Welcome to the Gibraltar Shotokan KC website.

Please register any interest at sensei@gibshot.com

Gibshot’s President & Chief Instructor is Frankie Hatton (4th dan). The club has had a presence on the Rock for more than 20 years. We are affiliated and licensed through the Shotokan of England Karate Union (SEKU) whose Chairman & Chief Instructor is Sensei Brian Smith 7th dan.

Sensei Frankie Hatton

Gibraltar SKC traces its origins through Frankie via his mentor & instructor Sensei Mick Dewey (8th dan) who regularly visits the Rock. Mick’s instructor was no less than Keinosuke Enoeda (9th dan) who taught at the famous Marshall Street dojo near London’s Carnaby Street. Frankie also regularly trained at Enoeda sensei’s dojo there between 1998 and 2000 when working in central London attending lunchtime classes.

Sensei Enoeda’s instructors were none other than Masatoshi Nakayama & Taiji Kase both of whom were taught by the founder of Shotokan Karate Gichen Funakoshi.

Frankie has trained around the world in Japan, Brazil, Spain, Germany, USA, Hong Kong and Australia. Apart from Sensei’s Enoeda & Mick Dewey he has been on the same dojo floor as some very notable instructors; namely Masao Kawasoe, Dave Hazard, Aiden Trimble, Malcolm Phipps, Terry O’Neill, Billy Higgins, as well as notable Japanese instructors Sensei’s Asano, Nagai, Mirukama, Miura, Tatsuya Naka, Shinjin Akita, Yoshi Ohta and though not shotokan he was given the opportunity to train with Mitsusuke Harada (5th dan the founder of Shotokai karate who trained and was awarded his dan grade by none other than Gichen Funakoshi in 1956).

For further information contact Frankie on 00350 54038127 or email sensei@gibshot.com

If you wish to train you are welcome we are affiliated to the Shotokan of England Karate Union (SEKU) Head of which is Sensei Brian Smith 7th dan


KIHON is the Japanese word for ‘basics’ and basics in terms of karate are the first steps you take in the martial art. It is where we learn how to block, step, strike, form a fist, in fact anything that you do in the first few years could be termed as learning the basics. Of course in order to keep your training up, it is expected that you will always practice these basics and improve them.

KUMITE loosely is fighting or sparring. There are several forms of kumite and each form is dependant on your grade (belt colour). Obviously starting with the simplest then as you progress you will demonstrate your skills freestyle, sparring again using correct karate techniques this isn’t a simple scrap. As a rough guide the following are the types of kumite.

  • Sanbon kumite – three step sparring, pre-arranged attack and counter exercise for beginners
  • Gohon kumite – five-step sparring, pre-arranged attack and counter exercise for beginners
  • Ippon kumite – one step sparring, typically used for self-defense drills
  • Jiyu Ippon kumite – At brown belt level this is one step attack & immediate counter attack with pre-announced attacks (6)
  • Kiso kumite – structured sparring drawn from a kata
  • Jiyu kumite – free sparring


KATA are the forms you often see if you’ve ever seen a demonstration or a karate competition. There are around 26 different katas in shotokan karate depending on which organisation you belong to. At certain levels in your training you are expected to know the required katas. I have added the colours of the belt next to the kata  so students know which they are required to know for their grading examination. Remember passing one grade means another kata until you know all of them.

Masatoshi Nakayama often said that 10 minutes of kata each day was all that was required to keep your training going.

There is also a kata called Kihon that white belt students learn in order to obtain their first coloured belt, orange.


Created relatively recently, the Heians were originally called Pinan from the Okinawan pronunciation of the Chinese word for safety. When introduced to Japan, Master Funakoshi opted to use the Japanese pronunciation Heian. Considered basic kata for beginning students.

  • 平安初段 Heian Shodan – (peaceful mind, first level) (Red-8th kyu)
  • 平安二段 Heian Nidan – (peaceful mind, second level) (Yellow-7th kyu)
  • 平安三段 Heian Sandan – (peaceful mind, third level) (Green-6th kyu)
  • 平安四段 Heian Yondan – (peaceful mind, fourth level) (Purple-5th kyu)
  • 平安五段 Heian Godan – (peaceful mind, fifth level) (Purple/White-4th kyu)


Originally known in Okinawa as Naihanchi, the katas were renamed by Master Funakoshi upon its introduction to Japan to reflect the strength exhibited with kiba-dachi. Rich in fighting techniques, the Tekki family offers a plethora of close combat techniques.

