The Rising Sun School of Karate

Legends of Shotokan karate, both Japanese and home-grown, have fought their way up the ranks on the cold boards of that dojo floor.

In early 1970's Cardiff, karate began slowly and not so quietly, establishing roots in one of Wales' first dojos.

Budo spirit

The days of hard martial arts in Cardiff's (Bute Town) docks, barely resemble how we train karate today. But the spirit of strong karate-do burns brightly in Cardiff.

Sensei Chico Mbakwe followed in his brother's footsteps at The Rising Sun dojo and vividly recalls tough training and hard knocks in the heart of Tiger Bay!

Karate in Wales

Karate in Wales

JKA instructors Kanazawa, Enoeda, Kato, Asano and Kawasoe were instrumental in founding Shotokan karate in the UK and Wales. They blazed a trail and captivated generations of students of the martial arts.

Senior instructors of WSKU dojos, senseis Chico and Chrissie MbakweStuart Hockey and Gordon Ogle frequently attended summer camps, seminars and grading assessments under the formidable Shihan.

Shotokan in Wales owes so much to the JKA's mission to introduce karate to the rest of the world, all those decades ago.



Cardiff Docks' Rising Sun School of Karate moved from Bute Community Centre in the heart of Tiger Bay to Chapter Arts in 1972. Pictured are Chico Mbakwe, Sid Nogan, Peter Moore, and (kneeling) Selwyn Gould and Jerry Mbakwe.

Train karate for £3.50 per class

Is Karate Still Relevant?

As karate travelled from Japan, it splintered. Many styles have competing ideas on what is effective. Traditionalists claim modern tournament has diluted karate-do, making it a sport.

Notable stars of UFC and MMA acknowledge karate as a vital part of their background. Beyond contributing to a person's skill set, arguments of 'which is strongest' become warped around personal preferences. All martial arts are relevant to students who are willing to train hard.

Shotokan is the most widespread style of karate practised today. Dojos in Cardiff and beyond are thriving 60 years after arriving in the UK, speaking volumes about its strength and relevance to modern fighting arts.


Our Cardiff Dojo

People of all ages, backgrounds and levels of fitness train regularly with us. The atmosphere among our students is friendly, funny and lighthearted until the class is summoned to begin. Then the mood changes to focus and deference to the sensei out front.

Is karate for you?

Is karate for you?

Our dojo is a place where confidence builds, hour by hour, growing self-belief, discipline and self-control.

The karate community in Cardiff is supportive and welcoming. Whether starting or developing your journey in martial arts, it would be our pleasure to train with you.

Anyone can fight

Much of our practice takes the form of copying. To the layperson, karate looks like choreography, which can't possibly be realistic because a real fight is unpredictable.

Time and practice reveal the beauty of karate-do. Versatility and efficiency are the hallmarks of techniques in Shotokan.

With training, you learn to channel raw aggression and control your fighting instincts by understanding how to attack with precision and economy of movement.


Why Learn Karate in Cardiff?

Cardiff represents some of Shotokan's deepest roots for karate in the UK.

Sensei Chico, Sensei Chrissie Mbakwe and Sensei Stuart Hockey are some of our senior instructors who have trained with the JKA Shihan and forged a path for modern karate-do.

WSKU dojos (Cardiff)

WSKU dojos (Cardiff)

Karate is a fighting art stripped bare. Apart from the uniform of the white do-gi and our belts, training requires nothing more than a good instructor.

WSKU dojos represent decades of experience. We teach students of all ages and all levels of ability, from complete beginners to seasoned dan-grades.

Train karate for £3.50 per class

Common questions answered

Do you mainly practice fighting?

WSKU practise a rounded syllabus comprising fundamental technique, attack & defence combinations, and freestyle fighting. These are referred to as kihon, kata and kumite, respectively.

Shotokan is a well-rounded style of karate, where the focus is on developing the complete karateka (or student), instead of concentrating on one specific aspect of combat.

What if I don't know the rules of the dojo?

Etiquette is easy to pick up, everyone follows the same code. Beginners simply copy their more experienced fellow students.

How long does it take to reach black belt?

3 years is the shortest it would take to attain your 1st dan (black belt) in Shotokan karate with WSKU. Assuming you train regularly enough to pass every one of the 10 grading assessments during that time.

Anyone mid-way along this journey will realise that achieving their 1st dan, merely shows they have grasped the basics of karate-do. Achieving 1st dan signals to your instructors (and the rest of the dojo) that you are ready to learn the deeper and more sophisticated aspects of applied karate.

Knowledge and skills we develop as colour grades (kyu-grades) equip us to just begin to understand the complexities of techniques, stances, combinations and strategies for attack & defence.