Frank Brennan

Frank Brennan, is a Shotokan karateka born on the 6th of May 1960 in the City of Liverpool. He was a British karate champion in the 1970s and ’80s, winning a wide variety of titles both as an individual and as part of the KUGB team. He remains a well known and well respected KUGB instructor and coach.

Always sport-oriented, Brennan took up gymnastics while at school. At the age of twelve he tried to join the Red Triangle Karate Club, but he was told to go and join the judo club for a year because he was too young. He started to train at the club in 1973 under the tuition of Andy Sherry and KUGB chief instructor Keinosuke Enoeda.

His competition career began in 1974 when he competed in the KUGB Northern Regional Championships as a 4th kyu, entering and winning the junior kata event. His introduction to kumite was even more dramatic; in 1975, while fighting for the Red Triangle team, Bob Poynton broke his leg in one of the matches. The team had no reserves, so the young Brennan, now a brown belt who had only entered the kata event, was suddenly in the final of the team kumite event against Leeds. He fought one of Leeds’ most experienced fighters, Andy Harris, and decisively beat him with a fast mawashi geri combination to achieve a Red Triangle win.

His first international appearance was with the KUGB squad in the European Championships in Sweden in 1978, where he came 2nd in the senior kata event. In Belgium the following year he won the Grand Championship of Europe, taking both kumite and kata events, later repeating this feat on three occasions.

As a fighter he is equally at home using hands or feet, often surprising opponents with dynamic combinations of the more unusual hand or foot techniques. He has been described as the most technically gifted karateka of his generation, combining an exciting fighting style with a calm demeanor.As a senior member of the KUGB International Squad a highlight of his career was leading his team to victory in the 1990 World Shotokan Championships in Sunderland. He is held in great respect internationally – in an interview at the World Championships, the Japanese team coach, ex-world Champion Masahiko Tanaka said that the one man that the whole Japanese Team were specifically trained to beat was Frank Brennan.