About Us

ATARU: To Hit, To Strike, Along the Path.

The Ataru Shotokan Karate Club was formed in the September of 1974, by Market Drayton locals Andy Boden and Peter Nicolson. The club exploded with members in the wake of the Bruce Lee phenomena “Enter The Dragon”. Later the club running passed to Pete Mazan – who was Otto Blank’s first Sensei when he joined in 1983. The Club’s first Black Belt Resident Instructor, Mike Cartwright took over as Sensei in the late ’80s and the club continued to grow in stature.  Otto gained 1st Dan JKA in Feb 1988 under Sensei Enoeda and inherited the Chief Instructors post in the early 1990’s, when Mike moved back to competitive weightlifting, where he has had much success in the seniors arena. Mike now resides in Vancouver, Canada.

Otto passed his 4th Dan in October 2017, he has been joined by Paul Cheshire 2nd Dan, in the running of the Ataru.

2014 saw the 30th consecutive year of Otto’s Karate education under the KUGB.

In the early years we used to train at the M.D. Squash Clubs function room. When the Squash club was redeveloped in the early 1990s we moved to the Lower Grove, Little Drayton Centre and finally took up residence at the Tern Hill Barracks under the auspice of The Black Watch Regiment. We moved back into Drayton when the regiment left for Hong Kong and found our current base at the then undeveloped Festival Drayton Centre. During its recent re-building we were temporarily re-located at the Parish Rooms and back at the Little Drayton Community Centre again – now a private house!

We now have a very modern Dojo at the Festival Drayton Centre on Frogmore road with facilities for kick bags and floor safety matting (which was part financed by Muller Dairy).  The club itself is affiliated to the Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB) which was the first Shotokan style association to be formed in the UK back in the 1966!

A second club was started in 2007 at the Prees Recreation Ground,
near Whitchurch, under the guidance of 2nd Dan Paul Cheshire. Sunday morning students can train here with classes from 10 to 11.30am. The Monday evening class continues at 7pm – 8-30pm.

Market Drayton & Prees