Bob Poynton was born on the 30th July 1949 at Walton in the City of Liverpool. He attended De La Salle Grammar School and on leaving school, enlisted as a civil servant with the Customs and Excise.
He saw ‘Odd Job’ (Harold Sakata) in the James Bond film Goldfinger, and decided that he wanted to take up Karate. In 1965 at the age of 15, he applied to the Liverpool Red Triangle Karate Club for membership. He had to ‘fib’ about his age, as the minimum age for joining was 16. The day he started at the club, Sensei Kanazawa was teaching, so he had his first Karate lesson with a Japanese 5th Dan, ex-champion of Japan.
In 1968 he gained his 1st Dan and left the Customs and Excise to become a full-time assistant instructor to Andy Sherry. He has many amusing anecdotes from those early days when they used to tour the country to teach. Clubs could only afford to pay a fee or travel expenses – not both – so they used to hitch-hike to the teaching venue; it once took them 23 hours to travel from Liverpool to Plymouth.
He was first selected for the KUGB squad in 1968 to compete in the IAKF European Championships in Austria. He was so excited about being selected that he left without his Gi. In those days it was not possible to walk into a sports shop and buy a Gi, so he had to fight in his first championships in a borrowed Karate suit.
In the 18 years between 1968 and 1985, he represented England and Great Britain as a member of both the KUGB and All-Styles teams, achieving many victories in National and International events. In 1976 he was the KUGB National Individual Kumite Champion and was Shotokan Cup Grand Champion in 1976, 1977 and 1978.
In his early competition days, he tended to favour attacking with kicks. However, during the semi-finals of the 1974 European Championships at Crystal Palace he suffered a broken leg whilst attempting a chudan mawashi geri on his German opponent. He broke it again competing at the KUGB National Championships the following year. This encouraged him to concentrate on his punches for a while, which he believes, in the long term, made him more versatile as a fighter.
During the period of convalescence from the injuries, he started to take an active part in the administration of the KUGB and he was appointed Affiliations Officer in 1974 and National Administrator in 2002.
Totally committed to the development and welfare of the KUGB, he says that he will always strive to maintain good communication between the Executive and the membership, so that the members are informed of, and understand, the decisions reached on their behalf.
He is proud to have been involved in the very successful KUGB Charity Appeals which have raised considerable sums of money and show that KUGB members are prepared to help others less fortunate.
His ambition was simply to see the KUGB maintain its position as one of the most professional Karate organisations in the world and is extremely confident of its future under the guidance and care of its Chief Instructor and Chairman, Andy Sherry, who he greatly admired as a Karate practitioner, teacher and ambassador.
Sadly Sensei Poynton passed away suddenly on 10th March, 2020.