The following people have kindly sent in testimonials. They are all very complimentary to me, but in truth I only pass on the benefits of what I have been taught. The thanks must really go to a long line of people from different cultures and creeds who learned, developed and taught these skills down the ages, and to whom I am also indebted.

Students in any subject get to do some yoga and shiatsu, and some come to me initially through being shiatsu clients, therefore comments frequently reflect this. Mick

Martial Arts

J.J. writes


I have studied Karate, Okinawan Te and yoga under Mick’s guidance.
I have discovered a whole new world of understanding, not just in myself but in others, both in, and outside of, the dojo. I am learning mental and physical self-awareness and at 43 I am very happy to be doing it.
I have learnt that life is but a breath, a moment, each instant unique and unrepeatable (although, I am still just learning to breathe, with Mick’s help).
I have worked hard in my life before, but I did that because it earned me good money and made my father proud. That sort of work met ends, none of which were very intrinsic to my spirit. The hard work I do in Mick’s dojo has the benefit of enriching my knowledge and inner strength.
Mick he has encouraged me tremendously and is an insightful, fluent and learned teacher. I thank him for his patience and wholeheartedly recommend him if you are a person who needs to find a real “way” in your life.
All you need is the commitment to wait before the gate, because under his guidance insight and development will come.

Thank you Mick. J.J.

Sensei Don Came

8th dan Chief Instructor Kissaki-Kai UK


If you were to look in the dictionary for a definition of holistic you would very likely find the name Mick Gunnell. I have known Sensei Mick for a number of years, and seen him develop the Meikai dojo from its Shotokan roots into a comprehensive system, where self defence doesn’t just refer to the acquisition of a physical skill set, but also to personal wellness and wellbeing. Mick has never stood still and seamlessly blends his study of the esoteric, with yoga, shiatsu and te not just combining but becoming integral to his art! Passionate about his art and his teaching, Mick has dedicated students who follow his ethos and all are most welcoming to the new students and aspiring martial artists who enter through the doors of the Meikai dojo!


– on the right


I have briefly studied a few martial arts in my past, but received nothing like the guidance I get under sensei Mick.  Being relatively new to these type of studies, and this dojo, I was unsure what to expect, but after training for less than a year I have gained more confidence, self awareness, flexibility, and general health & wellbeing.  Thanks to Mick and my other seniors I am gradually improving at the arts provided, which are a perfect balance -especially in today’s society.  The classes are friendly & fairly relaxed with both soft & hard, Ying & Yang techniques.  With Yoga for suppleness, Shiatsu for healing & releasing tensions of everyday life, Karate-do & Udun Di for self defence.  What more could one want?!

So ‘Thanks’ to Sensei Mick, and my seniors Julie, Jake & Andrew (when he’s there) for your guidance so far.


receiving instruction from Mark


Since changing martial arts schools 3 years ago, I have been continuing my training at the Meikai Dojo*.  The dojo is a really nice place to train with a friendly atmosphere and excellent teaching.  The small class size means that assistance and advice is easily available when learning.  I have really enjoyed my training with Mick and I look forward to continuing with it.


* Jake came to me as a junior black-belt, and took the change of karate styles in his stride.  He also took on Yoga and Udundi at the same time and is now exploring basic Shiatsu.  He has made fantastic progress, and has now (since Apr ’16), attained his senior 3rd dan.  Mick



Hi Mick, Lenny here.

Having just celebrated my 78th birthday, I could not help but reflect on my time and progress with you these past few years. At the age of 66, after retiring from full time employment, I was advised to do the things I had always wanted to do, but did not have the time to do while I was working. I’d always wanted to do a martial art, but felt I had left it too late. You convinced me otherwise, even though I found it difficult to even kneel, and could not raise my arms above my head. However with your expertise and dedication, you took me and my frustration on, and then you invited me to join the shiatsu classes as well. I enjoy my good health today (having had a heart attack in 2003*) and I was able to cancel my two knee replacement operations** thanks to you and the dojo. I enjoy the training at the dojo, and your teaching, and the only regret is that I never met up with you earlier in my life.

Long my I continue to be your Sempai. Sensei ni rei…………Lenny

*Note from Mick;- Lenny was told that his heart-attack was due to his blood thickening when he went abroad for a month and neglected his training. He has been without doubt the most dedicated student I have had, and set a superb example of spirit to people a third of his age. The dojo would not have been the same without his wit and enthusiasm. **Sadly, Lenny finally succumbed to needing knee replacements, and stopped training, at the age of eighty (having delayed needing the procedure for 14 yrs with the aid of shiatsu). He left the dojo holding the grades of 3rd dan in both the martial arts and shiatsu.



