We are a school with a rich and deep history
Read below for an insight into our heritage, our founders and our present day leaders, as well as a look at our ethos, and how we aim to achieve this with the practice of karate-do. 

chief instructor

Julia Turley shihan
Renshinkan Great Britain is led by Chief Instructor Julia Turley (6th Dan). Julia Shihan (Chief Instructor) has dedicated her life to teaching traditional karate, which is enshrined by the ancient principles of Budo practice: compassion, courage, honour, humility, loyalty, sincerity and rectitude.

She has delivered 40+ years of teaching excellence after leaving her successful career in local government to better champion the confidence and character of children in her community.

Julia Shihan runs classes for children, teenages and adults across the Mid Sussex region of the South of England. She established the school in 1985.


yuzo tamotsU soke
Our school is affiliated with the Shorinjiryu Renshinkan Karate-do Headquarters in Japan, Kagoshima. Founded by and following the teachings of Isamu Tamotsu, the school has since been led by Isamu Tamotsu’s son Iwao Tamotsu (the Nidaime, second successor) who passed away in 2016, handing over leadership to his brother, our current Grand Master, Yuzo Tamotsu (the Sandaime, third successor). The Grand Master Soke is a 10th degree black belt.

We regularly visit the Grand Master at our school headquarters (Souhonzon) in Kagoshima for tournaments, seminars and senior gradings.
This style can trace its origins back to the very early days of karate history in Okinawa and the famous master, Sokon Matsumura who is said to have created the kata Chinto.

Amongst his most committed students was Chotuku Kyan (1870 – 1945) who trained a karateka (practitioner) named Joen Nakazato.  On his return from active service during World War II, Nakazato was determined to continue his practice, maintaining all of his master’s teaching.  It was Nakazato who named the style Shorinjiryu after its birthplace, a Shaolin Temple in China. 

One of Nakazato’s students, Isamu Tamotsu of Kagoshima, was responsible for first taking the style to mainland Japan in the 1950s.  The school he created was named the Renshinkan School.  Iwao Tamotsu (son of the founder, Isamu Tamotsu) worked ceaselessly to expand Shorinjiryu Renshinkan across the world, having established the International Federation, which comes together every few years to celebrate and promote world peace and understanding in the International Friendship Tournaments.  Iwao Tamotsu Soke passed away in November 2016 and has been succeeded by his brother, Yuzo Tamotsu Soke. 

