Rising Sun Karate Association

Sensei Tommy Kwan 8th Dan - Chief Instructor 1973 to 2015


Sensei Tommy Kwan 8th Dan
Chief Instructor 1973 to 2015

After 42 years dedicated to Rising Sun, our founder and Chief Instructor retired. Sensei Kwan inspired and shaped the character of many students over the years and personally trained and graded to 1st Dan over 250 students. A large number of his 1st Dan students reached 3rd Dan and above. Three of his students became English Champions. In his own words, Sensei Kwan explains how it all started.


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I was born in China and arrived in England in 1959. I started practicing the art of fighting in the early 1960's beginning with Boxing, Wrestling, Judo and Kung Fu. In 1966 I joined Shotokan karate in the centre of Manchester within the Kita Nishi Kwan Judo club. The Karate club had a monthly visit from the great master Eneoda (head of KUGB), and I took my very first grading with him.

In 1969 I joined the Shukokai Karate Union headed by Sensei Roy Stanhope (one of England's first International competitors, Ex England Team manager, chief referee and British Coach.) During the early years I trained twice a week combined with private lessons from Sensei Stanhope, I was also fortunate enough to train with some of the well-known and highly respected instructors, amongst them were Stan Knighton (former Great Britain and England Karate international, Ex European Champion), Peter Consterdine, (former England and Great Britain international), Eddie Daniels, Eugene Codrington (former member of the British Team), Tommy Morris (the head of Scottish Shukokai), the late Danny Connor, Master Sken in Thai Boxing and Ticky Donovan (a renowned British Karate competitor and coach as well as former coach and manager of the British and English national team). Ticky Donovan and his Dan-grade panel graded me to 4th Dan.

I've also had the opportunity to train with many Japanese top Shukokai instructors, these include the late Master Tani (founder of Shukokai), Sensei Tomiyama, Sensei Nanbu (head of European Shukokai) and of course the late great Master Kimura who I trained with many times including a week full time in New Jersey USA, and eventually graded me to 3rd Dan. Master Kimura is the one who stands out in my mind whenever I think of Shukokai. My present grade is 8th Dan. I am the founder and chief instructor of Rising Sun Karate Association. I started my first club in 1973 and shortly after then I became a full-time Karate instructor and have been teaching Shukokai ever since.

In 1974 I opened a club at Manchester Road Community Centre in Bury which became the head quarters for R.S.K.A. In 1998, I opened my purpose built Karate Centre on Stand Lane in Radcliffe, which then became the new RSKA head quarters.