Manchester University Shotokan Karate Club

MUSKC has members ranging from beginners to black belts, and we are fortunate enough to be taught by one of the UK's top instructors, Sensei Garry Harford. The Club is a member of Britain's largest single-style organisation, the Karate Union of Great Britain (KUGB). The standard of teaching at the club is extremely high, and this is reflected in club performance.

MUSKC welcome students from other organisations and styles of karate as well as complete beginners and those who have had a break from training. If you have any questions check our website, find our facebook page or group, or contact the comittee.

Sensei Garry Harford also teaches at Shotokan Karate Academy. All students are warmly welcomed to train at both clubs, all members of the University club are automatically members at the Academy club, and vice versa.


Usual Training Times

Tuesday 7:30 – 9:00pm All grades
Friday 6:00 – 7:15pm Beginners
Friday 7:15 – 8:30pm Advanced

All training sessions are led by Sensei Garry Harford. at Trinity Sports Centre, Hulme.
Wear comfortable clothing and don't forget to bring water!

Sensei Garry Harford also teaches at Shotokan Karate Academy. All students are warmly welcomed to train at both clubs, all members of the University club are automatically members at the Academy club, and vice versa.

Can anyone train?
Yes! Karate is for everyone, so whether you are a black belt already, perhaps did some karate as a child, or are a complete beginner, you are welcome to come along.  MUSKC welcome students from other organisations and styles of karate as well as those who have had a break from training. 

How much does it cost?
Every club has to pay affiliation fees to the Athletics Union (they provide our funding) and this is £25 per member (this also provides membership to Shotokan Karate Academy.). Any member of the Shotokan Karate Academy is automatically a member of the University Club.

In addition to this, classes are £3.50 a session for members and £6.50 for non-members.

Do I have to compete?
MUSKC enters a number of competitions throughout the year, and once you have graded, you are eligible to compete in some of these. There is no pressure to compete, but competitions are a great way to gain experience and confidence and see some of the country’s best in action. 

Gradings are carried out in-house by Sensei Harford every 3 months (at the end of each term). Grading fee is £8. If you wish to grade, you must also obtain a KUGB licence which costs £25 and a gi (karate suit), which can be ordered through the club.

Grading rules and syllabus can be found here.

Club Constitution and Risk Assessment
Club Constitution
Club Risk Assessment

Sensei Garry Harford 7th Dan

Garry was born in Salford, Manchester on the 21st of April 1960. He was first introduced to Karate in 1972 at KNK Karate Club, Ardwick, Manchester. He took his Kyu gradings under Sensei Sherry. Garry graded to first Dan on 14th March 1976 under Sensei Enoeda His introduction to Karate competition was in the last BKCC All Styles Championships in 1977. Garry was selected as a member of the first Junior KUGB Squad and competed at the 1980 European Senior and Junior Championships held in Bregenz, Austria, at which he won 1st place in the Junior Team Kata and also 1st place in the Senior Kata. He was also part of the Team Kumite winners. His list of achievements also include 1st place in Kata and Kumite in the Shotokan Cup and EKB All Styles Kumite Champion in 1987. Garry was also a KUGB team member that won the EKB in 1985-88 inclusive. He is very proud of the fact that he was a member of the team that for many years dominated European Championships. The highlight of his career was being a member of the team that won the 1990 World Shotokan Championships held in Sunderland. As a fighter, Garry was very aware of his compact build and worked extremely hard on his speed and timing. Being very agile, he would maximize his kicking ability by making use of Mawashi-geri Chudan and spinning Ushiro-Mawashi-geri. As an Instructor, Garry's personal sense of fulfilment was achieved in 1988 when his club team Poynton SKC, won the KUGB National Championships after reaching 3rd place in the 2 preceding years.

