Karate Resources

To help friends and customers of Ichiban I will update this page on a regular basis with useful information and links about karate (I've also included a very short history of karate in the UK). Please let me know if you come across anything which you think visitors to this website would be interested. Enjoy your karate and contact me any time if you need some advice.
Elena Floris, Founder, Ichiban International

Karate was first taught in the UK in the 1950s by Vernon Bell, a Judo and ju-jutsu instructor. Bell trained with Henri Plee in Paris (France was the first European country to have karate). Henri Plee brought a number of Japanese instructors to France, including Tetsuji Murakami, Hiro Mochizuki, Taiji Kase, and Yoshinau Nanbu.

Through Plee, Bell brought Tetsuji Murakami to the UK to teach the first generation of British students as referenced in Shotokan Dawn books. Bell founded the British Karate Federation, and later Bell invited Hirokazu Kanazawa to the UK to teach, so introducing the JKA brand of Shotokan to the UK.

Wado Ryu was introduced to the UK when Tatsuo Suzuki came to live in Britain at the beginning of 1965. At about the same time a number of British and South African Kyokushinkai practitioners, led by Steve Arneil, arrived in the UK and that style became established.

Contact Elena


Please e-mail Ichiban if there is anything else that you would like to find on this page which you think will help your karate development.Thank you from Ichiban.

Size guide

Ichiban International size chart

Please stretch out flat before measuring

JacketTrousersHigh waist trousers


All sizes are in centimeters

Assuming you order the correct size the arm sleeve length will fall one third up between the wrist and the elbow. The leg length will be just above the ankle. 

If you like wearing a shorter sleeve and shorter trousers Ichiban recommend you order a part made to measure suit (giving exact dimensions of sleeves and legs). The sizes go according to the person’s height. Every person comes in different shapes and sizes, therefore Ichiban has created the above chart to assist you in choosing the correct size.  Please note that this is only a guideline. Diamensions may vary slightly from one batch to another. Please e-mail Ichiban if you need further assistance.


Belt length


When the belt is made up, lift both ends and ensure that they do not pass your chin.
This is to prevent it from slapping your face when kicking.

To assist you could apply the following formula:

for the Regular belt (4cm width) :
• (Waist in cm) x 2 + 110 to 120 cm (depending on if you want a standard length belt or long hanging belt. This can in turn be dependent on the amount of embroidery.)

for the Wide belt (4.5cm width):
• (waist in cm) x 2 + 120 to 130cm (depending on if you want a standard length belt or long hanging belt. This can in turn be dependent on the amount of embroidery.)