Shotokan Karate Academy

History of the Club

History of the Shotokan Karate Academy

Sensei Garry Harford 8th Dan opened his first club in 1982 in Poynton, Cheshire. At this time, Garry was a prominent member of the KUGB International Squad, competing regularly both at home and abroad for England and Great Britain.  Alongside his own training commitments and the running of the Poynton club, Garry was also senior instructor at Manchester University and UMIST SKC.

In 1987 the Poynton club won the KUGB Team Kumite title at Crystal Palace.  It was at this point that Garry felt that the Poynton club was now firmly established, allowing him to fulfill his desire to set up a new club in his home town of Salford, Manchester. The club, formerly known as the Salford Academy SKC, was originally based at the English Olympic Wrestling Centre in Salford.  A successful handover period to Poynton's other instructors ensued with Garry attending to teach on a less frequent basis.  This allowed him to concentrate on building up his new club and widen the opportunity for others to train in shotokan karate, as well as continuing to represent his country on the international stage.

Since then, Garry has successfully taught karate to a significant number of karateka at the Academy, supporting them through their kyu grades and to black belts and onwards.  Garry has also produced a number of KUGB England squad members.

The Academy moved in 2010 to a venue in central Manchester with improved access and facilities and regularly has a large number of black belts training, with karateka from other North-West clubs travelling to the club to benefit from Garry's renowned dynamic and highly motivational training sessions.  Not for the faint-hearted!!

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