About Woodlane Ishinryu

Ishinryu training has taken place at the Woodlane Dojo since 1973. Wood Lane is based in Dagenham on the East London / Essex border and comes under the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham.  Wood lane was the original location for our club.

The first ever Ishinryu club was established by Ishinryu founder Ticky Donovan in Dagenham in 1973. Woodlane karate is directly descended from that first club which was located on the same site as the old Wood Lane sports Centre.  At that time Karate training was undertaken in Nissan huts until a sports centre was built on the site in 1982. A number of Karate legends trained with Ticky Donovan at Woodlane in the early days including Peter Dennis, Will Verner, and Tyrone White – all of whom went on to run their own clubs.

After some years sensei Donovan handed over the running of Woodlane to sensei Fred Kidd.  Sensei John Walton ran the club during the 1980’s until 1991 at which time John handed the club over to sensei Tony Postbeschild and sensei Chris Vant.

The next major change occurred in 2003.  At that time the other major Dagenham Ishinryu club, based at Goresbrook and led by sensei Lee Smith, merged with Woodlane.  Goresbrook had formed in the early 1990’s from ex-Woodlane students, so this change was really just a unification of the original Woodlane club.

After 36 years of training on the same site, the old Wood Lane Sports Centre finally closed its doors in May 2011. The club relocated to the Becontree Heath Leisure Centre, just a few hundred yards away.

The Covid lock-downs of 2020/2021 were disruptive to many karate clubs – and Woodlane was no exception.  It was also the opportunity for a reorganisation.  Sensei Lee Smith, the senior Ishinryu Instructor in the UK, left Woodlane to establish the Ishinryu Hombu.  Around the same time sensei Alan Poole decided to focus more exclusively on his new Ishinryu club at Cranham.

The original Woodlane club relocated to Harold Hill under the leadership of sensei Chris Vant and our club continues to train as Woodlane in tribute to the long and varied history of our club.

Original Woodlane Poster
Woodlane Dojo
The Woodlane Sports Centre
(1982 – 2011)
Becontree Heath Leisure Centre
The Becontree Leisure Centre
(2011 – 2020)
Harold Hill Community Centre

The Harold Hill Community Centre
(2020)