As a student of Mick Gunnell’s dojo, I have found his style and content of teaching to be extremely helpful at several levels: from the “surface” level of learning Karate as a form of self-discipline, and then applied self-defence, through the counter-balance of shiatsu for well-being, down to a deeper level of personal insight and life skills.

I attribute this to the intelligent, insightful, and (frankly) challenging way in which it is taught.




I first started training with Mick when I was 15 years old. Although I had to change clubs just after earning my 7th Kyu, that short spell of training shaped my outlook on martial arts. At the time, Mick was questioning certain aspects of Kata application and the practicalities of Shotokan Karate in the real world, as taught in the vast majority of clubs. It was this insight that finally lead both of us, separately, to leave Shotokan Karate and look at different martial arts.

Eleven years later I looked up Mick, to find his Karate changed beyond all recognition. Although the basics are still based in Shotokan, application is based on real life situations using habitual acts of violence as the trigger points. Using Kata as the bases for application allows his students to explore and use their brains, rather than just storming up and down the room as most clubs do. An atmosphere is fostered where-by his students are encouraged to develop their own applications, and new ideas are always welcome. This leads to a continually evolving martial art, where ideas are constantly refined, and students take responsibility for their training, making the martial art their own.






A few years ago I entered Mick’s Meikai Dojo. At that time, I only wanted to practice yoga, which I believed would help me to keep my body and mind in harmony. Thankfully, Mick opened my mind and spirit to new horizons. From that moment, I started to practice Shiatsu. I have been really fascinated with the endless possibilities it gives me and started to dream to become a therapist just like Mick.  It was a long journey, full of hard work, but thanks to Mick’s patience and guidance, I finally finished my training and the dream came true: I am now a trained Shiatsu therapist!

Dear Mick, thank you so much for your intensive training, complete support, expert advice, and wonderful patience. I can strongly and honestly recommend you as a teacher and Shiatsu guru to everyone.


I started yoga classes through an adult education beginners class 9 years ago.  I soon found that I wanted something with a little more depth to it and joined Mick’s class as he had a broad knowledge of the martial arts.  The dojo he has built is a wonderful place to work and it envelops you with a sense of peace and calm when you enter it.  Mick is extremely dedicated and genuinely wants to help us all improve our mental and physical health.  The classes are small and intimate, so there is plenty of individual attention, ensuring that you learn the postures correctly and do not get into bad habits.  We study postures in depth and really begin to understand how our bodies work, and how to improve our flexibility and deal with aches and pains as they arise.

Having suffered from stress and tension all my life, with my body gradually becoming more painful and seizing up as a result, I can honestly say that Mick’s yoga was a lifeline.  I have gained in general strength and can carry out physical tasks now that I had not been able to do for years.  In addition I have had a number of private shiatsu sessions with Mick and this intensive physical therapy has quite amazing results.  It is incredible how much pain and tension can be released through good bodywork, and you are left with the feeling that literally a weight has been lifted off your shoulders!

In the yoga classes we discuss our entwined mental and physical state and through relaxation, the study of breathing and learning different calming techniques we become more able to control our emotions, feelings of anxiety, adrenaline rushes etc.  We gradually learn to manage our bodies and minds in a more beneficial and efficient manner through a better understanding of the correct ways to move and breathe – really useful learning for everyday living for the rest of our lives – I will never stop doing yoga!!

The classes are mixed ability and I would recommend them to anyone.



second from left


Mick is to be warmly congratulated on his vision, and on the execution of his dream of building his own Dojo. It is a beautiful building and a marvelous place to train. A sense of calm greets you at the door. It is a great place to meet like-minded souls intent on improving their lifestyle and health.

I attended Yoga lessons with Jean Stocker for about 20 years, until her retirement in about 2003. Since then I have trained with Mick Gunnell, her preferred successor. Mick’s teaching style differs from Jean’s in many ways, but is underpinned with the same philosophy – come and enjoy yourself/expect to work seriously and to the best of your ability/reap the benefits of Yoga.

For the last few years I have also been receiving “Shiatsu” from Mick on a regular basis. This is in response to a back injury (spondylolisthesis – Dr speak for a couple of vertebrae having slipped laterally and crushing spinal nerves!). After four years of immense pain and serious restrictions on day-to-day life I ventured into Shiatsu and it has proven to be life changing. Fortnightly Shiatsu, augmented by Yoga twice a week, has quite literally turned my life around.

