Club History

Sensei Johnathan Bolt is the Chief Instructor of Ju Dachi Martial Arts Association. He opened his own club in the year 2000. He was a Shotokan Karate 1st Dan with a big passion for Karate when his first club was opened in Southend-On-Sea, Essex. With only around 10 students, he joined with UKASKO organization (United Kingdom All Styles Karate Organization). While being with UKASKO he won the Top Instructor award in three consecutive years; 2004, 2005 and 2006. Sensei Jonathan met a senior instructor Sensei Phil Snewin who taught Kamashin Ryu Karate, and Kobujutsu (Okinawan Weapons). Sensei Phil Snewin introduced the martial art of Kobujutsu to Sensei Jonathan Bolt, and after an interesting seminar, Sensei Jonathan found a new love for martial arts. So he started to practice and train in Kobujutsu.

In 2004 he was awarded the Coaching Level Two by Sensei Phil Snewin under UKASKO. It was said that Sensei Phil Snewin was very impressed with Sensei Jonathan’s teaching.

In 2005 Sensei Jonathan received his 2nd Dan, which was 8 years over due (as Sensei Jonathan is and always has been more interested in training rather than taken gradings). Shortly after 2006 Sensei Phil Snewin broke away from the UKASKO to found an association called the TKGB where its members ran the association. While under the guidance of Sensei Phil Snewin the TKGB became very popular very quickly with its no nonsense approach. Sensei Phil Snewin stepped down after 2 years to allow its members to continue the running of the TKGB.

In 2006 Sensei Jonathan took a further step forward and ventured himself renting a shop in Southend-on-Sea to run it as his own private Martial Arts School. It was fairly successful. By doing so Sensei Jonathan stopped teaching Karate at many primary and secondary schools, and focused in running his classes from his own Do Jo, which proved to be costly.

In 2007 Ju Dachi MArtial Arts became an association, still affiliated to the TKGB.

In 2008 Sensei Jonathan performed excellent at one of his bests gradings, even taking Sensei Phil Snewin by surprise, as he thought he might not be ready. Sensei Jonathan was awarded his 3rd Dan. In Sensei Phil Snewin own words “it was one of Sensei Jonathan’s best performances”.

In 2009 Sensei Jonathan bought his own Karate Do Jo in Southend-On-Sea. Unfortunately, after a while financial difficulties pushed Sensei Jonathan to stop teaching and having to rent out the premises to cover costs. As he was not teaching at the local schools anymore Sensei Jonathan had to find a different type of job in the meantime and found himself in a deep end, having to start all over again from the bottom up.  While in full time work, Sensei Jonathan was very unhappy doing jobs that he did not enjoy. While working as a lifeguard at a local leisure center he bumped into his very first instructor Sensei Alan Parish and even though not much was said, Sensei Jonathan was only happy to deal with maintenance, prepare, set up and clean the hall in which Sensei Alan run his own classes.

In 2010 at this point Sensei Jonathan had also started dating a lovely Spanish woman named Patricia Torralba who worked and lived in London. He found out she also had a good knowledge in Karate as she had studied Shito Ryu Karate in Spain for many years. Three months dating and he told her of his dreams and all of his past experiences in Karate. Sensei Patricia asked him: “well, why don’t you start again?”.

Sensei Jonathan quit his Job. He was more determined and focused on his martial art career than ever. Within a month Sensei Jonathan had got back in touch with Sensei Phil Snewin and had re-opened his classes together with Sensei Patricia Torralba, but this time in London at the Peckham Pulse Leisure Centre. Also once a week in the afternoon in Southend-on-Sea at a primary school and in the evening in a hall. The club in London grew to around 50 students training with him and built up quite a reputation. Sensei Jonathan started focusing more into the local community and low income families. With the motto: “Karate for all” .

Sensei Jonathan left the TKGB due to a corrupt instructor and as advised by Sensei Phil Snewin,  Sensei Jonathan started running his his own independent Association: Ju Dachi Martial Arts Association.

Sensei Jonathan knew that he was probably one of the youngest and lowest ranked instructors to run an Association but would not let that get in the way. Sensei Jonathan Officially became an interdependent Association / Governing Body.

Ju Dachi Martial Arts Association started getting very much involved with the local community, taking part and organizing free martial arts events, etc. Sensei Jonathan decided to stop teaching at the leisure centre and new Karate lessons were opened at a local community hall. Unfortunately, after a year or so, the community centre closed due to bad management and their own financial difficulties. Still undeterred, and always focused in the community. Sensei Jonathan found local halls that were run the TRA’s and he finally established his main Do Jo in Wessex House hall together with Sensei Patricia Torralba and the TRA chairman Kevin Lewis, teaching the tenants for free once a week.

In 2013 Sensei Jonathan was also asked to run a similar scheme at another TRA hall in Elephant and Castle, London.

In 2014 Sensei Jonathan cannot stop surprising us with his dedication and passion for all he loves. In front of many students at the main Do Jo in London, Sensei Jonathan proposed with a ring to Sensei Patricia on her birthday. She said YES! and they got married in 2015.

In 2015, the JDMA changed venues within local proximity, to be able to offer larger training areas and to be able to offer even more lessons. The path has not been an easy one, but a great learning experience that still continues. Ju Dachi Martial Arts Association has one of the biggest Karate clubs in South East London, which also offers guidance and insurance for other clubs up and down the country (see our Independent All Styles Martial Arts Association “IASMAA” website: Also with the association own sports clothing brand: JDMA, we provide good quality martial arts and sports clothing and uniforms to other clubs and individuals, offering complete customization, at competitive prices.

Ju Dachi Martial Arts Association keeps taking part in various community projects, and promotes equality and diversity, healthy and active living, discipline, control, respect and self defence. The Association has dedicated classes for the the local community, where students who are less fortunate can enjoy training for FREE all funded by the Ju Dachi Martial Arts Association with support and additional funding from TRAs and ASDA.

In 2016, we started running Karate classes in South Wales, in Caerphilly and Cardiff and a number of qualified instructors came on board.
The Ju Dachi Martial Arts Association offer a range of classes to suit everybody’s busy life styles: Family friendly classes, children only classes, adults only classes, mixed classes, advanced only classes (Brown Belts +). To this day Sensei Jonathan has taught over 700 students in just 6 years of opening in London. Sensei Jonathan still shares a strong bond with Sensei Phil Snewin and travels once a month from London to Birmingham for a 2 hours session. Sensei Phil Snewin also continues to run courses and Black Belt gradings on behalf of the Ju Dachi Martial Association. At the JDMA we are proud to offer a selection of training locations within South East London,  Caerphilly and Cardiff.

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