Instructors

John Richardson

John Richardson started karate life back in Slough in 1984 at the Rochfords Shotokan Karate Club where from the age of 16 he trained under Sensei Robert Bertie and Sensei Kawasoe. He was a successful member of the club at both local level and in regional competitions in team kumite and individuals. He gained his 1st and 2nd Dan under the late Sensei Enoeda, 1989 and 1992. He then got married and moved to Belfast where he continued training with Sensei Kawasoe and started his own Club, Avoniel SKC. He gained his 3rd Dan in October 1998, 4th Dan in August 2005 and his 5th Dan in August 2014 under Sensei Kawasoe and Sensei Shiina of the JKA. During all this time John was still having success at local and national level, now representing Northern Ireland, as well as coaching many karateka to national success.
John is a recognised JKA Instructor and Referee and is the chairman of JKA WF Northern Ireland.
John, now 54, says his philosophy on training is simple: ‘Put you gi on, and train. Never stop training. And have respect.

John is Personnel Trainer and a group Fitness Instructor. John also runs a part time gym in Belfast called Bodyvibes.

Stephen Farrell

Stephen first started karate in 1984, at the tender age of 19.
He has regularly trained under the instruction of Sensei Masoe Kawasoe as Chief Instructor.
The Lisburn club was founded in 2013 and has grown from strength to strength to have over 75 students. The club has moved into its own dojo in the centre of Lisburn since 2018.
Stephen put a lot of time and effort into starting his own dojo and putting time and effort into his students. He has subsequently had many of his students competing at Regional, National and European competitions.
Stephen himself has continually competed at all levels including Regional, National and International level, achieving many accolades and medals for both Kata and Kumite. He now at the age of 55 still competes at Veterans level.

Harry Young

Harry started training in karate in 1979, he is a recognised JKA instructor and ran the Shotokan Karate Club at Ulster University from 1989 until his early retirement in July 2020. While working and training at the University he trained and studied with visiting martial artists and sampled other styles of Karate, Kung Fu, jiu jitsu and Kobudo (the use of martial art weapons). He still actively trains in Karate and Kobudo. He currently supports and trains with the other clubs in JKA WF Northern Ireland and runs a club in the Bangor Aurora Complex.

His main interest in Karate is the self-defence fighting techniques found in the Bunkai of Kata. Bunkai is the study of the strikes, arm locks, throws and chokes contained in the Kata’s and the self-defence application of the techniques against the Habitual Acts of Violence you would encounter in a physical confrontation.

Russell Connealy

Started in 1989 in wado and got 1st Dan. Gained 2nd Dan in goju under Geoff Pearse and was active on the competition scene until 2001. Moved to Northern Ireland in 2003 and opened club in 2012. 3rd Dan in 2015. Represented Northern Ireland in Milan at JKA Afroeurasia in 2014. Main focus is self defence and self awareness. Continues to study on as many courses as possible including Iain Abernethy and Dave Hazard.

Qualified boxercise instructor

Niall McCafffrey

Niall began his Shotokan Karate training in 1995 at the University of Ulster. He achieved the grade of 4th Dan with the JKA in 2018. He is also a qualified level two fitness instructor and a fully qualified Self Defence Instructor through the British Self Defence Governing Body.

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