We'll Be With You Every
Step Of The Way

They say a journey of thousand miles begins with a single step. The Honbu prides it's self on helping all students to excel, succeed in their goals and belong to a group which has been at forefront of English Karate for 40 Years as part of the BTKA with Shihan Chris Thompson (9th Dan).
We'll Be With You Every
</br>Step Of The Way
  • 1985

    Club Founded Wincanton Karate Club has been is existence for over 30 years.
  • 44

    Black Belts The Honbu has 44 black belts currently training.
  • 100

    Years + The Senior Instructors have over 100 years experience between them

Mission Statement

Our mission is to provide a safe place where students from all backgrounds and abilities can learn a martial art.

'Seven Times Down - Eight Times Up'


Adult Beginners

Adult beginners are invited to come and train in the following classes, where you will be helped...

Junior Classes

Our Junior Class (8+ years of age) is going from strength to strength, we can already see many...

Little Samurai Class

Our Little Samurai Class is for 4* to 8 year olds and is aimed at getting young children in to...

Sign Up For A Free Trial

Powered by Martialytics

Why Learn Karate With Us?

There are a number of different martial arts and clubs available locally, but with over 200 members we feel we have a lot to offer.

No Gimmicks

All of our instructors are qualified black belts with many years of experience. Our Chief Instructor for The Honbu, Paul Hacker has over 25 years experience and is currently a 6th Dan. The club also has instructors and students ranging from 1st to 4th Dan black belts.

More info

Realistic Techniques

Our syllabus is varied and the techniques we learn, practise and perform have been honed over many years.
Whilst students are able to enter competitions, our focus is very much on techniques that will work in the real world.

More info

A Complete Style

Very few styles of Karate can call themselves 'complete' but this is an honour bestowed on Washinkai by the Japan Karate Federation.
You will learn locks, holds, throws, ground work as well as stricking, kicking and punching.

More info

In April 2008 we started work on The Honbu, these pictures which we took during the work show the scope and magnitude of what we took on.

View this photo set on Flickr
View the embedded image gallery online at:

A brief look at the history of Washinkai Karate, The Honbu and how it all inter-connects with Wincanton Karate Club


History Main

Washinkai Karate Founded

It was in late 1977 that Chris Thompson came to the conclusion that due to be being disillusioned and dissatisfied with the Wado-Ryu organisation in the UK that it would be best if he severed all connections with them

This meant that Chris Thompson was one of the first breakaways and one of the first Englishmen to formulate his own style, training and grading syllabus.

With many of his senior students feeling the same way they officially left the Wado Ryu group in 1978.

With five clubs spread over London a name to identify with was needed. Collectively they called themselves 'Wa-shin-kai' Wa - for harmony as Chris Thomspon's roots were with Wado-Ryu; Shin - for heart, mind and spirit as one, also truth; Kai - for group.

I now went searching for a new home, which involved training with various senior instructors of different schools of karate. This period was invaluable as it broadened my horizons, giving me an insight into the different approach that other instructors had in teaching karate. I made many good friends. For over a year I continued with this programme whilst running several clubs. I admired many aspects of all the karate schools I trained with, but I felt that none could offer exactly what I was looking for. Unbeknown to me at the time I was following the step of Shu-ha-ri.

Shihan Chris Thompson (8th Dan) Essentials of Wado Ryu

Chris Thompson felt that a specific growth programme for Washinkai had to be created. This was important if the group was going to survive as an independent group and there were to be no contradictions in teaching methods or technique.

Two Japanese instructors, Hironori Goda, a Goju stylist and Takao Yamamoto, a Shito-ryu stylist, stayed and trained with Washinkai for long periods. Over the next few years a grading syllabus was established that took the student from beginner to shodan level (black belt).

Both of these Japanese men continued with the Washinkai teaching programme on their return to Japan.


Wincanton Karate Club formed with classes held at the Memorial Hall.


January 1992 and the current Chief Instructor for The Honbu, Paul Hacker, starts Karate. The club at this time had moved to a dance studio within the current Hopkins Developments office building on the Tythings.


Paul takes over as the instructor of the club, the club is now based at the Methodist Church Hall. Its a trying time for the club, numbers are low and only one session a week for training.


The club moves to King Arthur's School, training is still only once a week but numbers are growing.


Long time serving student, Jason Brown, becomes Paul's first Dan Grade. 20 years later Jason is still a member of the club.


After lots of negotiations, the club moves to the newly opened Wincanton Sports Centre. Classes are moved to Tuesdays and Thursdays, Saturday mornings were also subsequently introduced.


Paul decides, with the support of Shihan Thompson, to start teaching Karate full-time


By 2008 the club has grown significantly, there are now two sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Its time to turn the page and start the next chapter.

April 2008 to present

With the support of his senior students, Paul and the club embark on a project to create their own dojo, The Honbu. Work starts in April 2008, soft opening June 2008 and the official opening is September 2008. The club which is the headquarters of Washinkai Karate in the West of England now has many satellite clubs with a membership of over 200 students.

We are very proud of our students and what we have achieved in creating our own dojo. A lot of hard work has been put in by the Instructors and Students, to not only create The Honbu but ensure that the standard of Karate is high and to ensure its continuing success.



Our vision is to provide safe places across the West of England where students can learn a dynamic and realistic form of martial art, with qualified black belt Instructors. 

We totally believe in growth from within, our Instructors have all received their black belts from Shihan Chris Thompson (9th Dan) and then been selected to become Instructors. This is a process that can take some years, our vision started over 9 years ago with the creation of The Honbu.

With The Honbu, our clubs in local halls and schools we are now very well established as leading provider of martial arts tuition in the West of England, our vision is to expand on that and continue providing places to train for many years to come.


The sad fact is there are people out there who shouldn't be allowed to teach martial arts. Our mission is to show them up by showing you what good Karate looks like and allowing you to come to your own conclusions.

We feel it is really important that anyone coming in to the martial arts understands why they perform a technique in a certain way and understand the history behind it, but also at the same time realise that Karate has moved on and whilst tradition is important, see the value in ensuring techniques work for this day and age.

There is no substitute for regular training and we will continue to ensure that every student has the opportunity to train regularly and it is also our mission to ensure that students have access to courses, competitions and gradings on a regular basis as well as training at an elite level if so desired with a view to trying out for the England squad.

Main Intro

Welcome to The Honbu, the home of Wincanton Karate Club and the headquarters of Washinkai Karate in the West of England.

The Honbu is our very own purpose built dojo, which we created in 2008. It is really nice having our own dojo especially as all the work was carried out by members of the club.

Wincanton Karate Club has been running in the town since 1985, the club now has over 100 students training locally and over 200 spread throughout the West of England..

The style of Karate practised is called Washinkai, created by Shihan Chris Thompson (9th Dan) in 1977, 40 years ago. The students at The Honbu get the chance to train with the founder and creator on a regular basis.

We welcome everyone and anyone who wishes to learn and train with us, young and old, any ability. We are also happy to help those who have trained before and are looking for a new home and in most cases we will always honour gradings from bona fida groups. 

If you think learning Karate with us is of interest to you please feel free to pay us a visit, observe a class and meet the students.