To display this page you need a browser with JavaScript support. Dave Kershaw 8th Dan. Leading Karate Instructor in Grimsby

Chief Instructor: Konjaku Shin National School of Karate
Lower Spring Street, Grimsby,
Lincolnshire, England.

Dave Kershaw 7th Dan
Sensei Dave Kershaw 7th Dan

Dave Kershaw was born in Grimsby in the county of Lincolnshire, England. The son of a successful trawler skipper - Grimsby being at that time the world's busiest port - he attended Nunsthorpe Primary School, then went on first to St James, then St Mary's High Schools, both in Grimsby.
Though enjoying the various sports at school, he had no great ambitions in that area. Music was becoming of more interest.

Having an older brother who was particularly gifted at playing the guitar, and who was a member of a successful local band, Dave soon began to develop the same interest.
At fourteen he started studying the guitar - with tips from his brother, and became heavily involved in music, inspired particularly by The Beatles.
This led to spells in several local bands, after which he moved into composing, and recording demo's.

In addition to The Beatles -both as a band and subsequently solo artists, other influential bands and musicians over the years have been Yes, Bread, David Gates, Elton John, Home, Brian Wilson, The Beach Boys, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, The Eagles and Don Henley.

Elton John's long time guitarist Davey Johnstone is one of Dave's favourite: "I don't believe Elton's songs would never have been the same without his contributions. He has an incredible talent for coming up with just the right riff. Listen to many Elton songs; Candle in the Wind, Sacrifice, Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me etc. and his riffs, often very subtle, make them."
Along with drummer Nigel Olsson, Davey has been with Elton right from the start, with a couple of breaks, and has played on all the classic Elton albums: "I think Elton John has always had one of the best backing band in the business. Their sound, not least their backing vocals, is so distinctive. I think Elton was very fortunate to cross paths with them, but then I think Luck is his middle name. Look how he met Bernie Taupin!"

"Anyone who wants a classic rock album should seek out "Warpipes", also released as "Holes in the Heavens". Warpipes was Davey Johnstone's own band in 1998, and every song on the album is terrific!"

Dave's musical tastes cover the full spectrum from classical to rock, but he has always had a leaning to ballads. Some of his favourites being: John Lennon's' "Imagine" and "In my Life"; The Beatles' "Hey Jude" and "Strawberry Fields"; George Harrison's "Something", "Isn't it a pity" and "All things must pass"; David Gates' "Everything I Own" and "Sweet Surrender"; The Eagles' "Last Resort" and "Take It To The Limit"; Elton John's "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" and "Sacrifice"; The Beach Boys' "In My Room" and "Do It Again"; The Bee Gees "Nights on Broadway" and "How Can You Mend A Broken Heart", The Carpenters' "Goodbye To Love" and many, many more.
Some of his favourite guitar work being in The Carpenters' "Goodbye To Love",  Elton John's "Funeral for a Friend, and The Eagles' "Hotel California".

John Barry - composer of most Bond Movie scores, along with countless movies such as Out Of Africa, Dances With Wolves, Midnight Cowboy, Born Free and Somewhere In Time, is also a great favourite.

To be able to create such great music and lyrics is something Dave envies: "all these people have an incredible gift. They create such beautiful music and find the perfect words. Anyone who has tried to compose music and lyrics will  know the frustration, yet these people seem to do it so naturally, time and time again". He considers John Lennon, Brian Wilson and Elton John musical geniuses; and George Harrison as one of most underrated songwriters and guitarists:
"anyone with any doubts should listen to All Things Must Pass; a masterpiece of incredibly deep and moving songs, most written while he was still with The Beatles, but unreleased due to his being overshadowed by Lennon & McCartney. It was, in fact, the first triple album ever released".

Dave has quite an extensive catalogue of his own compositions, some dating back to the early seventies. Some are on cassettes, but most are still on the original reel to reel master tapes.

Many hours were spent writing and then recording demo's of the songs both in local recoding studios or on his own recording equipment at home. Most times he played all the instruments himself, but sometimes enlisted the help of fellow musicians with the backings. He was once asked to write songs for a local professional singer: "I took my guitar to a local park and wrote a song called "written just for you"; went home and recorded a demo tape and was quite pleased with it, but it never did get to the singer. We just lost contact. It was nice to be asked though, and it gave me a reason to write. It's ok writing lots of songs, but you need to have them used in some way."
Dave recently transferred "written just for you" and some of his other original demo recordings to CD.

