Stevenage Karate Club JKA - The instructors

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Tom Peebles
Mick Farquharson
Steve Rowe
Steve Deal
Karen Dwyer

Stevenage Karate Club Instructors

All instructors and coaches teaching at the Stevenage clubs have to obtain an Enhanced Certificate from the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB), are fully Insured & Qualified to teach


The idea of joining our club to start-out in JKA Shotokan Karate may seem a bit daunting to most aspiring martial artists...

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Stevenage Karate Club is proud to be affiliated to the Japan Karate Association.

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Sensei Ohta

Sensei Yoshinobu Ohta, 7th Dan JKA

Sensei Yoshinobu Ohta
7th Dan JKA
Chief Instructor JKA England

  • Sensei Tom Peebles 5th Dan JKA

    Sensei Tom Peebles

    5th Dan JKA
    JKA Class C Instructor
    JKA Class C Referee
    JKA Class D Examiner
    Chief Instructor, SKC

    Tom Peebles was drawn into karate in 1987 when his son Paul asked him to take him to karate lessons at the North Hertfordshire Shotokan Karate Club.

    Watching his son train raised an attraction to karate and Tom decided to participate in the lessons to support his son. As the class consisted mainly of children, there were hardly any adults in the club, Tom had a hard time settling in but he persevered and, inspired by his instructor, Scott Saunders, he trained hard and graded Shodan in May 1991.

    From then on Tom found himself becoming more and more involved in teaching at his club and although this helped him to improve his own technical abilities it also effectively reduced his own training opportunities. So Tom started to train at other local KUGB clubs and when his club declined due to a lack of students he joined Stevenage Karate Club, which Tom had learned to appreciate as a good and strong club that was run by an outstanding instructor, Derek Oakley.

    Stevenage Karate Club had a strong adult membership, as well as a youth section, and the training sessions were (and still are) very hard and rewarding. Tom graded Nidan in May 1993 and Sandan in 1996. He succeeded Derek as Senior Instructor for Stevenage Karate Club in the summer of 2003.

    In May of 2008 Tom well-deservedly gained a ranking of 4th Dan and Stevenage Karate Club remains privileged to have Tom as its Chief Instructor.
  • Sensei Mick Farquharson 3rd Dan JKA

    Sensei Mick Farquharson

    3rd Dan JKA
    Assistant Instructor, SKC

    Sensei Mick Farquharson began karate with the TASK Association as a hobby to help him keep fit.

    He moved to Stevenage Karate Club in the Spring of 1996. He became interested in Stevenage Karate Club after visiting the club at the invitation of a 1st Kyu and decided that it was a much better club to train with. The Sensei at the time, Derek Oakley, was an inspiration in the way that he taught and trained.

    Mick has taken part in Regional Competitions and won 1st place in individual Kata and 2nd place in individual Kumite in 1998 when he was a 4th Kyu.

    Mick graded 1st Dan in December 1999, 2nd Dan in August 2003, and 3rd Dan in December 2010. Since passing his Dan gradings, Mick has become more involved with the teaching side of Karate.

    In 2003, Mick's son Alex joined the club, making it a family affair.
  • Sensei Steve Rowe 2nd Dan JKA

    Sensei Steve Rowe

    3rd Dan JKA
    Assistant Instructor, SKC

    Steve began karate in 1980 when he joined the English Shotokan Karate Association (ESKA). He trained under Sensei Mick Nursey for two years and achieved the grade of 5th Kyu, during which time he competed in the 1981 ESKA Nationals and won 3rd place in Kata.

    Steve became disillusioned with the ESKA and in 1983 joined the Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB) association as run by the late Sensei K. Enoeda and trained under SenseiÂ’s Scott and Dean Saunders at their Stevenage club. Steve trained at their club for two years and attained the grade of 1st Kyu.

    Steve had a lengthy break from karate due to problems with his shoulders dislocating, undergoing operations and lengthy spells of physiotherapy, but got back into karate in 2005 when his daughter Samantha wanted him to take her to karate lessons. Going back to the club he knew, Steve noticed that several changes had taken place since he last trained. Sensei Tom Peebles had taken over the running of Stevenage Karate Club and the governing association had changed from the KUGB to the Japan Karate Association (JKA), with its chief instructor being Sensei Ohta.

