Sensei Andy Plumb, 5th Dan
1st Dan 1997 (SKF)
2nd Dan 2001 (BKA)
3rd Dan 2007 (SSU)
4th Dan 2012 (SSU)
5th Dan 2018 (SSU)
I started training over 30 years ago in Caernarfon in 1984 at the age of 9, having had my imagination captured by the various martial arts films out at the time, in particular, Bruce Lee films.
I trained religiously twice a week under Sensei Dave Roberts and the SKF which at the time was led by the late Kimura Sensei.
I quickly became hooked and within a few years I was training 5 times a week in Sensei Dave Roberts clubs which were in Caernarfon, Llanfair PG, Llandudno and Bangor, the latter became a club which my dad eventually took over.
By the age of 16 I had won the SKF junior Kumite National championships and had silver medal in the kata section. I had similar success in the SKF as an adult competitor.
I achieved my 1st Dan in the SKF in 1997.
In 2000 I set out to open my own club after the closure of the clubs I was training in within the SKF. The BKA gave me the means to do so and Shukokai Bethesda was born. The BKA had given me the opportunity to continue to train and teach but I was still searching for a Shukokai group to join as I now lacked leadership and tuition for my own progression.
Towards the end of 2001 I received a invitation from the SSU to a seminar with Yamada Sensei 9th Dan. The course had completely recaptured my love for karate, the authenticity of Japanese Instructors and the standard of the senior grades, the Shukokai linage and professionalism of the SSU made me quickly realise I wanted to be a part of it. After a meeting with Sensei Denis Casey I was welcomed in to folds of the SSU and Shito Ryu Shukokai Karate-do.
I have had my fair share of competition success with the SSU. In 2005 I traveled with the squad to France to compete in the world championships and achieved bronze medal in individual kumite event. Two years later in Greece in the world championships, I achieved bronze again in the men's kumite and fought in the men's team event in which we won gold medal. I have also trained and competed in Japan in 2009 , 2013 and 2016. It is a country I plan on continuously visiting to train and travel.
I still train with the squad. I think regardless of age, I'll always have that passion for the competition side of karate, it keeps you sharp and has been an important part of my training for so many years!!
Aside from my own successes in competition, it is with great pride that I now see some of my own students squad training, winning Welsh & British titles and competition successfully in international competitions.
SSKU World Cup France 2005
SSKU World Cup Greece 2007 SSKU World Championships, Amagasaki Japan 2009
SSU World Championships, Amagasaki Japan 2013