Shorinjiryu Renshinkan is one of the few remaining family styles being practiced today.
The style of karate practiced by the Renshinkan School is Shorinjiryu.
“The formation of sound human beings which builds a sound society.”
(The Founder, Isamu Tamotsu, 1955).
our vision
Our mission is to inspire our students to be the very best citizens they can be.  
Delivering traditional karate training in Shorinjiryu Renshinkan Karate Do, strictly following the path laid for us by our founder Isamu Tamotsu, Nidaime Iwao Tamotsu and our current Soke, Yuzo Tamotsu, Sandaime.
Enshrining our teaching in the seven Budo virtues of Compassion, Courage, Honour, Humility, Loyalty, Sincerity & Rectitude.
Providing classes to all in our community, aged 4 years+
Providing many and varied stimulating environments in which to expand our mind, body and spirit.
Giving a formal measure of progress via grading examinations.
Providing a competitive arena in which to challenge our courage, fortitude and resilience, whilst protecting human life by using correct Bogu (protective armour).
Abiding by and respecting the rules that govern all of our activity.
Ensuring we are a force for good in our local communities and our Renshinkan family, both domestically and internationally.
Ensuring our students are cared for as Renshinkan family members, and provided with as much support as possible in their life’s journey.
Delivering teaching which conforms strictly to the syllabus provided by Hobucho, and the Sensei Team.
Providing a clear path of development towards and beyond shodan grade in order to empower students to become Sensei themselves, if they so wish.
Adopting and abiding by all legislation required by our country.
We will strive to achieve all of these aims whilst learning the power of tranquil compliance, pacification of the emotions, and self-control in the face of any event that life may throw at us.
“Let humility, the spiritual cornerstone upon which the fighting traditions rest, serve to remind you to place virtue ahead of vice, values ahead of vanity, and principles ahead of personalities.”
(Matsumura Sokon, 1791 - 1888).
Guiding spirit
Respect the human life
Karate is a serious art whose application is meant for life and death struggle; to save a life. Its use is also internal development of the human spirit and as such provides ‘the way’ to get on in the world. 
Karate technique
Do not be harmed by others, and do no harm to others. This principle is the origin of karate-do. Renshinkan Karate-do is a self-defense technique that focuses on the principle that ‘flexibility overcomes stiffness’.
Form the human-being
A sound body is the basic element required to cultivate a sound spirit. Renshinkan Karate-do is to know truth with the body, and the way to cultivate and refine the imperturbable self.
Pursue the knowledge
To master the Karate-do is the same as to know truth. Even though life or society may change, one who knows truth will never lose oneself.
Pursue the moral
To lead a peaceful society into the right path, we need to start with a spirit of gratitude and thankfulness and reject ego and selfish thought and action.
Pursue the art
Kata is inhabited by one’s spirit once it is honed by a desire to practice and improve every day. Beauty that is expressed with the spirit far surpasses anything that is only expressed with the mind and the body.
After World War II, the founder Isamu Tamotsu decided to form human-beings through Budo, and founded Renshinkan because he grieved the desolation of people’s mind and spirit.He determined that “to form sound human-beings is the basis for the development of a sound society.” This is the core of Renshinkan Karate-do, which supports the hopes and dreams of young people, and is handed down from generation to generation.
The late Soke Tamotsu Isamu founded the Shorinjiryu Karate-do Renshinkan. In his childhood, he was taught the basics of Karate by the fisherman who lived in his neighborhood in Itoman-city, Okinawa Prefecture. When he was 17 years old, he went to Butokuden in Taichung-city, Taiwan, where he learned Kodokan-jujutsu from the late master Tadao Nakahara and southern Chinese martial arts from the late master Roshi Chin who was an expert of Chinese martial arts.

After the World War II, grieving for the desolation of people’s mind, he decided to cultivate their spirits through Bu-do. He came back to Okinawa and learned the legitimate legacy of Okinawa Karate from the late Zenryo Shimabukuro who was the disciple of the late Chutoku Kyan who was famous as Master Kyan in the Okinawa Karate community, and completed the basic Kata (forms) of “Seiryu-shichiho” or “Authentic seven Methods.” Isamu mastered not only Karate-do but also Kodokan jujutsu, Hoen-ryu taijutsu, Kenso-ryu jujutsu, Hakko-ryu jujutsu, Bo-jutsu (martial arts using a wooden staff), Jo-jutsu (martial arts using a short cane staff), Sai-jutsu (martial arts using a dagger-shaped truncheon) and so on.

Thus, he comprehensively organized the various martial arts that he mastered over half a lifetime and also added in many Kumite techniques devised by himself through extremely intense training. On November 8th, 1955, he started the Shorinji-ryu Karate-do Association and the Renshinkan dojo in Koma-chou, Kagoshima. The glorious history of Renshinkan began in the small dojo measuring less than 350 square feet.
The Foundation of Shorinjiryu
Karate-do Renshinkan

Isamu Tamotsu
The Founder of Shorinji-ryu Karate-do Federation Renshinkan 10th Dan Master, The title of Shorinji Morikado, Awarded The Order of the Sacred Treasure, 4th Class (Gold Rays with Rosette), The late Soke Tamotsu Isamu, the founder of Renshinkan, was born in Amami City, Kagoshima Prefecture in 1919.

He broke away the feudal system of Karate-do, which had stubbornly adhered to the Kata supremacy at the time after the war, and achieved to form the foundation of undeveloped Kumite (sparring) techniques. From the perspective of the respect for human life, he consistently pursued safety and rationality of Kumite, and implemented the match rule requiring players to wear protective gears.

