Crouching Tiger Karate


Crouching Tiger Karate classes take place in South West London including: Kew Gardens, Chiswick, Grove Park, Shepherd's Bush, St. Margarets, Sheen and Putney. We offer classes for 3-6 year olds (Tiger Cubs Karate) and for 6 year olds and above (Crouching Tiger Shotokan Karate). All classes are taught by Sensei Ben Pethick.

As well as weekly classes, Crouching Tiger Karate has a Birthday Party service and school holiday clubs.

For more information about the extraordinary benefits of learning Karate, and to find your local class, please go to Karate Classes.

Sensei Ben Pethick

3rd Dan Black Belt - Shotokan Karate

3rd Degree Black Belt - Tae Kwon-Do

I started Tae Kwon-Do (a martial art from Korea) training in my first week of University in Manchester in 1999.I have since devoted a large portion of my life to the practise and study of Martial Arts. I graduated from The University of Manchester in 2002, (BA Honours in History of Modern Art (2:1)) and stayed an extra year in Manchester further developing my Martial Arts training. In this time I was promoted to 1st Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon-Do, and I also started teaching Tae Kwon-Do to adults and children. In 2003 I returned to London, where I started Shotokan Karate and Self-Defence training in conjunction with Tae Kwon-Do. By March 2004 I was working full-time as a Karate instructor. In March 2006 I was successfully promoted to 1st Dan Black Belt in Shotokan Karate and 2nd Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon-Do.

Sensi Ben

In 2009 I was again promoted to 3rd Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon-Do and 2nd Dan Black Belt in Shotokan Karate. The examiner in my Karate Grading was the Chairman of the British Karate Association, Sensei Brian Seabright. I have competed in both Karate and Tae Kwon-Do and won medals in national and international tournaments. I continue to enter tournaments, and I encourage (but do not force) my students that are ready to compete to take part in carefully selected tournaments. However, I have always been more interested in the diverse aspects of training and the traditional values of the Martial Arts as opposed to placing emphasis on tournament training.I have attended seminars in Shotokan Karate and I have been particularly inspired by Shihan Kanazawa (9th Dan) who I have met on two occasions. In Tae Kwon-Do I have attended seminars by Mr. Iqbal (VI Degree), Mr. McCarthy (VI Degree), Master Dalton (VII Degree) and a three day International Instructors Course run by Grand-Master Choi Jung-Hwa. I have an OCR Certificate in Fitness and Gym Instruction. I am certified with Sports Coach UK in Child Protection and Coaching Methods and Communication. I have a recent CRB Enhanced Disclosure Certificate, First Aid and Instructors Public Liability Insurance with TL Risk Solutions. I am a registered instructor with the British Karate Association (BKA), where Crouching Tiger Shotokan Karate is also a registered club.

History of Shotokan Karate

Shotokan is one of the five traditional Karate styles  (the other four are: Goju-Ryu, Shito-Ryu, Wado-Ryu and Shorin-Ryu). Although Shotokan Karate began as a unified karate school that developed into the Japan Karate Association (JKA), Shotokan Karate now exists as several independent organizations.

Shoto(松濤), meaning "pine", was Gichin Funakoshi's pen-name, which he used in his poetic and philosophical writings and messages to his students. The Japanese kan(館) means "house" or "hall". In honour of their sensei, Funakoshi's students created a sign reading shoto-kan which was placed above the entrance of the hall where Funakoshi taught. Gichin Funakoshi is widely recognized as having brought Karate from Okinawa to mainland JapanFunakoshi had trained in both of the popular styles of Okinawan karate of the time: Shorei-ryu and Shorin-ryu. After years of study in both styles, Funakoshi created a simpler style that combined the ideals of the two. He never named his style, however, always referring to it simply as "Karate" Funakoshi's Karate reflects the changes made in the art by Ankō Itosu, including theHeiankata series. Funakoshi changed the names of the kata in an effort to make the "foreign" Okinawan names more palatable to the then-nationalistic Japanese mainland. Originally, karate had only three belt colors: white, brown, and black (with ranks within each). In the 1920s, Funakoshi adopted the Kyū/Dan rank system and the uniform developed by Kano Jigoro, the founder of Judo. This system uses different coloured belts (obi) to indicate rank, and the system survives to this day.

Crouching Tiger Karate Code of Practice

The Aims of Crouching Tiger Karate/Mission Statement

To provide high-quality and professional martial arts tuition that will benefit the lives of participants both physically and mentally. We are committed to our part in building a more peaceful world including good-health, well-being and respect. We aim to provide our members with the ability to develop their character in a positive way.

