What we do: 

We are a family friendly Martial arts club.  Our purpose is to guide people on their self-development journey using the ways and the spirit of traditional Martial arts.

Karate do is an ancient form of self defense where you train your body as a weapon.   What we measure is effort, dedication, resilience and the growth of one’s character.   That is where the essence of Karate lies.

We have martial arts classes for all ages, starting from 4 years old. Great for kids in developing coordination and focus. Plus lots of fun with a few games thrown in.  We also offer lessons in Weapons.  Our adult training can be as hard and challenging as you want to make it.   We will encourage you to push yourself beyond your perceived limits.  This type of training and philosophy can benefit anyone in all aspects of their lives. 

Our history: 

Kapiti Karate Academy was founded in February 2014 by head instructor Allan Youl.  Initially under the guidance of Shihan Martin Takarangi (6th Dan Zendokai karate) at the "Kapiti Kombat Centre" - a hub of mixed Martial arts, which included kick boxing, Jujitsu, Boxing and Karate. Sensei Allan (already a 1st Dan Black belt in Gokan ryu) was being prepared for his 2nd degree in Zendokai karate while teaching a combination of Shotokan and Zendokai to his students. Unfortunately just prior to Allan's test Sensei Marty had to leave and closed the Kombat Centre.  

Allan took over the Karate, switched to pure Shotokan and affiliated with 8th Dan Sensei Otis of AJKA-international based in the Hawkes bay.  Allan was promoted to 3rd Dan under Otis.  KKA remained with Sensei Otis until 2024 when Otis left the country.  

During this time Sensei Allan developed a great team of Senseis and Sempais (assistant instructors).  Taking them right from beginner level through to Black belt.  Also the club attracted high-level instructors from other clubs, such as Technical Sensei Brad Stevens, a 4th Dan Black belt from USKU.  

Around this period, Sensei Allan was invited to affiliate his club with RKKNZ (Kobudo weapons) by Sensei Thanasi Balophas.  Allan is now a 1st Dan Kobudo black belt and licensed to instruct.

In February 2024 Allan brought Shihan Bertel, the Chief instructor of IKS in Japan to Kapiti for a seminar (which attracted Karate experts from as far as Perth, Australia).  After building a strong relationship with Shihan Bertel, Allan affiliated KKA with IKS.  

The Academy has grown significantly over the past years, now with over 100 students of all ages.  Along with Budo Shotokan karate the club offers a weapons Academy, a Lower Hutt dojo with 2 experienced Senseis and the KKA ‘Little Tigers’ karate program for 4 to 7 year old Kapiti kids.  

(Photo taken 2018)

About Shotokan Karate: 

Shotokan training is usually divided into three parts: kihon (basics), kata (forms or patterns of moves), and kumite (sparring). Techniques in kihon and kata are characterised by deep, long stances that provide stability, enable powerful movements, and strengthen the legs. Shotokan is regarded as a dynamic martial art as it develops anaerobic, powerful techniques as well as developing speed. Initially strength and power are demonstrated instead of slower, more flowing motions. Those who progress to brown and black belt level develop a much more fluid style that incorporates grappling, throwing and some standing joint locking techniques, which can be found even in basic kata.[6] Kumite (fighting) techniques are practiced in the kihon and kata and developed from basic to advanced levels with an opponent (*Wikipedia) 

Our Instructors

Sensei Allan Youl

Head instructor and KKA Karate Founder.

3rd Degree Black belt in Shotokan Karate (I.K.S.)

3rd Degree Black belt in Shotokan Karate (S.I.A.)

2nd Degree Black belt in Shotokan Karate (AJKA international)

1st Degree Black belt in Kobudo (RKKNZ)

1st Degree Black belt in Zendo kai Karate

1st Degree Black belt in Gokanryu Karate

Allan began his Karate training at the age of 8 and has studied many different martial arts over the years including Kempo, Kobudo and Bujinkan Ninjitsu.

Sensei Brad Stevens

Technical Shotokan instructor.

4th Degree Black belt in Shotokan Karate (U.S.K.U.)

2nd Degree Black belt in Shotokan Karate (JKA)

Brad’s Karate training spans many years.  All of his Dan gradings were conducted in Japan where he also competed.  Sensei Brad is a Kumite Gold medalist at International level.

Sensei Amy Brunton


2nd Degree Black belt in Shotokan Karate (S.I.A.)

With over 7 years training at Kapiti Karate Academy, Amy was also a Gym instructor.  Amy was the original Lead instructor and co-instigator of our “Little Tigers Karate” program for 4 to 6 year old children.

Sensei Fiona Hall

Lead Instructor.

1st Degree Black belt in Shotokan Karate (S.I.A.)

2nd Kyu Brown belt in Gosoku Ryu Karate (WRKA)
Also a  high school teacher, former WRKA Sempai & Scout Leader

Sensei Rebecca Batchelor


1st Degree Black belt in Shotokan Karate (S.I.A.)

1st Kyu Brown belt in Gosoku Ryu Karate (WRKA)
Former WRKA Sempai

Lead instructor – ‘Little Tigers” Karate

2nd Kyu Brown belt in Shotokan Karate (K.K.A.)

Rachel also looks after the new kids that  join the 'Big people‘ KKA Karate classes.  Rachel has over 20 years experience as an early childhood teacher. 

Weapons Sempai Fin McDonald

Assistant Kobudo instructor.

1st Degree Black belt in Shotokan (SIA)

1st Kyu Brown belt in RKKNZ Kobudo

About Shihan Andre Bertel and the IKS (International Karate Shotokan)

Shihan Andre Bertel in Kapiti, February 2024.  After a 2 day seminar hosted by KKA Karate Academy

About Shihan Andre and the IKS (International Karate Shotokan)

Shihan Andre Bertel

Chief instructor of IKS and 7th Dan Black belt

"•a New Zealand born Shotokan Karate master, living in Oita City, Japan

•a 17 times New Zealand National Karate champion

•the only non-Japanese to win the Kumamoto Prefecture Karate-Do Championships in the Male Individual Kata

•a Personal student of the late grand master and Shotokan Karate legend Asai Tetsuhiko Shihan (10.Dan)

•a former VIP bodyguard

•a diligent blogger: https://andrebertel.blogspot.de/

someone who practices Karate like brushing teeth: several times a day

one of the few to master a huge number of Kata (standard Shotokan and Asai-ha)"

(*quote - Olliwaa.com)

Asai Sensei

Shihan Andre was a personal student of the great Tetsuhiko Asai Sensei.  Asai sensei was a student of the father of modern karate Gichen Funagoshi and of Nakayama sensei

IKS is a budo/bujutsu karate organization based in Oita City, Japan. Directed by Andre Bertel Sensei (7th Dan) the objective of IKS is to focus on optimizing peoples potential and to preserve and propogate traditional Shotokan-Ryu karate of the highest level.. . To read more - Visit their website here.