Ichiban Karate

After 32 years of Shotokan karate experience and having achieved UK, European and World titles, Elena started the Ichiban Karate school/centre at Topnotch in Brentford and expanded to Isleworth Leisure Centre . Elena wishes to share her philosophy and passion for Shotokan karate to anyone who is keen to learn.

Elena is also running Team Building activities based upon karate principles for businesses which are hugely successful. 

About Elena and her karate experience

Elena is originally from Sardinia (Italy). She came to the UK in December 1983 and started Shotokan karate in 1986 with Keinozuke Enoeda Sensei in London. In 1988 Elena joined Masao Kawasoe Sensei (Click here for his Profile) and trained with him 3 - 4 times a week for 20 years. During this time she travelled around the UK and abroad to attend regular seminars with World famous Shotokan Karate Masters such as Kancho Hirokazu Kanazawa, Hiroshi Shirai Sensei, Yasuyuki Aragane Sensei, Hideo Ochi Sensei and others.

She became part of the UKTKF(United Kingdom Traditional Karate Federation) national team in the early 1990s. In 2004 she lived in Japan for one year where she studied karate with the JKA (Japan Karate Association) in the Gifu prefecture and studied the Japanese language. Previous to this she entered the JKA regional championship and won 1st place in Kata (form) and 1st place in Kumite (free style fighting).

Elena has an impressive list of achievements at National and International level:

*    Open World champion   - Kumite (fighting) 1st place in 1999
*    Open World champions  – Team Kumite 2nd place in 1999
      (Elena won every single fight for the team, but lost in the final)

*    European champion     - Kumite 3rd place in 1995
*    European champions    – Synchronised ladies team Kata (form) 3rd place in 1995

*    UK National champion  - Individual ladies Kata 1st place from 1995 to 2000
*    UK National champion  - Individual ladies Kumite 1st place from 1995 to 2000
*    UK National champions – Synchronised ladies team Kata 1st place from 1995 to 2000

Elena now balances her life between her two young children, Ichiban International and Ichiban karate.

Training Times

1.     The Topnotch Health Club in Brentford (West London) view map

Thursdays   8pm - 9pm (all levels - adults and children)
Saturdays   9:15am - 10:15am (all levels - adults and children)
Note: You do not need to be a Topnotch member to join the karate class.
The karate students have access to the excellent showers and sauna facilities of the club.

2.      Isleworth Leisure Centre, Twickenham Road, Isleworth TW7 7EU view map

4:45pm - 5:45pm (all levels - children from 5+)

Find next available class              

Membership Trial

Training for karate brings with it certain obligations. You will need to register to become a member of your karate club. Membership covers insurance and your Grading Book.

At Ichiban we understand that beginners may not know if they wish to commit to becoming a member. As such we offer a 3 class trial for £15.00 (prepaid). There is NO OBLIGATION to become a member after your 3 classes. However, if you wish to continue your training, you must become a member.
Membership fees are:
- Adults and Children: £45.00

Elena has special karate suit offer for all new members. Ask her at your first class.


Training Fees

If you enjoyed your three classes and wish to continue there are a number of training options. Elena wishes to give an opportunity to anyone wishing to learn.

  • Monthly Packages. 
    £45 per month (train up to three times a week)
  • Children. £100 per term (train up to three times a week) - the equivalent of £3.80 per class if training twice a week.
  • Pay As You Go. £15.00 per class paid at the door. 
  • Visitors. Members of other karate clubs are welcome. Fee per class is £15.00 paid at the door. 
  • Location. You don't need to commit to a particular venue. Once you've become a member you can attend either Topnotch or Isleworth. It just depends which suits you best on the day.

Family discounts (this applies to term or block booking fee only):
- 2 people from the same family 10%
- 3 people from the same family 15%
- 4 people from the same family 20%

Check Availability

Elena's karate philosophy

"Karate is a bridge for anyone to walk across to help them achieve all the goals which you, as an individual, set for yourself. This may be to pass an examination or to achieve a business goal or to gain mental power to deal with difficulties that life may bring."

Karate training is not just about the body; the mind plays a big role of connection. Elena calls it the active ZEN (meditation). When you are moving, the mind is training to acquire the mushin state.  "Mu" meaning negation, "Shin" meaning heart, mind, feeling. This is often translated  as "no mind/ empty mind." It is a Zen term referring to that state of mental clarity and enhanced perception (sensory and intuitive) known as pure mind, produced by the absence of conscious thought, ideas, judgments, emotion (fear and anxiety), pre-conception, or self-consciousness.

In karate we are training towards mushin which is so important to technical training. Through mushin the mind is not absent, but instead is freed. No longer inhibited, slowed, distracted, or clogged, the mind is free to fully perceive, respond and commit to action. The mind is not fixed on anything and is open to everything; it is a mind expanded through the whole body with total awareness of, and focus on, everything. 

Today Elena would like to make Ichiban Karate available to anyone who wants to use it for their own benefit. For example, it may help you to feel good with emotional balance, to be happier, to be part of a friendly group or to lose weight, or to overcome fears, anger or just to get fit.

Anyone can do it. It is fantastic for anyone at any age, starting from the age of 5 to the age of 65. The classes vary from beginners to advance levels. Regarding fitness, age and flexibility, do not worry; this is open to anyone as each individual takes the class at his/her own pace. The main thing is that everyone enjoys the benefits of their karate class by progressing at their own pace.

