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Shihan Tommy Morris 8th Dan - Kancho Kobe Osaka International

Tommy Morris achieved the first black belt ever awarded for karate in Scotland in 1965 and went on to become a well known and eminent professional coach, his current rank of 8th Dan was given by the World Karate Federation. For twenty-five years he ran a full-time karate club and health club in Glasgow with a number of satellite dojos throughout Scotland. Since 1965 he has trained over 100,000 people in his system. His name appeared in the Guinness Book of Records. He joined the WKF Referee Council in 1977 and was made Chairman in Sydney in 1986, a position which he held until his retirement in 2010 when he was appointed WKF Presidential Advisor.

He was the first Scottish National Coach, and for many years Kobe Osaka students were the mainstay of the Scottish and British teams. Kobe Osaka students have won numerous Scottish, British, European, and World titles. Danny Bryceland, Myles and Iain Burke, Robin MacFarlane, David Coulter and Pat MacKay being some of the best known of the many top notch competitors who went through the Kobe Osaka dojos. The latest in a long line of successes is his son Steven. In thirty-five major tournaments, Steven has taken thirty-one kata medals, including 5 European Championships medals, and a World Cup Bronze. He also placed 5th twice in the World Championships. He has won the British Championships, an unprecedented 11 times in succession.

Although Tommy Morris has achieved major successes in the training of champions, he is also well known as an instructor of effective and practical self-defence measures, both armed and unarmed, and has specialised in "Counter Measures", which taught police, military personnel, business executives, and ordinary people how to defend themselves against all kinds of attack. He still teaches tactical firearms use for people at risk and Special Forces personnel. He founded Kobe Osaka International in 1991 and which now has associated partners in 40 countries world-wide.

For a full history of Kobe Osaka International read 'The Kobe Osaka Story - The Early Years'

Tommy Morris performing kata seienchin

Tommy Morris training on the makiwara at Doshisha University, Osaka, Japan, August 1967

Tommy Morris demonstrating ton-fa in 1981


1939 Born 8th September

1954 Started training in Ju-Jitsu and Judo

1955-1957 Worked as a copy boy for the Glasgow Evening Citizen

1957-1967 Worked as a photo-process engraver with the Evening Citizen and Scottish Daily Express

1957-1963 Served in the Royal Marines Volunteer Reserve and qualified as a Commando, Parachutist, and Assault Engineer (AE2)

1961 Started learning karate from books

1963 Founded the Kobe Osaka Karate Club

1963-1964 Served in the 15th Scottish Parachute Regiment (TA)

1964 First karate instruction in Paris with Henri D. Plee and first karate licence with the League Isle de France, French Karate Federation

1965 Obtained the first Black Belt ever awarded in Scotland for karate and founded the Scottish Karate-do Association

1965-1970 Competed for Scotland and Britain in karate

1966 Opened Scotland's first full-time dojo at 27 Union Street in Glasgow

1967 Gave up his job with the Scottish Daily Express and went to train in Japan, returned as a 3rd Dan. Started teaching and training as a full-time instructor

1967 Qualified as a National Referee

1970 Joined the Renfrew & Bute Police Special Constabulary and retired in 1985, with the Long Service Medal

1970 Qualified as a European International Referee

1975 Qualified as WUKO World Referee

1976 Appointed a member of EKU Referee Committee

1977 Appointed a member of WUKO Referee Council

1976-1980 Represented Britain in two World Practical Pistol Championships, competing in matches in the U.S.A., Australia, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and UK

1984 till 2005, Chairman of EKF Referee Committee

1986 till 2010, Chairman of WKF Referee Committee

1991 Founded Kobe Osaka International

1998 Appointed Chairman of the EKF Sports Commission

1999 Appointed Chairman of the WKF Sports Commission

2003 Awarded 8th Dan by WKF

2010 Appointed WKF Presidential Advisor

Images & text courtesy of Tommy Morris & taken from

Page updated 16th February 2017