Shihan Athula


Founder of Dhammika

Shihan Athula is a Sri Lankan teacher of traditional karate in Shito-Ryu and kobudo. He currently holds the 8th Dan black belt in Shito-Ryu and the 4th Dan black belt in Shotokan. Shihan Athula Minithanthri was born in May 25, 1960 in Colombo Sri Lanka, where he grew up. 

Shihan Athula in Neko-Ashi-Dachi

At the age of ten, Shihan Athula began studying karate in a dojo in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Five years later, he already achieved great success at the National Championships in Sri Lanka. From 1975 to 1979, he won gold medals in the lightweight class and became a five-time champion.
Since then, Shihan Athula never lost his love and enthusiasm for karate, that’s why he has more than 50 years of experience until today. While studying karate, Shihan Athula trained and learned under Japanese grand masters such Soke Chew Choo Soot (10th Dan), Soke Teruo Hayashi (10th Dan), Hanshi Hiroyuki Miura (10th Dan), Soke Yasuhiro Konishi (10th Dan), Hanshi Kiyoshi Yamazaki (9th Dan) and Soke Akira Sato (9th Dan).

After gaining experiences from several karate teachers, Shihan Athula co-founded the National Karate Federation of Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka Karate-Do Federation) together with his trainer and other high-ranking members on May 12, 1975. Twenty years later, in 1995, he was asked by the Sri Lankan Ministry of Sports in the context of a reform to revise the existing rules and regulations in karate. In the following year, he was commissioned by them to draw up a new constitution (1996).

Shihan Athula and his students together with grandmaster Chew Choo Soot.

After passing the exam in 1980, Shihan Athula received the 3rd Dan black belt from grandmaster Chew Choo Soot (10th Dan), who was one of the first members of the All Japan Open Karate Tournament Committee and a highly respected Chinese Kung Fu master who was able to handle 18 different Chinese-Oriental weapons. In the following four years, Shihan Athula continued to learn karate intensively under Chew Choo Soot until he received the 4th Dan black belt by him in 1984. It was also Chew Choo Soot who taught him how to use Chinese weapons.

In 1987, Shihan Athula introduced Hayashi-Ha Shito-Ryu to Sri Lanka. It became one of the most popular karate styles there. One year later, he left Sri Lanka to travel to Great Britain where he also introduced the art of Hayashi-Ha Shito-Ryu. In the following years, he held countless workshops and training courses as Chief Instructor for Hayashi-Ha Shito-Ryu in the UK. Not least because of his merits, the name Shihan Athula Minithanthri is closely connected with karate in Sri Lanka and Great Britain.

After he has helped to introduce and spread the art of Hayashi-Ha karate in the UK, he decided to leave Great Britain. Finally, Shihan Athula emigrated to Germany where he founded his own karate association called Japan Karate-Do Dhammika-Ha Shito-Ryu Kai. Since then, Shihan Athula is not only a teacher in karate, but also a teacher in kobudo. As a kobudo teacher, he teaches the use of Okinawan and Chinese-Oriental weapons including nunchaku, tonfa, bo, sai, kama, tekko, eku (oar) and iaido.

In addition, Shihan Athula is one of the referees who can judge both half and full contact karate basing on the rules of WKF as well as kickboxing.



It is also worth mentioning that Shihan Athula teaches numerous other katas in addition to the katas specified in Japan Karate-Do Sato-Ha Shito Ryu and Japan Karate-Do Dhammika-Ha Shito-Ryu Kai. In total there are more than 80 katas across all styles:

  1. Kishinte Sho
  2. Kishinte Ni
  3. Tenno Kata
  4. Chino Kata
  5. Gekisai Dai Ich
  6. Gekisai Dai Ni
  7. Pinan Shodan
  8. Pinan Nidan
  9. Pinan Sandan
  10. Pinan Youdan
  11. Pinan Godan
  12. Juroku
  13. Naifanchin Shodan
  14. Naifanchin Nidan
  15. Naifanchin Sandan
  16. Jiin
  17. Jitte
  18. Jion
  19. Matzukase
  20. Wankan
  21. Wanshu
  22. Itosu Rohai Shodan
  23. Itosu Rohai Nidan
  1. Itosu Rahai Sandan
  2. Matsumora No Rohai
  3. Itosu Bassai
  4. Tomari Bassai
  5. Matsumura No Bassai
  6. Matsumura No Seisan
  7. Ishimine No Bassai
  8. Sei en chin
  9. Sochin
  10. Shisochin
  11. Seisan
  12. Pachu
  13. Aoyagi
  14. Seiryu
  15. Shinhaito
  16. Kushanku Dai
  17. Kushanku Sho
  18. Shiho Kushanku
  19. Chathanyara Kushanku
  20. Chibana Kushanku
  21. Pachu
  22. Heiku
  23. Paiku
  1. Papuren
  2. Shinpa
  3. Goju Shiho
  4. Sepai
  5. Saifa
  6. Kururunfa
  7. Niseishi
  8. Nipaipo
  9. Nepai
  10. Hakka Ku
  11. Hakurutsu
  12. Hakucho
  13. Anan
  14. Unsu
  15. Chinto
  16. Chinte
  17. Superimpei
  18. Superimpei (alte Variante)
  19. Sanchin
  20. Sanseiru
  21. Tensho
  22. Bassai Sho

Plus 26 Shotokan Katas and a couple of Goju-Ryu Katas!


  • 1975: Shihan Athula co-founds the Sri Lanka Karate-Do Federation.
  • 1975-1979: Shihan Athula wins the Sri Lankan national championship five-times in a row.
  • 1976: Shihan Athula passes the 1st Dan exam.
  • 1978: Shihan Athula passes the 2nd Dan exam.
  • 1980: Shihan Athula passes the 3rd Dan exam under Grandmaster Chew Choo Soot (10th Dan).
  • 1985: Shihan Athula passes the 4th Dan exam under Grandmaster Chew Choo Soot (10th Dan).
  • 1987: Shihan Athula introduces Hayashi-Ha Shito-Ryu in Sri Lanka.
  • 1988: Shihan Athula introduces Hayashi-Ha Shito-Ryu in the UK.
  • 1990: Shihan Athula passes the 5th Dan exam in Osaka, Japan.
  • 1996: Shihan Athula passes the 6th Dan exam in Osaka, Japan.
  • 1999: Founding of Dhammika Karate-Do Kai Kan.
  • 2006: Shihan Athula received the 7th Dan; Another Dan exam at DKV in 2011.
  • 2018: Shihan Athula passes the 8th Dan exam in New Delhi, India; Another Dan exam at DKV in 2020.