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Q: Do I need to Book? 

A: No, just drop into any one of our three weekly sessions and we will accommodate you

Q: Do I need to stay with my children while you train?

A: No, you can drop them off and pick them up when training has finished

Q: What age can my children start to train?

A: Training isn't suitable for children under the age of 6

Q: What shall I wear for my first lesson?

A: Loose clothing, track suit bottoms and T-Shirt will be fine

Q: Where do you train and when are the lessons:

A: Details of our locations and times can be found by clicking here

(Under 18)

£4.50 per session. Pay as you train.

(18 or over)

£5.50 per session. Pay as you train.

Principal Instructor

Simon Shepherd Sensei

Simon Shepherd first started his karate career in Manchester, aged 6, back in 1978....ish.


Originally starting his karate with Shukokai Karate Union (SKU), Simon quickly excelled and received his Shodan a few years after that. Simon then moved from Shukokai to Shotokan karate, training across Manchester for many years at various clubs.


At the age of 18 years old, Simon completed his Nidan grading.  He then went to Manchester University and joined the infamous Manchester University Shotokan Karate club, under the tutilidge of Sensei Gary Hartford 8th Dan and, of course, became a member of the KUGB.


After graduation, Simon  moved to Liverpool where he spent, until very recently, his time training at Liverpool’s world-famous Red Triangle Karate Club, under senseis Andy Sherry 9th Dan, Bob Poynton 8th Dan and Frank Brennan 8th Dan. The Red Triangle is one of greatest Shotokan karate clubs in the world and arguably the birthplace of Shotokan Karate in the UK.

During his time in Liverpool, Simon was privileged to be one of the senior instructors at Liverpool University's Shotokan Karate Club. Whilst there Simon coached the club through many victories at regional, national and international levels.


After moving away from Liverpool, Simon was also honoured to be invited to teach at Eton College, where he successfully took many of the students to national and international karate championship success.


He eventually ended up living close to Cheltenham and desperately searched for a karate club that embodied the qualities and traditions of the Red Triangle. Simon stumbled into Cheltenham Karate and, on the retirement of the instructor, founded what is now DOEJAP and before too long affiliated DOEJAP to the World Traditional Karate Organisation (WTKO) and then to HDKI GB.

Simon finally retired from competition aged 27 years old, having competed almost every week from the age of 11......before retirement Simon tried very hard to break almost every bone in his body along the way! 

In December 2017, Simon gained his Sandan black-belt grade, after a hiatus of over 20 years since his last grading. Simon graded under a senior black-belt panel headed by Scott Langley 6th Dan. In 2018 Simon was awarded his D Class examiner's qualification and also his B class international referee / judge qualification.


Simon's Credentials

Black Belts

Shukokai Karate: Shodan

Shotokan Karate: Sandan


Competed at regional, national and European levels; winning many titles along the way. 


Qualified Instructor

International Judge & Referee

GB Grading Examiner

HDKI Wales Grading Examiner

Qualified Coach

FEKO accredited

CRB/DBS checked


Sensei : Dan Pope

Dan is one of the senior black-belts at DOEJAP and has been with the club for many years.


Dan has his own Dojo and teaches Kumite, squad training and competition practice on Wednesday Evenings. Dan has a particular interest in Bunkai (the application of Shotokan Kata) and loves nothing better than to get the pads out and his fighting mitts on.

Dan started martial arts at the age of 8 with Judo, then as a teenager took classes in kick boxing followed by many years of Tae Kwon do, were he gained his black belt with the TAGB in 1999.


Dan continued to train for many years but his interest in Japanese culture started to really develop, and so it was, in 2009, Dan joined a traditional Shotokan Karate club were he went on to gain his blackbelt in Shotokan karate (SKFA) under Rob Bunting Sensei in 2013.


Dan has trained with DOEJAP now for many years; he is a D class qualified referee and now runs the Warden Hill DOEJAP club as well as continuing to train with Simon Shepherd Sensei and HDKI.

Dan has two teenage boys that have trained since they were six and they also both hold black belts in Shotokan Karate, which they both earned whilst training at DOEJAP.

Dan's Credentials

Black Belts

Tae Kwon Do: Black Belt

Shotokan Karate: Nidan


Qualified Instructor

D Grade Referee

FEKO accredited

CRB/DBS checked



Welcome to DOEJAP (the dojo of eternal joy and pain), one of Cheltenham's finest traditional Shotokan karate clubs.

We are a traditional Shotokan Karate dojo based at Leckhampton School and at Dean Close School in Cheltenham. We've been part of this community for many years and most of our students, not surprisingly, are from the local schools and surrounding area.

We are part of the self-proclaimed Hombo Dojo Karate International (founded by Scott Langley 6th Dan) one of the fastest growing non-Japanese Shotokan Karate organisations - (https://hdkigb.org/)

We're also governed for insurance purposes by FEKO (Federation of English Karate Organisations) -http://www.feko.co.uk/

We're an open, all-inclusive, family-friendly dojo. We teach and train with all ages, from 6 to 69.....and upwards of that too. 

Our chief instructor, Simon Shepherd, has almost 40 years' karate experience. He has held many regional, national and European competition titles and is a great instructor to train under.


All our instructors are fully-insured, FEKO accredited and CRB/DBS checked.

Come along, train and enjoy!!! Your first lesson is FREE.....and it's guaranteed to be fun and tough!


Leckhampton Primary School

Hall Road
GL53 0HP


6.30pm till 8pm

Sensei: Simon Shepherd

Warden Hill Primary School

Durham close

Up hatherley


GL51 3DF


6.30pm till 8pm

Sensei: Dan Pope

The Old Gym

(Next to The Bacon Theatre)

Dean Close School

Hatherley Road


GL51 6EP


9am till 10.30am (Senior Grades)

10.30am to 11.45am (Junior Grades)

Sensei: Simon Shepherd



Tel: 07807 243379

Email: sensei@doejap.co.uk


Tel: 07944607765

Email: Dan.popeKarate@hotmail.com

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