History of Shotokan

Gichin Funakoshi, the founder of shotokan karate, stated that the ultimate aim of karate lies not in victory or defeat, but in perfection of character. In this way, karate may be described as an aesthetic course of self-discipline, leading to enlightenment. Literally, karate-do is the way of the empty hand. This includes the philosophical notion of "emptying" oneself of improper motives; not merely fighting without weapons. The principles of training go beyond technique and may be applied to ordinary life. Karate training involves little instruction in philosophy. Students are expected to learn the underlying philosophical principles through hard work and much practice. By following the technical directions of the instructors, the example of the senior students and applying themselves completely to each technique, karate-ka will develop a deep understanding of both the technical and philosophical aspects of karate. It is said that in karate there is no second chance. Karate-ka are taught to use each technique as if their lives depended upon its successful application. This concept is called ikken hikattsu in Japanese, literally to kill with one blow. However, the real meaning is that a karate-ka must be completely committed to each technique and must apply each technique with certainty, force, decisiveness and without regard to the possibility of failure. Shotokan karate traces its roots to the islands of Okinawa, which now form part of Japan. An indigenous fighting system know as Okinawa-te (Okinawa hand) would eventually become karate (Chinese hand) and, finally, karate-do (the way of the empty hand). Historically, Okinawa was an independent kingdom, but it was strongly influenced by Chinese culture. Okinawa established a tributary relationship with China, which allowed Okinawan martial artists to study in China (and to train with Chinese martial artists visiting Okinawa). There were originally three styles of Okinawa-te, named for the towns where they were located: Shuri-te, Naha-te and Tomari-te. Shotokan karate is a modern Japanese style, descended from these traditional Okinawan styles. Unfortunately, the history of karate is somewhat incomplete and speculative. Until recently, karate was taught in secret and few records were maintained. During the period of secrecy, there would be no open discussion karate training, even within a family. Gichin Funakoshi is widely regarded as the father of modern karate and is certainly the father of Japanese karate. He was an Okinawan schoolteacher and an enthusiastic karate-ka. He began karate training in his childhood, primarily with Yasutsune Azato (1827-1906) and Yasutsune Itosu (1830-1915). Funakoshi was selected to give the first demonstrations of karate outside Okinawa. They occurred in 1916 (possibly 1917) and in 1922. His demonstrations were well received and there was much interest in the introduction of karate to Japan. Funakoshi remained in Japan after the second demonstration.


Ever wondered what your sensei was saying in the dojo? Or even what a "sensei" and "dojo" are? This section should help clear that up with the main terms and pronunciations used in shotokan karate.

Japanese Pronunciation English
Knife hand
Hammer fist
finger strike
Knife edge of foot
Ball of foot
Knee strike

Japanese Pronunciation English
Basic movements
Basic form


Japanese Pronunciation English
Gohon kumite
Sambon kumite
Ippon kumite
Jiyu Ippon Kumite
Jiyu Kumite
goh-hohn koo-mee-teh
sahn-bohn koo-mee-teh
eep-pone koo-mee-teh
jee-yoo eep-pone koo-mee-teh
Jee-yoo koo-me-teh
Five Attack Sparring
Three Attack Sparring
One Attack Sparring
Semi Free Sparring
Free Style Sparring


Japanese Pronunciation English
Training hall
Dojo Greeting
Fighting posture
Ready position
At Ease

Dojo Kun

The Dojo Code is the code of conduct under which the Art of Karate is practised.
The KUGB emphasises the character building aspects of Karate in which respect for the dojo, instructors and fellow students is an essential principle.
The ultimate aim of the Art of Karate lies not in victory or defeat but in the perfection of the character of its participants through hard training, sincerity, effort, etiquette and self control.

Exert oneself in the perfection of character
Be faithful and sincere
Cultivate the spirit of perseverance
Be respectful and courteous
Self - control
Refrain from impetuous and violent behaviour

KUGB Dojo Etiquette and Rules

  • Where possible rei(bow) on entering and leaving the dojo.
  • Address all instructors as "Sensei" whilst training.
  • "Oss" is a sign of respect, and is used generally in Karate, especially in the following situations:-
    • Upon receiving any advice or command from the Instructor, the student should reply by answering "Oss".
    • When bowing at the start and finish of the class.
    • When bowing to your partner during Kumite
  • Members must not leave the class without first obtaining permission from the Sensei, unless it is an emergency.
  • Members arriving late should take up a kneeling position at the side of the Dojo, and await permission from the Instructor before joining the class. On receiving permission, bow and then join the class.
  • Keep your Karate-Gis clean and in good condition.
  • Finger and toe nails must be kept clean and short.
  • Jewellery or the like must not be worn during training. If you cannot remove jewellery, it must be covered by tape.
  • Finally, as a Member of the KUGB, you must not behave in any manner that is likely to offend the etiquette of the Dojo.
Manchester University Shotokan Karate Club


May 2014
KUGB National Championships
Congratulations to National Ladies Kumite Champion Cristina Finta! Cristina also placed 2nd in Ladies Senior Kata and 2nd place as part of the Ladies Team Kumite along side Kiki, Victoria and Vanessa!

April 2014
Congratulations to Cristina Finta, Rosie Lau and Tom Thatcher for passing their Sandan (3rd Dan) grading at the Chesterfield Special Dan Course 2014!

