Est 1988


Shito-Ryu Shukokai Union
Welcome to Ilkley Karate Club

Ilkley Karate Club is the longest running Karate Club in the local area. It is a friendly open club with a string of successes at international, national and local level competitions. We train at the Ben Rhydding Methodist Church four times a week (Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evenings, and Saturday mornings).

We follow the Shukokai style of karate which in its most basic translation means: “An association where people come together to study the martial arts”. This is core to the focus of the club which encourages mutual respect and coming together to learn.

Please browse the site which hopefully will answer many of your questions, but if not – please don’t hesitate to get in touch using our contact page.

We would encourage anyone to try karate - it aims to develop: character, humility, confidence, self esteem, self control, determination, and patience. No other physical discipline offers so much. The art of karate also develops and enhances physical abilities that would take a multitude of sports to develop. Students improve balance, coordination, muscle tone, cardio-vascular conditioning, timing, rhythm, hand-eye coordination, hand-foot coordination, and flexibility...All that, and self defence as well. You won't learn most of this lifting weights or running on a treadmill at a gym.

Mark Outterside
Sensei; Founder of Ilkley Karate Club

Ilkley Karate Club Chief Instructor – Sensei Mark Outterside

Mark Outterside is the founder and current Chief Instructor at Ilkley Karate Club. He has been practising karate for over 35 years and is now a 5th degree black belt with the Shito-Ryu Shukokai Karate Union (SSKU) . Mark spent most of his training life with the Shukokai Karate Union (SKU), leaving only in 2010 to gain more knowledge of the pure Shukokai/Shito-Ryu system with traditional roots.

Mark began the sport when he was 15 years old, as he wanted to try something that was different to the sports being offered at school, that would increase his overall fitness, and above all build his self-confidence. From the very beginning it kindled an inner-passion and ever since the early days, Mark has trained at least 3 or 4 times a week, regularly entering competitions and courses. Once Mark passed his 1st degree black belt in 1985, he began training with the SKU England Squad. In 1987 all the hard work really paid off and Mark won the first EKB (English Karate Board, now the EKGB) super lightweight title in London in September 1987.

In 1988 Mark opened the Ilkley Karate club, which had been a long held ambition of his. Having lived in Ilkley all his life he wanted to give something back to the community. It was slow going at first but picked up when the Telegraph and Argus decided to publish a full-page spread on karate in general, with a special feature on the embryonic Ilkley Karate Club. Interest in the sport was relatively high at the time due to a particular popularity of the new breed of Martial Art films of the day! And club membership soon flourished. Over the years the club has maintained an average membership of over 100 students with ages ranging from 5 to 65 years old. In 2009 Mark attained his 6th Dan black belt with the SKU – and became one of the youngest 6th Dan’s in the UK following the strict time limitations for traditional Karate requiring 6 years since attaining 5th Dan. To cap it all his many years of service to the youth of the Ilkley area were recognised by the Ilkley Rotary Club who presented him a community award for outstanding service

The club’s achievements are regularly featured in the local press and the club and its students have also been featured in the “Traditional Karate” magazine which has worldwide circulation. Ilkley Karate Club is now the longest running martial arts club in the Ilkley area and attracts students from all over West and North Yorkshire.

Mark has always maintained that one of the most pleasing aspects of karate is seeing the students young and old develop and reach their goals. Karate is a great confidence builder and students learn respect which sadly in this day and age is something we are increasingly lacking.

The club represents a huge commitment in his life, but always a welcome one.

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