Manchester University Shotokan Karate Club

Don't forget to fill in our Membership form!

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.


Don't forget to fill in our Membership form!

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!

Training will start Tuesday 26th September 2017, and run through term time.

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 £28 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 £4 a session for members and £6.50 for non-members.

Special deals
To save money, you can pay just £30 for the whole month, saving money and maybe giving you the motivation to make to as many sessions as you can! We also offer a license bundle which includes your Athletics Union License (compulsory for anyone in an AU Sports Team), and KUGB License - £55 for the year.

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 8th 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


Social Media

Contact your committee

David - Chair
Theo - Captain
Agus - Treasurer
Anisia - Equiptment Sec.
James - Social Sec.
Coline - Communications Sec.

If you have any questions check our website, find our facebok 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.