Welcome to the official page for SHOTORAMA! Thanks for coming; peace and love…

We hope you will be able to join us in Guildford, on Saturday 29th September 2018, for a one-day celebration of shotokan karate. This will be something rather different and, with your help, hopefully rather unique! Come and join us for what could be the beginning of something special: a festival of shotokan karate and all its flavours, created and attended by your friends.

Across the KUGB, there are an enormous number of skilled and experienced karate instructors running their own clubs, but often we only get to be taught by the few that live nearby. Imagine what we could be missing! Over the years, at the special courses and squad trainings, we have made many friends – let’s start to bring them together!

It is our hope that SHOTORAMA will be a place to celebrate our experienced instructors, to meet and play with our friends, and most of all to share that love of shotokan karate which – literally, as well as spiritually – brings us together.

Have a look around the site, and stay in touch (we also have a facebook page) for more details as we announce lesson plans and workshop titles! Remember to sign up early for the limited-places workshops!

Best wishes from the SHOTORAMA team:

John Parnell, Neil Jerome, Avi Wolfsthal.

“Anything ‘-orama’ is fun.”    – Jerry Seinfeld



SHOTORAMA will be hosted at the Guildford Spectrum, chosen for being central enough in the region that hopefully travelling times are not too bad. The venue is accessed easily from the A3, on the East side of Guildford and not too far from the M25 junction.

The Spectrum has ample parking and modern facilities, including fairly reasonable showers, and places to eat and drink. SHOTORAMA karate sessions will take place in Arena B on the lower level. For more information about the venue and on how to get there visit the Spectrum website.






While it may not be possible to draw a direct line from the Woodstock Festival of 1969 to Guildford in 2018, it doesn’t mean we won’t try. One Thursday, over a drink after a club training at Kanshin, a small group of karateka got to talking, and piece by piece a manifesto was drawn up for what would, as you already know, become SHOTORAMA.

That manifesto was, in reality, just a list of wishes that captured some of the feeling in the room. We wanted to celebrate. We wanted to be trained by our friends, to find out what they knew that we didn’t. We wanted a ‘Karate Woodstock’. And once we laid our feelings out…

  • most instructors teach for love of karate, and the joy of teaching, but this is often lost in everyday training.
  • many of the friends we make in the karate world, through courses/competitions, are gifted instructors that we might never get to train under, only alongside.
  • all instructors, like all students, bring something unique to their clubs.
  • it is great to train and mix in with instructors and students from other clubs.

…it seemed crazy not to do something about it. We raised our glasses and felt extremely happy with ourselves.

And it might have ended there, were it not for the tenacity of Avi, who was already researching times and locations, and emailed us at half past one in the morning that very same night! Some of us, it seemed, had been thinking about this for a fair while longer, and apparently the idea had been brewing ever since a conversation long ago with Dave Austin. I recall having some of those conversations with the man myself over the years.

Almost by default, John and I were on board; how could we not be? Instead of conspirators, we had become the committee. We started to scheme, or whatever it is that committees do, and while Avi beavered away on the logistics of getting a space big enough for long enough for something special, I sent waves of emails out to our friends across the region. Chris was the first to jump on board, which gave us the faith we might connect with an audience, while Blyth and Kate kept us on tenterhooks for a while before coming up trumps, and John confirmed for Dave G using rokyudan telepathy. We managed to coax Frank out of central London. Other friends expressed interest combined with regret that they had clashes for that day, and their names were quietly put on the secret list for 2019.

Nonetheless, a team was forming. The dan grades were rolling in. The venue was confirmed. The sun came out and warmed our faces. The name ‘Karate Woodstock’ , as well as the proffered ‘kickfest’, was dropped in favour of ‘Shotorama’, and websites were begun. We had almost everything we needed, and it was time to tell the world that we were making something to be a part of. It was going to be big. And as the saying goes:

If you build it, they will SHOTORAMA.

See you there!