Shotokan Karate

Shotokan Karate is a traditional style of Karate developed by Gichin Funakoshi in Japan in the 1900s. Its style is divided into three parts: kihon (basics), kata (forms and patterns of moves) and Kumite (sparring).

Each student wears a Karate suit (Gi) and starts with a white belt (obi), and progresses to the next coloured belt after passing a grading, demonstrating an increasing mastery of the three skill sets: kihon, kata and Kumite.

There are nine grades below Black Belt, known as Kyu grades, with 9th Kyu, orange belt, being the lowest and 1st Kyu, brown and white belt, the highest, with various coloured belts in between to denote different grades.

Once a student, or Karateka, gains a Black Belt, 1st Dan (Shodan) they sit further 'Dan' gradings, rising from 1st Dan to 2nd Dan, and so on. The length of time between Dan gradings is in an increasing number of years so as to enable students to perfect the techniques and gain the knowledge required to reach the next Dan grade.
KUGB Gradings

KUGB students are entitled to take grading examinations after set periods of training, typically every 3-4 months, at the discretion of their club instructor. The gradings are conducted by appointed Senior KUGB Examiners; this helps maintain a uniform national standard and allows club members and instructors to interact with the most Senior KUGB Karateka.

Kyu Grading Syllabus
Dan Gradings

The minimum period between Dan gradings are as follows:

1st Dan to 2nd Dan  -  2 years
2nd Dan to 3rd Dan  -  3 years
3rd Dan to 4th Dan  -  4 years
4th Dan to 5th Dan  -  5 years
5th Dan to 6th Dan  -  6 years

Dan Grading Syllabus
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Sensei Andy Sherry 9th Dan is the most senior grade in the KUGB and also holds the position of association chairman.
He helped form the KUGB in 1966 and has since achieved many notable firsts in his karate career, including:

• The first person in the UK to gain a Shotokan Black Belt and subsequently the first 3rd Dan in the UK
• First British All-Style Champion 1966
• First KUGB Grand Champion in 1968, winning both kata and kumite titles
• First EAKF European kumite champion 1968
• First qualified British Shotokan International Referee

He went on to win many individual British and European titles and numerous team events as a member of the British and England teams in his competitive years.

Acknowledged around the world for his skill and dedication to Shotokan karate, Sensei Sherry is a much sought after instructor and an inspiration to all those who study under his guidance. He is undoubtedly a leader and sets the standard all karateka aim to follow.

When students reach black belt standard they grade before Sensei Sherry.
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Sensei Frank Brennan 7th Dan, now retired from competition, has an illustrious competition record. Major honours include:

  • World Shotokan karate Association Kata Champion 1992
  • 4 times European Grand Champion
  • 10 times KUGB Grand Champion, winning the kata title 14 years in a row
  • Captained the KUGB team to victory over Japan in the 1990 JKA World Shotokan Championship

The late master, Masatoshi Nakayama (head of JKA), presented Sensei Brennan with a special award in 1980 in recognition of his contribution to Shotokan Karate.

At the world championships in 1990 ex world champion, Mashiko Tanaka, coach to the Japanese team said, ”the one man the whole Japanese team trained to beat was Frank Brennan.”

Sensei Brennan is currently coach to the KUGB junior squad, which, through his guidance, has produced European and World champions.

Regarded as one of the best karate-ka ever we are privileged to have Sensei Brennan as our Senior Instructor and Examiner. His standards are very high but his endorsement on your license will testify to your own hard work and ability.

Students grade with Sensei Brennan from novice through to brown & white belt (Kyu grades) as well as at Dan grade.

Gradings are currently held at Largs Academy every 3-4 months with
Sensei Frank Brennan 7th Dan

Novice to Black Belt
Karate terminology explained

Sensei Frank Brennan videos:

Kihon Punches
Kihon Blocks
Kihon Kicks
Advanced Kicking techniques

KUGB Membership
Each student is required to hold a valid KUGB license, renewed annually.

Membership fees :
Existing Senior Member £18.00
Existing Junior Member £17.00

New Senior Member £25.00
New Junior Member £22.00
*Junior member - under 16

Benefits of KUGB Membership

KUGB Senior Instructors


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