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.
Sensei Graeme Walden is the Chief Instructor of the Belvoir Karate Group. Graeme 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. Cougar Karate was created by Sensei Gary and was one of the largest independant Associations in the area, The instructing team was headed up by Sensei Gary and supported by his senior intructors, Sensei Gerald Tuckwood and Sensei Bill Powell.
The Cougar intructors were very focussed in their training and instrumental in Graeme receiving his first Dan (Shodan). 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 ‘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.
Sensei Claire Lowes 3rd Dan (Sandan)
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 at the Cougars Belton Lane and Bottesford Dojo’s, she was awarded Shodan (1st Dan) which was taken in front of a panel of four Cougar Dan grades. In 2005 she was awarded the rank of Nidan after a hard grading in Manchester under Sensei Brian Seabright of the BKA.
In November 2011 Claire was awarded Sandan (3rd Dan) and is currently the second highest ranking Instructor in the Belvoir Karate organisation.
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 Shodan (1st Dan Black belt).
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 Peter Connolly 1st Dan (Shodan)
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.
Joel Warren 1st Dan (Shodan)
Joel started training under GSM in 2004 and currently holds 1st Dan Black Belt Karate (BKA awarded). Joel studied sports science at college which has benefitted his ability to train and teach martial arts. He is also a qualified football referee. As well as his karate studies he has also started training and grading in ground fighting at a local (Swadlincote) martial arts centre.
Grahame Shaw 1st Dan (Shodan)
Grahame started training under GSM in 2004 and currently holds 1st Dan Black Belt Karate (BKA awarded). Whilst Grahame remains a steadfast karate practitioner he is open to training in different arts/styles. A very strong and powerful martial artist.