About Us

Founded in 1997, the Walton Wado Karate Club is one of the longest established martial arts clubs in Elmbridge.

We practice the traditional Japanese Karate style of Wadō-ryū (please see below for more details).

Our qualified instructors are CRB/DBS checked and insured.

We are members of England Wado-kai Karate-do Renmei. www.englandwadokai.org        

At the Walton Wado Karate Club, we are very much interested in developing our students in the art of Wadō-ryū . We welcome students at any level of experience from beginners to advanced.

First lessons are always free - please bring loose, comfortable clothes and a willingness to learn.  


Training Times

Thursday Evenings

Juniors (7-14 Yrs.) 7.00pm – 8.00pm

Adults 8.00pm – 9.30pm

Club Address 

Walton Wado Karate Club

St Marys Church Hall

Church Walk

Church Street

Walton on Thames

KT12 2QS

Tel: 07703 209 299

Email: gneedham@btinternet.com 



Our Instructors

Gary Needham 5th Dan

Gary started training in Wadō Karate in 1986.

During his early years, Gary was actively competing in both Kata (solo forms) and Kumite (fighting). He has competed at Association, National and International levels and has represented England Wado-kai at European Championships on several occasions.

Gary is a Senior Instructor and Coach with the England Wado-kai, and a qualified European Kata Judge. 

Gary is the Founder and Senior Instructor here at the Walton Wado Karate Club.


Matthew Wood 2nd Dan

Matthew began training in Wadō Karate in 1991. He joined England Wado-kai in 2003 after four years with the Kent University Karate Squad, becoming a regular member of the Walton Club.

Matthew has studied Kenjutsu and Jūjutsu and is also an experienced stage combat artist performing regularly at the Tower of London, Hampton Court Palace and other historic sites throughout the country. He has trained with the British Academy of Dramatic Combat, the Academy of Performance Combat and Schola Gladiatoria practitioners of Historical European Martial Arts.

Matthew is the Assistant Instructor at the Walton Wado Karate Club.


What is Karate? (空手)

Karate is a martial art that originates from Okinawa - a southern island of Japan.

The term 'Karate' is a compound of the Japanese words - Kara (空) meaning empty and te (手) meaning hand, however in this context, the word ‘empty’ does not imply a lack of weapons, but rather a state of empty-mind / purity.

Although its origins can be traced back beyond 500 years, it wasn't until the early 20 th century that the martial art developed into what is commonly known today as ‘Karate’.  

Originally created for individual self-defence, Karate has since evolved and elevated into a process of self-development / improvement.


What is Wadō-ryū? (和道流)

As Karate evolved, it developed into styles or ‘ryū ’ (lit. school), eventually spreading from Okinawa to mainland Japan as it did.

The style of Karate we practice at the Walton Wado Karate Club is Wadō-ryū .  Wadō-ryū was created by Hironori Ōtsuka, who formally registered the system in 1939 as an independant style.

Ōtsuka was a student of Gichin Funakoshi - one of the earliest pioneers of modern karate who brought the system from Okinawa to mainland Japan. Prior to learning Karate, Ōtsuka was an expert in the Japanese martial ways of the samurai (Jūjutsu and Kenjutsu).

Ōtsuka created Wadō-ryū by taking his knowledge of Jūjutsu (armed and un-armed grappling / striking) and Kenjutsu (Japanese sword) and enhancing it with his Karate experience.