This page contains a brief introduction to our guest
instructors here at Aaisatsu Shotokan Karate Club. All our gradings are
taken by external examiners that we invite to Aaisatsu. These examiners are
all recognised as being amongst the top Shotokan Karate-ka in the country,
and the World. All have had competition success on both the European and
World Stage, and are very inspiring, respected instructors.
The Club regularly invites
guests instructors for training and gradings. Please click the links to read their
Sherry 9th Dan
Sensei Terry O'Neill 8th Dan
Sensei Bob Poynton 8th Dan
Sensei Bob Rhodes 8th Dan
Sensei Billy Higgins 8th Dan
Sensei Frank Brennan 8th Dan
Sensei Garry Harford 8th Dan
Sensei Andy Sherry 9th Dan.
Andy Sherry was born on July 9th 1943, near to
Liverpool City Centre. While still at school, he became interested in
Japanese martial arts and started to train at Judo. In 1956 he also took up
Ju-Jitsu and it was while he was studying this he first started to become
interested in Karate.
Along with several others, he helped found the Liverpool Karate club under
the auspices of the British Karate Federation. He studied karate with T.
Murakami, H. Mochizuki, and H. Kanazawa in the early '60s and received his
Shodan in 1966, the first person in Great Britain to be awarded such a rank
in Shotokan karate.
He was the KUGB's first Kata champion in 1967, and the next year, 1968, he
became the first grand Champion by winning both the Kata and Kumite events.
This was the start of a now legendary run of successes in National and
International Championships. He first won the EAKF European Kumite title in
1968, and then went on to win other Individual European Championship titles
and countless team events as a member of British and England teams.
In his competition Kumite, he was a fast and skilful fighter, noted for his
stunningly fast Gyaku Tsuki which he combined with a very rapid Yori-Ashi
(foot movement) to make him one of the most respected fighters on the
He was also a master of timing and tactics, skills that he now uses, along
with Sensei Enoeda, to coach the KUGB international squad. Although
recognised internationally as a fighter, it should not be forgotten that he
dominated the Kata event in the first four KUGB National Championships, and
that he achieved many successes in Kata in European and National
Championships until his retirement from competition in 1977.
It was in 1966 that he, along with a small group of representatives from
other UK Karate clubs, helped form the Karate Union of Great Britain.
Although very busy as a competitor and as an instructor, he immediately too
an active part in the KUGB administration from its inception, and in 1973 he
was elected as Chairman of the KUGB.
He has had many firsts in his long Karate career - he was Britain's first
Shotokan Black Belt, the first 3rd Dan, the first qualified British Shotokan
International Referee, and he now holds the highest rank ever awarded by the
Japan Karate Association to a European - 7th Dan of the JKA.
His coaching and management of the KUGB National Squad reached its peak at
Sunderland in 1990, when the KUGB British Team defeated Japan to win the
World Shotokan Karate Championships. Since then, the KUGB has taken first,
third and second place Team titles at the 1991, 1993, and 1995 WSKA
Quiet by nature, he is totally dedicated to Karate and the KUGB - he serves
both with a passionate dedication that is an inspiration to others, and
there can be no doubt that he will continue to dedicate himself to the KUGB
to ensure that its remains the largest, most professional and one of the
most respected Karate organisations in the World.
(Text and Image from
KUGB website Sensei Sherry's Profile Page)
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Sensei Terry O'Neill 8th Dan.
Terry O'Neill was born in Liverpool
on 27th February 1948, the son of a Police Officer. From an early age he had
always been fascinated by stories of people with great physical strength -
the "super-heroes", and this soon led to an interest in the martial arts.
He first started to train at Judo, but soon applied to join the Liverpool
Karate Club, and like many of his contemporaries, he had to be less truthful
about his age to get into the club.
His first teacher was Andy Sherry, with occasional visits by Murakami
Sensei, Veron Bell, and Terry Wingrove and later, Kanazawa Sensei.
His first job was working as a security man at various venues where such
starts as the Rolling Stones and the Walker Brothers were performing. He
then worked at the Cavern Club and continued to be employed in security work
for the next 17 years.
His introduction to Kumite was in the 1967 KUGB National Championships,
where, he says, he was soundly beaten in the Individual event due to
inexperience. This state of affairs didn't last long, as he won the KUGB
National Championships Individual Kumite Kata title in 1972, 73, 74, 75, 77,
and 1978. He was three times the KUGB Grand Champion and from 1967 to 1981,
he was a member of the Red Triangle Team who were KUGB National Team
Champions on no less than 13 occasions.
