Highlights AFFILIATED TO THE KARATE UNION OF GREAT BRITAIN
Sensei Mike O’Connor
6th Dan (Chief instructor at Handbridge Shotokan Karate Club) Dear Handbridge Shotokan members, welcome to the first Handbridge Shotokan Karate Club Yearly Diary that Editor-in-Chief Keith Limbert has now completed. I knew he had something planned but I must say the results far exceed any of my expectations. Please support this venture and see if Keith will repeat this fantastic feat again in the future.
Lest we forget, sadly 2013 saw 5 years pass from the death of our club founder Sensei Geoff Wilding, and 10 years since the death of Grandmaster Keinosuke Enoeda. But 2013 was also a terrific year for the Handbridge and Westminster Park Dojo’s. Mainly due to the efforts of club stalwarts Dave Craggs, Keith Limbert and Dave Roberts, we have seen the junior section move up the grading ranks with as many as 35 grading at a time. Equally Freddie Tonkmor has filled in for me when I have been on night shifts, keeping our standards high. The clubs Black and Brown belt contingent continues to grow and I thank you all for your support. All the club members, myself included have been most fortunate to have had 13 VIP instruction classes, 8 from Hanshi Andy Sherry, 9th Dan, and 5 from Koshi Frank Brennan, 7th Dan, during 2013. This has reflected in our success at Dan Gradings and competitions. Like many of the senior grades in the KUGB, I have campaigned along with them to see Andy Sherry
graded to his rightful place. With over 55 years in karate, 37 of those as direct deshi to Grandmaster Enoeda, it was only correct that in the year sensei achieved his 70th Birthday he should be awarded 9th Dan, and the rank of Hanshi Grandmaster himself. He is without doubt one of the finest Karate Masters in the World today. And though he shies away from any personal publicity, we are privileged to be inspired by him on a regular basis. We are also inspired by Koshi Frank Brennan, who has again fought alongside us to achieve grading success via Hanshi Sherry. Of our own seniors, Kevin Little, at Benicia Shotokan Karate Academy, USA, has gained his 3rd Dan. I was honoured to be made an instructor of the USA Dojo and hope to visit there in the not too distant future. On the International front Hanshi Sherry asked me if I would help out with photography at this year’s WSKA; World Shotokan Karate Championships held at the very prestigious ECHO Arena, Liverpool. Over 22 of our own club members went to support this 2 day event and were treated to some awesome Karate. I took over 4000 photos and spent a week reducing them down to 1900 all of which you can see on a link supplied by Office Craft manager Dave Craggs: gallery.hskc.org.uk Dave also supplies our fantastic web site: www.hskc.org .uk With many wins including individual golds, Team Golds that confirmed once again the position of the KUGB in the World of Karate. With No Government or Lottery sponsorship as opposed to many of the other countries competing, the KUGB did us all proud. I ask you now to take time, to sit back and take a look at a year in the life of a totally non profit making dojo that still cost £8200 in total to run this year. Rents £4200 main, £2200, sub Dojo, Visiting Instructors £1510, Insurance etc £290. None of the resident instructors receives any payment for this effort, but they all agree it’s worth it. YOU can do your bit to help by just turning up, it’s as simple as that. Finally may I wish you a very happy Christmas. Last training in 2013 will be Thursday 19th Dec, re-opening on Thursday 2nd January 2014. Oss, Sensei Mike O’Connor, 6th Dan KUGB.
Chesterfield 3rd February
Congratulations were in order on 3rd, February, as both Dave Craggs and Charlotte Thorpe successfully achieved their Dan gradings, which where held at the Brown & Black belt course in Chesterfield. Up first was Charlotte, the rubber legged smiler, who wowed a number of the onlookers with her fantastic flexibility and kicking techniques. Next was our very own ‘Mr.Craggs’, who seemed to have left his smile at home for the day, but nevertheless turned on an excellent performance - especially in his freestyle. The course itself was excellent, with a strong contingent from Handbridge attending the senior session.
Dave is congratulated by Handbridge Chief Instructor, Sensei Mike O’Connor, after successfully achieving his 2nd Dan (Nidan) grade.
Right: Charlotte, smiling as always is flanked by Sensei Andy Sherry and Sensei Frank Brennan, after achieving her 1st Dan (Shodan) grade.
Below: Group photo with Senseis Sherry & Brennan, plus; Dave Craggs, Darren Blythin, Dave Adams, Sensei Mike Oâ€™Connor, Keith Limbert, James Cleave and Dorothy Wrigley
Sensei Sherry 11th February
As always, - when the boss is in town - there was an excellent turnout from the club members, both new and old alike. And as always Sensei Sherry was able to spot and correct our mistakes, even from the other end of the room, when you thought he wasnâ€™t looking..... How does he do that?
