Shihan Simon Keegan (5th Dan Renshi)
Simon Keegan comes from a long family tradition of martial arts and combat and he began his studies at an early age beginning training with his father then later in formal study.
He specialises in traditional Karate and has formally studied the Shotokan/Budokan style for more than 20 years, grading on the mat up to 5th Dan in 2012. He also holds 5th Dan in Jujutsu and Dan grades in Judo and Tai Chi. He is keen to teach Karate’s original combative form (Toshu Jutsu) rather than its sporting variants.
However Simon has trained in many styles of martial arts, including excelling in competition. By the age of 16 he was competing in national Karate and kickboxing competitions and also began studying Tai Chi and Chinese martial arts aged 19. He has won trophies in everything from Iaido to archery.
Studying both Okinawan and Japanese Karate as well as Jujutsu, he gained several Dan grades and was accepted into Japan’s oldest martial arts fraternity.
There he not only trained with some of the senior Japanese masters in the world, his grades were also endorsed by the hereditary Shogun and recognised by members of the Japanese Royal Family. In Japan’s Kokusai Budoin he was awarded 3rd Dan Karatedo and 2nd Dan Nihon Jujutsu. As a 4th Dan he became a founder member of the English Karate Federation and was awarded the classical teaching title of Renshi – awarded to very few (such as Gichin Funakoshi) by organisations such as Dai Nippon Butokukai.
Grading on the mat under the headteacher of Shobukan Karate in 2012 he was awarded 5th Dan. He has taught seminars all over the country, appeared on the cover of Martial Arts Illustrated, Traditional Karate and Martial Arts Guardian and appeared in national newspapers, TV and radio.
Simon performed a unique celebration of Shotokan Karate kata in 2016 (the 60th anniversary of the art’s introduction to the UK) with the London Symphony Orchestra.
- 5th Dan Shobukan Karate (awarded 2012)
- 5th Dan Jujutsu (awarded 2017)
- 3rd Dan Nisseikai Karatedo
- 3rd Dan Judo (honourary)
- 2nd Dan Nihon Jujutsu
- 2nd Duan Yang style Tai Chi
After initial training with his father, Simon joined the Bushido Academy as a teenager. He became the senior indoor student (Uchideshi) to Shihan Stephen Bullough, training with him at home as well as the Dojo. He was given his teacher’s belt and gloves and opened his own branch of the school which became Bushinkai.
Also studying Shotokan/Budokan Karate he graded from 2nd Dan to 4th Dan under Sensei Robert Carruthers and 5th Dan under his teacher Shihan Phil Handyside. He has trained with some of the leading masters in the world including grandmasters Sato, Nobetsu, Kondo and Li.