The History and Development of Shoto Budo - page 5


Billy Haggerty Defends against a Katana

William Haggerty and Shoto Budo Development

William Haggerty or Billy, the Technical Director of the Shoto Budo Organisation, was born in 1950 in Greenock, Scotland. He began training in martial arts in 1967 having been interested in boxing in his youth. The Scouting Movement led him to practise Judo and, in turn, Karate. Billy, like many of the original Shoto Budo instructors, began training in Karate Do under the instruction of Sensei Mitsusuke Harada and was among the first martial artists to have received his fifth dan directly from Harada Sensei. This is all the more prestigious in view of the fact that Harada sensei received his fifth dan directly from Funakoshi, while in Brazil, an award envied at the time by many of his contemporaries.

Billy has studied a variety of physiological disciplines including Transactional Analysis (TA), Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and Developmental Behavioural Modelling (DBM). He is a qualified Trainer in NLP and a master practitioner in DBM and he uses these skills especially in the development of effective training models to increase the learning capacity and accelerate the speed of learning of his students in martial arts. He also uses these skills to study all forms of Karate, Judo, Boxing, Aikido, Kendo, Bojitsu, Jujitsu and Tae Kwon Do, as well as Tai Chi, Kung Fu, Yoga and other martial arts.

In this way, Billy has enabled Shoto Budo to become a comprehensive and progressive modern martial art and research organisation that, from its original foundations in Karate Do, has been influenced through the study of many martial arts disciplines. Indeed, the organisation prides itself that many of its senior instructors after gaining a strong grounding in karate have also studied other disciplines bringing new ideas and techniques to add to the already strong portfolio.

Like Billy, the more senior instructors have also had an interest and extensive training in modelling processes leading to excellence, using many of the modelling tools for learning, teaching and coaching with much more precision. In addition, the senior group brings professional experience in sports coaching, management, leadership training and counselling as well as complementary therapies such as Bio-Energy, Shiatsu and Reiki.

Shotobudo today is a comprehensive martial art promoting key principles based on Self Defence, Health and Well Being which are the building blocks of the organisation. By following these principles and using all the skills available to the organisation, Shoto Budo's particular approach to martial arts development continues to be enhanced and focused.

As a result, a safe system has been developed to help the student learn the most useful skills quickly while still being able to appreciate the wide range of martial arts and their different qualities and uses. At the same time this 'martial way' or path opens up the interest and desire of seasoned martial artists to continue to increase their skills while also looking after their own health as they mature with age.

Some organisations are interested in different approaches such as specific competition rules or may favour the use of strength or aggression and yet others might prefer the pure aesthetics and beauty of the movements. These differences will undoubtedly determine the practice and training that will take place although for the foreseeable future Shoto Budo will continue to research and practice martial arts in the time honoured way of its illustrious predecessors who provided the insight and direction to follow the true spirit of martial arts.


This is a very brief outline of the origins of karate showing the Shoto Budo lineage and the rapid development of Shoto Budo in the present day. As the organisation continues to develop, thanks to the modern use of technology, so also will the records of its achievements and growth be more readily available in the form of written word, books, photographs and video recordings for the benefit of current students and those yet to discover the wonders of the martial arts.

logoShoto Budo Name and Logo

The Shoto Budo name derives from Shoto which was the pen name of Master Funakoshi whilst Budo means 'Martial Way' in Japanese. The name simply translated is the Martial Way of Funakoshi, which shows Shoto Budo's historical, links and signifies the direction that the senior members wish to take towards the development of the art of self defence.

The Shoto Budo logo represents skill, flow, connectivity and grace and comes from a picture taken of two martial artists, Vincent Strachan and Raymond Johns, sparring in the 1980's. They have been silhouetted and their moves turned into brush strokes reminiscent of Japanese written characters.


Other Content


Video Clip
Training Safe Landing

Training Safe Landing

logo logo