WHO ARE DUNMOW KARATE?
KARATE’S GYPSY CLUB
Dunmow Kyokushinkai Karate Club was founded in September 1985 by Shihan Andrew and eight students that he trained with at Bishop’s Stortford Kyokushinkai Karate Club. At that time he was a Senpai (1st Dan) and he had decided to open his own Dojo (training Hall) after five years at Bishop Stortford. On the first night he had over 60 beginners and over the years the numbers at the club have never gone under that amount. Today we have approximately 80 members ranging from 7 years old up to 50 year olds.
As a club we have always competed in many tournaments, In Gt Britain and abroad, over the 25 years and have had great results. We have had British Champions, European champions, Russian, French, American, Belgium, Dutch and Swiss Champions. Like Shihan Andrew many students have also represented England and Gt Britain. Dunmow Kyokushinkai Karate club has become one of the top Dojo’s in the country and to this day is still very successful.
We are proud of the achievements of the student from the Dunmow Dojo. There is a lot of dedication from all students that compete. As they train 5-6 times a week to reach the very high standards you need to fight in Gt Britain and across the World. All of them have jobs or go to school, University or College so they fit in their training around their busy lives. To win a tournament is a great achievement under these conditions as it shows great commitment and spirit from the students.
The club has trained in various halls around Dunmow and at one time we were known as the Gypsy Club. We have never been able to get a training hall (Dojo) to train in permanently. If we had we might have achieved so much
more. We do have two settled places we train at now but we are still looking for a permanent place, we will never stop looking.
Since our inception we have supported the community with performing demonstrations at local school fetes, taking part in the Dunmow Carnival, the Flitch Trails and holding self defense classes for ladies. After so many years we feel that we are part of the community and offer top quality tuition in Karate and some great opportunities to both children and adults to meet new friends, get fit and learn a very traditional martial art.
In 1992 Shihan Andrew was awarded Community Award for his commitment to teaching Karate to Children and Adults. Sean Dillon who has been with the club since it opened in 1985 was also awarded the top sportsman 1994 as he won the British and Russian Championships in 1993. And Joanne Bonnar won Essex young sports personality for her success infighting abroad winning the Belgium and Dutch championships as a cadet. In 2014 Shihan Andrew was ho was nominated for the BBC Sports Personality Unsung Hero Award.
We have also raised thousands of pounds for numerous charities, Brittle Bone, Cancer Research, Huntington Decease, Alzheimer’s Society, Burns children Club are to mentions a few. We have run from Clacton to Dunmow, Trained for 24 hours none stop and done 5000 techniques in two hours to raise the cash. The fund raising events also help’s buy equipment for the dojo. As a non profit making club money is always a big issue. When students compete in a British Championship the club pays their entrance fee. This can be quite costly as normally we have over 20 competitors fighting for the club. We now hold an annual charity fund raising event in memory of two of our members who have sadly passed away at young ages – The Greg Hitchings Memorial Event commemorates our friends and raises funds for local charities.
Students pay the bare minimum fee to train which covers the cost of hall hiring, advertising etc. All the instructors teach for free and some travel for 45 miles to teach.
In 2015 we celebrated our 30th Anniversary and held a day of Karate at the Foakes Hall in Gt Dunmow. Students past and present came along to help us celebrate 30 years of success.
SHIHAN ANDREW TURNER
Shihan Andrew Turner is the Founder and Chief Instructor of Dunmow Kyokushinkai Karate Club in Essex.
He began his training in 1980 at Bishop Stortford Kyokushinkai under Senpai Dave Bedbrook. Senpai Dave encouraged all his student to fight in other styles events and Shihan Andrew gained a great deal of experience fighting in WUKO tournaments around the South East of England, fighting many other top styles such as Wado Ryu, Shotokan, IshinRyu, Renshinkai and many others.
In 1985 along with some other Bishop Stortford students he opened Dunmow Dojo and on the first night he had over 60 students. To this day that number has never gone below 60.
Shihan Andrew has been a very successful member and instructor of the British Karate Kyokushinkai, he has fought in all system of fighting, WUKO, Clicker, Knockdown and he won the British Kata Championships as a Green belt in 1982.
He has also represented England both in Clicker and Knockdown. He fought in many knockdown events from 1982-1990 his highest place being the quarter finals in 1984 which was a great achievement for him.
Although Shihan Andrew has never won major titles he has coached some of the top fighters in the BKK, from Dunmow Dojo, John and Stuart Izod, Sean Dillon, Gary Frost, Greg Hitchings, Miguel Fernandez and Lia Howlett, Emily Senior to mention a few.
He is at a BKK Executive member and has held the position of GB/England Junior and Cadet Coach. In his time in the role there was a great improvement with the younger members of the BKK.
Shihan Andrew Passed his 3rd Dan in 1992 and was award the very honoured position of 4th Dan in 2002 and 5th Dan in October 2008. He is very proud of these achievements.
Shihan Andrew is a dedicated member and instructor of the BKK, his love and passion for Kyokushin Karate can be seen by all that train with him.