MARTIAL ARTS: Father and son black belts seal great year for Grantham karate club

Left to right  Andrew Murr, Matthew Murr, Geoff Dixon and Rob Edwards.
Left to right Andrew Murr, Matthew Murr, Geoff Dixon and Rob Edwards.
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2015 was another busy but phenomenally successful year for the instructors and members of Grantham Shotokan Karate Club.

Back in January, club chief instructor Geoff Dixon and assistant instructor travelled to Japan to take part in ‘Kangeiko’, or special winter training, to mark the official start of the karate ‘season’.

Shortly after returning from 10 days of extremely hard but very rewarding training at the JKS Honbu (headquarters) dojo in Tokyo, the club gained its first new black belt of the year when Sean Marsh passed his grading in February.

July saw Mark Fells and Andrew Murr hot on Sean’s heels, with both passing their black belt gradings.

In September, Geoff Dixon (5th Dan) was awarded the status of British Karate Federation (BKF) Kumite (sparring) referee and Kata (forms) judge – the highest karate referee qualification in Great Britain. Geoff is now working towards his first European Referee qualification which he hopes to attempt in Turkey next June.

The JKS England National Open Championships were held in Nottingham with more than 600 competitors taking part from across the UK, Ireland and Europe. Grantham sent a small squad of competitors that saw Nicolas Drabarek and Daniel Robertson gaining silver and bronze medals respectively.

However, the star of the show was, without doubt, club assistant instructor Neil Bukavs who netted two medals (bronze and silver) in Kata categories and silver in the prestigious Senior Male Kumite event.

December which started with club assistant instructor Rob Edwards being awarded EKF (English Karate Federation) Kata Judge B to go with the Kumite Judge A that he was awarded last year, followed by Matthew Murr (15) who literally followed in his father Andrew’s footsteps earlier in the year, gaining his black belt at a grading held in Nottingham last weekend.

Chief instructor Geoff Dixon said: “We’ve had a tremendous year. We are very proud of our four new blackbelts this year which brings our total to over 20 since the club was formed in 2002.”

The club trains on Tuesday and Friday evenings, Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon in Grantham’s only fully matted, permanent martial arts training centre on Springfield Road.

For more information, contact Geoff Dixon on 07546 203682 or visit