Utsukushī keshiki no karate
Belvoir Karate boasts several black belt instructors throughout our various clubs with combined martial arts experience of well over a century. Our instructors are fully insured and DBS checked, with extensive knowledge of all aspects of Karate.
Graeme is the Chief Instructor of the Belvoir Karate Group. He discovered Karate in 1979 at a local club training in Shito Ryu under Sensei Bob Lord and ‘Tera Karate Association’. In 1982 the club changed to the ‘Kofukan’ association under Sensei Tomiyama.
Following a break he returned to Karate after being ‘pursuaded’ to join ‘Cougar Karate Kai’ by Sensei Gary Musson who he had trained with at Tera Karate. Cougar Karate was created by Sensei Gary and at this time was one of the largest ‘independant’ Associations in the area. The Cougar instructing team was headed up by Sensei Gary and supported by his senior instructors, Sensei’s Gerald Tuckwood and Bill Powell.
The Cougar instructors were very focused in their training and instrumental in Graeme receiving his first Dan (Shodan). Shortly after this the Cougar black belts were invited to join the Dai Nippon Botokukai and were accepted as full members following an evaluation by Sensei David Passmore, during this evaluation Graeme was elevated to second dan (Nidan).
During the next few years he took a more active role within Cougars instructing team, becoming Cougars club instructor at the Bottesford Dojo. The Bottesford Dojo was based at Belvoir Vale High School and grew in size at its peak, boasting more than forty regular students. During this time he continued his own training with Sensei Bill Powell and with the support of Sensei Gary he took his 3rd Dan and following a physically demanding grading was awarded Sandan by Sensei Brian Seabright of the British Karate Association.
With Sensei Gary’s blessing Graeme left Cougar and began to develop Bottesford Karate which, following a change of venue to its current Dojo, changed its name to Belvoir Karate. With the inclusion of new clubs in Long Bennington, Marston, and Waltham on the Wolds it became the ‘Belvoir Karate Group’.
B K G still retains many of the philosophies of Cougar Karate. Graeme has since been awarded the the rank of 4th dan (Yondan) and later 5th Dan by Sensei Brian Seabright. He is focussing on expanding and developing the Belvoir Karate Group and it’s instructors.
Sensei Claire Lowes 4th Dan (Yondan)
Claire started her Karate training in 1988 in Wado Ryu at the local Brighton club. She trained for two years gaining 4th Kyu before moving to Liverpool to study Veterinary Science at the University. In Liverpool she trained in Shotokan (as there wasn’t a local Wado Ryu club) with the ‘Red Triangle’ group for six months but was unable to continue due to university study.
After five years study at university, she moved to Barnsley for work and there she joined Shindo Kai Wado Ryu. She trained there for four years gaining her second kyu. Shindo Kai were a very traditional club but keen on competition fighting and squad training. In 2002 she moved to Grantham and joined Cougar Karate Kai under Sensei Gary Musson.
After training for two years with Cougar Karate, predominantly with Sensei’s Bill Powell and Graeme Walden, she was awarded Shodan (1st Dan), which was taken in front of a panel of four Cougar Dan grades.
Over the next few years she continued to train and instruct with Sensei Graeme Walden and newly formed Belvoir Karate Group and in 2005 she was awarded the rank of Nidan after a hard grading in Manchester under Sensei Brian Seabright (Chairman of the BKA).
In November 2011 Claire was awarded Sandan (3rd Dan) and in May 2018 she attended an assessment with Sensei Seabright and was awarded her current rank of 4th Dan (Yondan).
She is a senior instructor with Belvoir Karate and continues to teach all levels of students throughout the BKG clubs.
Uwe started Karate in March 1994 with a Shotokan group in West Bridgeford Called ‘Trent Shotokan Karate’ (KUGB) where he took his 10th, 9th and 8th Kyu. He then Joined ‘the Federation of Shotokan Karate’ in 1995 and was graded to 7th and 6th Kyu by Sensei Aiden Trimble.
1996 he moved to Ruddington where he joined the ‘English All Style Karate Association’ (E.A.S.K.A), where he took his 5th, 4th and 3rd Kyu. A further move in 1997, took him to the ‘Community Shotokan Karate GB’ and in 1997 he was awarded 2nd Kyu and in March 1998, his 1st Kyu.
Following a further years training, Uwe and his family moved to the Vale of Belvoir, where he joined ‘Cougar Karate Kai’ under Chief Instructor Gary Musson and changed Karate Style from Shotokan to Wado Ryu and following six years of hard training in various styles of Karate, with different top level Sensei’s, he was awarded S
Whilst training with Cougar Karate he attended several seminars and alongside Sensei Gerald Tuckwood and Greame Walden he was selected to represent Cougar Karate Kai in a national Karate tournament as a three man Team. Uwe also opened and ran his own Dojo at Waltham on the Wolds under the umbrella of Cougar Karate Kai.
His next adventure was moving his family to spain and after living there for several years he returned to the UK and soon found ‘Belvoir Karate Group’, where he now trains and teaches alongside his youngest daughter Bonnie.
Uwe has trained with and been graded by some of the country’s leading Sensei’s such as Bill Higgins, Bob Poynton, Terry O Neill, Aidan Trimble and of course his last Instructor Gary Musson.