Front to back & left to right: George Craggs Luke Floyd Charlotte Thorpe Jack Yang Sensei Andy Sherry Nathan Goodwin Sensei Mike Oâ€™Connor Natthawut Nurat Daniel Sheppard Olivia Thorpe Dylan Champion Sam Baker Ben Baker Oliver Devlin Leo Owen Dave Moss Bryan Russell James Cleave Dave Adams Dave Roberts Keith Limbert Darren Blythin Tom Thorpe Freddie Tonkmor Laura Pelleymounter Otto Blank Dave Craggs Tom Birch Steve Brown
Sensei Sherry, explaining the way it should be done.
North West Open 2nd March
On Saturday 2nd March Sensei Billy Higgins, Sei-Do-Kan Shotokan karate club played host to the 44th North West Open Karate Championships. The event, was a great success, with competitors attending from many areas of the UK. A team of seven from Westminster Park also travelled up to take part in the competition which was held at the Howe Bridge sports centre, Atherton. It was the first time any of the team had entered an external competition. All of the boys did really well, with most getting through to the second round. Sam and Ben Baker came up against strong opponents in round two with both boys being knocked out by a judges split decision after performing a second kata.
The team: Harry Devlin, George Craggs, Sam Baker, Ben Baker, Dylan Champion, Oliver Devlin and Tom Devlin Main Picture: Scary team tactics, but unfortunately not scary enough to frighten off the opposition.
Sensei Jimmy Brennan (7th Dan), who kindly offered to take part in our impromptu photo Left to Right: Dave Craggs, George Craggs, Oliver Devlin, Sensei Jimmy Brennan, Tom Devlin and Keith Limbert
Sensei Sherry 25th March
There was a fantastic turnout to train with and congratulate Sensei Andy Sherry, 9th Dan (Hanshi), on his first visit to the Handbridge Dojo after attaining the grade of 9th Dan. The training for the kyu grades started promptly at 6pm., which was then followed by a club grading. The grading itself was a great success with all of the 27 members who graded managing to attain their next grade under the watchful gaze of Sensei Sherry and Sensei Oâ€™Connor. It was then time for the seniors to take to the floor, with Sensei Sherry putting us all through our paces, whilst correcting and explaining movements here, and with words of encouragement there. A fantastic session enjoyed by all including the guys and girls who travelled over to train from the Ataru karate club. Grading success from left to right Olivia Thorpe, Oliver Devlin, Edward Brown, Nathan Goodwin, Jack Yang, Dylan Champion, Natthawut Nurat, Conner Williams, Dave Craggs, Jude Whelan, Luke Floyd, Harry Devlin, George Craggs, Daniel Cocker, Sonja Danby, Sensei Andy Sherry, Ellen Brown, Tom Devlin, Ben Baker, Sam Baker, Tom Birch, Sensei Mike Oâ€™Connor, Arjun Balasubramaniam, Martin Taylor, Daniel Sheppard, Olivia Hagan, Charlie Appap, Keith Limbert, James Greensmith, Niall Hagan (Not Graded), Leo Owen, and Sam Taylor.
Group photo taken prior to senior training. Too many to name! Oliver Devlin under scrutiny from Sensei Sherry
Juniors practising Yoko Geri Kekomi
Rhyl Brown & Black Belt Course 20th April
Members from Handbridge travelled to Rhyl for the Brown and Black Belt Course, which was taken by Senseis Sherry and Poynton. There was an excellent turn out for the event with a number travelling from the Handbridge club to train and give support to Dave Roberts, who was taking his Shodan grading after the session. Dave’s performance was one of the best on the day, and although he sustained a split lip and cut nose during his hard fought kumite bought, he was still able to raise a big smile on being awarded his shodan grade from sensei Sherry. (Yes, that’s Dave’s big smile).
Attending: Dave Adams Darren Blythin Dave Craggs Keith Limbert Dave Roberts Dorothy Wrigley
Torbay Spring Karate Course 6th - 10th Mayh December
For one week of the year Torbay Leisure Centre is the home for the KUGB Spring Karate Course. I have been fortunate enough to have attended for all of the 29 years it has been running and can safely say the spring weather down there is usually exceptionally nice. And that certainly adds to what is a great week. Led by Hanshi Sherry 9th Dan, it is the Senior KUGB Sensies chance to see everyone, so you know youâ€™re in safe hands. Training is the same formulae each day and includes both morning and afternoon sessions, but on Tuesday and Wednesday over several years there have been special grading classes for those taking both their 1st and 2nd Dan grades, and for those in the weeks to come who will be grading on the Special Dan Course. There is also Bo (Staff ) training with Sensei Ian MacLaren 5th Dan, which is always excellent. Thursday is the Course Kata Competition in the afternoon and Friday late morning the gradings start. For me personally I find at the end of the week that I am finally getting back some suppleness and just wish there was a second week. Accommodation is in large luxury caravans all with mains supply or, in local hotels of which I recommend the Summerhills Hotel, which is close by.
Clockwise: The spring class with Senseis Mike with Debbie Mike with L. Welsh 5th Dan and R. Welsh 6th Dan Mike with D. Graham 6th Dan, R. Manning 5th Dan and S. Potts 5th Dan
Sensei Frank Brennan 22nd April
Another great session with Sensei Brennan. We must be one of the luckiest clubs in the country; resident 6th Dan tuition from Sensei O’Connor and regular visits from Senseis Sherry and Brennan. Doesn’t get much better than that!
