Our Founder

Pete Woodrow McDowell

Southport Miyagi Karate School (SMKS) was founded in 1978 by Sensei Pete McDowell who taught Japanese Goju Ryu out of a small Dojo in Hampton Road. Sensei McDowell was a senior student of Sensei Gary Spiers, 5th Dan Goju Kai under Grand Master Gogen Yamaguchi, Tokyo, Japan. Sensei Spiers additionally sent Peter McDowell to train under Grand Master Ronnie Colwell, in order to widen his understanding of the finer points of martial arts.

Sensei McDowell formerly retired from instructing in 1990, and passed on the dojo to Sensei Garth Graham and Sensei Guy Keen. Garth withdrew from instructing in 1998 and Guy then continued as head of the SMKS and continued to train privately with Sensei McDowell until December 2000 when he graded him to 4th Dan.  

Sensei McDowell continues to actively train to this day and to instruct on special training events, this instruction remains as inspiring and informative as always and we are honoured by his continued commitment to SMKS. 

Woodrow McKane

Pete ‘Woodrow’  McDowell has now moved onto the next phase of his career as an author under the pen name of ‘Woodrow McKane’. https://www.woodrowmckane.com/slayers-of-the-dark-web

Last year he successfully publishing his first novel ‘Slayers of the Dark Web’ inspired in part by characters from Pete Mc’s life in the world of martial arts and the security industry, with one of the books main characters being the late Grand-master Ronnie Colwell, 10th Dan, founder of the World Kizuna Federation. 

The book is available on Amazon via https://www.amazon.co.uk/Slayers-Dark-Web-Woodrow-McKane/dp/1684192854some signed copies may be available, just  speak to Sensei Guy or Sensei Karl, alternatively if you’ve already purchased the book and want it signed.

Our Association

Sensei Ernie Molyneux, 8th Dan. EGKA Chief Instructor

Sensei Ernie is one of the most highly respected international instructors and is in demand for instructing at international seminars across the world, teaching in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and North America. The fact that Sensei Ernie was appointed by Master Morio Higaonna as vice-Chief Instructor for the International Okinawa Goju-ryu Karate Federation speaks for itself, it is unprecedented for an English Sensei and particularly impressive considering the strength of the field in the upper echelons of Goju-ryu karate.

Despite all of his success Sensei Ernie remains a very modest individual, his sense of care and absolute dedication for Karate combined with his strong principals for fairness and high standards make him a credit to English karate and an highly valued figurehead for the Association.

Sensei Roy Flatt, 8th Dan

Sensei Roy Flatt is well renowned as a prominent figure in the world of karate, whilst he takes no title it is clear that he is the right hand man of Sensei Ernie with a strong influence both nationally in the day to day running of the EGKA and internationally teaching at IOGKF events.

It was Sensei Roy who extended the invitation to SMKS to attend the EGKA winter seminar in 2001 and through his support and encouragement that SMKS swiftly joined the Association, allowing our club to move from strength to strength and seeing our instructors and students benefit from access to a huge amount of national and international events and the privilege of training with some of the worlds finest Karate Sensei.

Sensei Roy has been a long time student of the Saiko Shihan Morio Higaonna and this is evident in his teaching and depth of knowledge of Okinawa Goju Ryu. Sensei Roy runs two dojos in Merseyside, the famous Childwall dojo in Liverpool and the Heswall Dojo on the Wirral. 

All of the SMKS Sensei are regular attendees at Sensei Roy’s classes and have benefited hugely from his instruction, support and guidance, something we will always be tremendously grateful for.

EGKA / IOGKF

We affiliated to the English Goju-ryu Karate Association in 2001 on the invite of Sensei Roy Flatt and Sensei Ernie Molyneux (EGKA Chief Instructor).


The EGKA is a national association for the country of England and is in itself affiliated to the wider international federation known as the International Okinawa Goju-ryu Karate Federation.


Therefore Southport Miyagi Karate is part of both of these organisations.