Shelf Karate Academy


Shelf Karate Academy is a martial arts club in Shelf.

We are located on the border of Bradford & Halifax. Based on Shotokan Karate, We teach self-defence and confidence for men, women and children from age 5.

We believe in making karate accessible to as many people as possible, and for that reason, our training fees are deliberately kept lower than other clubs.

There is no charge for a first “taster” session and thereafter the charge is currently £4 per session which usually lasts about 90 minutes.

Ama Logo

The AMA started out as the AKA “Amateur Karate Association” in 1971 and later expanded to include and embrace other Martial Arts.

  • 44 years and counting!

Now the largest martial arts association in the UK ”

  • over 90,000 members and growing year on year”

The AMA is very active with a very influential presence on both the national and international martial arts stage,

  • The AMA is RECOGNISED by the worlds leading martial arts organisations and governing bodies.

The AMA is represented by its broad and accomplished membership including associated organisation residing throughout the world.

The AMA’s directors & executive committee is made up of a general secretary, a president, vice presidents, treasurer and relevant technical committees


As well as the amateur executive, the amateur rule for contests is that no prize money or financial inducement may be awarded.


  1. To promote the sport & practice of martial arts and recognised coaching of the same
  2. To promote codes of safety in sport and practice of the same
  3. To promote the moral, mental, physical, and social well being of members
  4. To obtain, collect, receive, and administer money and funds for these purposes
  5. To cooperate with other bodies having similar aims for purposes recognised by law as charitable
  6. The association shall be amateur i.e. be controlled by a committee with no controlling interest
  7. The association’s competitions shall be amateur i.e. no prize money awarded
  8. Members shall be amateur i.e. shall not receive prize money from the association

We are licensed by the  Amateur Martial Association. Our professional body.

Shelf Karate Academy
Shelf Karate AC 2016 © (1)
Shelf Karate AC 2016 © (14)

A word from Sensei Syd Fletcher

I started training in Bradford in 1991, training with local Sensei Ken Lawn. As I progressed through the junior grades, I travelled across northern England to train with other Senseis including Ken Button and Bob Smith.

I was privileged to also train with the late great Steve Cattle and to this day still, train with Dirk Heene when he travels to the UK. Steve and Dirk were both trained by the great Sensei Kase.

I gained my 1st Dan Black Belt in 1997, and I have currently graded 6th, Dan.
I founded my club in Shelf, Halifax in 1998, initially with only a handful of students.

I ran children’s classes from the very beginning as well as the adult class, and I have been proud to coach many students through from being complete beginners to Black Belt – in some cases beyond 1st Dan to higher Dan grades.

Not everybody makes it to Black Belt, but many find satisfaction in their training without necessarily taking it that far.

Children have on occasion been brought to me by parents troubled by their children’s behaviour.

My first Black Belt student was one such boy who came to me as a complete novice at 12 years old. He was in trouble at school, misbehaving and disrespectful at home and clearly in need of something to do that would keep his interest.

We trained him to Black Belt over around 6 years, teaching him control and respect for others and most importantly respect for himself.

“We taught him to believe in himself.”

He, in turn, went on to teach younger children and was capable of running a class of 24 students by the time he was 17 years old.

My Senior Instructors and I are all DBS (Criminal Record) checked. My wife and I have worked with young children from vulnerable backgrounds for many years, and understand the need to demonstrate integrity to the outside world.

“In the past, it was expected that about three years were required to learn a single kata, and usually even an expert of considerable skill would only know three, or at most five, kata.”

– Gichin Funakoshi