A member of the KUGB International Squad from 1968 till 1982, he was also a
member of the highly successful British All-Styles Squad who defeated Japan
to win the 1975 World Championships held in Los Angeles, USA. It is not
generally known that he was joint third in the 1974 World Championships that
were held in Japan.
At his fighting peak in the early '70s, he was recognised as one of the
World's most fearsome competitors. A master of innovation and tactical
surprise, he had a dynamic and flamboyant fighting style that few could
He always considered himself as a kicking specialist, but many opponents
have fallen prey to his exceptionally fast Uraken/Empi combination and he
out-punched Danny Bryceland to win the 1969 KUGB Individual Championships.
Whenever he fought, the audience followed his every move, expecting the
unexpected. Few were ever disappointed - for example - the unique rolling
Kakato Geri that he used to defeat Steve Cattle in the 1977 KUGB finals was
one of the most spectacular and innovative techniques ever witnessed at a
Tragically, his run as a competition fighter came to an abrupt end in 1982,
when he seriously damaged the ligaments of his knee in an International
match against Italy.
In 1972, he founded the premier UK Martial Arts magazine "Fighting Arts
International", which has a world-wide reputation as one of the few really
serious and influential magazines on the subject.
Another aspect of his life is his work with international film star Arnold
Swarzenegger, having appeared in several of his films. He is currently much
in demand as an actor with recent appearances in "Civvies", "Comics", and
"The Governor." He has also acted as martial arts consultant on many other
A senior member of the KUGB, he is also an International Referee and a KUGB
Grading Examiner. he has been a member of the KUGB since its inception, and
he says, "that it is one of the great organisations", and he hopes that it
will continue to develop along the same lines as it has grown and developed
over the last 30 years
(Text and image from
KUGB website Sensei O'Neill's page)
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Sensei Bob Poynton 8th Dan.
Bob Poynton was born on the 30th July
1949 at Walton in the City of Liverpool. He attended the De La Salle Grammar
School and on leaving school, his first job was as a civil servant with the
Customs and Excise.
He saw "Odd Job" (Harold Sakata) in the James Bond file GoldFinger, and
decided that he wanted to take up karate. In 1965 at the age of 15, he
applied to the Liverpool Karate Club for membership. He had to "fib" about
his age, as the minimum age for joining was 16. The day he started at the
club, Sensei Kanazawa was teaching, so he had his first Karate lesson with a
Japanese 5th Dan, ex-champion of Japan.
In 1968 he gained his 1st Dan and left the Customs and Excise to become a
full-time assistant instructor to Andy Sherry.
He has many amusing anecdotes from those early days when they used to tour
the country to teach karate. Clubs could only afford to pay a fee or travel
expenses - not both so they used to hitch-hike to the teaching venue. It
once took them 23 hours to travel from Liverpool to Plymouth.
He was first selected for the KUGB squad in 1968 to compete in the IAKF
European Championships in Austria. He was so excited about being selected
that he left without his Gi. In those days it was not possible to walk into
a sports shop and buy a Gi, so he had to fight in his first championships in
a borrowed karate suit.
In the 18 years between 1968 and 1985, he represented England and Great
Britain as a member of both the KUGB and All-Styles teams, achieving
countless victories in National and International events. In 1976 he was the
KUGB National Individual Kumite Champion, and the Shotokan Cup Grand
Champion on three consecutive years.
Known as a specialist in Keri Waza (Kicking Techniques), he is renowned for
his exceptionally fast Mae-Kizami Geri (Front Cutting Kick). The speed of
his kick was so great that his shin bone broke on impact against his
opponents arm while competing in the 1974 European Championships and he
again broke it in the same place at the KUGB National Championships the
following year. During the period of convalescence from the injuries, he
started to take an active part in the administration of the KUGB. He was
appointed Affiliations Officer in 1974, a position he has held ever since.
He was responsible for the implementation of the very successful KUGB
Charity Appeals which have raised considerable sums of money.
Totally committed to the development and welfare of the KUGB, he says that
he will strive, as Affiliation and Notional Administration Officer, to
maintain good communication between the Executive and the membership, so
that the members are informed of, and understand, the decisions reached on
His ambition is simply to see the KUGB maintain its position as one of the
most professional karate organisations in the world.
(Text and image from the
KUGB Website Sensei Poyton's page)
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Sensei Bob Rhodes 8th Dan.
