John Parnell was born in Manchester on the 4th July 1970 He started Karate with the KUGB in 1980 at the age of 9 in Heywood, Greater Manchester under the instruction of Charlie Gidley. He took to it straight away and during the ‘80s enjoyed a long string of competition successes whilst gaining his early Dan grades under Sensei Sherry. He is grate- ful to Charlie for the positive in u- ence he had on his edgling karate 20 He gained a Bachelor of Science (Physics) with Honours at the University of York in 1991, a Master of Science (Electronics) in 1992 and became a National Sales Manager for a world class certi cation and test agency.
After University in York, he moved to Hampshire in the early 1990s and began training with his good friend, Sensei Dave Graham (6th Dan). Since then, they have joined forces to run the Basingstoke SKC. He is very proud that they have run their club together for so long, focusing on the quality of the karate over an abundance of students.
During the 2000s, he spent ve years living and working close to New York City, USA, where he had the opportunity to train closely with world class Shotokan Sensei outside of the KUGB, who further shaped and in uenced his karate and how he trains and teaches. Karate has been a constant, positive and healthy in uence in his life over the decades. Nothing seems more normal to him than getting home from work and picking up his ‘gi’ and getting down to the dojo. Old friends sometime ask “Are you still doing karate?” It always strikes him as an odd question and his answer is “Of course I am - It’s a given. It’s part of my life and part of who I am” A seasoned and respected karate-ka with close to 40 years of training in Shotokan Karate both in and outside of the KUGB. John is renowned for classical technique, studied technical ability and insightful approach to teaching. A popular instructor in the south of England, who is in demand at many Shotokan clubs.
Currently, one of the two senior instructors at the Basing- stoke Shotokan Karate Club, alongside Dave Graham. John has also competed and taught internationally over the years with independent karate organizations. His Kyu Grade Examiner from 1980 to 1983 was Sensei Andy Sherry. He took his Shodan grading in August 1983 under Sensei Sherry, Nidan in August 1985 under Sensei Sherry, Sandan in Septem- ber 1995 under Senseis Enoeda, and Sherry , Yondan in August 2001 with Senseis Enoeda, and Sherry, Godan in October 2006 with Sensei Sherry, Poynton and Naylor and Rokudan in October 2016 under Senseis Sherry, Poynton and Brennan. Over the years he competed in the Northern Regions, the Shoto- kan Cup and the KUGB National from 1980 to 1986. Notably, in 1986 he was KUGB National Boys Kata Champion, in 1983 and 1984 Northern Region Boys Kata Champion, in 1986 KUGB Junior Kumite Champion, in 1983 the EKB Boys Kata Champion In addition to his regular instructor at Basingstoke Shotokan he is a guest instructor at many karate clubs in the south of the UK and internationally with independent organisations.
His profession has provided him with the opportunity to train in di erent countries and he has been a Member of the World Traditional Karate Association (WTKO) in the USA and competed with their national squad, in 2002 at the JSKA World Champion- ships in Lubeck, Germany and in 2003 at their World Champion- ships, New York, where he was the Male Kata Winner.