Standing L-R: Paul Coates (Ataru), Dave Roberts, Dorothy Wrigley, Tom Birch, Darren Blythin, Otto Blank (Ataru), Keith Limbert, Dave Adams, Sensei Frank Brennan, James Cleave, Sensei Mike O’Connor, Jacob Collin, Dave Craggs and Steve Brown Kneeling: L-R: George Craggs, Charlotte Thorpe, Olivier Thorpe, Kristina and Jemima Blank (Ataru), Daniel Sheppard, Charlie Appap, Nial Hagan, Jack Yang and Olivier Hagan
Chester Half Marathon 12th May
A tired looking Tom Birch is accompanied on his run in the Chester Half Marathon by a smiling young lady, (Libby) who seems quite bemused as to why someone should want to run 13 miles dressed in a karate suit. We however know that Tom was running in aid of the current KUGB charity (HMESG and also for Macmillan Cancer support), to help raise awareness and funds. So well done Tom for raising ÂŁ170 and for completing the course, in an almost respectable time of 2hrs 29mins.
Sensei Andy Sherry - Awarded 9th Dan (Hanshi) 24th February
The majority of Black Belts within the KUGB have commented for several years on the fact that Sensei Master Sherry was continuing to improve his personal level of technique and that his teaching ability was simply inspiring. Further, he was greatly responsible for raising the standards of the KUGB both within the UK and internationally. The KUGB teams coached and directed by Sensei Master Sherry, assisted by Sensei Frank Brennan continue to be major winners of gold, silver and bronze medals in many European and World events, as demonstrated this year. All of the KUGB seniors, myself included campaigned to raise awareness that “the Boss” needed to be forced to accept that he had achieved the national and international recognition of Karate-ka (worldwide). The technical committee could feel confident in awarding Sensei Master Sherry 9th Dan and the rank of Hanshi, Grandmaster. This prestigious award was made on the 24th February 2013, and celebrated both at the 2013 Torbay Karate Course in April and at the 2013 Nationals in May, when every member of the KUGB present was able to cheer and say “oss” to their new Hanshi/ Grandmaster. On a more personal note, in my 44 years in the KUGB I have trained with many senseis but I have had four main senseis in my Karate ‘life’: Geoff Wilding, Keinosuke Enoeda (sadly both no longer with us), Andy Sherry and Frank Brennan. Each have their own unique style and qualities that make any comparisons impossible. However all have great similarities - they each held or hold a belief in the pursuit of excellence through training, and the building of character based on honesty, honour and respect for others both in and out of the dojo. They have ALL encouraged me in my Karate training and helped to raised my self worth and continue to do so. During my many years as a student I have also trained under virtually all the revered Masters from Japan, Masatoshi Nakayama, Keinosuke Enoeda, Hirokasu Kanazawa, Hiroshi Sharia, Taiji Kase, Yoshiharu Osaka, Masashiko Tanaka, Yukichi Tabata, Hideo Ochi, Masao Kawazoe, often on a one to one basis. I have also been very privileged to train in the morning class of the famous Red Triangle Dojo, Liverpool. So what I say now, I say based on all those years of training - Hanshi Sherry is truly one of the most outstanding karate Masters in the world today. His 55 years in training, 35 years of which was as Sensei Enoeda’s deshi have given him an awesome level of experience. However, he still trains regularly every week and goes through a daily ritual of stretching and exercise that maintains that warrior in the dojo, in stark contrast to his natural persona of a very quiet and reserved man, someone who avoids the lime light and publicity yet manages to inspire every level of karate-ka he teaches. We at the Handbridge Dojo are very proud that Hanshi Sherry has achieved this great honour . I am reminded of a famous quote “Greatness was never their goal, we thrust it upon them in honour of their dedication” Words: Sensei Mike O’Connor (6th Dan KUGB, 5th Dan JKA)
Sensei Sherry 20th May
A great session again from Sensei Sherry, which was made all the more rewarding by having the additional space in the sports hall - felt almost like our very own brown and black belt course.
1. Sensei Sherry and Dave Craggs 2. Dorothy Wrigley, Laura Pellymounter and Darren Blythin 3. Tom Birch and Sonja Danby 4. Sensei Oâ€™Connor, James Cleave, Laura Pelleymounter and Dave Adams 5. Keith Limbert and Darren Blythin 6. Sensei Sherry with encouraging words for Olivia Thorpe
Kendal Brown & Black Belt Course 26th May
The weather was hot. The drive to Kendal, smooth. The training intense. But a good pint and a pub meal afterwards made all the aches and pains vanish away. Another great day at Kendal.