Bob Rhodes was born in Middleton, Leeds on the 3rd
March 1946. He was educated at Harehills School, Leeds and he quotes his
early interests a "Sports in general, swimming, cricket, and football in
He intended to join the Merchant Navy as a draughtsman, but his paper were
delayed and by the time they arrived, he had changed his mind.
In his 'teens he heard about a karate club in Leeds town centre which he
promptly joined. He picked up karate quickly, and it was not long before he
realised that the standard of tuition left a lot to be desired.
In 1967 at the age of 20, he discovered a club at Armley called the Leeds
Shotokan Karate Club. On visiting, he immediately realised that the standard
of karate was much higher, and he became a member. His first teacher at the
club was KUGB International Team member Ron Wade.
Bob made rapid progress at the club and was soon fighting as a member of the
Leeds team at local, regional, and national championships. He was also a
member of the victorious British All-Styles Squad which beat Japan to win
the 1975-77 World Championships in Los Angeles.
In 1971, he was first selected as a KUGB Grading Examiner and in 1974, he
became a full-time instructor of the KUGB. He is also a member of the KUGB
Technical Committee, and is also a qualified international referee.
He is noted for his hard dynamic fighting style, and he was strongly
influenced by Sensei Enoeda, as can be evidenced from his specialisation of
Kuzushi-Waza, that is, the application of foot-sweeps, trips, and throws to
defeat an opponent.
He is also noted for his creative applications to Shotokan Kata. A staunch
and supportive member of the KUGB, he says he will continue to work for the
future development of the organisation.
(Text and image
KUGB website Sensei Rhodes' profile page)
Sensei Rhodes teaches in Torbay (which also hosts
the annual KUGB Spring camp) and you can find out more from his website,
here for the
Goshougake Club website.
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Sensei Billy Higgins 8th Dan.
Billy Higgins was born in Bootle, Liverpool on
14th August 1945. Taking a keen interest in sport from an early age, he took
up boxing, gymnastics, and football while still at school. In 1965 he
started to study Wado Ryu Karate and he very quickly established himself as
a fast and skilful fighter.
He was selected for the BKCC All Styles Squad and during training, he
rapidly realised the high technical standard of the KUGB members of the
squad. As he was having difficulty travelling to his Wado club, he decided
to join the KUGB in 1970.
He has had a long and distinguished competition career, with many national
and international titles to his credit. These include Individual 2nd in the
WUKO All Styles World Championship in Paris 1975 and 1976 European All
Styles Champion. He was captain of the highly successful 1975 British All
Styles team that defeated the Japanese team to win the World Championships
in Los Angeles. He was also a member of the very successful KUGB Senior
International Team that won the Championships of Europe no less than five
He was coach and manager of the EKB squad and was squad coach for the KUGB
Scottish and Southern Regions. He is a KUGB Grading Examiner and a qualified
He is renowned for his fast and effective fighting style, particularly his
lightning-fast Ashi-Barai/Gyaku-Tsuki combination which devastated his
opponents and won him many events. Also noted for his dynamic Tai Sabaki, he
is a popular teacher and examiner, always in demand around the KUGB clubs.
Since joining the KUGB, he has been a dedicated and active member of the
organisation, particularly in the field of coaching. He intends to continue
to be involved in making sure that the KUGB maintains its Strength and
technical ability in the future.
(Text and image from
Sensei Higgins Profile Page)
Sensei Higgins also teaches at his club, Sei Do Kan based in Lancashire.
here for the Sei Do Kan Club website.
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Sensei Frank Brennan 8th Dan.
Frank Brennan was born in the City of
Liverpool on the 6th of May, 1960. He was always sport-oriented, and he took
up Gymnastics while at school. At the age of 12 he tried to join the Red
Triangle Karate club, but he was told to go and join the Judo club for a
year, as he was too young. This was particularly galling, as his brother was
accepted for the club, but it made him all the more determined to gain
membership. In 1973, he was successful and started to train at the club
under the tuition of Andy Sherry.
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 4th Kyu at the time, and it was indicative of things
to come that he won the first competition he ever entered. His introduction
to Kumite Shiai was even more dramatic. In 1975, while fighting for the Red
Triangle team, Bob Poynton broke his leg in one of the matches. The team has
no reserves, so the young brown belt, who had only entered the Kata event,
was suddenly in the final of the Team Kumite event against Leeds. He fought
one of Leeds' most experienced fighters, Andy Harris, and decisively beet
him with a fast Mawashi Geri combination to held Red Triangle win yet again.
His first international appearance was with the KUGB Squad in the European
Championships in Sweden in 1978, where he came 2nd in the Senior Kata event.
