over a quarter of a million pounds worth of new business partners.
Stel will play an integral role within the new body and be responsible for bringing in key strategic partners, all kinds of financial sponsors, strategic endorsements and for the development of the key naming rights of specific events.
Terry Pottage-Chief Referee:
This role will see the further development and integration of the Referees and Judges into the Whole Sport Plan and Governing Body as a whole. Terry has been appointed to this role where he will be able to continue with the great foundation which he has already laid over recent years.
In particular Terry will be actively designing new recruitment techniques and will also be responsible for increasing the quantity and maintaining the quality of Referees and Judges within England. However Karate England fully recognises Terry’s role within Europe and the World and they believe that this experience will only benefit the new body in the long run.
Dianne Ward-Administration Manager:
Dianne has been appointed to this role where she will be responsible for maintaining and updating the company’s new website and database systems as well as providing a professional network of support for all the staff.
I've been perusing the web lately and notice that the grass isn't always greener... We might think that those civilised bunch, the aikidoka, would be centred, together, cerebral and cultured, in contrast to we karate thugs. Au contraire! Judging by the minutes of meetings, where published, and the relatively swift, bloodless way that Karate England has brought together those acrimoniously-divided erstwhile enemies of English karate in cooperation and harmony, we have a lot to be proud of.
Contrast that with the childish "my dad's a better aikidoka than yours" bickering in British aikido. Not only is the fall-out protracted and vitriolic, it is also deeply personal. Furthermore the contre-temps concerns not some esoteric technical or philosphical point. Rather it concerns the somewhat trite issue of whether a certain Jack Poole was harder than some of the other members of the Aikido hierarchy, and whether he was a black belt in the 1950's.
To bask in the smug satisfaction of knowing that English karateka are more civilised than British aikidoka, follow the debate at : www.geocities.com/british aikido, and the British Aikido Board, and Federation home sites.
Unification update 6th Jan 06
The Karate England website is now live, but has nothing on it (barring a somewhat controversial and cursory reference to the promotion of the "sport" of karate!)
The January "Traditional Karate" carries a full page back cover ad stating that a Director of Marketing has been appointed. I hear separately it is Stel Grekos (pictured left), erstwhile Club Development Officer of the English Volleyball Association. Before that he was President of the Loughborough University Athletics Union, so it seem he is no slouch!
I await with interest news from him and EK.
Good luck Stel. Give me a call / drop me an email if you read this
Unification update 9th Dec 05
I hear that EKGB are dissolving formally this weekend. Apparently there will be detailed updates in January & February's "Traditional Karate " magazine. I'll keep my ear to the ground
Unification update 6th Dec 05
The EKGB Website now carries a message from Abdu Shaher, its outgoing VP, inviting applications for "Karate England" membership from new groups of >1000 members, and existing member groups with only a 250 minimum. The form can be found on the "Downloads" page.
Additionaly there is a notice of the dissolution of EKGB, and the new Bisham Abbey offices address is posted too.
Unification update 29th Nov 05
The above logo appears to have been formally accepted. It now appears at the head of the Karate England website (under construction). Watch this site, or click on the logo above for further updates.
Unification update 26th Nov 05
WKF/EKF recognise Karate England
The new governing body has now been recognised by the World and European bodies for karate. This is a major step in establishing its credibility. The new offices in Bisham Abbey are apparently very impressive, and it is hoped that representatives of the member bodies will be able to visit in the near future. The EKGB doping controls have been accepted by Karate England. It is hoped the Coaching scheme will be established soon. There are still mutterings of dissent amongs some of the former EKGB members, but in the main the groups are pledging support.
CEO Nick Halafihi- It's Official
Yes, I know you heard it here first, but Sport England has now released a press statement on Nick's appointment. Read it at:
Referees back Pottage
The English referees have been voicing their unofficial support for Terry Pottage to remain at the head of English referees, I hear.
Unification latest 18th Nov 05
Not much officially to report as the World Junior Championships have been top of the agenda (England got a gold & two bronzes- congratulations to bronze medallists Jenna Shilston and Adele Lloyd, and to our new WORLD CHAMPION Katie Hurry. For full results see http://www.wkf.net ) CEO Nick Halafihi was in attendance in Limassol. I understand that the board meet early next week (presumably at the new HQ at Bisham Abbey). Unofficially I hear that the Finance Director post is to be absorbed by the CEO, and that the Marketing / Commercial Director selection process is still underway. It is likely that Terry Pottage will remain Chief Referee (congratulations to Dale Gamble and Brian Noble for their World promotions in Cyprus).
President / Chairman Joe Ellis has made a statement to NAKMAS members. Read it at http://www.nakmas.org.uk
Karate Unification update 10th Nov 05
Last weekend was the inaugural meeting of Karate England.