March 2014
KUGB Kyu Grade Championships
Congratulations to Victoria Taiwo Ogunṣeitan for getting Gold in Ladies Senior Kumite and Bronze in Ladies Senior Kata, Alexandra Petrea for getting Silver in Ladies Senior Kata and Josh Croft for getting bronze in the Men Senior Kata! Congratulations to Lottie Lindsley and Vanessa Gail Macintyre as well! Everyone did really well today and you've all done your absolute best! Thanks to everyone that came to support today as well and especially to Matt for driving us there and supporting us, as well as Tracey Standring! We really appreciate it!

February 2014
Congratulations to Cristina Finta and Todd Davies for making it onto the KUGB England Kata Squad!

November 2013
KUGB Student Nationals
Gold for both men's (Andrei and Sam Humphrey) and women's ( Charlotte Rowley, Victoria Taiwo Ogunṣeitan, Kiki Hewitt with Vanessa Macintyre as reserve) team kumite.
Cristina Finta - gold and Kiki - bronze - in women's Dan grade kata.
Charlie and Kiki both got bronze in women's Dan grade kumite.
Alexandra Petrea (gold), Victoria (silver), and Vanessa (bronze) in women's kyu grade kata.
Victoria got bronze in women's kyu grade kumite.
Andrei got gold in men's Dan grade kumite and bronze in kata.
Which means everybody got at least one gold medal each!

October 2013
KUGB Northern Regional Championships
Congratulations to Josh Croft for his silver medal in kyu grade kata, and Alexandra Petrea for gold!
Gold medal for Cristina Finta in the Ladies dan grade kata!
AND silver for Cristina Finta for Ladies Kumite! Jt. 3rd for Victoria Ogunseitan!
Jt. 3rd for Matt Hulme for men's senior Kumite!
Jt Third for men's team Kumite! Second place for Ladies team Kumite. Well done to everyone that competed at the KUGB (Karate Union of Great Britain) Northern Regionals, you all did sensei and the club proud!

October 2013
Well done Michael Pearce and Mo Shahidinejad on passing your 3rd Dans today!

September 2013
England got silver in the women's team kumite - Cristina Finta demolished her opponent in the finals!

September 2013
Congratulations to Ian Ingram for passing his Nidan and for Erica 'Kiki' Pericas-Hewitt for passing her Shodan!

August 2013
Congratulations to next years committee captain Cristina Finta on 1st place for Ladies Kata and 2nd place for Ladies Kumite at the KUGB Grandslam!

April 2013
KUGB Kyu Grade Championships 2013
Kyu Grade Championships - 21st April in Prestatyn

Congratulations to victoria Ogunseitan for winning ladies kumite, and Josh Croft for second place in mens ippon kumite! Some great performances from everyone else from the university club and the academy club too!

May 2013
KUGB National Karate Championships 2013

KUGB National Championships - 4th May at Birmingham NIA
Some more great results at the KUGB National Karate Championships! Medals in Senior female kata for Cristina Finta and Rosie Lau (Second, and fourth place respecively). Cristina also placed Jt. 3rd in the Senior female kumite. The ladies kumite team also did really well getting second place, comprising of Cristina Finta, Erica Pericas-Hewitt, Nicole Halsall and Victoria Ogunseitan.

December 2012
Club Grading

The club held the first grading of the academic year on Friday 14th December. Well done to everyone that graded, and those that stayed for the second session! Training will start back Tuesday 29th January 2013

17th November 2012
KUGB National Student Championships

The team minibus set off for Chesterfield early Saturday morning to give plenty of time to get changed and warm up for the KUGB national Student Championships. The continuously dedicated training and preparation for the event paid off, seeing the team come home with an incredible haul of medals, many of those being gold!
In no particular order -
Andrew Shannon - Gold Kata, performing dan grade kata Sochin
Cristina Finta - Gold Ladies Black Belt Kata, Gold Ladies Black Belt Kumite (in an All Manchester Final), Gold Ladies Team Kumite
Erica 'Kiki' Perica Hewitt - Silver Female Kyu grade Kumite, Gold Ladies Team Kumite
Nicole Halsall - Silver Ladies Black Belt Kumite (in an All Manchester Final), Gold Ladies Team Kumite, 4th Black Belt Ladies Kata
Sam Humphrey - Jt. Bronze Mens Team Kumite (Team A)
Mike Pearce - Jt. Bronze Mens Team Kumite (Team A)
Ian Ingram - Jt. Bronze Mens Team Kumite (Tean A)
Josh Croft - Jt. Bronze Mens Team Kumite (Team B)
Alex Smith - Jt. Bronze Mens Team Kumite (Team B)
Derric Yeoh - Jt. Bronze Mens Team Kumite (Team B)
Congratulations of the great performance from Maxim Fedotov, his first competition and the only white belt competitor on the day(?).

