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Welcome to Leeds University Union Karate Club!

Come train with the Leeds University Club Coach of the Year and Most Improved Athlete 2015/16!!




Whether you are new to Leeds this year, or just fancy trying something new, come down and have a chat with us at Freshers' Fair or attend one of our free GIAG sessions.

What is karate?

Karate is a Japanese martial art, originating from the Japanese island of Okinawa. “Karate” literally means “empty hand”. An unarmed combat art using the hands and feet to deliver and block blows, karate is widely practiced as a sport. Strikes include: punching, kicking, knee and elbow strikes, and open-handed techniques, also grappling, locks, restraints and throws. Training consists of kihon (basic techniques), kata (forms) and kumite (sparring).

Our head coach is a 4th Dan Wado-Ryu practitioner, with over 20 years experience in martial arts, a current national squad member and recipient of Leeds University's Club Coach of the Year 2015/16.

How do I know if Karate is for me?

Our sessions are fun and friendly and suitable for all abilities.  Whether you've never done karate before, or you are a committed karate-ka, everybody is welcome and anybody new to the club can take advantage of our 3 LESSON FREE TRIAL!

When are sessions?

During term time:

Thursday's at Cromer Terrace, 8:00 - 10:00 pm.

Sunday's in Studio 2, The Edge 7.00 - 9.00 pm.

We also regularly train outside of term time, please get in touch for more information.

What should I wear?

Beginners should wear loose fitting clothing and we will provide protective equipment. If you decided to join the club officially, members should purchase a karate uniform called a “gi” and their own protective equipment, these can all be bought through the club.

How much will it cost?

For new members, membership is £18 for the year or £26 with a gi (uniform). For returning members, membership is £15 for the year.  This covers your licence fee, membership and insurance for 12 months.

There are different ways to pay for training, depending on how often you want to train.

These are:

  • £56 for 2 sessions per week over 2 semesters

  • £37 for 1 session per week over 2 semesters

  • £37 for 2 sessions per week over 1 semester

  • £26 for 1 session per week over 1 semester

  • £3 per session for members, £5 per session for non-members

Are there regular gradings?

We hold gradings roughly every 3 months so that everybody can progress and make progress towards black belt!  Gradings aren't compulsory, as everybody is encouraged to progress at their own pace. For beginners on a 4-year course, it is possible to start from the lowest belt (white) and progress all the way to black belt before you graduate!

Are there competitions?

We attend various competitions across the country throughout the course of the year.  These consist of both kata (forms) and kumite (sparring), although attending competitions isn't compulsory.

Some of our members have been selected for international competitions in both kumite and kata.

Fixtures, Results and Awards


WUKF 8th European Championships

Male Wado Ryu Kata 3rd Place Oliver Thornton

BSKI Oldham Open

Male Advanced Kumite 2nd Place Oliver Thornton


Leeds University Sports Colours Awards

Through the high achievements and hard work of the club this year, we received 6 awards at this years sports colours awards, celebrating the achievements of our members. Awards were given for a BUCS Championship Title, International Selection and Representation to a squad alongside representing the University, hard work and dedication as a coach and for these high acheivements though never participating in the sport before University. The awards of Club Coach and Most Improved Athlete were only given to one person in the entire university, and for us to receive two seperate awards in the club is a high honour and shows the hard work our members have put in not only to our sport but to our club.

Full Colours: Amber Brennan, Lara Fasoli

Gryphon Award: Oliver Thornton, Amber Brennan

Club Coach of the Year: Oliver Thornton

Most Improved Athlete: Amber Brennan


SKA British Open Kata Championships:

Senior Wado Kata 1st Place Oliver Thornton

Intermediate Female Shukokai Kata 1st Place Amber Brennan

Intermediate Male Shukokai Kata 1st Place Dario Fernandez-Ainaga

Senior Female Shotokan Kata 2nd Place Lara Fasoli

Senior Male Shito Ryu Kata 3rd Place Finn Catterall

Intermediate Female Open Kata 3rd Place Amber Brennan

Intermediate Male Open Kata 3rd Place Dario Fernandez-Ainaga

AMA International Open:

Senior Wado Kata 3rd Place Oliver Thornton

BUCS Nationals:

Intermediate Female Kata 1st Place Amber Brennan

ITKA Liverpool Open:

Male Novice Kata 2nd Place Dario Fernandez-Ainaga

Female Advanced Kumite 3rd Place Amber Brennan

Female Advanced Kumite 3rd Place Lara Fasoli

UWK England National Open:

Female Novice Kata 3rd Place Kayleigh Smyth

Male Novice Kata 3rd Place Jakub Poroslo, 1st Place Dario Fernandez-Ainaga

Male Under 65kg Kumite 2nd Place Jamie Hinson

BSKI Oldham Open:

Female Open Kumite 3rd Place Amber Brennan

Male Advanced Kumite 1st Place Oliver Thornton


BUCS Nationals:

Senior Male Kata 2nd Place Daniel Carter

Novice Female Kata 3rd Place Kayleigh Smyth

Chrstie Cup:

This year at the Christie University Championship between Leeds,Manchester and Liverpool for Karate, out of 9 events Leeds took 1st in 7 categories. The results are below.

Female Novice Kata 3rd Place Kayleigh Smyth, 2nd Place Amber Brennan

Male Novice Kata 3rd Place Dario Fernandez Ainaga

Female Senior Kata 1st Place Lisa Marfell

Male Senior Kata 1st Place Daniel Carter

Female Novice Kumite 1st Place Amber Brennan

Male Novice Kumite 2nd Place Dario Fernandez Ainaga1st Place Zachary Gradwell

Female Senior Kumite 1st Place Lisa Marfell

Male Senior Kumite 3rd Place  Stephen Green, 2nd Place George Edwards1st Place Daniel Carter

Female Team Kumite 1st Place Kayleigh Smyth, Lisa Marfell, Amber Brennan

Leeds University Union Sports Colours Awards

Due to various achievements of the club throughout the year, a number of members received recognition through the unions' annual Sports Colours Awards

Club Colours: Amber Brennan

Full Colours: Dan Carter, Finn Catterall

Gryphon Award: Finn Catterall



Senior Team Kata 3rd Place Courtney Pedder, Munehira Sakaiya and Lisa Marfell

Senior Individual Men's -67kg 1st place Carlos len Valbuena


This year we hope to have many more successful gradings and tournaments and hope the club continues to grow in size and in strength!

The Leeds Union Karate Committee consists of  President - Oliver Thornton, Secretary - Nila Johnson, Treasurer - Jakub Poroslo and Publicity and Social Secretary - Lee Winning.

For regular updates of upcoming events: and

For more information contact:

We look forward to meeting you,
Oliver, Jakub, Nila and Lee.


Useful documents

  • Social Guidelines

    Should you be running a social, check out the guidelines for events you run.

Our training sessions are held: Term Time: Thursday - Cromer Terrace 8:00 - 10:00 p.m. Sunday - Studio 2, The Edge 7:00 - 9:00 p.m.


Publicity Officer + Social Secretary




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