    Under Sensei TomÂ’s instruction, Steve passed Shodan in May 2007 under Sensei Tanaka and Sensei Ohta.

    In 2008, Steve entered the JKAE Nationals and won bronze for kumite in the over 21Â’s category.

    In August 2009, Steve attained his Nidan under Sensei Ueki and Sensei Ohta.

    In 2010, he passed level 3 Instructor and level 4 Judge/ Referee licence exams.

    In 2011, he passed level 2 Instructor and level 3 Judge/ Referee licence exams.
    Steve passed his level 2 Judge/Referee licence exam in February 2012.

    And in November 2013, Steve achieved his Sandan under Sensei Ohta.

    Following Steve passing his Sandan, Steve passed his level 1 Instructor & level 1 Judge/Referee licence exam in February 2015.

    Steve has become actively involved in the club by attending national courses, assisting in teaching at the club and judging at competitions when requested.
  • Sensei Steve Deal 3rd Dan JKA

    Sensei Steve Deal

    3rd Dan JKA
    Assistant Instructor, SKC

    Steve first became a member of Stevenage Karate Club in Jan of 1983 and was originally taught under our founder instructors Sensei Scott and Dean Saunders.

    Over the space of the next 3 years he successfully passed his Kyu grades eventually stopping at first Kyu, Steve slowly stopped training regularly and eventually gave up by about 1987.

    The Spark would be re-ignited when Steve's children "George and Rhianne" showed some interest in trying a martial art, after looking up the "Stevenage Karate" on Google, Steve found they were still training and took a visit to the old training venue. After some encouragement from the senior members he started training once again, 18 years had passed between finishing in 1987 and his first lesson back in 2004.

    The new chief Instructor was Sensei Tom Peebles He advised Steve, "take it easy and gradually step the training up, encouraging Steve to take "shodan" when he was ready.

    In the summer of 2005 he passed Shodan under Sensei Ohta and Sensei Ueki.

    In the summer of 2007, he passed "Nidan” again under Sensei Ohta and Sensei Ueki.

    To gain experience in competition Karate Steve has participated in the 2008, 2009 and 2010 UK national championships held at Guildford and later the K2 sport Centre Crawley, and has judged at the 2008, 2009, 2010 kyu grade championships.

    In 2008 he passed level 3 Instructor and Referee Licence exams.

    In 2010 he passed level 2 instructor and Referee Licence exams.

    In 2007 Steve took over the vacant Club Secretary role. During May 2015 JKA Spring course at the K2 in Crawley Steve passed Sandan under Sensei Ohta & Sensei Imamura
  • Sensei Karen Dwyer 2nd Dan JKA

    Sensei Karen Dwyer

    2nd Dan JKA
    Assistant Instructor, SKC

    Karen was drawn into Karate at the age of 6 years when her brother and father Sensei Tom Peebles were training. Karen started her training under Sensei Scott Saunders at North Hertfordshire Shotokan Karate Club.

    After a few years training under Sensei Scott the club declined due to lack of students and Karen and her family found Stevenage Karate Club, the local KUGB club run by an outstanding instructor Sensei Derek Oakley. Karen reached her 1st Kyu (Brown Belt) at the age of 11 years but at the time she also had a huge background in Dance and this overtook her karate for some time.

    After a very long break and having her two children, Karen rejoined Stevenage Karate club, now run by her father Sensei Tom Peebles in 2010 and trained exceedingly hard to gain her 1st Dan in 2011. Since then Karen has had a lot more involvement in the club including entering the National Competition, and gaining 3rd place in Kata in our club competition. Karen often helps teaching within the club, which not only improved her technical ability it also helped her gain the experience she needed to progress further.

    Karen passed her level 3 Instructors and level 3 referee exams in February 2012 and has continued to train hard at Stevenage Karate Club, gaining 2nd Dan in February 2014, then in February 2016 passed her level 2 Instructors and level 2 referee exams, Karen runs her own club, affiliated to Stevenage Karate Club for 4-6 year old children