It was a really impressive effort from everyone, especially since it was a first time for quite a few people. It was good to see everyone putting it so much effort! Next stop - BUCS!

October 2012
Northern Regionals

Northern Regional Championships - 27th October at Sunderland

Late Friday afternoon saw members of both University of Manchester Karate and Shotokan Karate Academy start their long journey to Sunderland, in prepration for the KUGB Northern Regional Championships.
There were strikes aplenty as the team spent the Friday evening displaying some great team bonding during a spot of bowling before staying the night at a hotel nearby the competition arena.
Saturday morning was a chilly one but the competitors were soon geared up and ready to go.

Results for the Academy and Manchester University are as follows:
Female dan grades individual kata gold - Cristina Finta
Adult team kata gold - Cristina Finta, Sayuri Yamada and Emma Wilding
Ladies Team Kumite bronze - Cristina Finta, Emma Wilding, Kiki Pericas Hewitt and Sayuri Yamada
Mens 18 - 20yrs kumite bronze - Mike Pearce and Sam Humphrey
Mens Kyu grades kumite silver - Kevin Ma
Mixed Adult Kyu grades kata bronze - Kiki Pericas Hewitt
Childrens Team Kata bronze - Elliott Thornton, Jonah Lee and Joe Armstrong
Childrens brown belt kata bronze - Jonah Lee
Boys Under 5ft Kumite bronze - Elliott Thornton
Childrens brown belt kata - Jonah Lee.

Everyone did fantastic! Well done to all our other competitors - you showed good spirit, especially our newbies!

March 2012
WINNERS!! BUCS 2012 - Amended results

After setting off very early on Saturday morning, Manchester University's ladies Team Kata (Melissa Finlay, Cristina Finta and Alexandra Simon) was up first to defend their title as 2010-2011 champions. Cruising through the eliminations (not a single judge flagged against them), they dominated Nottingham in the final with an impressive Nijushiho and a very realistic bunkai- winning gold and keeping their title. Cristina also won bronze in Senior Ladies Kata, losing only to this year’s champion. Team Kumite was up next; our Ladies team (Alex, Mel, Cristina and Nicole Halsall) fought extremely well and claimed the bronze medal. Our Men’s team (Brian Kanyanga, Joe Hart, Kyriakos Solomou, Bogdan Avram, Ian Ingram, Michael Pearce and Prawira Saldin) went through to the final, losing to Heriot Watt after some fierce fighting, claiming silver.
Sunday was dedicated to Individual Kumite; Manchester collected three bronze medals (Alex in Senior Ladies U68kg, Brian in Senior Men U75kg and Kyriakos in Senior Men U84kg). Unfortunately due to head injuries, Sam Humphrey and Mike were unable to carry on fighting. Mel and Camille Sandaldjian went head to head in the second round, with Mel going on to win the semi-final by scoring three ippons (for jodan mawashis) and losing in the final to the EKF European Cadet Champion Alice Goudie.
13 competitors, 19 medals and OVERALL WINNERS, beating last years winners Edinburgh in the medals table, BUCS 2011-2012 has been another huge success for the club. Let us not forget Sensei Garry and coach Tom Thatcher who came along for this week-end and thank them for their fantastic support and advice.
We will be back for next year, for more medals and fun. Until then, huge congratulations to all who went, you have done your club, your University and your Sensei proud!

Report provided by Camille

April 2012
BUCS Champs

n 19th and 20th March, the club sent eleven competitors to the BUCS Championships held in Sheffield. On Saturday our Team Kata (Melissa Finlay, Cristina Finta and Alexandra Simon) did incredibly well by winning the Gold against Edinburgh, claiming the title held by Brunel for two consecutive years. Cristina obtained the Bronze in Women's Senior Kata, whilst Camille Sandaldjian got the Gold the Women's Intermediate Kata. Both the Men's Team (Daniel Walters, Brian Kanyanga, Joe Hart, Kyriakos Solomou, Prawira Saldin and Michael Pearce) and Women's Team (Alexandra, Melissa, Cristina and Camille) claimed the Bronze medal in Team Kumite after some fierce fighting, both losing to the gold medalists.
The results for individual fighting events held on Sunday lived up to this successful start, bringing five more titles to the University. Brian (Men's Senior U75kg), Cristina (Women's Senior U55kg) and Camille (Women's Senior U61kg) claimed the Bronze. Erica "Kiki" Pericas-Hewitt displayed some impressive fighting skills in the Women's Novice U57kg despite this being her very first competition, won the Silver medal. Alexandra brought back the Gold medal of the day by winning in the Women's Senior U68kg after a rather bloody, extremely well fought final. You go girl! The icing on the cake comes from our second place at the overall team ranking which is usually dominated by Bath, Brunel and Edinburgh. This achievement is even more impressive considering Edinburgh beat us by one gold medal only, with a team twice as big as ours. Let us not forget the amazing support and coaching provided by our Sensei Garry Harford and our squad mates Tom Thatcher and Emma Wilding, without who none of this would have been possible.
Eleven competitors, ten titles, a total of nineteen medals, 89 BUCS points awarded to the University, the Manchester University Karate Club has never done better at BUCS before. Well done to all our competitors for this incredible week-end; you have done your University, your Club and your Sensei proud.

