History of the Club

History of Portchester Karate club.

It is hoped to increase the History content on a monthly basis with links to topics provided by old members and friends

Sensei’s Merv and Pat Circa 1982

 Sensei Merv O’Donnell (at the time Sandan), with the very enthusiastic help of Pat O’Sullivan (at the time Shodan), founded the club in April 1982. For the initial three weeks, the two instructors trained on their own with the objective of making the hall “their Dojo”. At the time it was the only Karate club in Portchester and within a matter of six weeks or so the club membership had grown to around twenty. The majority were new students in Karate but the club was fortunate in gaining three members (fairly junior Kyu grades) who had studied both Shotokan and other styles of Karate.

Even back in those early days the club seemed to attract a high percentage of family groupings and to have a dad with one, two or three children training was not unusual and in some ways set the tone of how the club would develop over the years. A family orientated Karate Club.

Although within a matter of three months the membership numbers were such that children and adults were split into separate sessions the club quickly gained a reputation of welcoming everyone, irrespective of age or ability.


Club competition in early days

The club produced its first black belt in 1984 and this was Andy Anscombe.

Sensei Merv presenting Andy with Dan grade Diploma.

Sensei Pat Connolly (visiting instructor from the Selsey club) in middle


The club has from its start date entered all of the SEKU Chanpionships and the Portsmouth Open Karate Tournaments until 2015. With Sensei Merv being the co-organiser, with Sensei Dewey, of the two championships, his students were always fully encouraged to enter but with the attitude of “doing their best” rather than a “must win” attitude. The result of this emphassis over the years has been that junior grades are willing to enter the competitions and face the pressures with a positive development of their self confidence and performance.

 SEKU/POKT Championships circa 1985


Pat O’Sullivan in action

 Club Instructors

From the very early days Sensei Merv has actively encouraged those of his students who wish to develop their ability to instruct/teach Karate. The result has been a high number of competent instructors developing from the club membership and moving on to start their own clubs or continue with the running of clubs in danger of closing.

Sensei Merv was for several years responsible in British Telecomms for the management of an engineering training center in London and subsequently became a college lecturer. From his career background he had developed the strong belief of “team teaching” giving the best opportunity for students to develop their full potential.
As a consequence the club has over the years maintained a strong and yet balanced team of male and female instructors. There are many advantages in this approach but of particular value is that all members have the best opportunity of identifing with one of the instructors in particular and hence having a good role model readily available

The current club instruction team, apart from Sensei, include 4th and 3rd Dans.

Current membership in June 2013

The current membership apart from Portchester, Fareham and the local area also includes students who travel from places as far as Bognor Regis in the East and Winchester and Eastleigh, in the West.

To return to the top press here

On-Line Club Lessons

No Changes implemented
^^Monday 6th July.^^

***Please do not reply to any zoom invitations or cancellations. Just join in with the lessons as advertised below!***
Planned weekly lessons for the duration.

In choosing the lessons to attend  please remember that at the dojo we split into grade groups. We obviously cant do this Online. Hence try to choose the lessons appropriate to your grade. eg white, orange and red belts need single basic techniques, whilst yellow to 4th Kyu need basic combinations and the brown and black belts need advanced work. If in doubt please contact me by telephone.


Any club members that do not know how to gain access please contact me by tele or email.

It is hoped that each lesson will be recorded and put on the club's Youtube channell. 

Please check back to this page frequently for any changes to the lesson programme and also other information.

Younger Children (In particular White, Orange and Red belts)
Sign in from 18.20 for 18.30 start. End 19.00.
Adults and older children (in particular, Yellow and above)
Sign in from 19.05 for 19.10 start. End 20.15.

Younger Children (In particular, White, Orange and Red)
Sign in from 18.20 for 18.30 start. End 19.00.
Adults and older children (10th to 4th Kyu inc)
sign in from 19.05 for 19.10 start. End 20.00.
Adults (3rd Kyu and above)
sign in from 20.05 for 20.10 start. End 21.15.

Thursday morning: "Dads Army"
Guests welcome.
Sign in from 10.00 for a 10.10 start. End 11.10.

Children (white, orange and red belts).
sign in from 18.20 for 18.30 start. End 19.00
Children and adults (7th to 4th Kyu).
sign in from 19.05 for 19.10 start. End 20.00.
Adults and older children
(Lesson intended for 3rd Kyu and above)

sign in 20.05 for 20.10 start. End 21.15.

Saturday (General class, but not suitable for younger children)
sign in 10.00 for 10.10 start. End 11.10




Instructional videos for the forced temporary closure

All Portchester and ESKC-Fair Oak, Karate Club Members.

I have tried to contact all members regarding the setting up of on line instructional videos on "youtube". If you have not received an email telling you how to access the first "test" video, then please contact me by email: mvodonnell@portchesterkarate.co.uk.
To provide continuity and easy understanding the club instructors have made these videos.

Temporary Club Closure

The Portchester Karate Club is temporarily closed. At the moment this is for a four week period. This may be extended.

For further information please email:  mvodonnell@Portchesterkarate.co.uk

Further information

For the Portchester Karate Club and clubs in other areas or different training times, please email modonnell@portchesterkarate.co.uk or telephone 07713284430.

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