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2018 Karate Summer School

A main photo COPY

Lancaster University boasts a beautiful 560-acre self-contained site with exceptional sports facilities – no wonder it is the setting for the annual Karate Summer School, a course hosted by the top Senior Instructors in the KUGB, all former successful International Competitors.

A Class photo

The course took place during the week of 6th - 10th August and instructing were Sensei Andy Sherry (9th Dan), Sensei Terry O'Neill (8th Dan), Sensei Bob Poynton (8th Dan), Sensei Bob Rhodes (8th Dan), Sensei Billy Higgins (8th Dan) and Sensei Frank Brennan (8th Dan).

Sensei Sherry

The course continues to grow each year with more 200 Karateka from all over the UK and abroad training each day with these Senior Senseis.  In addition, there were a number of people locally who attended individual sessions.  


The week’s training is designed to allow those attending to fully immerse themselves into the world of top class Karate.


At the start of the week Sensei Poynton took the opportunity to welcome everyone and invite them to attend the Course's Social Evening.  The Social Evening helps everyone settle into the demanding week, make new friends and, in particular, helps those attending for the first time to get to know what else to do in their free time.  It is also a great opportunity to catch up with old friends who train on the course year in, year out.


Classes are divided into groups in accordance with grades (from Novice to Black Belt) and there was the opportunity to train with each of these inspirational Instructors. 


There are nine classes during the week with training twice each day and a final session on the Friday.  On Tuesday and Wednesday, in addition to their normal classes, Sensei Sherry and Sensei Brennan also held two special additional classes for those students preparing to take Dan gradings in the near future.

Brennan 1

Each lesson is 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 Bo classes (Japanese Fighting Staff) taught by Sensei Ian MacLaren, as well as a lecture by Sensei MacLaren complimented this core programme.

Megan Ashley Hall

There was also the opportunity for Dan Grades to take their Instructors Qualification.  This year saw two certificates being presented by Sensei Andy Sherry, firstly to Megan Naylor-Jones from Chelmsford, the first graduate of the KUGB's Young Leader Programme and become an Instructor and finally to Ashley Hall from the University of Liverpool who successfully passed his Instructor qualification.


On Thursday afternoon Kyu grades challenged the Dan grades in a Superstars competition which was won once again by the Dan grades.


As always it was a fantastic week and everyone who attended thoroughly enjoyed the training.  Sensei Andy Sherry, on behalf of the other Senior Instructors, said "We would like to thank everyone who attended the course, we were all very pleased with the dedication and enthusiasm of all those who trained. Furthermore, we would also like to congratulate those who Graded on Friday. There has already been a lot of positive feedback and people are asking for the dates of next years course".  Sensei Billy Higgins added "I really enjoyed the course.  The students were all enthusiastic and eager to learn which makes the classes great to teach. It was great meeting new students and catching up with the regulars and I'm looking forward to the courses next year."

Thank you also to all of the volunteers who helped during the week and the many friends and families who came with those that trained, making up our#KUGBFamily.

Sensei Sherry, Sensei O'Neill, Sensei Poynton, Sensei Rhodes, Sensei Higgins and Sensei Brennan are all #proudtobeKUGB and they are looking forward to this year's Spring Karate Course in Devon from 15-19th April.

Kyu grades

Lewis Reed – Newcastle University

"Training in Lancaster as a green belt was a hugely beneficial learning experience - it gave me the opportunity to train under several Instructors whom I'd not had the opportunity to learn from prior.

All 6 Senseis shared valuable insights from their accumulated wisdom, and their enthusiasm for teaching really helped to boost my own passion for karate. Furthermore, being surrounded by equally enthusiastic karateka made it a tremendously enjoyable and driven atmosphere.

Being able to train 9 times in one week, with no outside worries, really helped me to focus on my karate.  I was thrilled to be able to get my KUGB 50 year souvenir publication signed by all 6 of the KUGB’s Technical Committee after the final training session. I can only say to any karateka that it is worth making the trip, as it is a truly unique karate experience."

Stuart Amos - Red Triangle and Greasby SKC

"I first attended the KUGB Summer School in 2012 and have not missed one since. The week-long course is run by the KUGB’s senior instructors, who have more knowledge and experience of Shotokan Karate between the six of them than any other group in the world.

Each class brings something new and I leave each session exhausted, either mentally or physically or both! But, I also leave with a smile on my face, knowing I have trained with the best.

The Summer School is not only a brilliant place to train, but to make new friends. The KUGB really is a family and this is made nowhere more clear than at the Summer School, whether it is by having a coffee between sessions, or visiting Lancaster for an evening meal, or chilling in the sauna after a hard day’s training. Looking forward to seeing you all there next year!"

Caroline Newcombe - Colston Bassett SKC

"The Karate Summer School is an opportunity for me to be immersed in karate and push myself both physically and mentally to be the best karate-ka that I can be.

The passion that all the Senseis have for developing excellent karate in each and every student inspires me to train as hard as I can. I love the sense of achievement and exhaustion at the end of the week. Each year I make new friends and catch up with old ones. There is a great sense of family, respect, support and encouragement that seems to be such an integral part of karate life and which you feel so much more intensely during the Summer School week. Thank you to the KUGB for providing such a fantastic and unique opportunity. Osu!"


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