Thank you Mick



I read an article at the weekend about what home is, and as sycophantic as this may sound, it is nevertheless true; in a very short space of time your Dojo felt more like home to me than anywhere I have ever lived, so I want to thank you for the opportunity of working, laughing, crying and now sleeping in it, and ultimately feeling comfortable with whatever emotion that may involve at the time. An experience I am, (and I suspect many people are), most definitely not used to and yet I’m most grateful to have felt.

Thank you Mick.



I have struggled with polio and arthritis for many years.  Mick worked on me a few times in 2019, until I had more movement and the pain from the arthritis stopped.  I am walking better now and it has also improved my posture. 

I have since moved and can no longer go for treatments with him, but with Mick’s help I can now do my tai chi better,  so hopefully I can build on what he has done.

Thank you Mick

Note from Mick; if only shiatsu had been available when Alexia was young she might have been fully rehabilitated and not had to struggle throughout her life with the knock-on effects of having contracted polio…


Shiatsu was the main therapy that helped me to recover from a years’ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in 1997-’98, and I’ve used it to maintain good health ever since. It helps my body to take care of itself by removing any ‘blocks’ (tension). We can isolate positive factors like healthy eating, exercise, sleep, attitudes etc, but in itself Shiatsu embodies that holistic attitude.

I’m 67 now, and I can see that while good mobility helps me lead a life of happy choices, immobility wouldn’t kill, it’d just cut out so many choices. I still come to Mick regularly for treatments and I love it, both for general maintenance and for any immediate problems, in a whole body context. We always do some Yoga first and Mick’s outlook is so practical, it’s the opposite of ‘looking right’, which so much Yoga can be. No, its deep-seated common sense, working with the body, with Mick always explaining what’s happening. It’s brilliant. Okay, it can hurt, but it hurts most where it’s needed most, and I go home feeling great.

Thanks Mick!



I was fortunate enough to discover Mick Gunnell though a friends recommendation in about 2008.  I had a long-term neck problem due an accident in my car, and did not do regular exercise to combat it.  After several years of other treatments, I began going for Shiatsu sessions on a regular basis with Mick.  The sessions I have are fantastic.  What I particularly enjoy is the sense that I am in very safe hands, Mick is incredibly experienced and can assess an individuals needs/limits very quickly.  It is a whole body treatment.  As a mum of three young children the treatments I receive are hugely appreciated, they help to keep me flexible and strong and relaxed in both body and mind.  This combined with regular exercise was just what I needed.

Thank You Mick.*

*Note from Mick; since writing the above, Jo has since gone on to study shiatsu and yoga at the dojo, and is now a fully qualified and very proficient Meikai 2nd dan ‘Shiatsu Therapist’ .


Letter from Yvette;-

I never got to tell you, but, after a summer of feeling permanently drained and suffering PMT like I was being physically pummeled by Mike Tyson, the day after my first yoga session with you I was unexpectedly, and for no apparent reason* (please read note below), violently ill, from about 4 – 10pm.  It continued until my system was completely empty.  I felt rough and the following morning wept like a child!  For the next two days I felt dazed and somewhat out of it.  Since then though, my energy has began to increase.  And thank you so much Mick for the Shiatsu treatment yesterday – it’s the first time I’ve felt pain free for more than a few hours in many years!
I have no doubt I’ve been guided to this, as I’ve made several attempts to join various yoga groups over the last year and all attempts were fruitless or connections couldn’t be made!  I’ve a great belief in being guided to what or whom we need.
So all in all a very good result!  I thank you with all my heart and many blessings on you for your kindness and giving.

Yvette xx

* Note from Mick; It is not unusual for very stressed people to experience strong ‘ab-reactions’ like the ones that Yvette describes above, soon after starting either Yoga classes or Shiatsu treatments.  It is the beginning of the healing process and is just the effects of stress/tension on it’s way back out of the body.  It is nothing to be alarmed by, it soon passes and great sense of relief follows, along with the feelings of lightness and well-being that Yvette implies.  




A few years ago I entered Mick’s Meikai Dojo. At that time, I only wanted to practice yoga, which I believed would help me to keep my body and mind in harmony. Thankfully, Mick opened my mind and spirit to new horizons. From that moment, I started to practice Shiatsu. I have been really fascinated with the endless possibilities it gives me and started to dream to become a therapist just like Mick.

It was a long journey, full of hard work, but thanks to Mick’s patience and guidance, I finally finished my training and the dream came true: I am now a trained Shiatsu therapist!

Dear Mick, thank you so much for your intensive training, complete support, expert advice, and wonderful patience. I can strongly and honestly recommend you as a teacher and Shiatsu guru to everyone.