Dave Craggs and Keith Limbert
Sensei Oâ€™Connor, after a
Handbridge attendees with Sensei Sherry
Handbridge attendees with Sensei Brenn
Sensei Frank Brennan 3rd June
Another fantastic session from Sensei Brennan. Good to see Chris Luecke from The Red Triangle and Otto Blank from Ataru joining us for the training. Itâ€™s always good to see and train with members from other clubs, who are always given a warm welcome at the Handbridge dojo. Attending: Charlie Appap Charlotte Thorpe Chris Luecke Darren Blythin Dave Moss Dave Roberts David Craggs George Craggs Jack Yang
James Cleave Keith Limbert Kristina Blank Laura Pelleymounter Michael Oâ€™Connor Olivia Thorpe Otto Blank Thomas Lang Tom Birch
Westminster Park Summer Fete 13th July
The Westminster Park Fete again played host to a karate demonstration this year.The junior grades were put through their kata and some basic combinations by Dave Craggs, on a glorious summers day. Taking Part: Niall Hagan, Olivia Hagan, Joseph Townsend,George Craggs, Connor Williams, Dylan Champion,Ben Baker, Sam Baker, Tom Devlin and Harry Devlin.
Sensei Sherry 15th July
Sensei Sherry demonstrating a technique from Jitte.
Charlotte Thorpe with
On a sweltering summer night the Handbridge club took to the dojo floor in force, for another great session and kyu grading with Sensei Sherry. The grading was a great success with once again all passing, some maybe by the â€?skin of their teethâ€?, but pass they all did. It was good to once again see Otto Blank, along with members from the Ataru karate club joining us to train and grade. The advanced class was a sizzler enjoyed by all, as was the much needed liquid refreshments after.
Louise Coleman Joseph Townsend Tom Ye Daniel McDermott Daniel Sheppard Leo Owen Charlie Appap Martin Taylor Sam Taylor Niall Hagan Luke Floyd Nathan Goodwin James Greensmith Daniel Cocker Jack Yang
9th kyu 9th kyu 9th kyu 9th kyu 8th kyu 8th kyu 8th kyu 8th kyu 8th kyu 7th kyu 7th kyu 7th kyu 7th kyu 7th kyu 7th kyu
Olivia Hagan Connor Williams Tom Devlin Ben Baker Sam Baker Dylan Champion Oliver Devlin Harry Devlin George Craggs Edward Brown Ellen Brown Olivia Thorpe Tom Birch Sonia Danby Thomas Lang
6th kyu 6th kyu 6th kyu 5th kyu 5th kyu 5th kyu 5th kyu 5th kyu 5th kyu 5th kyu 5th kyu 4th kyu 3rd kyu 3rd kyu 3rd kyu
Also, congratulations to the following members from the Ataru karate club who travelled over to train and grade with us: Niall Malone 9th kyu Sandra Keissling 9th kyu Gareth Steele 4th kyu
Greenbank 21st July
Main Picture: Sensei Sherry demonstrating a technique. Far right: Sensei Frank Brennan and Sensei Jimmy Brennan.
Attending from Handbridge : George Craggs, Dave Craggs, Darren Blythin, Thomas Lang, Tom Birch, Keith Limbert, Dave Adams, Freddie Tonkmor, Dave Roberts and Laura Pelleymounter .
What a fantastic day we all had at the Greenbank Sports Centre in Toxteth, Liverpool. The course was held over two sessions with a 30 minute break for much needed refreshments. Training started prompt at 11am. with Sensei Sherry, assisted by Senseis Frank and Jimmy Brennan. It was another hot summerâ€™s day and although many of us were starting to flag towards the end of the second session, there was no let up in the rigorous standard that was required, and hopefully maintained throughout.
Lancaster Summer School 5 - 9th August
As always, the Lancaster Summer School attracted KUGB students from across the UK. The week long instruction is from the top KUGB exponents in the country. And as you would expect with so many senior instructors on the dojo floor, there was no place to hide. Attending from the Handbridge club were Dave & George Craggs, and Thomas Lang. Both Dave and Thomas took along their families so that in their free time they could enjoy a relaxing time with them and also take in some of the many sightseeing excursions around the area. Otto Blank and his daughters, Kristina and Jemima were amongst a number of frequent visitors to the Handbridge club who also attended the course, the others being Chris Luecke and Paul Coates. Lets hope 2014 will see an even larger contingent travelling from Chester, for what was a very valuable and extremely enjoyable week of training. And the socialising, with other like minded individuals from across the UK and beyond made it all the more worthwhile.
This page, Top to bottom: 1. Jemima & Kristina Blank 2. Chris Luecke 3. Thomas Lang & Paul Coates 4. Thomas Lang 5. Dave Craggs 6. George Craggs 7. Otto Blank blocking Paul Shufflebotham Opposite page: Students with the Masters L - R: Sensei R. Rhodes, 7th Dan; Sensei B. Poynton, 8th Dan; Thomas Lang, Dave Craggs, George Craggs, Sensei A. Sherry, 9th Dan; Sensei T. Oâ€™Neill, 8th Dan; Sensei F. Brennan, 7th Dan, and Sensei B. Higgins, 7th Dan.