The next year, in Belgium, he won the Grand Championship of Europe, taking
both Kumite and Kata events, a feat that he has achieved no less that four
As a fighter, he is rather unique, in that he has no particular speciality -
he is equally at home using hands or feet, and quite often surprises his
opponents with very dynamic combinations of some of the more unusual hand or
foot techniques. As a senior member of the KUGB International Squad, the
most recent highlight of his career was leading his team to victory in the
1990 World Shotokan Championships in Sunderland. He is held in great respect
internationally - 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 were specifically trained to beat was Frank Brennan.
He is a staunch and loyal supporter of the KUGB, and works very hard to
further the aims of the Association. Asked recently 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 and dedication displayed by its
members - people who are in the KUGB do Karate for the benefit of Karate,
rather than for personal gain, and that's what I really like about it.
Nothing is perfect, and there may be some glitches on the route, but it is a
bit like life, like evolution - things change and get better, and I can see
the KUGB getting better all the time."
(Text and image from
KUGB website Sensei Brennan profile page)
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Sensei Garry Harford 8th Dan.
(Text and Image from
KUGB website Sensei Harford's Profile Page)
Garry Harford, full time instructor and KUGB grading examiner, was born in Salford in 1960 and was introduced to Shotokan Karate by a family member back in 1972. He took his KYU gradings under Sensei Sherry then graded to 1st Dan on the 14th March 1976 under Sensei Enoeda. Garry continued to grade under Sensei Enoeda up to his 6th Dan and gained his 7th Dan grading under Sensei Sherry on the 19th May 2007.
Garry trained every day prior to retirement and believes there are no hidden secrets or easy ways to achieve excellence as a karateka. The only way to achieve your best is to train regularly and hard with the best instructors available. Garry regularly travelled to Liverpool to train under Sensei Sherry and Poynton and maintains this practice by training twice a week with Andy Sherry, Frank Brennan and other senior grades.
His introduction to Karate competition was in the last BKCC All Styles Championships back in 1977. Garry was selected as a member of the first Junior KUGB Squad and competed at the 1980 European Senior and Junior Championships held in Bregenz, Austria. He won 1st place in the Junior Team Kata, 1st place in the Senior Kata and was part of the Team Kumite winners too.
His list of achievements include 1st place in Kata and Kumite in the Shotokan Cup and EKB All Styles Kumite Champion in 1987. Garry was also a member of the KUGB team that won the EKB Championship in 1985-88 inclusive. He is very proud to have been a member of the team that for many years dominated European Shotokan Karate Championships. Garry is also the resident Karate Instructor for Manchester University and has been since he was just 16 years old. The University have won the KUGB Student National Championships several times over the last ten years. Four of the University club members have worked hard under Garry's instruction and are now part of the current England and Great Britain squads. Members have included Stuart Gordon who has won the National Kata several times, Vicky Phillips winner of World Team Champion Kumite, KATA and Kumite Grand Champion of which only one other has achieved this great accolade. In addition Vicky, Stuart, and Dean Field were also KUGB Team KATA Champions winners for six consecutive years!
Garry is a loyal supporter of the KUGB and is keen to contribute to the future success of the organisation. Garry is well known and liked as an Instructor, Grading Examiner and Referee. He often travels to other KUGB clubs and is part of the KUGB Referee contingency for both National and International Competitions. When asked what does Karate and the KUGB mean to him, Garry said:
"The KUGB is an integral part of my life as I have studied and trained Shotokan Karate for the past 39 years. I train and teach almost every day and hope to continue to do so until the day I die. I experience the same desire today to achieve my best as much as I did in my younger years. I truly enjoy training and being challenged by Andy Sherry and Frank Brennan as much as in the early days. I feel I still have a lot to offer students who aspire to gain the expertise and experience that I have gained over the years. Long may it last!"The highlight of his career was being a member of the team that won the 1990 World Shotokan Championships held in Sunderland.
As a fighter, Garry's style focused on speed, timing and quality of technique which was often displayed in his performances. He was very comfortable using both feet and hands to fight his opponents. Being very agile, he would maximize his kicking ability by making use of Mawashi-geri Chudan and spinning Ushiro-Mawashi-geri.
As an Instructor, Garry's personal sense of fulfilment was achieved in 1978 when his club team, Poynton SKC, won the KUGB National Championships after reaching 3rd place in the two preceding years. More recently, Garry has established his own club, the Shotokan Karate Academy, located in Hulme close to Manchester City Centre and enjoys success through teaching and training students at his clubs.
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