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All of our qualified black belt instructors are DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) checked and fully insured. They regularly teach at national courses for the England Wado-Kai Karate-Do Renmei.

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Club Instructor

Matthew Wood - 3rd Dan

Matthew began training in Wado Karate in 1991with the Washinkai and then Shi Kon Karate associations under Sensei Tony Warren. He joined the England Wado-kai in 2003 after four years with the Kent University Karate Squad and became a regular member of the Walton Club.

Matthew trains frequently with England Wado-kai Chief Instructor Barry Wilkinson (8th dan), Senior Instructor Gary Needham (5th dan) and has been lucky enough to attend courses with some of the leading Japanese exponents of Wado Karate: Toru Arakawa 9th dan (JKF) and Shingo Ohgami 8th dan (JKF Wadokai). He has also ventured north of the border and trained with the Scottish karate squad under Sensei Hamish Adam 8thdan and Colin Clapperton (8th dan) .

Matthew has studied Kenjutsu and Jujutsu and is also an experienced stage combat artist;  performing regularly at the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace and other historic sites around the country. He has trained with the British Academy of Dramatic Combat, the Academy of Performance Combat and practitioners of Historical European Martial Arts. He often deconstructs period manuscripts such as the work of Sigmund Ringeck, Hans Talhofferor William Hope to recreate combat styles through the ages from bareknuckle fist fighting to medieval long sword in full plate armour.

Dan grade (black belt) promotions:

  • Shodan–May 2007

  • Nidan–December 2015

  • Sandan-December 2019

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Assistant Instructor

Mike Abbott - 3rd Dan



Gary Needham - 5th Dan

Gary started his Karate training in 1986 at the Surbiton Wado-kai Karate Club. In the early years, he was actively involved in competition for both Kata (solo forms) and Kumite (fighting) and competed at Association, National and International levels. He has represented England at European Championships on multiple occasions and since retiring from competition, has held successful coaching, and referring roles within England Wado-kai.

As well as tuition from England Wado-kai Chief Instructor Barry Wilkinson (8th dan), he has been privileged to learn from some of the foremost instructors in Wado-ryu Karate including; Toru Arakawa 9th dan (JKF), Katsumi Hakoishi 8th dan (JKF Wadokai) and Shingo Ohgami 8th dan (JKF Wadokai).

Gary is also graded in Daito-Ryu and Sosuishi-ryu "Koryu Bujutsu" (the samurai arts of ancient Japan). Training within such systems includes Kenjutsu (the art of the samurai sword) and Jujutsu (armed and unarmed combat).

Dangrade (black belt) promotions:

  • Shodan–November 1998

  • Nidan–November 2003

  • Sandan–September 2007

  • Yondan–March 2011

  • Godan–September 2016

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