Contact Elena

At Ichiban Karate you will:

  • Build confidence, awareness, strength and character
  • Beat stress, overcome fears and redirect anger
  • Gain coordination, concentration and self control
  • Get fit and increase flexibility
  • Study Karate at your own pace, with no obligation to attend every single session
You Have Complete Flexibility
  • Total beginners: try three karate sessions, with NO obligation, NO COMMITMENT! Train in tracksuit! This is to see if this beautiful art is for you. If not, just stop.
  • A non political karate centre where anyone from any karate club is WELCOME to train as a guest.
  • Provide excellent service and ensure that each student is taught and brought to HIGH KARATE STANDARDS.
  • Give the opportunity, with no obligation, to grade to BLACK BELT levels.

Tell me more 

Ichiban Karate - What our Clients Say

 Sensei Floris has been a wonderful teacher to my sons over the past 3 years. 
My older son has been attending Karate since the age of 6 and I am so pleased with the impact it has had on him. It has made him more confident, independent, and most importantly has improved his concentration. He was easily distracted at school and found it a challenge to hold concentration. Since Sensei has worked with him we have seen a real improvement in this area.
My younger son is 4 and started lessons this year. He was always quite shy in public and not confident with strangers, since he started with Sensei he has really found his confidence. He loves attending the lessons and looks forward to them every week. It has also taught him discipline.
The reason I think Sensei Floris is so successful with children is her warm and compassionate manner, she really does treat every student as an individual. She takes the time to learn each student's strengths and weaknesses, and then work with them to be the best they can be, whatever that level may be. She gives them confidence in their abilities.
She is a fantastic teacher and role model for my children, and I am so pleased with the influence her teaching has had on them. R. Saleem (West London)

 Sensei Floris has been a phenomenal teacher to my three children.
The girls, twins, began when they were five and are now 17!. They have thoroughly enjoyed being with Sensei Floris and have achieved black belt with her excellent teaching and coaching skills.
My son, aged 12 loves attending the class and has become more confident and disciplined. Sensei Floris teaches in an exemplary manner:- warm, dedicated, friendly and energising. In short, she is a brilliant teacher, a great role model  for karate. Her passion and expertise shines through in every lesson. 
You would not want to go to another club and I cannot recommend her enough. - Margaret Kapilla (West London)

 Before coming to Ichiban Karate I tried several other clubs and experienced classes given by a number of instructors, including some who are ranked very highly. Then I came and trained with Sensei Floris. Wow! What a difference.
The way in which Sensei Floris teaches is so fantastic!
Despite her own incredible achievements and obvious talent, she always warmly welcomes people, regardless of their own level of ability and experience, and she always teaches the art in a way which very clearly explains the fundamentals of each technique. 
On top of that she is someone who isn’t simply interested in being a teacher, but instead, genuinely wants people to learn and improve their own karate and she works very hard towards that.
If you want to learn from a charismatic, enthusiastic, professional instructor, with a remarkable competition record, vast experience and a desire to pass on high level karate skills, then you should attend her classes as often as you can, because she is exceptional.
It is a privilege to be able to attend her dojo."P. R. C. (West London)

 I have had the pleasure of knowing and training with Sensei Floris for over twenty years and I am proud to call her my friend and my teacher. Her abilities and skills, as a dedicated student and a very talented teacher of karate-Do, extend far beyond her exemplary career in the sporting aspects of Karate. In particular, her ability to communicate with clarity, enthusiasm and power is quite inspiring. If you wish for a integral, balanced and enjoyable experience of this ancient art of self discovery, I would recommend Sensei Floris highly." - Michael Rice (Ireland)

Ichiban Karate is a great activity to do together as a family. My son and I really enjoy learning karate together on Saturday mornings. It keeps us fit and also has improved our physical confidence. I think it is also beneficial in terms of learning respect and discipline, and in helping you to focus and concentrate." Pat Hamade, Isleworth (Middlesex)

Size guide

Ichiban International size chart

Please stretch out flat before measuring

JacketTrousersHigh waist trousers


All sizes are in centimeters

Assuming you order the correct size the arm sleeve length will fall one third up between the wrist and the elbow. The leg length will be just above the ankle. 

If you like wearing a shorter sleeve and shorter trousers Ichiban recommend you order a part made to measure suit (giving exact dimensions of sleeves and legs). The sizes go according to the person’s height. Every person comes in different shapes and sizes, therefore Ichiban has created the above chart to assist you in choosing the correct size.  Please note that this is only a guideline. Diamensions may vary slightly from one batch to another. Please e-mail Ichiban if you need further assistance.


Belt length


When the belt is made up, lift both ends and ensure that they do not pass your chin.
This is to prevent it from slapping your face when kicking.

To assist you could apply the following formula:

for the Regular belt (4cm width) :
• (Waist in cm) x 2 + 110 to 120 cm (depending on if you want a standard length belt or long hanging belt. This can in turn be dependent on the amount of embroidery.)

for the Wide belt (4.5cm width):
• (waist in cm) x 2 + 120 to 130cm (depending on if you want a standard length belt or long hanging belt. This can in turn be dependent on the amount of embroidery.)