The full board make-up is:
Nick Halafihi (CEO), Bob Poynton (Company Secretary), Joe Ellis (President / Chairman), Brian Philcox (Vice President / Chairman), Peter Allen (Vice President / Chairman), Andy Sherry (Chairman Technical Committee), Ticky Donovan (Vice Chairman Technical Committee), Vic Charles, Leo Lipinski, Greg Durrant, Abdu Shaher, and Mick Dewey.
I wish them much success with this venture and urge everyone to support the new body.
(Photo courtesy of NAKMAS)
Profiles of the board members can be found at Nick Halafihi's site Pow Wow Sportz.
There remains a selection process for a Marketing / Commercial Director, and the Finance Director. I'll update you as soon as I hear anything.
Meanwhile, read an interview with Peter Allen below.
Interview with Peter Allen, 6th Dan, AMA Vice President and EKGB Management Board Member
Karate Unification Developments, June 2005
At the recent EKGB AGM, a couple of presentations outlining the next steps for unification were given. Unification is seen as essential for continued funding and therefore development of karate in England. The other two "Governing Bodies", NAKMAS & ETKB, embracing complementary aims to those of EKGB, have also been involved. View the latest status on the EKGB website:
Karate Unification News 21/10/05
Unification is moving forward apace. It was great to see ETKB / KUGB's Bob Poynton at the EKGB Children's Championships (report to follow). The recruitment process has been almost completed for a CEO for the new body,"Karate England". His / her appointment needs to be ratified by the EKGB board at their EGM at the end of the month. Karate England is then scheduled to meet for the first time on 6th November 2005. Vacancies are open for Marketing/Commercial Director and Finance Director. See the Sport England Website for details.
There are answers to many FAQs which will be useful for concerned members (and prospective members). These can be found in the "Message from the Vice President" (Abdu Shaher) section of the news pages at the EKGB site. http://www.ekgb.org.uk/news.php?news_id=55
EKGB National Championships 2005 (I got silver in the "Masters"), and Ticky Donovan Lifetime achievement award". See "Reports"
TWO NEW TOURNAMENT REPORTS
In Feb 2005 I attended the massive WAKO GB Championships, and the following week, the AMA International Open. Both were held at Nottingham's Harvey Hadden Centre, but two different spectacles were on offer. Were you there? See the pics and read the reports
AMA Dan Grading.
In October a number of applicants took Dan Gradings with the AMA Tech Committee. I was the only unsuccessful candidate, failing my Yondan test. See the "Reports" page for an account of the successful ones.
World Championships in Mexico, Nov 2004
As you will know, our team have been away at the Senior World Championships in Mexico.
I am delighted to report on the fantastic results achieved.
The Men's team finished in 4th place and we won two individual gold medals and a silver medal in the individual events. Natalie Williams finished in fifth place.
RORY DANIELS became senior WORLD CHAMPION in the Men's Openweight category. [photo attached]
PAUL NEWBY became senior WORLD CHAMPION in the Men's Under 60 kilos category.
LEON WALTERS won the silver medal in the Men's +80 kilos category.
This fantastic result placed ENGLAND 2nd on the World medals table behind only Japan and made us the most successful European National competing.
To put this result into context -
This is the best result at a Senior World Championships since 1996 [when English athletes competed as part of a Great Britain team]
This is the best result that England competing independently has ever achieved,
This result puts us ahead of our performance targets by some considerable measure,
This is the best result we have achieved since we have been in receipt of Lottery funding.
Massive congratulations go to National Coach Ticky Donovan, OBE, supported by Assistant Coach Wayne Otto, OBE, who have worked tirelessly with the squad over the last four years, their expertise and ability paying dividends for our athletes.
Massive congratulations to Rory, Paul and Leon personally, their club and Association coaches, the work, commitment and dedication over the years culminating in their success clear for all to see.
This is a tremendous boost for the success of our World Class Programmes, programme managers Ticky and Suzanne and an acknowledgement of all the work that goes on behind the scenes to make these successes happen.
On a related point, success also for the Referees department in that World Judge Dale Gamble was promoted to an A class official so congratulations to Dale and Chief Referee Terry Pottage on that achievement.
Finally, a world of thanks to Sport England for their continued support of English Karate, their funding of our World Class programmes; the investment being made telling its' own story!
We will be looking for as much coverage in the media locally and nationally as we can achieve. In the Bristol area local papers are going to Rory's club on Tuesday evening as are HTV, the regional television network.
I will keep you all up to date with any news and features we can secure.
I am delighted to pass on the news,
See also the WKF website (WKF.net), or the World Championships site at: