View Full Version : Karate England Controversy

Simon Keegan
20th February 2007, 08:07
Last year, Karate England failed to raise enough funds to send an English team to the World Championships. Terry Wingrove, the UK's longest serving Karateka stepped in and sponsored the team, right down to providing tracksuits and a new Karate England website.
Since then the heads of Karate England have failed to support the elder statesman of British Karate, let down the team and Karate England has since become a sunken ship.
Now, Terry Wingrove who is also organising the 50th Anniversary of Karate in the UK this year with a contingent of Japanese and Okinawan masters, is taking a team to the WUKO Championships. His statement to this effect has prompted interesting responses from all quarters which I have posted below.
For more information please visit cyberbudo.com
Simon Keegan

Terry Wingrove's statement:

For the past 7 months I have tried to help to sort out the problems of Karate England(2005)Ltd. I and my group came into this matter with a completely non-political attitude and have given considerable time,money and expertise in many forms to try to find a viable solution to all the woes of KE. I must say, 7 months ago my peers warned me NOT to get involved for a wide variety of reasons and that I would be condemned for whatever I did, well I thought I knew better and I pushed on with my involvement. I sponsored the KE team to the WKF Championships to Finland, sending 2 of my staff with the team to assist and was subsequently accused of trying to “buy my way” to a position of power and that my intent was not honourable.

I arranged and paid for the new KE website and its maintenance (which I am still paying). During the period from Sept to Dec 2006 I attempted to contact the various creditors to try and reach a feasible agreement while at the same time I arranged 7 meetings with potential sponsors (inviting them for meals at my cost and time to discuss the possibilities), then at follow-up meetings(all very time consuming) I made considerable headway and signed confidentiality agreements, all of this ending up with offers of £1,360,000 in total sponsorship to help develop future English Karate.

I realise that you can NEVER satisfy ALL the people ALL the time but I did NOT expect the small-minded,back-biting jealousies that pervade the current organizational set-up of the governing body. I came into this situation completely apolitical with an open mind and over the 7 months I realised that the National Governing body is riddled with self-interest groups with their own priorities with little or NO consideration for the good of the whole of English Karate. I know from my business experience when to call it a day and after talking yesterday with a number of individuals at the meeting I realised that it would be better to sponsor teams, championships, travel etc of worthy individual groups as opposed to trying and take-on the national body.

With this in mind I am writing to potential sponsors today to notify them of my intentions. Also I am very pleased to announce that CYBERBUDOWORLD will sponsor a 17 group SHOTOKAN shobu-ippon competition in May in Guildford and that it will sponsor a full team to the WUKO championships in Valencia in June.

My group sincerely wish that KE can sort out its problems in the forseeable future and I wish to thank all those that did contribute their positive input to help during the past 7 months.

Terry Wingrove & Board of CYBERBUDOWORLD


We are very proud to announce that KDI has been accepted into WUKO and will be able to compete internationally if and when it desires.



Dear Terry,

I have to say that I read your statement with some dismay. I urge you to reconsider your position in general and specifically your international participation proposals. Whether you continue or not in trying to assist karate in England attending a WUKO organisation tournaments is, as you are well aware, a clear violation of the WKF rules. Any team from the recognised governing body who attends this event will jeopardise the whole of that body. The effect of this would cause long term damage for English karate. Once again, please reconsider.

Yours sincerely - Mike Dinsdale WKF Executive member.


Dear Terry,

I fully understand the position you and others find themselves in. However, to purposely make the mistake and jeopardise our International position, can only be short term thinking. There are always casualties in this kind of situation and unfortunately it's usually the athletes that suffer from the mess made by the politicians. A bird in the hand is actually true, but the bird in the hand must be membership to the largest (50 million) and only IOC recognised governing body for karate in the World, the WKF. If England loses this hard fought recognition, I can assure you that we will be in the political wilderness for the foreseeable future. You know that there are countries that do not want the WKF to have anything to do with England in it's current form and would gladly vote to ostracise it. If indeed you are concerned about the athletes, then in my view we should work toward changing the Gov body rather than cause any long term problems for English karate.

Kind regards - Mike


Dear Mike,

I read your letter to Terry, and I think that it's unfair of you to put another person in that position of responsibility. Terry did all that he could to help and I personally think that this emotional Blackmail from you to him is uncalled for. I reminisce of the time you came along to Bisham Abbey in an effort to push the Board into a corner with the same tactic. As you know, you were made aware that we were recording the meeting, and you were asked if you raised any objection to us doing so. You gave permission for the meeting to be taped, and so we proceeded.

In view of this latest intention of yours, I would question your ethic. I have already tried, and successfully stopped a certain individual from putting the transcript and recordings of this meeting on the web so to speak just to prove a point. However, if this third party considers you to be continuing in youir efforts to assure yourself a Directors position on the Board of any new body which eventually emerges, I must point out that I would be unable to prevent this occurance.

I have no wish to be seen in a bad light Mike, but I must urge you to think about what you are doing. WKF prevented 4 groups from participating and belonging to the WKC, and we were told that WUKO was not a banned group according to the meeting I had with Mr Yerolimpos & Co. in Stavanger last year.

Be careful Mike, this will come back and bite you.

Kind Regards.

Brian Philcox


Dear Terry

Just a quick e-mail to say that I enjoyed your overview of the future of English Karate.

In relation to the WKF issues, I have taken this issue up previously with the Chair's at Sport England and UK Sport who state that the WKF are wrong to restrict participation at non WKF events and states that this is a violation of IOC rules.

I wonder whether future sponsors to the English Team need a WKF restriction placed upon their sponsored team?

Finally, the English Team attended the Universities World Event in New York last year. This is a non WKF event but the WKF made no objection, despite being made aware of this from myself.

Kind regards

Joe Ellis


Dear Mr Philcox

As you will be aware, I too was at Bisham Abbey that day, though at the later part of the said recorded meeting, and did pass the time of day with Mr Dinsdale, whilst he awaited, as did I, for the board to progress with their business that day.

I like Mr Dinsdale was also in agreement, (though having no choice in the matter as the President stated that was how the meeting was to be minuted whether I agreed or not), to the meeting being tape recorded and I clearly stated at the beginning, on the said tape 'as long as I receive a true copy of the tape'
I have no doubt you will recall this.

I have requested on numerous occasions, a copy or transcript of the of the said meeting where I was questioned by the Board of Karate England and indeed by yourself.

Alas, I have not received the said copy of the tape or transcript nor has anyone in any capacity at Karate England responded to The Information Commissioners Office who are now also acting on my behalf and have done so, prior to your leaving Karate England.

As you are aware of and apparently in contact with, a 'third person' who is in possession of this tape or copy or indeed transcript (I refer to your email to a Mr Dinsdale WKF), I would be grateful if you would furnish either the authorities or myself with the details of the said third person, as the said tape or transcript in their possession is evidence that the court will require with regard to my further court action against Karate England and its board of Directors.
This tape I would suggest to you is the property of Karate England and therefore should I would stress, still be in their or a Directors possession.

I would therefore be grateful if, in the interests of Justice, you could inform me asap as to this persons identity.

I will retain and forward your original email, details and response to my solicitor, which supports my evidence for a pending further court action against Karate England and its Board Members, of both having been tape recorded whilst, and also of attending a meeting at Bisham Abbey, by the Board of Directors, whereupon I incurred personal costs.

I may contact Mr Dinsdale later if required.

Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

Les Cutting


Dear Mr. Cutting,


I also asked for a copy of the tape & was told by Joe Ellis, the then President, that a copy of the tape would not be available to me, unless it be on a one to one basis. I also stated that if the transcript was verbatim, could he please send a copy to me and cc it to the WKF President & General Secretary. I was informed at 19:09 on the same day (17th March 2006) that the transcript was not verbatim. All relevant emails are in my possession.

I felt at the time a "private" meeting would serve no useful purpose and if the transcript was not verbatim it was of little or no use.

Kind regards - Mike Dinsdale

20th February 2007, 22:50
Ah, dont you just love watching a dispute from ringside ? The smell of the action, the threats of litigation, jockeying for position, the 'whos's right and wrong' cut and thrust.

Which is why I much prefer being on the mat and being completely out of any governing body. You can do the right thing and be condemned for it, or do the wrong thing and be praised, but in the end its all about who's top of the pile.


Simon Keegan
21st February 2007, 07:41
A controversy seldom seen since the days of the passing of Enoeda Sensei and the "who's in charge of Karate Union Great Britain/JKA England" debate. Which I seem to recall went something like this:

"He gave me his gi so that means I'm in charge"

"Yes but the JKA haven't had your fees through for a few years so your last two grades haven't been stamped"

"But I've been doing it longer than you"

"You but I'm Japanese and besides, I used to help him on courses"

Better than Hollyoaks...

21st February 2007, 17:20
Why is it, I wonder, that so many in ma are up their own backsides about the "I'm better" or "I've done more than you", or "I've been training longer therefore etc etc". And it seems to manifest itself at the very top level in many cases.

I had some twat come into my dojo a few months ago to question my background and credentials and blow his own trumpet. He was quite younger and lower graded than me so the very least I would have expected was a modicum of respect for the former if not the latter. Anyway, he didnt bring a gi so we couldnt have a good sweat.

Nevertheless, my response as always to people like this (as per the main point of your discussion) is "So what ?". I can't for the life of me remember who was the originator, perhaps Andy Warhol, but someone famous once said that over 90% of all questions can be answered with the response "So what ?".

I suppose my rambling point is that when people get into protective mode they tend to take a holier than thou stance, notwithstanding the well meaning efforts of others whereas it would be more helpful if they acted like the true martial artists they all purport to be and seek a compromise resolution to the problem and JUST LISTEN.


22nd February 2007, 06:10
In my country, such problem as above seldomly arises, because all Karate schools, regardless of style, are united under FORKI = Indonesian Federation of Sports Karate, and receive government funding when competing internationally. So funding for international competitions was never a problem. And all heads of FORKI are military generals (from its founding in 1970), so we have relatively smooth administrations till today, because nobody dares to go against the wishes of a general :) .