Billy Brennan - 9th Dan

Billy is an international martial arts sportsman holding Black Belts in both Karate and Jujitsu. Billy is a former England and Great Britain International representing his country in Kata, Kumite in team and individual events. Billy has won many Karate titles including English and British Championships and was a finalist in the European Karate Championships.

Billy has been instrumental in developing Karate in the East of England and has been coach to a number of British, European, Commonwealth and World medallists. As a qualified European and World Karate Federation Referee in both Kata and Kumite Billy has officiated at many World, Commonwealth and European championships since 1994.

Billy holds key positions on many  Karate organisations and governing bodies including;

  • President of the Commonwealth Karate Federation
  • Former President of the English Karate Governing Body
  • Member of the British Karate Federation Executive Committe
  • Vice President of the EKKA Karate Association
  • Chief Instructor of the Arena Karate Academy

Billy is highly regarded as an ambassador for Karate. During 2005 he was a commentator for Sky Sports during the Commonwealth Karate Championships in New Zealand. Billy was awarded Karate Grand Master 8th Dan in August 2008.

Billy is Head of Cultural Services for Ipswich Borough Council.

Billy teaches classes for all grades and ages each week as follows:

  • Christchurch Needham Market - Wednesdays 19:30 - 20:30
  • Needham Market Community Centre - Saturdays 10:00 - 11:00

Beginners welcome

Questions and Answers

How long have you been training?

41 years

When did you get your black belt?

When I was 21 years old

Who was your first instructor?

Mick Blackwell

Why did you start training?

I saw a friend of mine practicing karate and wondered what on earth he was doing! In those days very few people studied karate.

Who inspires you?

I get inspiration from all sorts of people, particularly those that have achieved something extraordinary.

What drives you to keep training?

I am always looking for new challenges and i am never satisfied with what i have achieved to date.

What other sports do you do/have you done?

I enjoy different sports mostly for fun and from taking part in a variety of sports you can gain transferable skills that can compliment martial arts.

I go to the gym most day’s doing weight training and cardio exercise. I have played football every week for the past 15 years and been skiing for over 25 years. I can swim and even had a go at golf but I’m rubbish at that!

Who do you know that is still training from when you started?

Mick Blackwell, Ticky Donovan, Peter Spanton and very few others.

What advice would you give to someone who wishes to start karate now?

To be patient. Mastering karate is about undertaking a journey not entering a race!

What age did you start karate?

15 years old

What are your future goals & hopes?

Basically my main goal is to keep breathing for as long as I can!

How often do you train?

I train every day of course...doesn't everyone!

What challenges have you overcome?

Too many to remember...but then i am getting on a bit!

What is your favourite kick?

Seeing someone reach black belt now that really gives me a kick. Oh, and spinning heel kick i guess.

What is your favourite hyung / kata?

Korean karate: Chug mu
japanees karate: Unsu

What is your favourite fighting move or technique?

Sweeps and takedowns

What is your top tip for others?

Never be satisfied with your standard, never stop learning and never give up.

What is the best piece of advice you have recieved?

It’s never too late to learn!