"Having an outlet for the mounting list of songs is always the challenge for any songwriter. If you don't have the contacts then it is very hard - almost impossible, to break into the music industry. If you don't have an outlet i.e. someone to publish, perform or record the songs then you can soon lose heart" admits Dave. "There are so many excellent musicians and composers out there who will never be heard purely because they never get the breaks. As with everything in life it's timing - being in the right place at the right time!"

Like all ambitious songwriters Dave submitted tapes to hundreds of publishers with a view to following a career in song writing. Like most, he received the standard letters: "very good, but not quite what we are looking for at present..."

One song: "Thank You" did receive a certificate of merit from a Nashville Song Contest: "I decided to give it a go and submitted the song to see what happened. They sent the certificate and a cassette with some recorded comments from the judges. They were positive, and it was nice to get some feedback."

Dave plays a black Fender US Stratocaster Deluxe: "just like my mate Eric!" he jokes. He has seven other guitars which are used for recording.

He has recently set up a home recording studio: "Things have changed. Not so long back, recording equipment was very expensive: multi-track tape machines and mixing consoles, plus all the other equipment would cost tens of thousands. Now it can all be done on a computer, at a fraction of the cost."
He has re-recording some of the old tracks and is also working on new material.

Some of Dave's songs are featured on his music site:

His love of ballads has much to do with the emotion and often subtle messages they contain, both in words and melody. Two favourites being DON HENLEY'S (The Eagles) "The Heart of The Matter":

"These times are so uncertain, there's a yearning undefined,
and people filled with rage.
We all need a little tenderness, how can love survive, 
in such a graceless age.
The trust and self-assurance, that lead to happiness,
they're the very things - we kill I guess.
Pride and competition, cannot fill these empty arms.
And the work I've put between us, you know it doesn't keep me warm...

There are people in your life, who've come and gone,
They let you down. You know they hurt your pride.
You'd better put it all behind you baby, 'cause life goes on.
You keep carrying that anger, it'll eat you up inside."

"Isn't it a Pity"

"Isn't it a pity,
Isn't it a shame
How we break each other's hearts,
And cause each other pain
How we take each other's love,
Without thinking anymore
Forgetting to give back
Isn't it a pity.

Some things take so long,
but how do I explain?
When not too many people
Can see we're all the same
And because of all their tears,
Their eyes can't hope to see
The beauty that Surrounds them -
Oh isn't it a pity.

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At Eighteen however things changed. Dave discovered there was a karate club just around the corner, and karate was something he had thought about taking up for a long time. 
In fact it was the only karate school in Grimsby at that time, and was actually based at Dave's old Nunsthorpe school.
He put his name down on the waiting list, but it was another six months before he could start training.
The Instructor was the late Brian Woods, then a second dan. Brian was later to become a very good friend.
Two of Dave's friends also went along, but they fell by the wayside after just a few weeks. Dave however was hooked, and soon began devoting all his time to karate training. Music would always be a passion, but playing in a band would take up valuable training time. 

It was while a yellow belt that Dave heard of a new association being formed. Shotokan Karate International was to be headed by the world famous master Hirokazu Kanazawa, with Shiro Asano becoming the resident Chief Instructor in Great Britain.
His instructor at that time, Geoff Green, decided to affiliate his club: Funakoshi Ryu, to the newly formed SKI, and Dave trained with Hanshi Asano at every chance he could, either when he visited Grimsby, or at his Nottingham Honbu.

Thus began Dave's long time relationship with Hanshi Asano.
His first experience of training with Asano Sensei was on a snowy November weekend at Chilwell Olympia sports centre in Nottingham. The snow had delayed his journey and the first session had already started. His first sighting of this formidable yet unpretentious man was when he looked over the balcony to see Hanshi Asano teaching in his black socks. That's style!

Dave has particularly fond memories of the training sessions in Hanshi Asano's home dojo on Friday evenings. These were almost private sessions, as most Fridays there was only Dave and Paul Mead training. Yet Hanshi Asano still came out to give his normal one hour session. 
He would say: "If only one persons trains I will teach, because I love karate".