Sensei Sherry 12th August
Another fantastic turnout at the Handbridge Dojo, for yet another memorable session with Sensei Sherry. Main picture: Strong kiais as the seniors are put through their paces. 1. Nathan Goodwin receives instruction from Sensei Sherry. 2. Sensei Sherry showing the application of a Kata technique with the aid of Sensei Oâ€™Conner. 3. The Dan grades with Sensei Sherry, L - R. Debbie Robertson, Freddie Tonkmor, Keith Limbert, Sensei O.Connor, Sensei Sherry, Darren Blythin, Otto Blank, Dave Adams, Dave Roberts, Laura Pelleymounter & Dave Craggs.
Sensei Sherry 9th September
Another great double session of training with Sensei Sherry. The kyu grades turned out in force once again, with the session being followed by a small grading, for a couple of children (Harvey Jones and Thomas Hanson) who had missed the earlier grading in August, plus one guest (Ron Perry from the Aaisatsu Club). All three achieved their grade from Sensei Sherry, assisted by Sensei Mike Oâ€™Connor. The seniors had another very rewarding training session with Sensei Sherry which was enjoyed by all. 1. Sensei Sherry with visitors from the Atauru Club. L - R: Peter Coates, Kristina Blank, Otto Blank, Sensei Sherry, Shaun Bond and Jemima Blank. 2. Sensei Sherry and Sensei Oâ€™Connor assessing those grading. 3. Otto Blank (Atauru) 4. Sonja Danby under the watchfull gaze of Sensei Sherry, during the kyu grade class.
WSKA Championship Results KUGB England (28th & 29th September)
A fabulous weekend of Karate at the Liverpool Echo Arena, with the England team achieving some outstanding results and coming second overall in the competition. A number of the Handbridge members attended the event. Sensei Oâ€™Connor was busy running around the fighting areas as the designated KUGB Team photographer, whilst the rest of us were able to just sit back and enjoy the action. Cadet ladies team kumite
Cadet mens individual kumite Cadet mens team kumite
Junior ladies individual kumite Junior ladies team kumite
Junior mens team kumite
Junior mixed team kata
Senior ladies individual kumite
Senior ladies team kumite
Senior mens individual kata Senior mens individual kumite Senior mens team kata
1st 1st 3rd
Here are just a few of the extensive range of images taken by Sensei Mike Oâ€™Connor over the action packed weekend, which include: Senseis Andy Sherry and Frank Brennan; a host of medal winners from the England squad and some of the delighted Handbridge and Ataru supporters.
Bethany Nicholson Nicole Donoghue Rebecca Morrison Ethan Armstrong Ethan Armstrong Fraser Grice Robert Crowney Rebecca Rawcliffe Bethany Nicholson Nicole Donoghue Rebecca Rawcliffe Cameron Graham Chris Hamilton Mathew Humphries Sam Light Chris Hamilton Hisham Saif Jack Somers Holly Stirling / Rhianne Blundell (Joint 3rd) Caroline McGrath Cristina Finta Holly Stirling Rhianne Blundell Hisham Saif James McGorian Chris Hamilton Hisham Saif Jack Somers
Sensei Frank Brennan 7th October
Another treat for the Handbridge faithful as Sensei Brennan put us all through our paces. Finished with Hungetsu. Loved it, one of my favourite katas.
Pictured with Sensei Brennan L to R: James Cleave. Sensei Oâ€™Connor, Keith Limbert, Otto, Jimima and Kristina Blank, Dave Roberts, and George and Dave Craggs. Main picture: The training class.
Rossendale Inter-Club Championships 13th October
A team of six took part in the Rossendale Inter-Club Championships. The participants were: Tom Birch, George Craggs, Daniel Cocker, Louise Coleman, Joseph Townsend and Connor Williams. All six were a credit to their club, as with the exception of George Craggs it was a first competitive feel for the other five members. Everyone performed fantastically well. Tom Birch, who entered the senior kata event was unfortunate to come up against Laura Horrocks, a 3rd Dan senior squad member in the first round. She was eventually placed second overall in the competition. Louise Coleman (Junior Kata) suceeded in getting through to the second round but was then unfortunately beaten by a split decision. George Craggs looked very strong but again lost out in the second round to a split decision. But it wasnâ€™t all doom and gloom, as Daniel Cocker (3rd pee wee kata), Joseph Townsend (1st pee wee 5 step kumite) and Connor Williams (2nd pee wee kata), all came away with honours. Well done Boys.
Top to bottom: George Craggs defends against chudan punch; Louise Coleman, kata; Daniel Cocker, kata; The Team; Connor Williams and Daniel Cocker waiting to perform and Joseph Townsend steps onto the tatami mat.
Connor Williams, 2nd place Pee wee Kata; Joseph Townsend, 1st place Pee wee 5 step Kumite; Daniel Cocker 3rd place Pee wee Kata
3rd November Great Brown & Black belt course with Senseis Andy Sherry and Billy Higgins. Always learn something new on these free courses, and this was no exception. Great bunkia for Tekki Nidan from Sensei Higgins and Bassai Sho details from Sensei Sherry. Well worth the drive from Chester.
sei Billy Higgins, Dave Craggs Dave Roberts, Keith Limbert, Sen there, Thomas Lang. but & Darren Blythin and missing
These courses as anyone who has been on one will acknowledge, are always a great place to catch up with friends and acquaintances from other clubs. This course was made all the more enjoyable as we stayed to watch the gradings, where Christina Blank from Atauru and Sean Bowen, and James and Faye Cunningham from West Kirby Karate Club all successfully gained their Shodan grade. Well done all!
