Sessen Ryu Karate traces its origins back to 1972 when its principal instructors began training in Stanford Le Hope. The Dojo was part of an Association known as the Essex Martial Arts Group. The group had a section for karate, Kung Fu and Goshin Jitsu. With such a variety of arts it made for a good cross section of training which broadened students knowledge.
Back Row Left Alan jones, Dave Nash., Pete Waldock, Phil Jones Sensei Jim McAllister, Tony Childs, Albie O'Connor, Bernie Helm, Oz Ozman, Front row left Shaun Watts Phil Hibbert, Peter Fox, Dave Stadalink, Mark Garland around 1980.
In 1983 the term Sessen Ryu was adopted meaning hand to hand or close quarter style. Photo taken at the regular Friday night Blackbelt class in Pitsea after a sweaty session. Pictured back left Sensei Jim McAllister, Phil Hiibbert, John Hannen, Pete Waldock, Terry Mayhew, Front row, Albie O' Connor, Mick Griffin, Mick Christmas and Phil Jones (circa 1986)
Whilst we like to keep the traditions of karate alive and take a great interest in researching and training in the historical aspects of our art, we recognise the value of input from other martial arts.
Sensei Albie O'Connor (with Sensei Jim McAllister) during one of his training visits to Japan and Okinawa.
Throughout the years we have hosted seminars ranging from traditional karate by visiting senior Japanese Sensei, to World Champion kickboxers, grapplers, and internationally renowned practitioners of martial arts from around the globe.
Training with Higaonna Sensei - 1986
|With Tomiyama Sensei|| With Takamizawa Sensei|
With Phil Jones receiving a little kicking coaching from Bill Wallace (seminar arranged by Jim McAllister)
John Longstreet kickboxing Seminar hosted by Jim McAllister
The year we won the team event for dodgy haircuts and moustaches!
It is a sad farewell to the United Services Club (The Wooden Hut) as demolition began on 12th Nov 2009. It had been used for martial arts since the early 70's and many of us started our training in the upstairs hall which was sweltering in summer and freezing in winter. The above photos of SenseiTomiyama, Sensei Takamizawa and John Longstreet were all taken in the hall, which with it's lovely wooden walls, ceiling and floor made for a perfect dojo. Many social events also took place there and the downstairs bar was a welcome sight after a hard training session. It will be replaced with flats but I managed to get a couple of floorboards from the demolition men as souvenirs of the blood and sweat shed there.