Successful week-long course by Zanshin Shotokan Karate Club

Sensei A sherry 9th Dan and Sensei F Brennan 7th Dan presenting Samuari swords to the clubs latest 1st Dan Black Belts.
Sensei A sherry 9th Dan and Sensei F Brennan 7th Dan presenting Samuari swords to the clubs latest 1st Dan Black Belts.

Members of the Zanshin Shotokan Karate Club took part in the 5th NI Summer Course held in the Jim Watt Sports Centre, Garvagh.

The week long course was kicked off on Saturday 25th July with a three hour Bokken (Samuari Sword) class under the instruction of Sensei John Donaldson 5th Dan.

This class is the first of its kind and teaches students the Art of the Samuari Sword.

Only those who are graded Brown Belt and above are permitted to participate in this course, as once they are graded to 1st Dan they are awarded with an Authentic Japanese Samuari Sword as a sign of achievement.

The Bokken course kicked off the rest of the week long course, which saw the UK’s top Karate Instructors travel from England to teach the students of Zanshin for three hours per night, with over 60 students in attendance each night it was fantastic.

The Club had a top KUGB Competitor on Tuesday night, Sensei John Bruce 5th Dan, a KUGB and International Referee on Wednesday, Sensei Gary Harford 7th Dan and also on Thursday Sensei Jim Brennan 7th Dan.

Special classes were also held for Squad Members during the week and also students who are attempting to progress to the next Dan grade within the next 12 months at the club.

On Friday night after an intense training session with Sensei Frank Brennan 8th Dan approximately 80 students attempted their next grading, with 95% ending in success at the finish.

Saturday was by far the biggest and busiest day of the week long summer course as an instructor class with Sensei Brennan 7th Dan was held, this got underway at 9am in the morning.

This was followed by Northern Ireland’s only FREE Brown and Black Belt course taken by Sensei A Sherry 9th Dan – Chief Instructor of the KUGB and Sensei F Brennan 7th Dan.

This course had over 60 students in attendance. Some had travelled from as far away as Dublin to train under such great instructors at the course in Garvagh.

The week-long course concluded with Northern Ireland’s only Black Belt grading in which members of the Zanshin Shotokan Karate Club were examined under the watchful eye of Sensei Sherry 9th Dan and Sensei Brennan 7th Dan.

The club was very successful during this grading and gained three more 1st Dan black belts, Connor McCandless (15), Alex Lord (21) and Harry Currie (10) and 2 more 2nd Dan Black Belts Emma Mullan (15) and Ryan Dobbin (13).

This course has prepared the club for its next venture, which will be the World Shotokan Karate Championships held in Poland.

It will be here that three members will be competing at the start of October, Andrew Mills (21), Emma Mullan (15) and Kevin Diamond (15), are the club’s representatives for the championships.

The club would like to take this opportunity to thank the Jim Watt Centre in Garvagh for their support throughout the week long summer course event.

The Zanshin Shotokan Karate Club is reopening after summer closures in early September and accepts new students all year round from the ages of 4 upwards.

If you would like more information on joining the Zanshin Shotokan Karate Club contact Sensei Terry Geddis: 07931981962 Email: Visit: or LIKE us on Facebook for more regular updates and photographs.