The British Karate Association, originally called The All Britain Karate Association was founded in 1964 and was the first ALL STYLES karate organisation in the U.K. Since then it has been at the forefront of karate development sponsoring the earliest All-Style competition and international events. In 1980 the BKA was reformed and re-energised with the blessing of Len Palmer by Danny Connor who began his karate training in 1960, a founder member of the BKA and a pioneer in British Martial Arts. Brian Seabright 7th dan began karate in 1972 and is the current chairman and worked alongside Danny Connor with the BKA since 1980, he has been running the BKA as chairman since Danny’s death in 2000.
Since its inception the BKA has been a governing body and is a respected member of the New Governing body – English Karate Federation, which is affiliated to the World Karate Federation – recognised by the IOC, the International Olympic Committee. The IOC has awarded a place in the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan to WKF karate. Through the BKA and EKF membership athletes have a direct route to National, European and World competition.
Together with other national associations the BKA founded the British Karate Control Commission in 1974. This forerunner of the Martial Arts Commission led to the subsequent formation of the EKC / EKB, which combined to form the EKGB – then the ill fated Karate England. In it’s history the BKA was once the only group recognised in Britain by the governing World Union of Karate Organisations (WUKO). Moreover the BKA became the most successful of all the rival Karate groups, repeatedly winning the British national championships and representing Gt. Britain at international events. We are now members of the EKF ( English Karate Federation ) and the WKF ( World Karate Federation ) which means that we are able to receive the correct recognition for dan grades coaching etc.
The BKA is a truly multi-style organisation in which Wado Ryu, Shotokan, Shukokai and Goju Ryu practitioners rub shoulders with Freestyle groups. Indeed this blend has proved to be one of our greatest strengths.
As an All Styles karate organisation we are proud of the many skilled and experienced instructors who are prepared to offer their services to member clubs.
I am sure you will find that the BKA offers all that you would expect from a major association i.e. Insurance, tournaments, courses, grading, coaching via EKF coaching program and a regular newsletter along with a unique membership system that puts the instructor in complete control. Another one of our strength is efficiency. One of the common complaints we hear from instructors who join us is that their previous association were slow when it came to certificates and licences being sent, we pride ourselves on the speed and efficiency of our administration and I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the speed of our service.
Len Palmer 1921-2009
Len was a leading light in the original English governing body for Karate, the BKCC and gave many years of his life to helping the development and organising of karate in the 60’s and 70’s. He is mainly remembered for his long-term role as secretary of the British Karate Association (BKA) to which he gave much time.
Len hoped the BKA would evolve on the lines of the British Judo Association, where clubs nationally could be in membership of the one national karate body and thus automatically benefit by official recognition. This was considered by Len to be important for national and international competition, also contributing to a controlled development of the sport. However, the rapid growth of karate took many by surprise so that the BKA then became just one of seven main karate groups.
In the late 1960s a murder trial took place at the Old Bailey in which the accused’s defence was that he had been taught karate and but had no idea how effective his blows could be. The trial judge recommended an official inquiry into karate which resulted in the Home Office deciding that karate activity was acceptable, but growth and development needed standards and control.
The British Karate Control Commission was formed and the British Karate Association, with Len Palmer as secretary, was a founder member of this Commission along with six other major, mainly style-based, organisations. Len Palmer’s ideal dream of the BKA becoming the umbrella organisation to which all clubs, irrespective of style, could belong never materialised as he would have liked. Nevertheless he played an important part in the early development of karate nationally.