Instructors

Sensei Jeff Westgarth 7th Dan

 

Sensei Jeff Westgarth 7th Dan has been training in Shotokan karate for over 40 years. He took his first grading for 9th kyu with Takahashi Sensei on the 26/27th April 1969. Eventually achieving Shodan on the 6th May 1973 with Shiro Asano Sensei. He was awarded his 6th Dan on the 6th September 1995. Today he is the Senior Coach and Founder of Blyth Sports Centre Karate Club which has been and still is producing National & Regional champions and has done so every year since its formation, in both Kumite & Kata, & team events.

Westgarth Sensei has trained with many of the legends of karate the following are just a few of the names that you may have heard of; Kanazawa, Enoeda, Asano, Takahashi, Kato, Kawasoe, Andy Sherry, Terry O’Neill, Steve Cattle, Billy Higgins, Bob Poynton, Bob Rhodes, Aidan Trimble and Mick Dewey. Westgarth Sensei said recently “I have been studying Shotokan karate for 40 years and am still learning every time I train, it is a great style with so much to offer it truly does take you a lifetime of learning but I must be doing something right I am still producing champions, I cannot remember when we have went to a competition and didn’t come away with trophies!” Jeff is the Senior Instructor for the North of England, Grading Examiner, Member of the Technical Panel, Chief Referee and Competition Organiser for ASK. A modest man with a memorable sense of humour, Jeff is appreciated by both his peers and his many students.

Recognised by his community for his achievements in karate his personal promotions and awards are very impressive to read: • National Coach with the National Coaching Foundation. Past Blyth Valley Sports person of the year award. High Sheriff of Northumberland's award for outstanding contribution to the community. • 1995 Diplomas in Sports Psychology. • 1999 Community Champions certificate of achievement.• 2002 Blyth Valley Community group award for services to their community. • 2002 Nationwide award for Voluntary Endeavour. • 2003 High Sheriff of Northumberland’s award for outstanding contribution to their community • 2003 Certificate in Exercise & Fitness • 2003 English Karate Governing Body A class referee for both Kata and Kumite.

 

Sensei Juli Pops 5th Dan

 

 
 

My instructor recalls that when I was an orange belt I said that I didn’t think karate was for me. After more than twenty years of obsessive training and instructing, and competing for 17 years, I think I’ve just about convinced him that I changed my mind!

I have met and trained with many wonderful, gifted and groovy people over the years, not least my Instructor, Sensei Westgarth. I’d like to thank everyone for putting up with me. 

In the words of the Matrix, Sensei Hazard is 'THE ONE'. I stalk - sorry, train with Sensei Hazard as often as I can and I am eternally indebted to him for his inspirational and unique instruction.

Karate has no boundaries, is open to everyone and offers something for everyone. “Winning” can be a competition result, a breakthrough with a concept or technique or simply getting to the Dojo; everything is relative. I believe the Academy of Shotokan Karate is the COOLEST association in THE WORLD and HAS IT ALL.

 All of our instructors are fully licenced insured and CRB checked.