Up until 1982 there was only one structured Martial Arts club at the University offering gradings and courses with senior instructors. This was the Sen No Kai club, which still exists today. Their philosophy does not include competition Karate. This presented a problem for students who wanted to compete in University and even national events. Like-minded individuals training together as the Martial Arts Club solved the problem. The club offered training and competition but no formal grading or set courses since there was no set style to follow.
This changed in the Spring semester of 1982 when an accountancy student named Ronnie Webster invited his instructor, Robert Kane, to give a training session at the club. Sensei Kane (then 3rd Dan, now
8th Dan and chief instructor for the UK Tenshinkan Karate Foundation) had just returned from Japan where he had been training in a "new" style of karate called TENSHINKAN, and was eager to spread the ideas and concepts of his new Sensei, Kancho Miwa. The prospect of having a structured club and gradings syllabus appealed to the students involved and so a TENSHINKAN Karate club was formed here at the University.
The original dojo was in fact the Pathfoot Library reading room. This made training difficult due to the carpet causing blisters, carpet burns and other injuries (well remembered by those who trained there). Later the club relocated to the Pathfoot Crush Hall, and finally to the current location of the Gannochy Sports Hall, which is of course much more suitable.
Although TENSHINKAN is a comparatively new style, the training does not centre around competition training but encompasses the "Traditional" concepts of Kihon (basics), Kata (a predetermined series of movements showing defence and counter attack), Kata Bunkai (explanation of Kata) and Kihon Kunite (basic prearranged sparring). The club does,
however, make an effort to enter anyone who wishes for organised competitions.
We have successfully represented the University in the Scottish Team League, the Scottish University Championships and the British University Championships.
We also attend, timing permitting, both national and international Gashukus.
We were honoured to be invited to join with other UK clubs at the latest
visit to the UK of World Chief Instructor Kancho Mamoru Miwa in the summer
of 2008. Competition techniques however are only a portion of the clubs training and students are encouraged to train in all aspects of the TENSHINKAN syllabus.
The UK dojos are run like dojos in Japan, and students visiting the World Headquarters in Saitama province will notice little difference in the way the dojo training there is structured in comparison to those in the UK. Some students that have trained with the University club have commented on the discipline and etiquette, the importance of which
is constantly stressed by Shihan (Chief Instructor) Robert Kane and
University "Dojo Cho" Sensei Niall Auchinachie.