Keith Burns started Karate in 1979 at the age of 13 and has been teaching Karate for over 40 years. Because of his fascination and determination in Karate, he trained as often as possible, taking his 1st Dan in 1982 at the age of 16 with Sensei Keinosuke Enoeda 9th Dan and becoming the youngest Karate instructor in Northumberland.
Encouraged by his senior instructor Sensei Ian Willis to enter competitions, he was to have a competitive career that spanned almost 20 years and won numerous Kata and Kumite titles both locally and nationally. Keith was a regular member of the Northern Region Kumite squad for 10 years and was proud to represent the squad in international competitions in Sardinia and Brussels as well as numerous events in this Country. His most memorable was competing twice in Sardinia at the IKA European Championships where he was placed 1st in team Kumite & 3rd in individual Kumite.
In 2012, after working at Rio Tinto Alcan as a Maintenance Manager for 18 years he was made redundant. It was suggested to him by some close personal friends to consider becoming a full-time Karate instructor. In 2012 he opened Kaizen Karate Club. The club has over 160 members training at 3 venues 5 days a week.
After competing for almost 20 years he decided it was time to give something back in 2015 he qualified as a KUGB judge and later in 2018 qualified as a KUGB Referee, saying “It’s always a great privilege to judge Kumite and Kata events and seeing competitors develop and grow their Karate skills
Keith has had many highlights during his Karate life, but the two that top his list are:-
– watching his daughter Maya Burns follow in his footsteps and compete nationally and internationally for the England KUGB team at the World and European Championships
– and, after 38 years of Karate training passing his 6th Dan in October 2017 under the ever-watchful eyes of Sensei Andy Sherry, Sensei Bob Poynton and Sensei Frank Brennan.
“It’s a great honor to become a 6th Dan, especially within the KUGB, but my goal is and always has been to continue training as often as possible and to keep improving my Karate skills and knowledge. I’m proud to be part of the KUGB”.