Michael Nursey

I get enormous satisfaction from teaching all types of students, helping them through all the ups and downs of their training and get a real buzz when they finally achieve their black belt.

Michael Nursey

Practising Karate in England for over 55 years, Michael Nursey is one of the founders of one of the largest Shotokan associations in the UK. After a successful competitive career in both kata and kumite, he has been a long-time EKGB judge and referee. Alongside Peter Spanton, he was one of the first nationally qualified referees in England.

Michael William Nursey was born on 4 February 1949, in the South of England.

Nursey began learning Judo in 1961. At school, he had previously played football and rugby. He practised Judo for around three years, achieving the rank of brown belt.

A keen swimmer, Nursey was a member of the Southgate Swimming Club.

Around 1966 Nursey saw a Jujitsu demo given by John Hawkes. He began training with Hawkes at a club located behind a pub in Wood Green. He trained for around a year.

In 1967 Nursey began learning Karate at a KUGB (Karate Union of Great Britain) dojo run by John Van Weenen. He had seen someone practising Karate and this piqued his interest.

Although difficult, Nursey loved his Karate training. The classes lasted around two hours and involved a lot of repetition. Other people training at the dojo included Eddie Whitcher, Michael Randall, Nick and Chris Adamou, Roger Hall, Paul Perry, and Michael Billman. His instructors included Whitcher and Randall. Guest instructors who sometimes visited the dojo included Keinosuke Enoeda and Sadashige Kato.

After six months of training, Nursey was graded at Crystal Palace, where he was promoted to yellow belt.

After achieving the rank of 4 kyu, Nursey’s main instructors were Hirokazu Kanazawa, Shiro Asano, and Michael Randall.

In 1971 Nursey was promoted to 1st Dan by Kanazawa. The grading was held in front of a crowd of 200 people. Nursey had previously been promoted to 1st kyu by Keinosuke Enoeda.

Kanazawa established the SKI (Shotokan Karate International) in 1974. Nursey, Eddie Whitcher, Nick and Chris Adamou, and Michael Randall left the KUGB to join the new association. Shiro Asano was appointed the Chairman and Chief Instructor of the SKI (GB).

Shiro Asano promoted Nursey to 2nd Dan in 1974.

Nursey established the Stevenage Club in 1976.

In 1978 Nursey was promoted to 3rd Dan by Kanazawa.

Nursey helped establish the ESKA (English Shotokan Karate Association) in 1979. The other founding members of the ESKA were Michael Randall, Roger Hall, John Van Weenen, Eddie Whitcher, Greg Durant, and Harry Jones. Mainly covering the areas of Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, and London, Randall and Whitcher were appointed Joint Chief Instructors.

Over the years several of the ESKA founding members left to establish their associations. Whitcher left in 1981; Van Weenen in 1982; and Randall in 1984. Nursey and Hall eventually became the Joint Chief Instructors of the ESKA.

Over the next few years, Nursey and Hall concentrated on building up the ESKA to be one of the main Shotokan associations in England. The Stevenage Club eventually became the Hombu of the ESKA.

1997 Nursey co-authored the book “A Shotokan Karate Book of Facts Vol I” with Clive Layton and Michael Randall.

Nursey was promoted to 7th Dan in 1999, by the World Union of Karate Organisation. He was presented with his certificate by Michael Randall.

In 2000 the ESKA organised a special tournament to mark the millennium. Over a thousand people attended the event. Member of Parliament, Tony Banks, was the guest of honour.

In 2016 Nursey was promoted to 5th Dan.

Roger Hall, the Joint Chief Instructor of the ESKA died in December 2018.

Michael Nursey currently holds the rank of 9th Dan. He is the Chief Instructor of the ESKA, which has over 20 clubs. He teaches a weekly senior class at the Stevenage Hombu.

Nursey is married with three children. His wife Raesa is also a black belt.

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