Sensei Frank Brennan - 8th Dan

Sensei Frank Brennan

Frank Brennan was born in the City of Liverpool on the 6th of May 1960. He was always sport orientated, and he took up Gymnastics while at school. His father, who was an avid Weight-lifter and a Judo and Wrestling practitioner during the 1940’s and 50’s, wanted his sons Jimmy and Frank to take up a martial art. In 1972 he took them along to the Red Triangle Karate Club but being only twelve years of age Frank was told that he was too young to join. He was told to go and practise at the Judo club which was in the same building until he was older. This was particularly galling for Frank as his brother Jimmy was accepted as a member of the club. This made him all the more determined to gain membership and In 1973 he was successful and started to train at the club.

His introduction to Karate Competition was in 1974, when he competed in the KUGB Northern Regional Championships. He entered the Junior Kata event, which he won. He was a 5th Kyu at the time and it was indicative of things to come that he won the first competition that he ever entered. His introduction to Kumite competition was even more dramatic. In 1975, while fighting for the Red Triangle Team at Crystal Palace, Bob Poynton broke his leg in one of his matches. The team had no reserves, so the young Brown Belt, who was only two days into his 15th year and attending as a spectator, was suddenly in the final of the Team Kumite against Leeds. He fought one of Leeds’ most experienced fighters and decisively beat him with a very fast Ushiro Geri, followed a few seconds later by an equally fast Jodan Mawashi Geri, helping the Red Triangle to win the senior Team Kumite yet again.

His first International appearance was with the KUGB Squad in the European Championships in Essen, Germany in 1977, where he came 2nd in the Senior Individual Kata Event.

In Belgium in 1979, still a teenager, he won both senior Kata and Kumite events to become Grand Champion of Europe, a feat that he has achieved no less than four times.

As a fighter, he is rather unique in that he has no particular specialty, he is equally adept at using both hands or feet, and quite often surprises his opponents with some very dynamic kicking and punching combinations. As a Senior member of the KUGB International Squad, he lead his team to a famous victory at the 1990 JKA World Shotokan Championships by beating Japan in the final to become World Champions. He is held in great respect Internationally and in an interview at the World Championships, the Japanese Team Coach, Ex World Champion Masahiko Tanaka, said that the one man that the whole Japanese Team specifically trained to beat was Frank Brennan.

Frank is now coach to the KUGB National Squad and is proud to have produced many Junior European and World Champions.

He was elected as Vice Chair of the KUGB in 2009 and the Chairman in 2021.  He is a staunch and loyal supporter, working very hard to further the aims of the Association. Asked what he thought were the main strengths of the KUGB. He replied :- “The KUGB is fantastic, it has shown itself to be one of the great associations of the World, and I’m not just speaking about success in competition, I refer more to the attitude displayed by its members, people who train relentlessly to gain greater and greater insights into Karate to improve their technical quality and understanding, that’s what I really like about it. With this attitude, and its strict adherence to the Dojo Code, I can only see the KUGB continuing its progression.”

As well as coaching the England Squad, Frank is in great demand as an Instructor both Nationally and Internationally. He is now an 8th Dan senior instructor and an active and valued member of the KUGB Technical Committee.

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