The KKA Team

Admin team (Chris, Allan & Gina)

Behind the scenes, many people are voluntarily involved in the running of the Academy, in particular these three people, Chris van Reenen and his wife Gina and Allan Youl who started this all back in 2014.

Instructor team

Our qualified, experienced and friendly instructors are all volunteers. We do this because we are passionate about Martial Arts and we enjoy helping people of all ages, shapes and sizes to develop themselves in the ways of Shotokan Karate.

From left to right; Sensei Amy (Little Tigers), Sensei Brad, Head Sensei Allan, Sensei Chris, Sensei Barry, Sensei Fiona (Hutt) and Sempai Rachel

Sensei Allan Youl

Head instructor and KKA Karate Founder.

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

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 Ninjitsu.

Sensei Brad Stevens

Technical Shotokan instructor.

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

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 medallist at International level.

Sensei Barry Foster

Applied Karate and Weapons instructor.

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

1st Degree Black belt in Shotokan Karate (Shindo, Aus.)

1st Degree Black belt in Kobudo weapons. (RKKNZ)

Barry’s vast Martial Arts training began over 30 years ago and also includes Judo, Aikido, Aki ju-jitsu and Kobudo.

Serving years in the Military, Police and Security forces, Barry has extensive experience in Unarmed Combat, Restraint and Control and Self Defense techniques.

Sensei Chris van Reenen


1st Degree Black belt in Shotokan Karate (SIA)

1st Degree Black belt in Kobudo weapons. (RKKNZ)

Chris started training in Shotokan karate and Aikido at the age of 10 in South Africa. During this time, he competed in a number of national competitions where he earned his regional and national colors in South Africa.

Sensei Amy Brunton

Lead instructor – ‘Little Tigers” Karate

1st Degree Black belt in Shotokan Karate (SIA)

Amy is the Lead instructor of our “ Little Tigers Karate” program for 4 to 6 year old children and also assistant instructor (Sempai) in our main Shotokan classes. With over 4 years training at Kapiti Karate Academy, Amy is also a Gym instructor.

Sensei Fiona Hall

Lower Hutt Instructor.

1st Kyu Brown belt in Shotokan Karate (KKA)

2nd Kyu Brown belt in Gosuku Ryu Karate (WRKA)

Former WRKA Sempai, School teacher & Guides Leader

Sempai Rachel Woodrow

Assistant instructor – ‘Little Tigers” Karate

4th Kyu Purple belt in Shotokan Karate (K.K.A.)

Rachel has been the assistant instructor at the Little Tigers Karate Academy for over 2 years and also looks after the new kids that join or graduate to the Friday Fun class for 'Big people'. Rachel has over 20 years experience as an early childhood teacher.


Shotokan International Alliance (SIA)

Sensei Edmond Otis

Chairman and Chief instructor of Shotokan International Alliance (S.I.A.) and 8th degree Black belt. Otis Sensei is based at Shotokan Karate Hawkes Bay.

All KKA Karate Dan gradings are under Otis Sensei.

Ryukyu Kobudo Kyokai (RKKNZ)

Sensei Thanasi Balophas

KKA Karate Academy is affiliated with Ryukyu Kobudo Kyokai New Zealand (RKKNZ) which is part of the Ryukyu Dento Kobujutsu Hozon Budo Kyokai in Okinawa.

Our Senior grades train under Sensei Thanasi Balophas (6th Dan).

Dan gradings are conducted by Peter Turner Kyoshi (8th Dan)