John Holdsworth was born in Sunderland on the 1st August 1947. He was not particularly sport minded and was constantly bullied at school as he was quite small at that time. John initially tried Judo and Aikido in an attempt to learn self-defence but neither Art was suited to John's personality. John later found his niche when he joined the Sunderland Martial Arts academy in January 1966 and began karate training under a 2nd Dan judo instructor.
John's first grading was in 1966 with Sensei Kanazawa where he was awarded 6th Kyu together with three other students who had graded previously. This meant that John was one of the four highest grades all of whom started to instruct shortly afterwards when the Judo instructor left the club. John has instructed ever since that time.
John later joined the Sendai Karate Club in Newcastle and from that started the Sendai Club in Sunderland. Johns competition days began with other Sendai members when they would travel the country entering every tournament possible in order to gain experience. Over the years John has achieved numerous tournament successes in both Kata and Kumite and has qualified as a referee with both the KUGB and EKGB. John is the only grading examiner in the North East of England, a position he holds with great pride.
John's passion is coaching others and he has attended many coaching courses and has a vast library of coaching books. His great love is working with others and is equally happy coaching for gradings or competition. Over the years John's students have achieved at the highest levels including coaching a number of 6th Dans, two world kata champions, and numerous European and National kata and kumite titles at both senior and junior level.
John currently teaches at the Ronin Karate Club in Washington and has trained and competed with many different styles over the years including competing in a local Karate league with two Wado Ryu students. Despite Johns friends from other organisations he will always be a strong supporter of the KUGB and believes it is by far the best organisation in the country. In John's own words "the KUGB has more senior grade instructors and long-standing members than any other organisation which shows its strength in depth. The KUGB has always produced quality throughout its membership for over forty years and I strongly believe that this will continue for years to come".