Masaya Yumeda

Yondan (4th Dan) - 2020

  • ESKA Qualified Instructor
  • ESKA Grading examiner
  • ESKA Open Kumite Champion 2015 & 2017
  • ESKA Team Kumite Champion 2017
  • ESKA Masters Kata Champion 2022 & 2023
  • Edward Docwra Spirit Cup 2017
  • Began Training: 1989

Masaya Sensei began training in 1989 at age 8 in a small independent village dojo in Suffolk, under Clive Ingham Sensei. In 1999 Masaya Sensei was accepted to Loughborough University and joined the Shotokan Karate Club, a part of the Doryoku Shotokan Karatedo Federation (DSKF). The University club instructor, Tom Martin Sensei was a direct disciple of Sadashige Kato Shihan when he was the Chief Instructor of the JKA in the UK. It was here that his karate was completely overhauled. Improved teaching structure and a deeper understanding of the technical aspects of karate reignited his passion for the art and is key to his current karate. In 2000, he served as the University club captain (Bucho) which he held until his graduation in 2002 and competed in several competitions and tournaments during his time there.  It was also with this club that he gained his Shodan (1st Dan) in 2000 and Nidan (2nd Dan) in 2002.

In 2007 he started a new job and once again an opportunity for some lifestyle changes and found a Dojo to train in Cambridge. This Dojo was run by Ashley Martin Sensei who ran his own association, Just Karate. Then in 2015, Masaya Sensei found the English Shotokan Karate Association (ESKA) Dojo in Cambridge under Jeff Rand Sensei where he continues to train to this day. He gained his Sandan (3rd Dan) in 2016, ESKA’s prestigious Edward Docwra Spirit Cup in 2017, and his Yondan (4th Dan) in 2021.

Jo Potts

Yondan (4th Dan) - 2021

  • ESKA Qualified Instructor
  • ESKA Grading examiner
  • ESKA Open Kumite Champion 2016
  • ESKA Team Kumite Champion 2017
  • Began Training: 1996

Jo Sensei began his journey into the martial arts in 1995 training originally in the art of judo however, he gave that up when he moved down to Cambridge with his family. In 1996 he started Shotokan karate with his dad and brother at the local TISKA (Traditional International Shotokan Karate Association) club training under Kym Watson Sensei (now 6th Dan) and Colin Thorp Sensei (then 4th Dan). He was very much involved in the life of the club, progressing through the belts, attending special courses and competing in the annual tournament. He was graded to Shodan (1st Dan) by TISKA’s Chief Instructor Gursharan Sahota Sensei (now 8th Dan) in 2001.

During his A-Levels studying had to take priority over training and wasn’t able to train as much as he’d like and by the time he went to university he took a break from karate. On returning to Cambridge he wanted to get back into training and in looking around for somewhere suitable joined our Cambridge Club in 2011. He has been fully involved from the beginning and was awarded Nidan (2nd Dan) in 2013, his Sandan (3rd Dan) in 2017, his Yondan (4th Dan) in 2021, and is also an ESKA qualified instructor.

Russ McAlinden

Yondan (4th Dan) - 2023

  • ESKA Qualified Instructor
  • ESKA Grading examiner
  • Began Training: 1990

Russ Sensei joined us, motivated by his son, Harry, soon after we had started at The Leys School. It was quite clear from the outset that he had a quiet confidence which is a fantastic benefit to the club and the association.

He has brought his experience and ability from his day job, to the dojo, in the form of excellent and effective communication together with great knowledge of physical exercise and conditioning.

With his son Harry, who is also a member of the club, Russ Sensei gained the Bronze position in the 2019 ESKA Championships' Family kata category and was also graded to Sandan (3rd Dan) in 2019. In 2023 at the annual Dinner & Dance Russ Sensei was awarded his Yondan (4th Dan).

Jeff Rand (1959 - 2022)

Godan (5th Dan) - 2018

  • ESKA Qualified Instructor
  • ESKA Grading examiner
  • Edward Docwra Spirit Cup 2009
  • ESKA Open Kata Champion 2012
  • Began Training: 1981

Jeff Sensei originally trained under John Van Weenan Sensei in the early 1980s. He joined ESKA in the mid-1980s training under Mike Nursey Sensei, our current Chief Instructor. This was followed by a short time with the Martial Arts Academy training under Paul Toby Sensei.

He followed this by training under Steve Austin Sensei where he gained his Shodan (1st Dan) and Nidan (2nd Dan) under Nick Adamou Sensei (9th Dan), the Chief Instructor of the International Association of Shotokan Karate.

In 2009, Sensei Jeff was awarded the prestigious Edward Docwra Spirit Cup and in 2018 Jeff Sensei was awarded his Godan (5th Dan). 

In 2021 Jeff Sensei stepped back from the full time running of our club and handed it over to Masaya Sensei, Jo Sensei, and Russ Sensei.

In 2022 after a short, but brave battle with cancer, Jeff Sensei sadly passed away. He will be greatly missed as he was such a big character and influence in so many people's lives.