Sensei Dario Chircop started Karate in 1982, at the age of 16 in Malta, with Sensei Jack (‘Ino’) Grech. He was awarded Shodan (1st Black belt) by Shirai Sensei in 1993 ... READ MORE
Sensei Nicole Chircop started practicing JKA Shotokan Karate at the age of 9 in 2007. She aspired to be like her father (Sensei Dario Chircop) and so she followed his steps and tea... READ MORE
Sensei Etienne Ceci Bonello started practicing Shotokan Karate at the age of 4 in August 1995. He originally started with ITKF and was awarded the Shodan (1st black belt) at the ag... READ MORE
Sensei Massimo Caruana had his first experience within Martial Arts in 1988 when he started practicing Judo and JuJitsu for about nine months. In September 1989, he started trainin... READ MORE
Sensei Etienne Ceci Bonello started practicing Shotokan Karate at the age of 4 in August 1995. He originally started with ITKF and was awarded the Shodan (1st black belt) at the age 8 in 1999, under Sensei Kawasoe. Etienne joined MKF (affiliated with WKF) at the age of 16 and was awarded Shodan and Nidan (2nd black belt) in 2006 and 2008 respectively.
Sensei Etienne however wished to go back to his traditional roots, and joined JKA Malta in 2010. He was awarded Shodan in 2010 by Sensei Ohta (7th Dan JKA - Chief Instructor JKA England), and later on achieved Nidan in 2012 in the UK, given by Sensei Ohta, Sensei Izumiya, Sensei Hirayama (7th Dan JKA) and Sensei Ueki (9th Dan JKA - Chief Instructor JKA World Federation). In 2015, Sensei Etienne obtained Sandan (3rd black belt) in Malta, examined by Sensei Larsen (7th Dan JKA), Sensei Ohta and Sensei Roy Tomlin (6th Dan JKA). Currently Sensei Etienne holds Yondan (4th black belt), after passing his grading in Belgium at the young age of 27 in 2018, examined by Sensei Bura (8th Dan JKA - Chief Instructor JKA Denmark), Sensei Larsen and Sensei Ueki.
In all these years of training, Sensei Etienne attended many international Gasshukus around Europe for technical and specialized training carried out by high ranking European and Japanese karate-kas.
Sensei Etienne has always had an interest in refereeing, coaching and teaching. He completed the Foundations in Coaching course at the University of Malta in 2007. He also consistently taught and assisted his Senseis at every federation and association he was a member of.
In 2010, he continued to further pursue his karate journey by opening and founding Gharghur Karate Club. He was the technical director and instructor of this club for 6 and a half years until 2016, when he passed on the club to Sensei Nicole Chircop and her sister Sensei Liane Chircop.
In 2018 Etienne also obtained internationally recognized qualification licenses for JKA Instructor License D and JKA Judge License D.
Sensei Etienne was always a keen athlete and competitor. He was habitually a member of the Maltese national team in every federation he was a member of. He competed many times locally, unfailingly always obtaining a podium result in every local competition.
In addition, he has represented Malta internationally several times at various open competitions, including European and World Championships. His best international results include: 2nd place podium at the 7th Topolino Championship in Italy in 1998 in the Individual Kata Category; 5th, 1st and 3rd place result at the JKA England Open Tournament in the UK in the Individual Kata Category in 2014, 2018 and 2021 respectively.
He has also competed at the European Championships 3 times in 2016, 2018 and 2019, with his best result coming in 2018 where he placed amongst the top 16 pool in the Individual Kata Category and the top 6 pool in the Team Kumite Category. He also competed at the JKA World Championships in 2016 in Ireland where he placed in the top 32 pool in a category of 120+ participants in the Individual Kata.
Sensei Etienne is currently the vice chairman of JKA-Malta.
Others: Etienne is a doctor specializing in Respiratory and General Medicine at Mater Dei Hospital. In his spare time he trains Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, further increasing and improving his martial arts knowledge.