Matthew Miller



Matthew started Karate at the age of 15 in 1986, joining the classes available at the local leisure centre. Luckily, this was run by Eddie Cox, a 5th Dan in Wado Ryu Karate and renowned Instructor of the Wolverhampton YMCA karate club which produced numerous national and international champions.

This early introduction to martial arts provided Matthew with a strong grounding in both the classically traditional and the more sport focussed aspects of karate.  It also sparked a life-long fascination with the subtleties and depths of Wado Ryu.

University and then work meant a move away from home and provided the opportunity to train in a number of different martial arts, including Aikido, Shotokan Karate, Kickboxing and Lau Gar Kung Fu. However, on settling in Cumbria Matthew was delighted to return to high quality Wado Ryu Karate with Sensei James and Chojinkai at the Kendal Club under Sensei Steve Chaplow.

Much of Matthew’s focus in training has been on exploring the techniques and applications contained within Kata(forms), and in 2007 he authored a book dedicated to applications for the Kata ‘Kushanku’ entitled ‘Fighting Forms’.

Matthew strongly believes that all aspects of Karate are important; the traditional approach of Kihon (basics), Kata (forms) and Kumite (sparring) provides a framework that is enriched by the addition of impact work, Kata application and self defence.

Having been a club referee and judge for several years he decided to progress, with the encouragement of Sensei Gordon Harrison, to gain England Judge and Referee qualifications in Kata as well as Kumite.  To this end, he qualified as an English Karate Federation Kumite Judge in 2014, officiating at National and International competitions however, he had to resign this role due to work commitments.

In October 2013 Matthew was awarded 4th Dan & continued to teach and train karate at the Kendal Club.   December 2014 saw his career progressing further following the retirement of his mentor Steve Chaplow 6th Dan, when he was asked by Sensei James to take over the running of the club as the Head Instructor, aiming to continue the enthusiastic, friendly environment that has always made it such a pleasure to train in.

In 2018, due to an increased work load at his job as Business Director at a local manufacturing company, he reluctantly stepped down as Head Instructor and handed over the running of the club to a “Committee of Volunteer Black Belt Instructors”.

The Black Belts also share the teaching at the club, supported periodically by members of the Senior Grading Panel, headed by Chojinkai President & Chief Instructor Doug James 8th Dan.

Matthew looks on his enforced break from karate as “a personal sabbatical” and hopes to get back to training at some point in the not too distant future.