Sensei Paul Wolstencroft
Grade: Godan 5th Dan Black Belt JKS
JKS Qualifications: JKS Grading Examiner D, JKS Instructor D, JKS Judge D, Gracie Barra Blue Belt in BJJ
Hi my name is Paul Wolstencroft. and I am a class Instructor and Chief Instructor at Red Tiger. I would like to thank you for visiting my profile and share with you a brief history of my Karate journey.
I grew up in Salford Manchester and come from a fairly large family with 5 sisters and 1 brother. In February 1997 my dad paid for me to join a Karate club that had recently opened up at a local High School.
The club was an Australian based group called GKR. As a member of the group I was treated really well and was afforded the opportunity become a Trainee Instructor. I was also welcomed onto their full time programme where they taught and guided me about how to run a successful Karate Club
In my time with the group I attended numerous seminars and tournaments and met some lifelong friends one of whom is my wife Rachael. I strongly believe that without GKR I would not be where I am today. The sad part about Karate is that people rightly or wrongly judge groups without ever having trained there. I believe that people can only judge when they have walked that path.
There are good and bad in every Karate group and Association. My time in Go Kan Ryu ended in October 2005 when my instructor left Karate and the club. I truly believed that at the time I had gone as far as I possible could within my current role. During my time at GKR I became one of the youngest Instructors within the UK and graded to Black belt by the Assistant Chief Instructor Stacey Karaetsian Shihan in May 2001.
Outside of Karate, I worked in the Leisure Industry. I worked for Allied Leisure at their Worsley bowling alley and later Megabowl working my way up from staff member to the Management team in just 3 years.
After my Instructor left GKR, I also made the decision to leave and follow my passion, was and still to this day remains to be; Karate. I wanted to focus on building my own Karate club.
I spent many years of my life in GKR and also in one Industry. It was a big change and what proved to be a very brave decision. I believe that you don’t get anything in life until you commit 100%. The only thing I had ever known within was being part of big Karate club. GKR was the biggest around and did a lot of things right. In the process of building our Club, I worked three different jobs at once and had to work very hard.
Myself and a friend who had recently left GKR opened up our own group called Rising Phoenix Karate club. As the Senior grade I was the Clubs Senior Instructor. We made a few calls to local Instructors and got through to a chap called Colin Needham. I had no idea at this time what an influential and important person in my life Colin would become.
He put us in contact with The CMAA – Andrew Morrell. Andy Morrell offered us a lot of his time and helped us greatly with opening up our new club. I was also awarded the grade of Nidan during my time at the CMAA.
In order to build our club and recruit some students, we went out knocking on doors in the wind rain and cold to tell people about our new Karate club. Crucially, my Karate training and development continued under the expert guidance of Colin Needam Sensei.
During 2007 we underwent another period of change, as my business partner and I chose to part ways and my wife and I decided we join forces and create something even better. To signify a fresh start, we changed the name to Red Tiger Karate Club and moved forward as an independent karate club.
Over the years the Club continued to grow and grow. We had a lot of help from recruiters and a dedicated team of Instructors who all had a strong passion Karate and teaching.
My training was continuing to develop under Colin Needham Sensei and he went on to award me both my Sandan and Yondan. He was and continues to be a respected Instructor, a great training partner and an important friend.
He explained the importance of going to train with as many different Karate-ka as I could. Over the years we have trained with and learned from numerous Instructors from other organisations. Matt Price Sensei, Kanazawa Sensei, Tomiko Mitsuoka Sensei, George Best Sensei, Frank Brennan Sensei, Nagaki Sensei, Nick Heald Sensei, Yamaguchi Sensei and Bob Rhodes Sensei to name a few. I train on as many courses as I possibly can and continue to train with some of the very best karate-ka in the World.
I realise the importance of passing on good karate and felt great pressure upon my shoulders which accompanies being the leader of such a large group of dedicated karate-ka. I spent the last three years searching for a professional Shotokan karate organisation for our club to become part of which could offer greater opportunities to our members.
With the blessing of Colin Needham Sensei I contacted Matt Price Sensei from the JKS, initially inviting him to teach on our most popular event in the RTK Calendar – the Ultimate Training Weekend. We had heard great things about Matt Sensei. In person I quickly realised not only is he a formidable karate ka and highly successful competitor, he is an extremely good Instructor. He is creative and imaginative and his sessions are both mentally and physically challenging.
I started training with Matt Sensei on Wednesdays at the Leeds Karate Academy and continue to train with Colin Needham Sensei. Matt Sensei was kind enough to introduce us to Alan Campbell Sensei Head of JKS England. After several meetings and researching and training with the JKS we were impressed with the organisation and the standard of Karate that is delivered within it.
It was In September 2014 we decided to join our group to JKS England to continue our Karate journey and offer greater opportunity to our Instructors and our members. In all the years I have trained in Karate I have come to realise that people come and go and no matter how it feels today nothing stays the same. You have to develop and continue to move forward or we simply get left behind.
Karate to me has no end. Just beginning and a continuous cycle of learning. I believe that our group is one of the best around. We teach Shotokan Karate under the guidance of some of the best Karate Ka’s the world has seen. We also have a team of dedicated Instructors who have a passion for their own development and their students.
Exciting times lie ahead for us and I hope you will enjoy the benefits of being part of Red Tiger Karate Club.