Regular weekly trips were also made to Carlton Forum in Nottingham on Wednesday evenings. At that time all the senior grades were still with S.K.I. and all trained on these sessions.  Training was held in a very small area adjacent to the sports hall. There were however some great sessions there.
To gain valuable experience in competion Dave and his team travelled regularly to Crystal Palace to take part in the E.K.C, F.E.K.O. and E.K.F. championships. This also gave the added experience of competing with all styles. 

By 1978 karate had become his life, leading to him giving up his job as manager of a fashion shop when there was a clash between work, running his club and training with Hanshi Asano.
Now a professional instructor he could concentrate all his time on training, and building a club membership which would bring in enough money to replace the wage he had given up.
The club expanded, and soon Konjaku Shin had classes at Grimsby, Cleethorpes and Immingham Sports Centres
. Dave was then in a position to personally invite Asano Sensei to teach at his dojo in Grimsby.

In 1988 a chance came for an experience of a different kind when it was announced that the film "Memphis Belle" was to be filmed at nearby Binbrook airfield, and the producers were looking for extras. The advert had said "aged under twenty five", but Dave took his chances and went along to the Town Hall for the audition. Though thirty three at that time, he managed to squeeze in, got the job as a medic, and spent the next three weeks on location at the airfield.

Memphis Belle website

Memphis Belle

Many scenes were filmed then re-filmed. Most ended up on the cutting room floor, but you can just spot Dave passing Eric Stoltz (Mask) out of the plane on a stretcher right at the very end of the film. 
Following this Dave became a member of equity and did several enjoyable parts for television, though never with any serious intention. It was all good fun, and well paid!

An ambition had always been to make the national squad, and Dave was delighted when, in 1981, Hanshi Asano included him in the team for a championship in Munich. England, Germany and Italy were to take part.

After this Dave became a regular member of the British squad, and went on to achieve considerable success both at National and International level.
See for a list of highlights.

Before reaching this success however Dave had to overcome a serious set back. Only days after being selected for the 1985 S.K.I. World Championships in Dusseldorf, he was struck by a debilitating condition which affected his nervous system and caused dramatic muscle wastage. Dusseldorf hopes were dashed when he lost two stones in weight and his hand was partially paralyzed. Specialist treatment eventually arrested the illness, but by this time seventy percent of the nerves in his right arm and shoulder had been damaged. He then faced a possible five year recuperation period as the damaged nerves repaired themselves from the neck to the finger tips at the rate of just one millimetre a day.

Despite this body blow Dave immediately set foot on the road to recovery and started a tough regime of weight training to rebuild the wasted muscles. Being a professional instructor, he also had to return to teaching as soon as possible. Bandaging his hand into a fist was one remedy he found useful.

His efforts paid off when in August 1986 he took third place in the Men's Kata at the S.K.I. British Championships. Then in April 1987 his kata team took first place in the S.K.I. British team championships.
In August, he at last took the Men's Individual Kata title.

In 1988, the illness now behind him, he was in the National squad travelling to the S.K.I. World Championships in Utsunomiya, Japan.

As well as his regular training with Hanshi Asano, Dave took every opportunity to train with S.K.I.F. World Chief Instructor, Kancho Hirokazu Kanazawa during his twice yearly visits, mainly to the south of England.
Dave would travel down to Windsor, where there would always be a special black belt master class. He would then spend the week travelling to different dojo locations where Kancho Kanazawa was to teach. Whenever possible, Dave would also bring Kancho Kanazawa to his own dojo in Grimsby.
Kancho Kanazawa is renowned for his detailed training, and Dave always gained immense inspiration and knowledge during his brief visits: 

"The S.K.I.F. World Championships were to be held in Utsunomiya, Japan in November 1988. I trained with Kancho in March. At dinner after training, Sensei said that on his next visit to England, just before the World Championships, he would run me through Unsu kata. Knowing his incredible itinerary, and considering the seven month gap I half expected him to forget the promise; but sure enough, on his return he took me through Unsu in minute detail".

Though not gaining a result in Japan, Dave was inspired by the event, and put his mind to securing a place at the next World Championships to be held in Mexico 1991. 
Training was intensified, and visits to train with Hanshi Asano in Nottingham increased.
By the time of the championships Dave had retained the S.K.I.  Men's Kata title for a record five years. 