He his grateful to all the above and would like to thank all those who have taught him the way of Karate. He is now a part of the BKG Instructing Team and is teaching regularly whilst training towards his 2nd Dan.
Sensei Richard Dickens – 1st Dan (Shodan)
Richard started his Karate journey in 1984 in Bushido Ryu at his local Eccleshall club training under Sensei Terry Keast, where he graded through to 1st kyu within the B.A.S.K.A. association. Bushido Ryu was a mixed style, which incorporated traditional karate, Muay Thai boxing and Korean Kempo styles.
During his time with Bushido Ryu, he focussed on sports and competition karate, competing in local and national competitions. He placed second in the British Northern Karate Open and third in the British Karate Open, he also represented his club team which enjoyed many successes in team Kumite.
From the age of 17 Richard represented Yorkshire in a ‘Yorkshire Select Team’ comprising of martial artists from numerous disciplines, again having competition success as well as fighting the then world champion team of Alfie Lewis achieving a draw.
He then took a break from karate after completing his studies at university, as life and work became his focus for the next 20 years, although he still took an interest in martial arts.
In 2015 Richard started training seriously again joining Belvoir karate. Having previously focussed on Kumite with his previous clubs, he found a further interest in the Budo side of the art with BKG. He has embraced the more traditional parts of Karate including Kata and Bunkai.
In November 2018 his hard work, focus and determination earned him a long overdue 1st Dan Black Belt (Shodan). He was evaluated during a very demanding grading in Manchester by Sensei Brian Seabright (8th Dan Chairman of the British Karate Association) some 34 years after starting training.
Richard is part of the BKG instructing team and enjoys training and teaching throughout the BKG clubs (having a background of professional coaching in his work life). His current focus is in the application of kata (Bunkai), recently attending a seminar with the Sensei Iain Abernethy. He is also developing sports karate within the Belvoir Karate Group, as karate is represented in the Olympics for the first time in 2020.
Both Richard’s daughters Rebecca and Imogen train with Belvoir Karate, and enjoy putting him to shame with their flexibility.
Sensei Darren Pike 2nd Dan (Nidan)
Darren started karate in 2005 when he joined a local club studying ‘Kyokusin’ karate, a full contact style, here he trained under Sensei Paul Andrews and discovered a passion for karate. He trained enthusiastically and quickly attained his 5th kyu. Due to family and work commitments becoming priorities, Karate started to take a back seat in his life, eventually leading him to have a complete break.
In 2011 he was encouraged back to Karate and joined Belvoir Karate Group. The style of BKG was different to his original club but Darren quickly rediscovered his love of karate. He spent 18 months learning the BKG syllabus after which he was awarded 4th kyu. Having assimilated into this new syllabus and style subsequent grading’s followed and in November 2015 he was awarded his shodan (black belt), following a demanding grading with the Chairman of the BKA Sensei Brian Seabright.
Darren later left the BKG to help set up another karate club and took an active role instructing students there. During this time he also focussed his training towards his Nidan (2nd Dan) and this was awarded in November 2017.
In November 2018 he returned to the Belvoir Karate family where he is continuing his training towards his Sandan (3rd Dan black belt). He enjoys instructing and plans to take an active role in the instruction of the karate students within the BKG.
Sensei Gary Musson 6th Dan (Rokudan)
Gary Started training in 1982, first under a Wado brown belt called Scott Pacey. Sadly Scott received a back injury that prevented him training and the club closed. Gary then visited the Shotokan club in Grantham run by Sensei Steve Walsh. For some reason the club did not have the feel that Gary was looking for. Gary then found Sensei Gerald Tuckwood, at the time a 1st Kyu brown belt, of the Grantham Karate Club and stayed under his tutelage for over a decade.
After a small break from karate and a move to Derbyshire, Gary started a club in Belper as part of the UKASKO association under the guidance of European Champion Ray McKenzie. The club identity of Cougar Karate Kai was born. In time Gary took his first black belt in Manchester under the watchful eye of Roy Stanhope (former England squad coach). It wasn’t long before Gary wanted a little more independence and Cougar Martial Arts was developed as an association. To ensure the standards were maintained and gradings remained fair, all the club seniors were graded by independent Sensie. Close links were formed with the British Karate Association and Sensei George Blogg of NEEMAF. Gary was also fortunate to be introduced to one of the UK coordinators of the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai (DNBK). Gary was admitted to membership and was awarded the DNBK rank of Sandan (which at the time matched his existing karate rank). Gary brought the club seniors into the DNBK. During his time with the DNBK Gary assisted at a grading in Wales organized for an East German group, and also participated in the first European Butoku Sai which was held in Manchester in 1998. Performing in front of a distinguished group from Honbu, including Tesshin Hamada, Hanshi was probably the most nerve wracking thing in Gary’s martial arts career. As time marched on the Cougar group dwindled in numbers as Gary found more limits to his available time (training 7 days a week is not recommended). He is now proud to bring his Cougar Karate Kai into the Belvoir Karate Group.
Currently Gary holds 6th Dan Black Belt Karate (BKA awarded), 4th Degree Black Belt in Kickboxing (BKA awarded) and a 1st Degree Black Belt in Street Defence Combat (awarded by David Turton of the Self Defence Federation). Gary also graded to 6th Kup in Tae Kwon Do.