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2014 Spring Karate Course and Karate Kids' Camp


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2014 Spring Karate Course and Karate Kids' Camp - Monday 14th April 2014 to Friday 18th April 2014

2014 Spring Karate Course : Senior Instructors: Billy Higgins, Terry O'Neill, Andy Sherry, Bob Poynton, Bob Rhodes and Frank Brennan

The Spring Karate Course in Torbay, Devon started 30 years ago following the successful Karate Summer School in Lancaster University that began a few years earlier. Based on numerous requests, and by popular demand the decision was taken to hold a similar week-long Course earlier in the year and in the South of England. Ever since the course has been well-supported and is now a regular feature on many Karateka's calendars.

The Course is hosted by the Top six Senior Instructors in the KUGB and is also known as 'Train with the Champions' as these six are all former successful International Competitors. They are: Andy Sherry (9th Dana), Terry O'Neill (8th Dan), Bob Poynton (8th Dan), Bob Rhodes (7th Dan), Billy Higgins (7th Dan) and Frank Brennan (7th Dan). Classes are divided into groups in accordance with grades (from Novice to Black Belt) and the Senseis rotate each class, so there is the opportunity to train with each of them.

For this reason over 160 Karateka traveled from all over the UK and abroad to learn under these Karate Masters. This year the student who had traveled the furthest came from Brazil. In addition, there were a number of people locally who attended individual sessions.

The week, as always, was designed to allow those attending to immerse themselves into the world of top class Karate. First of all, there were nine lessons training twice a day Monday to Thursday and on Friday the course ended with the final session. Each lesson was structured to ensure equal emphasis was placed on the correct learning and development of the fundamentals of Kihon, Kata and Kumite. As the Senior Instructors rotated they brought to each class their individual style, strengths and experiences to maximize the benefit to their students (whether novice or seasoned Black Belt).

Additional classes, lectures and events then complimented this core programme.

At the start of the week Sensei Bob Poynton took the opportunity to welcome everyone and to invite them to attend the Course's Social Evening. This year there was a very special occasion as Sensei Ian MacLaren, the KUGB's Historian and a Senior Instructor, married Josephine Wynn at the beautiful Cockington Manor with all of the KUGB Seniors in attendance. The happy couple attended the social evening later that day enjoying their "first dance" and a little karaoke with their extended KUGB family.

The Social Evening helps everyone fully settle into the demanding course and in particular helped those attending for the first time to get to know what else to do in their free time at this beautiful holiday location.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, in addition to their normal classes, Senseis Sherry and Brennan also held two special additional classes for those students preparing to take Dan gradings in the near future. These sessions were then followed by Bo classes (Japanese Fighting Staff) taught by Sensei Ian MacLaren to Kyu Grades and then Black Belts.

Also on the Wednesday, as well as Karate Training, there were two lectures - this year the subjects discussed were 'Is Karate a Jitsu or a Do' by Sensei Ian MacLaren and Sensei Ivan Birch talked about 'Hydration and Dehydration'.

During the course there was the opportunity for Black Belts to qualify as Instructors. The KUGB has in place it's own National Instructor's Qualification Programme. As part of a Karateka's overall development, the Instructor qualification extends their skills and knowledge and builds into place best practice in their teaching of KUGB Karate. James Maslen (Bristol SKC), Jonathan Hall (Kyoshin) and Jonathan Straw (South Notts) successfully took advantage of this opportunity under the watchful eye of two of the KUGB's Qualified Assessors, Sensei Ivan Birch and Sensei Rob Manning.

A Kata competition was held on the Thursday afternoon for three different grade categories - Novice to 4th Kyu, Brown Belts and Black Belts. For some, this was their first taste of competition and many commented that the support given by both other course participants and the Senseis helped in calming their nerves. (The results of which you can see at the end of this report).

With the course coming to a conclusion, there was a Grading held on the Friday. Congratulations to all those students who were successful in achieving Kyu, 1st and 2nd Dan Grades. (The results of which can be seen below).

As usual it was a great week and everyone who attended thoroughly enjoyed the weeks training. Karateka from all over the UK and overseas took the opportunity to Train with the Champions. At the same time they met up with old and new friends whilst enjoying Torbay and the good weather. Immersed in Karate at its 'Best' every day allowed their skills, understanding, knowledge and fitness to develop further.


2014 Spring Karate Course : Senior Instructors: Ian MacLaren, Frank Brennan, Terry O'Neill, Andy Sherry, Bob Poynton, Bob Rhodes, Ivan Birch and Billy Higgins

Senior KUGB Instructors (L-R): Sensei's Ian MacLaren (5th Dan), Frank Brennan (7th Dan), Terry O'Neill (8th Dan), Andy Sherry (9th Dan), Bob Poynton (8th Dan), Bob Rhodes (7th Dan), Ivan Birch (5th Dan) and Billy Higgins (7th Dan)


2014 Spring Karate Course : Karateka line-up

Karateka line up


2014 Spring Karate Course : Sensei Ian MacLaren and Josephine Wynn were married at Cockington Manor

Many Congratulations to Sensei Ian MacLaren and Josephine Wynn on their wedding


Spring Karate Course Kata Competition Results

2014 Spring Karate Course : Kata Competition Winners

Kata Competition Winners (see results below)


Kyu Grades

1. Stefani Dritsa (Ikkyo)
2. Erin Davies (Tekki)
3. Thomas Kasar (The Vale)
4. Ella Roberts (KUGB Chelmsford)

Brown Belts

1. Jim Mateer (Backwell)
2. Anita Seaborne (Court Fields Wellington)
3. Thea Priest (Taunton)
4. Jessica Steadman (KUGB Chelmsford)

Dan Grades

1. Rob Taylor (Rothwell)
2. Sebastian Naik (South Notts SKC)
3. Jamie Lottering (KUGB Chelmsford)
4. Marrisa Oakawa (Tekki)


KUGB Dan Grading Results


John Barlow - Gloucester SKC
Nicole Williams - Barnstaple
Anita Seaborne - Courtfields Wellington
Hayley Williams - Barnstaple
Cerys Eva - Courtfields Karate Academy
Edward Naik - South Notts
Ella Morgan - Shoeburyness
Nicola Troake - Willand Karate Academy
Ria Downes - Thanet
Thea Priest - Taunton Karate Academy
Calum Moorby - Tekki RS
Caroline Walker - Ikkyo Aberystwyth
David Knight - Torbay
James Eva - Courtfields Karate Academy
Marie Hubbard - Torbay
Annabel Straw - South Notts


Matthew Dowling - Chelmsford SKC
Joshua Loban - Tsutahashi
Jamie Lottering - Chelmsford SKC
Christopher Mytton - Dartmouth
Barry May - Exmouth
Martin Shields - Shin Gi Tai

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