Much of his time had been spent on preparing for the Kata event, and he was hopeful of a placing. However, this time it was the kumite that he was to excel in, becoming the most successful British competitor and reaching the finals. 

Unfortunately, due to business commitments, he was unable to capitalize on this success as he had hoped in the subsequent World Championships in Japan and Italy.

Following a record six kata titles he decided to retire from competition to concentrate on running his new dojo. He did however come out of retirement to take part in the 8th S.K.I. European Championships which were held in Sheffield, England to commemorate Hanshi Asano's 30th year in Great Britain. He took second place in the 40-45 years Men's Kata, and his team took first place in the Veteran Men's Team Kata.

Dave enjoys travelling and teaching abroad, and found a 1991 trip to Goa, in Southern India to be especially memorable, teaching in a temple high in the mountains overlooking the town of Panji.

He returned to India in 2001, this time to Amritsar in the North, at the invitation of the Punjab Shotokan Association. He attended the first Punjab SKIEF Championships as Chief Guest, and taught and graded members of that association. He is now their Chief Technical Advisor, and returns each year to oversee the development of karate on behalf of Hanshi Asano and SKIEF. In 2002 the tournament was renamed the "Asano - Kershaw All India Championships".
SKIEF is now steadily growing in size and strength all over India, thanks to the hard work of Punjab Chief Instructor and SKIEF India General Secretary: Sunil Sareen.

In 1992, Hanshi Asano awarded Dave the Wilkinson Sword of Honour for services to karate-do.
The following year, Dave bought his own premises in Lower Spring Street Grimsby. A huge undertaking which has - after much hard work, blossomed into one of the finest dojos in the world.

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In Hanshi Asano's own words: "The number one dojo in Britain". Kancho Kanazawa was also very impressed!

Everyone that has visited the dojo has been impressed by the authentic feel, the beautiful floor; which is perfect for karate training, and by the sheer size at ninety by forty feet, which is enormous for a private dojo.
Then there is the additional makiwara area measuring eighty by sixteen feet. And this is only the top floor. The ground floor has a lounge, kitchen, changing facilities, plus a forty by forty foot mirrored studio. In the basement is a fully equipped weight training gym.

Numerous major courses are held in the dojo throughout the year, in addition to the normal daily training, and students are welcome from all associations.

In August 2002 Hanshi Asano graded Dave to Rokudan (6th Dan). He was only the second person in the world to be awarded the grade by Hanshi Asano. Hanshi Asano has high regard for Dave's technical ability and attitude to karate-do. A view reinforced by Sensei Akio Nagai, Chief Instructor of SKI Germany after Dave took his 6th Dan examination: "you have a very good mind", he told Dave. Dave also has a very good relationship with Kancho Kanazawa, who admires his loyalty to Hanshi Asano and S.K.I.G.B. and is always pleased to see him when he visits the UK. Praise from such high levels is praise indeed!

In August 2011, Hansh Asano Graded Dave to Nanadan (7th Dan).

Dave is free of politics and will teach any genuine karate-ka regardless of affiliation. His view is that karate should be for all, and he has no time for bickering between different factions. He says this is a common view among martial arts masters, who only want to teach and train, and who have a mutual respect for each other: "it tends to be the lower ranks who feel the need to say they are the best."

Throughout the many years he has trained Dave has made many friends in the karate community. His most enduring have been Paul Chin, now living in Malaysia, and Jim Palmer in Stirling, Scotland. Dave and Jim hold regular courses together both in England and Scotland, and seem to have a special chemistry between them. They have spent many an hour reminiscing over a bottle of single malt.

2003 saw Konjaku Shin's 25th Anniversary. A major two day course was held over the weekend of 17th and 18th May; an event that celebrated Dave's and Konjaku Shin's remarkable achievements over the last quarter of a century. Naturally Hanshi Asano was there at the helm. Dave's members, along with friends, colleagues and students from many parts of the UK attended both the course and a special party held on the Saturday evening.

2003 also saw the launch of the KONJAKU SHIN ONLINE STORE. In keeping with Konjaku Shin's high standards it offers top quality martial arts equipment and a reliable and efficient service worldwide.