Kristina Blank with
Sensei Sherry 4th November
It may not have been November 5th, but there were plenty of fireworks at the Handbridge Dojo, as 23 kyu grades took to the floor for their grading with Sensei Sherry. There were some concerned looks from a few of the parents when the grading results were announced, but strong spirit was shown throughout and in one or two cases it was this that helped to pull participants through. With so many grading the seniors were late to start, but that didnâ€™t stop Sensei Sherry from putting us all through another fantastic session.
Top: Thomas Lang counters strongly against Dave Roberts. Above & Right: The grading in progress. Below: The senior class.
Above: The grading class. Left & below left: The boys do their stuff. Below: Encouragement for young Arthur Crewe from Sensei Sherry.
Sensei Frank Brennan 18th November
Another inspirational session with Sensei Brennan, as he made oi tsuki sound like a punch we had never done before, even though, as he pointed out, most of us had probably done it a thousand times or more.
Clockwise from below: Senseis Brennan & O’Connor Mawashi geri practice Sensei Brennan corrects Louise Coleman Sensie Brennan demonstrating Mai geri with Sensei O’Connor Dorothy Wrigley & Olivier Thorpe being scrutinised Kata practice with Sensei O’Connor, James Cleave & Laura Pellymounter Kyu grades
Sensei Frank Brennan 2nd December
Sensei Brennan delivered another fabulous session on his last visit of the year to the Handbridge dojo. But don’t overdoo the turkey and mince pies, because 2014 is just around the corner and he will be back to make us all wish we had kept a bit fitter over the festive break. Main picture: Sensei O’Connor on the receiving end of a demonstrated technique from Sensei Brennan. Top: Ura mawashi geri from James Cleave Middle: Sensei O’Connor & Chris Luecke Bottom: Sensei Brennan demonstrating empi application with the aid of Keith Limberts shoulder
Christmas Party 7th December
Westminster Park Community Centre played host again for the second year running to the junior club kata competition and social evening. The kata competition kicked off soon after 4pm. and for the second year Ben and Sam Baker took the major honours with a 1st and 2nd placing, closely followed by Joseph Townsend and Daniel Sheppard who came joint 3rd. It was good to see so many parents coming along to give support to their children and the evening in general, and we thank you all for attending. A big thanks must also go to Mandy, Paula and Viv, as without their efforts it would have been nuts and a packet of crisps from the bar to fill our stomachs throughout the evening. Well done ladies. Thomas Lang, who has trained with us for most of the year and who unfortunately has to leave us in December even managed to persuade his wife to come along from Germany. And given that it was their Wedding Anniversary, quite frankly I donâ€™t know how he got away with it.
Clockwise from top: The Baker brothers battle it out The kata contestants in defiant mood Thomas Lang with his wife Monica enjoying the evening George Craggs taking what would appear to be an unfair advantage in an arm wrestle with Joseph Townsend Tom and Harry Devlin warm up, as in the background Felicity Townsend uses different tactics, as she tries to hypnotise Jack Yang The trophy winners with Sensei Oâ€™Connor, Dave Roberts, Dave Craggs, Keith Limbert & Daren Blythin Mandy, Paula & Viv hard at work
Sensei Jimmy Brennan (West Kirby) During 2013 a number of the members from Handbridge have travelled down, as often as possible to West Kirby, to train with Sensei Jimmy Brennan. These sessions have been extremely rewarding, and new friends have been made. So we would just like to take this opportunity to thank Sensei Brennan and the West Kirby club members for allowing us to train, and for always giving us such a warm welcome. See you all in 2014.
This page Main picture: Thomas Lang, Keith Limbert, Sensei Jimmy Brennan, Dave Roberts and Darren Blythin. Below: Dave, Val and Brian from the West Kirby club join us for a photo. Opposite page: Dave & George Craggs with Sensei Brennan Class in progress
Sensei Sherry 16th December
A great end to a great year at the Handbridge Dojo. The kyu grade class started shortly after six pm and ended with a successful grading for a small number of Handbridge members who had missed the earlier grading, plus a number from Ataru who also graded. The senior class had a great end of year send off with another fantastic class from Sensei Sherry. Lets do it all again in 2014.
The grading class
Handbridge Dan Grades Keith Dennis
Keith started training with Sensei Geoff Wilding in 1973. 1st to 4th Dan with Sensei Enoeda JKA. 5th Dan 6th Oct 2007. Privileged to have passed with Sensei A. Sherry. Donâ€™t think I would have passed any without the inspiration of Sensei F Brennan.
Laura started training in October 2000 whilst at Lancaster University. She gained her Shodan at Kendal in June, 2004. In september 2010 she became a member of the Handbridge club and achieved her Nidan in October 2010 at Lichfield.