He also clarified the judgement of winning or losing, and laid the foundation of Renshinkan as a genuine popular martial art that combined the spirit of sport and Bu-do. Those efforts brought a new concept to Karate world. Furthermore, with the firm belief that Karate-do is the Bu-do that best contributes to cultivating the Gotoku or Five-virtues (Sincerity, Righteousness, Propriety, Wisdom, and Benevolence) that form the basis of Eastern morality, he devoted himself to educating people through Karate-do from an early stage. Founding Renshinkan, he and his young disciples were already aiming for the creation of Karate-do for the people’s mind and the sound society, and had high aspiration to spread Karate-do for humanity development throughout Japan.

Although the journey was extremely difficult due to the post-war severe poverty, he kept hope alive, had the words of William Wordsworth, “Plain living and high thinking,” in his mind, and overcame much hardships. Eventually he developed Renshinkan into one of the largest organizations in the Karate world of Japan, and his outstanding skills and the personality made him “the great treasure in Karate world”. He founded the All Japan Shorinji-ryu Karate-do Federation, the Kagoshima Karate-do Federation and the West Japan Karate-do Federation, and assumed the chairman of these federations. In 1964, he founded Kenshi-ga-oka (headquarters of Renshinkan) in Ijuin-cho, Hioki City, Kagoshima Prefecture, and built a monument called Kenshi-no-to.

In 1965, at the invitation of the Chinese National Sports Council, he became the first martial artist to visit the mainland after the war. He strived to strengthen the relationships between Japanese and Chinese martial arts worlds, and continued on his path as a pioneer in this field as well.

A precept of Soke Tamotsu Isamu: "Injury can place us in grave danger, so hone your skills with compulsory training, and even if you do receive a blow or two keep calm with a smile."

The Founder
Iwao Tamotsu
10th Dan MasterThe title of Shorinji MorimasaThe late Tamotsu Iwao the second Soke was born in Naze City, Kagoshima Prefecture in 1945 as the first son of the late Tamotsu Isamu who was the founder and 10th Dan Master.

In May 2000, he inherited the Soke of Shorinji-ryu Karate-do Renshinkan. Through rigorous training under the tutelage of his mentor and also father, the founder, he mastered the highest level of Kata and Kumite techniques. The Kata of Kushanku, the highest grade of the Shorinjiryu “Seiryu-shichiho” , which was performed by him at the national convention, was described as a completed Kata with splendour in the midst of grandeur.

Furthermore, Kumite techniques he performed became the object of awe and fear in the Karate world as the highest techniques that cannot be blocked such as "back round kick", "continuous round kick", "two-stage round kick", "side-kick Kunoji jump ", "spiral spinning kick" and "jumping side kick". In 1967, he won the first national championship with overwhelming strength, and since then, he started promoting activities of Renshinkan Karate as an instructor.

In 1969, at the age of 19, he went to the Philippines and taught at Bagio University of Commerce and Technology. In 1971, he served as the leader of Taiwan delegation in Taipei City. In 1981, he began teaching in Central American countries based in the Dominican Republic and laid the foundation of the branches in Great Britain, the United States, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, and Panama that are currently active. In recent years, he taught Karate in Europe, the UK, India, Iran, and all-over North America, increased the number of enthusiasts year by year, and contributed to the globalisation of Karate. He also actively promoted international exchanges and welfare activities. "Kata is the essence of Karate-do," he greatly contributed to cultivating healthy youth with fulfilment of the mind, technique and body (Shin-Gi-Tai) through the spread of brilliant Kata with a full sense of speed based on rationality.

In particular, it is a remarkable achievement that he brought out the potential of juvenile Kenshi or practitioners and spread Karate for boys and girls nationwide.On November 29th, 2016, he sadly passed away at the age of 69.

As the successor of the founder Tamotsu Isamu, who was hailed as truly a master of Karate or “Kensei”, he had a worthy life that contributed to the internationalization of the Shorinji-ryu Karate-do and observing the exact tradition of Kata “Seiryu-shichiho” or Authentic Seven Methods.

A precept of Soke Tamotsu Iwao: "Those who sweat only for three months do not know the sweat in three years; three years' sweat is far from thirty."
The Second (nidaime)
Contact us
Headquarters office
47 Eastern Road, Haywards Heath, RH16 3NG
(0) 1444 454827
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