About Ataru

Where it all started

In June 2002, Sensei Thomson moved from Shropshire to Bedfordshire having been training for 13 years.

Sensei Thomson trained with numerous clubs around the area from various Shotokan Organisations but also wanted to teach Shotokan to the high standards he had enjoyed from his own experience and so decided the best way to do accomplish that, would be to start his own dojo.

In September 2003 Sensei Thomson and his wife, Tracii founded a new dojo on the Bedfordshire / Hertfordshire border under the Japan Karate Association and respectfully named it after his home town club… Ataru SKC.

In January 2024, after 20 years at the helm, Sensei Thomson stepped aside and the Ataru Committee confirmed Lee Zerafa as Chief Instructor.  Sensei Thomson is still active at Ataru SKC as the Senior Club Instructor.

Are Ataru Reputable?

There is quite often little understanding on those who are purveying & teaching karate. Many people are happy to attend a dojo and assume they are getting a high quality of instruction by those who teach them; unfortunately this is not always the case.

As a student or parent you should ensure that the karate which you or your child is being taught, is of a good standard. It’s so easy to continually train at or send your child to a dojo which has no concept or understanding of progressive modern day karate and how it should be taught, let alone the insurance to cover them or the health and safety knowledge to support a martial arts class.

Over the past 50 years, Karate has changed dramatically to encompass health & safety, new methods of teaching, regulatory bodies, insurances etc. Due to the immense amount of changes, it is very important that karate clubs keep in-line and up to date with the latest methodologies and regulations to ensure a safe, contemporary learning environment; this is often accomplished with Affiliations and Governing Bodies.

Ataru are members of the Japan Karate Association – England (JKAE) who are directly affiliated to the Japan Karate Association (JKA).  With these affiliations and memberships, Ataru are bound by strict rules and procedures, which are designed to protect you or your child as a student or parent and to ensure you receive the highest quality of Karate instruction.

As a JKA club, Ataru SKC has been assessed by a the JKA England, in respect of teaching techniques, documentation, insurance, child protection, and health & safety assessments.  All Ataru SKC instructors are insured and have undergone Enhanced DBS checks

As well as these assessment, Ataru SKC instructors regularly attend JKA courses along with training at other JKA clubs, to ensure that the karate which is being taught at Ataru SKC, is of the highest quality.

Come along and see for yourself; we’re confident our standards will stand out amongst the rest.