Sensei Frank Jennings, 3rd Dan
Frank Jennings is founder and chief instructor at Senshi Karate. He has been training since 1996 and graded to 3rd Dan black belt in 2018 under Senseis Andy Sherry, Bob Poynton and Frank Brennan. Frank (Jennings) still trains regularly too and also attends the KUGB-run black belt courses. In his time Frank has entered some competitions (and has even won some medals).
Sensei Alex Illsley, 1st Dan
Alex Illsley began training at Barnsley SKC in 1992 and graded to 1st Dan black belt in 2006 under Senseis Andy Sherry and Frank Brennan. She also trained for some time at Tora (then based in Chingford), before joining Senshi Karate in 2017.
Senshi Karate was established in Greenwich, south east London in April 2016 by Sensei Frank Jennings. When he moved to the area he was surprised that there were no KUGB clubs locally so, having trained with this association for many years, he set up Senshi Karate as a KUGB-affiliated club to help fulfil his promise to his daughters to get them to black belt. In November 2016 he set up another branch in nearby Charlton.
It is a family-friendly club, with a range of ages from children to adults and a good balance of men/boys to women/girls. The club is run not-for-profit, meaning the motivation is the karate, not the money. Senshi Karate hosts guest instructors several times a year and all gradings are conducted by KUGB technical committee members independently of the club to ensure quality is maintained. In 2019, the gradings are under Sensei Bob Rhodes 8th Dan in May and Sensei Frank Brennan 8th Dan in November.
Senshi & Karate
Senshi or 戦士 means warrior or combatant. It comprises the kanji 戦 (sen) meaning “war” and 士 (shi) meaning “A person with a certification”. It was originally connected with Samurai or warrior, who had a licence to kill. In Japanese they use “侍” or “士” for Samurai.
Karate or 空手 means empty hand. It comprises the kanji 空 (kara) meaning “empty” and 手 (te) meaning “hand”. Karate is an unarmed martial art with its roots in Okinawa and, before that, in China. It trains you to defend yourself not just through skilful technique but also through awareness which will hopefully save you from getting into conflict in the first place.
So Senshi Karate means warrior unarmed combat…
Senshi Karate is proudly affiliated to the Karate Union of Great Britain, Britain’s largest shotokan karate organisation. It is headed up by Sensei Andy Sherry, 9th Dan, who has devoted his life to karate.