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 Women in Karate

Friend of Tower Shukokai, Clare Potter has published a book sharing some of the challenges she has experienced trying to reconcile motherhood, career and karate. The book is available from Amazon, Lulu or from the author herself priced £7.99. You can contact Clare via or meet her in person on our annual Gasshuku



Karate is an eminently suitable pastime for women, offering opportunities for improvement in health and well being, as well social and self-defence benefits. At Tower Shukokai we are proud of our strong female membership. This page is dedicated to them.




Karate is practised by many but misunderstood by many more. A popular view of karate evokes images of tattooed guys smashing lumps either out of each other or out of pieces of masonry. The dojo (training hall - literally “place of the way”) then, would surely be no place for women.















Thankfully this image of karate is outdated and inaccurate. Although its roots are in the ancient Orient, karate is in fact a modern, progressive system designed for the dual purposes of self-protection and self improvement. The term “karate” literally translates as “empty hand” but in fact involves the use of the whole body in a series of exercises that are designed to foster health, fitness and well being, whilst having the added benefit of being a highly effective means of self-defence.

It is perhaps because of this approach that Tower Shukokai, Darwen’s oldest established karate club, has attracted such a strong and enthusiastic female membership. Black belt second dan Lorraine Allwood took up karate lessons as a direct reaction to a street assault, but these days her study embraces not only the pragmatic aspects of the art but also the aesthetic - Lorraine has won trophies in “kata” – the stylised sequences that form the foundation of karate technique - and "kumite" (literally the meeting of hands, or sparring). Other women have begun karate training for a variety of reasons: to keep fit - karate training provides a rigorous total body work-out; as a social

activity - a group of women suspending their inhibitions for 90 minutes is an excellent ice-breaker; additionally karate includes rules for points-scoring competition to satisfy the competitive athlete.

The real benefit of karate though is that many people begin with one motive in mind, and find themselves attracted to one or more of the other aspects later.
So whether you want sport, self defence, a practical alternative to aerobics, the opportunity to vent the week’s frustrations on an inanimate object, or an excuse to have a bit of fun with like-minded women, karate may just be for you.







We also have a thriving male membership, and run separate classes for children. For more information see our website or contact Andy on 01204 596199, 07960 794160 or

An interesting link regarding women in Judo:

©Tower Shukokai Karate Club 2015