Click on banner to visit the store

In June 2019 Dave was awarded his 8th Dan (Hachidan) for achievement and exceptional service in karate-do. His Konjaku Shin International and ISKS (International Shotokan-ryu Karate-do Shihankai) diplomas were presented by long time friend and colleague Sensei Jim Palmer while the two were teaching on a weekend course in Stirling, Scotland.


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Page last updated: January 2020

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Dave Kershaw then 1st kyu
Dave circa 1976, then 1st kyu

Guitar Practice
... and around the same time
getting some guitar practice in.

Dave (right) Shodan Grading
Shodan Grading, Nottingham, England.
Dave right

Car show demonstration
Car show demonstration early '80s

Dave at home with Asano Sensei
At home in Grimsby with Hanshi Asano

At Asano Sensei's 20th Anniversary party 1988
Hanshi Asano's 20th Anniversary party 1988

Dave at S.K.I. National Finals performing Unsu - third of six successive wins
Dave at 1989 S.K.I. National Finals
performing Unsu - third of six successive wins

Photocall with Shihan Kanazawa at Dave's home dojo 1988
Photocall with Kancho Kanazawa
at Dave's home dojo 1988

Tokyo 1988 with Shihan Kanazawa, Manabu Murakami (Japan), Bob Allen (England), Paul Chang (Australia)
Tokyo 1988 with Kancho Kanazawa

World Championship reception with friend Paul Chin (Malaysia), Utsunomiya, Japan 1988
World Championship reception with friend Paul Chin (Malaysia), Utsunomiya, Japan 1988

On the Memphis Belle set
On the Memphis Belle set

Dave with Billy (Titanic) Zane
With Billy (Titanic) Zane

The final scene with Dave passing Eric Stoltz
out of the Memphis Belle

Cast of Memphis Belle - Eric Stoltz on floor, still on stretcher
And with the full cast of Memphis Belle -
Eric Stoltz on floor, still on stretcher

Dave at S.K.I. World Champ's 1991 with Friend Paul Chin (Malaysia)
S.K.I. World Champ's Mexico City 1991
with Friend Paul Chin (Malaysia)

Teaching in Goa, India 1991
Teaching in Goa, India 1991

Pradeep Nervakar's temple dojo in Panaji, Goa
At Pradeep Nervakar's temple dojo
in Panaji, Goa

At Barry Waby's Ciba Geigy Dojo, Goa
Barry Waby's Ciba Geigy Dojo, Goa

Dave & Angie with their two Godchildren in Goa who's education they sponsor.
Dave & Angie in Goa with their two Godchildren who's education they sponsor

Dave Kershaw at a Hindhu Temple in Amritsar
Amritsar, India, September 2001.
Dave was Special Guest at the 1st Punjab Shotokan Karate Championships.

 He also taught and examined students
for kyu and dan grades.

Return to Amritsar in 2002 and the
Asano-Kershaw All India Tournament.

With Kancho Kanazawa at Jim Palmer's 20th Anniversary Party 2002.
With Kancho Kanazawa at Jim Palmer's
20th Anniversary Party, Stirling 2002.

Left to right: Jim Palmer, Kancho Kanazawa, Dave Kershaw.
Left to right: Jim Palmer, Kancho Kanazawa and Dave Kershaw at Edinburgh Castle, April 2003.

Sensei Dave Kershaw with Hanshi Shiro Asano
Commemorative photo of Sensei Kershaw and Hanshi Asano taken during Konkaku Shin's 25th Anniversary Course,
May 2003.

Prayers said, Kancho Kanazawa and Dave
prepare for a flight with pilot, Jim Palmer.

This Photo of Dave with Hanshi Asano
was taken especially for the
Tournament Programme of the
5th All India SKIEF Tournament,
Punjab, India 2005.

Dave, and senior Konjaku Shin instructor Charles Hannah, teaching self-defence to a large girls class, at the Holy Hearts School, Amritsar, October 2006

Sensei Dave Kershaw 8th Dan teaching Unsu on Konjaku Shin's 35th Anniversary Course, June 2013
Dave teaching Unsu to members during
Konjaku Shin's 35th Anniversary Course
in June 2013

Sensei Dave Kershaw 8th Dan
Dave receiving his ISKS 8th dan (Hachidan diploma from long time friend and colleague Sensei Jim Palmer during a weekend course in Stirling, Scotland in June 2019