Dojo Instructor, Sensei David Mason, 2nd Dan
David began his training in karate in 1986 with the Wythenshawe Shukokai Karate Club and in four years graded to 5th Kyu. When he moved to Sheffield in 1991, he was introduced to Goju Ryu karate and began training under Senseis Steve Shaw and Blaise Mellise in Rotherham and Woodhouse, Sheffield. In 1992, David joined Sensei Steve and future Norton Sensei Chris Robins on the dojo road trip to the European Gasshuku in Mulhouse, France.
David left karate in 1995, but returned in 2002 after a chance meeting with a local Go Kan Ryu instructor. During his time with GKR, David graded to 4th Kyu, before returning to Goju Ryu at Norton Dojo under Sensei Chris Robins in 2007. Since then David has continued to train at Norton Dojo, eventually becoming Assistant Instructor. He has also joined other dojo members at many EGKA and IOGKF Gasshukus in London, Bournemouth, Wirral, Okinawa and more recently online via Zoom.
David was awarded his Shodan in 2017 and his Nidan in 2019 at the IOGKF Gishiki in Okinawa, Japan.
In March 2022, David was invited to become the Hallam Dojo instructor when Sensei Andy Barker moved abroad following his retirement.
Dojo Advisor, Sensei Andy Barker, 6th Dan
Sensei Andy began his training in 1984 at a small club teaching Goju Ryu in Sheffield. In 1986 at the suggestion of Sensei Graham Ravey he visited the IOGKF honbu dojo, then in Tokyo as a green belt and trained under Sensei Morio Higaonna. On his return he began to train at a different club in Chesterfield under Sensei Kenny Allen a student of Sensei Ravey.
Sensei Ravey would visit the dojo along with Sensei Nigel Adams when they returned from Japan on family visits.
Around 1990 he started teaching at the then Sheffield Polytechnic where current dojo stalwarts such as Esref Ulas and Terry Noble began training with him. Sadly the instructor at Chesterfield had to cease training for health reasons so Sensei Andy journeyed to the infamous ‘Marble Factory’ dojo belonging to Sensei George Andrews. He was taken by what he saw and joined the EGKA. He continued to train with Sensei Andrews for 20 years until recently re-joining the EGKA after a being part of the OTGKA.
Sensei Andy has trained in Japan and Okinawa on several occasions and attended numerous European Gasshukus. He continues to train on a regular basis with senior instructors of the EGKA
In January 2015 he travelled to train at the IOGKF Honbu dojo where he was successful in his 6th dan grading.
Assistant Dojo Instructor, Sensei Esref Ulas, 4th Dan
Sensei Esref Ulas first started training Goju Ryu karate in 1997 under the guidance of Sensei Andy Barker and this has continued to date. During those years he was also taught by Sensei Terry Noble. Between 1998 and 1999 (and more recently in 2011), he has won various medals at Regional and National competitions at both team and individual categories. He has participated in several IOGKF & EGKA Gasshukus in UK and Europe, led by Morio Higaonna Sensei (10th Dan).
Sensei Esref successfully obtained his 1st Dan in 2002, 2nd Dan in 2004, 3rd Dan in 2007 and 4th Dan in 2012.
He regularly attends training events in the UK led by the Chief/Senior Instructors of the EGKA/IOGKF. Sensei Esref is committed to transfer his knowledge and experience for the development of students.
He believes that Goju Ryu karate is for people of all ages, gender, ethnic background and abilities. Regular training will help build up confidence levels, fitness, strength and healthy minds/bodies. The historical and linguistic parts of the traditional karate are fascinating and putting all these in to practice is challenging but rewarding”.