Freddie started training in 1971 at the Chester Aaisatsu club, gaining his Shodan in 1979. He later went on to run the Hungetsu karate club in Winsford for approx 20 years. Freddie joined Handbridge in 2009 and achieved his Sandan on 6th October, 2012.
Dave started training at the Red Triangle club, Liverpool in 1974, reaching the grade of 3rd kyu, in 1977. In 2009 Dave returned to karate after a 30 year break. Dave achieved the grade of Nidan on 3rd February 2013.
Keith started training in November, 1973, at the YMCA in Birkenhead, passing his 9th kyu on 27th January, 1974. After a 30 year break he resumed his training in January 2007 at Handbridge. He attained the grade of Nidan on 30th October, 2011.
In 1985 Dorothy joined her local karate club in Hertfordshire, where in 1989 she attained her Shodan grade. Dorothy then had an enforced break when her husband was stationed in Cyprus. In February, 2012 she became a member of the Handbridge club.
Dave became a member of the Guilden Sutton Shotokan karate club in 1996, and he attained his Shodan grade in April 2005. He joined the Handbridge club in 2010 and achieved his Nidan on 3rd September 2011, at the Barnsley Brown & Black Belt course.
Alun started his training in Aikido, gaining the rank of 3rd kyu. He started karate in September 2001, and attained his Shodan in 2004. After a series of injuries that would have detered most people he achieved his Nidan in 2010 at Rhyl.
Dave started his training in 1974 at the Chester Aisatsu Karate Club, where he continued to train until 1978, when he stopped. He commenced his training again at the Handbridge Club in 2000 and achieved his Shodan grade in May, 2010.
James started training in Broughton in 2001. In 2005, after moving to the Guilden Sutton club he achieved his Shodan. In April 2009 he achieved the grade of Nidan. During October 2011 James became a member of the Handbridge club.
Dave Roberts 1st Dan
Tom Thorpe 1st Dan
In 1977 Dave joined the
Mold karate club. Dave continued to train until 1984, when, due to a long illness his training had to stop. He returned to training in 2010, joining the Handbridge club in February 2012. In April 2013 Dave achieved his Shodan grade.
Tom started training in Wrexham at the age of 6. Training at Total Fitness he soon progressed through his grades. Tom gained his Shodan in Barnsley in September 2011, at the age of 11. He joined the Handbridge club in the November of the same year.
Started Karate in Kent in 1992 rather than sit and watch her 3 children training. Debbie joined the Handbridge dojo in 1994 and took her Shodan with Sensei Enoeda in 2000 and her Nidan with Sensei Sherry in Sept 2011.
Darren Blythin 2nd Dan
Darren joined the Northgate Arena karate club, in 1992. In 2003 he moved to the Guilden Sutton Shotokan club, before later joining the Handbridge club. Darren achieved his Nidan in November, 2012.
Charlotte started training just after her 6th birthday, in Wrexham, where she trained for two years reaching her 1st kyu. In 2011 she joined the Handbridge club and became the clubs youngest ever Shodan, in February 2013, at the age of 10.
Nicola Steele 1st Dan
Nicola started her training in 1993 at the Buckley Shotokan Club, where she gained her Shodan grade in 1995. After moving to the Saltney Samuri Club in 2005, she had to cease training due to illness. In July, 2013 Nicola joined us at Handbridge.
Handbridge Dan Grades Syd Fisher
Syd started Karate in 1974 with Chester Shotokan. He trained at Buckley with Sensei Geoff Wilding, passing his Shodan under Sensei Enoeda in 1987. He joined the Hanbridge club in 1988. Syd passed his Nidan in 1995, again under Sensei Enoeda.
Started Karate at Chester Shotokan in 1971, joining Handbridge in 1977. Graded to 1st Kyu in 1978 with Sensei Enoeda then emigrated to the USA. Sporadic training at various dojos before joining Benicia CA in 2009, under Kyoshi Ric Llewelyn. 3rd Dan 2013.
Noel joined the Handbridge dojo in 1996. Hampered by the fact he was a Chef he found it was very difficult to get to training in the evenings. However he had a very good grading, passing his Shodan with Sensei Sherry in April 2010.
Joe became a member of the Broughton club in 2001 and later joined the Guilden Sutton club, before moving to The Total Fitness club in 2007. In 2009 he joined the Eccleston club and in the same year gained his Nidan. He joined Handbridge in 2011.
Colin, joined Handbridge as a boy of 13 in 1976, That was about the youngest you could start Karate then. Colin passed 1st Dan at Crystal Palace in 1980, on the same course Sensei Oâ€™Conner passed 3rd Dan. He Passed his Nidan with Sensei Enoeda in 1984.
Emma Evans 1st Dan
Emma is a regular visitor to Handbridge due to her fatherâ€™s influence. She started Karate in 2006 at the age of only 6. Emma passed her Shodan in 2011 under the Welsh region of Chikra Shotokan Karate Academy.
Steve started training in Kent, in 1991. In 1996 he gained his Shodan grade in Wado-ryu. He continued his training until 2001, when due to family commitements he had to stop. Steve recommenced his training joining the Handbridge club in February, 2013.
