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 them for many years, he set up Senshi Karate as a KUGB-affiliated club to help fulfill 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 affiliated to the KUGB and run as a not-for-profit club, meaning the motivation is the karate, not the money. Senshi Karate hosts guest instructors several times a year to give students an idea of what others teach — and also so Sensei Frank can train alongside his students! All gradings are conducted by KUGB 8th Dan technical committee members independently of the club to ensure quality is maintained. In 2019, the gradings are under Sensei Bob Rhodes in May and Sensei Frank Brennan 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…
The instructor & family
Senshi Karate is run by Sensei Frank Jennings. He has been training since 1996 and graded to 3rd Dan black belt in 2018. Frank’s two daughters also train, one of whom is 1st Dan black belt, with the other looking to take her black belt grading in the next year or so. Frank still trains regularly with Sensei Craig Raye 5th Dan at Marshall Street in central London and also attends the KUGB-run black belt courses. In his time Frank has entered some competitions (and has even won some medals).
Senshi Karate is 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.