Student Declaration

“I promise to uphold the spirit of Karate-Do, and never use the skills that I am taught against any persons, except for the defence of myself, family or friends in the instance of extreme danger or unprovoked attack or in support of Law and Order”

Dojo Kun

- Seek perfection of charactrer 
- Be faithful 
- Endeavour 
- Respect others 
- Refrain from violent behaviour

Students should

- At all times try to abide by the Dojo Kun whether inside or outside the Dojo
- Bow when entering/leaving the Dojo
- After entering the Dojo, bow with the instructor(s) and senior student(s) if they are available
- Address the instructors as Sensei or Senpai where relevant
- Arrive at the Dojo on time. If you are late for any reason you should kneel by the door and wait for the instructor to acknowledge you and invite you to join in. When the instructor deems it necessary you may be asked to do certain exercises before joining the class when late
- Always train in a clean and ironed Gi (training suit). If wearing a T-shirt under your Gi, make sure that it is predominantly white
- Finger nails and toe nails should be short and clean
- Jewellery should not be worn during training, if an item can not be removed it should concealed under a bandage
- Turn away from the instructors when adjusting your belt or Gi
- Ask and gain permission before leaving the Dojo
- Ask and gain permission before drinking water
- Refrain from eating or chewing gum in the Dojo
- Refrain from idle chatter
- Try to always have good posture, refrain from slouching and leaning against walls
- Only ask appropriate questions at an appropriate time
- Let the instructor know if you have any injuries that could potentially affect your training and/or safety
- At the end of the class children are not allowed to leave the training venue without their parent/guardian.

Parents should

- Try to always get your children to the class on time
- Feel free to wait outside the class, but be diligent in keeping the noise levels to a bare minimum. This includes keeping all young children under control so that they are not a distraction
- Ensure that you complete and sign a registration form and hand it to the instructor no later than before the second class. Please also make sure that any medical condition, however small, is noted in the registration form
- Be on-time to pick up the children. If you are running late, it is very important to call the instructor to let them know when you will arrive
- Refrain from taking photographs at any event without the express permission of the instructor
- Ensure that the Karate fees are paid on time, at the earliest possible convenience
- Parents should also address the instructors as Senseior Senpai where relevant. This sets a good example of respect for the children to follow
- Encourage your children to practice their Karate at home

Philosophy of Karate

Gichin Funakoshi wrote: "The ultimate aim of Karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in the perfection of the character of the participant."

Gichin Funakoshi laid out the Twenty Precepts of Karate (or Niju Kun) which form the foundations of the art. Within these twenty principles, based heavily onBushido and Zen, lies the philosophy of Shotokan Karate.

The principles allude to notions of humility, respect, compassion, patience, and both an inwardly and outwardly calmness. It was Funakoshi's belief that through karate practice and observation of these 20 principles, the Karateka would improve their person. Crouching Tiger Shotokan Karate, as well as many other Shotokan Karate clubs, recite the Dojo Kun at the end of each class to provide motivation and a context for further training.

Tiger Cubs Dojo Kun


- Courtesy
- Discipline
- Spirit
- Respect

Shotokan Karate Dojo Kun


- Seek Perfection of Character
- Be Faithful
- Endeavor
- Respect Others
- Refrain From Violent Behaviour

20 Precepts


1. Karate-do begins with courtesy and ends with rei.
2. There is no first strike in karate.
3. Karate is an aid to justice.
4. First know yourself before attempting to know others.
5. Spirit first, technique second.
6. Always be ready to release your mind.
7. Accidents arise from negligence.
8. Do not think that karate training is only in the dojo.
9. It will take your entire life to learn karate, there is no limit.
10. Put your everyday living into karate and you will find "Myo" (subtle secrets).
11. Karate is like boiling water, if you do not heat it constantly, it will cool.
12. Do not think that you have to win, think rather that you do not have to lose.
13. Victory depends on your ability to distinguish vulnerable points from invulnerable ones.
14. The out come of the battle depends on how you handle weakness and strength.
15. Think of your opponents hands and feet as swords.
16. When you leave home, think that you have numerous opponents waiting for you.
17. Beginners must master low stance and posture, natural body positions are for the advanced.
18. Practicing a kata exactly is one thing, engaging in a real fight is another.
19. Do not forget to correctly apply: strength and weakness of power, stretching and contraction of the body, and slowness and speed of techniques.
20. Always think and devise ways to live the precepts of karate-do every day.