Brian Russell 1st Dan
Brian started his training in Wrexham, where he achieved the grade of Shodan. He became a member of the Handbridge club in 2012.
Handbridge - Visiting Dan Grades
Andy Brown 6th Dan
Otto Blank 3rd Dan Ataru
Kristina Blank 1st Dan
John Booth 3rd Dan Rhyl & Prestatyn
Chris Leucke 3rd Dan Red Triangle
Paul Cheshire 2nd Dan
Aydon Rossi 2nd Dan
Glasgow Karate Academy
In January 2013, I decided that I would try to put together a brief outline of the Handbridge Club Highlights, so that I could look back at what I, and the club had achieved over the year. Little did I know at the time that it would later turn into a full colour souvenir and be so well received by Sensei Oâ€™Connor and the club members. A lot more has happened than I anticipated, but I suppose that just goes to show how easy it is to forget just what has happened over the period of just one year. It has been a pleasure to see the club grow, and to watch the younger members of the club blossom from their un-coordinated beginnings into the commited and spirited individuals they have become today. And knowing that I have played a small part in their progress makes me immensely proud. Having a strong senior presence within the club and with the excellent calibre of visiting Dan grades who have graced the dojo floor this year, the younger members have had excellent role models to emulate. The regular presence of both Hanshi Andy Sherry and Koshi Frank Brennan have without doubt lifted the club, both technically and in spirit and we thank them for that. If 2014 turns out to be anything near as good as 2013, were in for another great year at the Handbridge Dojo. And last, but not least, a big thank you to Sensei Mike Oâ€™Connor, as without him non of this would have been possible. Keith Limbert
Training at Handbridge in 2013 Chief Club Instructor Sensei Mike O’Connor (6th Dan)
Guest Instructors Sensei Andy Sherry (9th Dan, Hanshi) Sensei Frank Brennan (7th Dan, Koshi) Alun Hughes Alex Findley Arthur Crewe Arjun Balasubramaniam Ben Baker Brian Russell Charlie Appap Charlotte Thorpe Christopher Limbert Chris O’Brian Cole Carine Colin Evans Connor Williams Daniel Cocker Daniel Hughes Daniel McDermott Daniel Sheppard Darren Blythin Dave Adams Dave Craggs Dave Moss Dave Roberts Debbie Robertson Dorothy Wrigley Dylan Champion Edward Brown Ellen Brown Elliot Green Emma Evans Felicity Townsend Freddie Parsonage Freddie Tonkmor George Craggs Hannah Walker Harry Devlin
Harvey Jones Iwan Robertson Jack Yang Jacob Astbury Jacob Collin James Cleave James Greensmith James Limbert Joe Collin Jude Whelan Joseph Townsend Jacob Astbury Keith Limbert Kian Kord Laura King Laura Pelleymounter Lenny Young Leo Owen Libby-Anne Parsonage Liz Thorpe Louise Coleman Luke Floyd Luna Khan Martin Taylor Matthew Williams Nathan Goodwin Natthawut Nurat Niall Hagan Nicola Steele Noel Parsons Oliver Devlin Olivia Hagan Olivier Thorpe Oscar Senior Pete Greensmith Rebecca Hughes Reece Senior Richard Ward Rob White Sam Baker Sam Taylor
Sarah Renton Sonia Danby Steve Brown Stuart Andrews Stuart Wheeler Tara Kord Tom Birch Tom Devlin Tom Ye Thomas Hanson Thomas Lang Tom Thorpe Zarak Khan Zoe Evans
Visiting KUGB Members Andy Brown (Aaisatsu) Aydon Rossi (Glasgow Academy) Chris Luecke (Red Triangle) Eddie Hazeldene (Budo Ka Red Dragon SKC)
Emma Evans (Chikira, Hawarden) Gareth Steele (Ataru) Jemima Blank (Ataru) John Booth (Rhyl & Prestatyn) Kristina Blank (Ataru) Niall Malone (Ataru) Otto Blank (Ataru) Paul Cheshire (Ataru) Peter Coates (Ataru) Ron Parry (Aaisatsu) Sandra Keiddling (Ataru) Thank you all for visiting Handbridge Karate Club. It has been our privilege to welcome and train with you. We look forward to seeing you all again in 2014.
Designed & Produced by: Keith Limbert e: firstname.lastname@example.org m: 07710 596933 Photography: Dave Craggs, Kathy Craggs, Darren Blythin, Mandy Champion, Viv Devlin, Mike O’Connor and Keith Limbert Printed by: Minuteman Press Handbridge = w: hskc.org.uk or call Dave Craggs on: 07711 009041
Keinosuke Enoeda 8th Dan 4th July 1935 29th March 2003
Following his death, Enoeda sensei was posthumously awarded the rank of 9th dan.
Handbridge Shotokan Karate Club Chief Instructor: Sensei Mike Oâ€™Connor, 6th Dan www. hskc.org.uk or call Dave Craggs on: 07711 009041 Designed & Produced by: Keith Limbert e: email@example.com t: 07710 596933 Printed by: Minuteman Press