Somerset Ryu aims to deliver fun, high quality Shotokan Karate classes to people of all ages and abilities in West Somerset.


The club was founded in the quiet village of Milverton in October 2013, and is now based in a bespoke full-time dojo in Tonedale, Wellington with multiple classes on offer throughout the week. Our logo is based on the dragon as depicted on the flag of Somerset (pictured right); the word Ryu in our name is taken from the Japanese word for dragon (竜).

Karate is an incredibly rewarding activity, with heavy emphasis on positive mental health and wellbeing, discipline, self defence and all-round fitness. There is huge potential for personal growth and achievement as our students work through their grades. We actively encourage participation in tournaments across the length and breadth of the UK for those who are interested.

Our club is affiliated to JKS England, and the Worldwide Headquarters of the Japan Karate Shoto Federation in Tokyo. This also provides membership with the English Karate Federation, the National Governing Body for UK Karate, and the World Karate Federation (WKF). 


SRK Club Instructors


Peter Milne
4th Dan JKS

Chief Instructor

The owner and founder of Somerset Ryu; Peter has been practicing Shotokan Karate for over 20 years, and teaches full-time from SRK's permanent dojo in Wellington. Since 2013, the club has produced more than 30 black belts, and he has personally coached many students to competition success at both National and International level. He is always looking to the future and is excited to be a member of the renowned Japan Karate Shoto Federation. Peter prides himself on the high standards set in class, and always aims to develop each and every individual and unlock their maximum potential.


Thea Priest
3rd Dan JKS

Assistant Instructor

Thea started her karate journey in 2011 (aged 10) as a student of Peter Sensei. It was soon after passing her black belt that she started to achieve remarkable success in competition, making the Karate Union of Great Britain England Squad in 2015 and earning selection to compete at the World and European Championships only a year later. Since then she has amassed an impressive collection of Regional, National and International medals and titles. Thea hopes to continue her competitive career in the JKS, and inspire others for many years to come as a proud member of Somerset Ryu Karate.


Antony Thompson-Gardiner
1st Dan

Assistant Instructor

Tony's history in martial arts spans over forty years, beginning with Judo aged 8 before moving to Kyokushin karate at the age of 10. In his thirties, he studied this style for 6 years while living in Japan, before life forced him to take a break. In 2010, his daughter's desire to learn karate led him to join a local Shotokan club under the tutelage and guidance of Peter Sensei. He remains a student but also devoted to supporting others in their practice of this beautiful art.