May 2011
May News '11

The Athletics Union Awards Dinner was held on the 06/05 at the Palace Hotel; this dinner rewards clubs and athletes for their performance throughout the academic year.
After the success of the team at BUCS, the KUGB Student Nationals and the KUGB Kyu Grades, our karatekas have been rewarded for all their hard work. Mel Finlay, Alex Simon, Cristina Finta, Kiki Pericas-Hewitt, Camille Sandaldjian, Brian Kanyanga, Dan Walters, Prawira Saldin, Kyriakos Solomou and Joe Hart were all awarded the Full-Performance Colours for their outstanding performance at BUCS. Camille also won a Double-Stripe award for her work as club captain.
The club also won three special awards out of the four it was short-listed in: our sensei won the "Coach of the Year" award for the second time in his career, recognising his fantastic work and level of commitment. Cristina came back with the "Sportswoman of the Year" award for her impressive success in this year's competitions. And finally the club won the "Most Improved Club of the Year" award, in particular for its success at BUCS (13 points in 2009/2010 vs. 89 points in 2010/2011).
Congratulations to all the awardees, you have made the University and your club proud!

May 2010
May News '10

We have had an incredibly busy May month this year! In short, a great success at the KUGB Nationals and a couple of prizes at the AU Awards dinner.
On 15th May the 44th KUGB Nationals were held in Birmingham; the club sent a team with strong hopes for medals. The final results are rather impressive for a team of 8! Both our men (Dean Field, Stuart Gordon, Jakub Kristl) and women's team (Vicky Philips, Gemma Robinson, Camille Sandaldjian and Rosie Lau) won bronze after hard fought semi-finals. In the Female Senior Kumite, Vicky s came 3rd; Deanwon the silver in the Male Senior Kumite. In the Male Kata, Dean came 4th and Vicky did very well by winning the silver medal in the Female Kata. And last but not least, the kata's team composed of Vicky, Dean and Stuart won gold for the second year in a row. Congratulations to everyone, you have done us really proud!
On 14th May, a small delegation went to the AU Awards dinner held at the Palace Hotel; Laura Hitchen, Kyriakos Solomou and Jakub Kristl were running up for the Full Performance Colour award for outstanding performance throughout the year, whilst Martin Jackson and Camille Sandaldjian were running up for the Single Stripe award for their work as committee members. Our sensei Garry Harford was one of the three short listed for the Coach of the Year award. All five students won their awards, but sadly the Coach of the Year title was not awarded to Garry. We will be back next year for more!

March 2009

On 14th and 15th March, the club sent a small team to compete in the BUCS Championships.
On Saturday the women's team, consisting of Rachel Anthony, Camille Sandaldjian and Laura Hitchen, did incredibly well to win silver in the team kumite, defeating Liverpool, Edinburgh, Swansea and Cambridge along the way. They narrowly missed out on the gold in a hard-fought final against the University of London.
Their achievement is even more impressive when you consider that the Manchester team had two novice grades (4th kyu and below), and they were competing against teams that were mostly black belts.
On Sunday the girls continued their success in the individual kumite. Camille won gold in the novice category, despite this being her very first competition and suffering through an injury. Laura won silver in the seniors (3rd kyu and above) and was very unlucky not to take the gold.
Congratulations to our medalists, you have done the club proud!

December 2008
Club Grading

The club held its first grading of the academic year on Friday 12th December. It was a great success with all students passing.

Contact your committee

Josh Todd Matt John Lottie Rhys

If you have any questions check our website, find our facebook page or group, or send us an email to

Sensei Garry Harford also teaches at Shotokan Karate Academy. All students are warmly welcomed to train at both clubs, all members of the University club are automatically members at the Academy club, and vice versa.