  • 鉄騎初段 Tekki Shodan – (iron horse riding, first level) (Brown-3rd kyu)
  • 鉄騎弐段 Tekki Nidan – (iron horse riding, second level) (Black belt)
  • 鉄騎参段 Tekki Sandan – (iron horse riding, third level) Black belt)

Advanced Katas

  • Bassai Dai (to penetrate a fortress – big) (Brown/White-2 & 1st kyu)
    The strong techniques of this kata emphasise hip movement. Some resemble a battering ram being used against fortress walls.
  • Bassai Sho (to penetrate a fortress – small)
    This kata was derived from Bassai-Dai. It has a similar performance line.
  • Kanku Dai (to view the sky – big)
    Most of the elements of the Heian Kata were derived from this kata. The first movement in this kata views the sky, which symbolises the universe and shows your opponent that you are unarmed. It was Master Funakoshi’s preferred kata.
  • Kanku Sho (to view the sky – small)
    Kanku Sho was created from Kanku Dai. The movements and performance line are similar.
  • Hangetsu (half moon)
    This kata received its name from its principal stance, hangetsu dachi (half moon stance).
  • Goju Shi Ho Dai (fifty four steps – big)
    This kata is one of the most advance kata of Shotokan. Master Funakoshi called it hotaku (knocking of a woodpecker) because some of the techniques resemble a woodpecker tapping its beak against a tree.
  • Goju Shi Ho Sho (fifty four steps – small)
    This is a smaller version of Goju Shi Ho Dai. It is also one of the most advanced kata of Shotokan.
  • Enpi (flying swallow)
    The quick up and down movements of this kata are reminiscent of a fling swallow. Enpi is one of the oldest kata in Shotokan. Its former name was Wanshu.
  • Jion (love and goodness)
    Jion is a term in Buddhism. It is also the name of a temple in China. It uses basic stances and techniques. It is one of the most traditional kata in Shotokan.
  • Jiin (love and shadow)
    Jiin is another term in Buddhism. It has similar techniques and performance line as Jion.
  • Jitte (ten hands)
    The goal of this kata is to teach a student to fight against ten opponents. This is a strong kata, similar to jion and Jiin.
  • Meikyo (bright mirror)
    The first movements of this kata suggest the smoothing of water to make it as calm and even as a mirror. The triangle jump at the end of this kata is said to have a secret meaning portending to a miracle.
  • Niju Shi Ho (twenty-four steps)
    The movements in this kata resemble waves breaking on a cliff. The former name of this kata was ni sei shi.
  • Wankan (king and crown)
    Wankan is the shortest kata in Shotokan.
  • Gankaku (crane on a rock)
    The main stance in this kata (tsuruashi dachi) resembles a crane ready to strike at its prey. The movements are supposed to simulate a fight in the narrow alleyways of Okinawa. The former name of this kata was Chinto.
  • Sochin (strength and calm)
    The name of this kata comes from its stance (sochin dachi), a strong, rooted stance. The purpose of this kata is to teach defense against a stick. Its former name was Hakko.
  • Chinte (rare hand)
    Chinte has a lot of circular and roundhouse techniques. These are rare and are not typical of the shortest distance between two points concept of Shotokan.
  • Unsu (cloud hands)
    Unsu has several techniques that symbolize parting the clouds with open hands. It is also one of the most advanced kata of Shotokan.

Karate Admin

Admin is the bit everyone needs these days. To train with Gibshot you need two important things:

Dojo etiquette: Which seems dated but in traditional shotokan it is important to understand behaviour and respect for not just senior members but junior members. You cannot respect yourself without respecting others first. Respect is earned through experience and proficiency, though not necessarily excellence.

Dojo License: Our licensing is through SEKU please download the form below, complete it electronically if you wish and pay the annual fee. Send it to the address on the form. Once you receive your license your sensei will then be able to advise you and upcoming examinations.

Applications y Dojo Etiqette

Grading examinations: Generally GibShot “gradings” are approximately every four months. Your sensei will ensure you are ready and capable for any examination you are entered into so you can be confident if you train hard, minimum twice a week, do your best and show you are capable of the techniques expected of you at that grade level you should be successful. Of course sometimes you aren’t but your instructor will tell you why and what you need to do to be successful next time.

These are the grades/colours used to denote rank which are called “kyu grades”:

Everyone starts with a White belt unless they graded at a previous club.
Orange (9th kyu)/Red (8th kyu)/Yellow (7th kyu) /Green (6th kyu)
Purple (5th kyu)/Purple & white stripe (4th kyu)Brown (3rd kyu)

Once attaining brown belt students must at some point before taking their Shodan exam attend a minimum of 3 SEKU Black & Brown belt courses. These courses are at a higher level and take students out of the comfort of their home dojo against students from other clubs. You want to know what you’ve been taught works right?

Brown with single white stripe (2nd kyu) there must be a minimum of 6 months between 2nd and 3rd kyu exam.

Brown with 2 white stripes (1st kyu) there must be a minimum of 1 year between 1st kyu and attempting the Shodan (1st degree) Black belt examination.

On attaining a 1st degree black belt it is generally accepted that at this point with over 4 years training under your belt (literally), you start to learn shotokan karate having now achieved a good base from which to start. Karate is a slow burn, good karate has no short cuts and is a lifelong path which a student follows without an end but many achievements along the way. It doesn’t make you tough, aggressive or a fighter. It does give you a sense of achievement more than anything else it gives you self confidence and better able to cope with life’s little foibles.

The Gibshot Blog


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