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Low Fell Shotokan Karate Club

Bryan McVay 4th Dan

Born in Gateshead in 1961, Bryan started Karate training at the age of 16, at Newcastle Martial Arts Centre in the Wado Ryu style of Karate, and successfully reached 4th Kyu. Unfortunately the club folded in 1980, so he continued training at other local clubs trying various styles, until he was introduced to Shotokan Karate in 1992 by Sensei John Murphy, assistant coach at Gateshead Leisure Centre.

He trained under Sensei's Colin Schubert, Joe Mee and John Murphy for four years until attaining Shodan in 1995, becoming assistant club instructor later that year. Bryan took over as chief instructor of Gateshead SKC after the retirement of Sensei Colin Schubert in 2000. In this role Bryan coached numerous Regional and National champions and also coached Gateshead students to become members of the international squad.

In the course of his personal Karate development Bryan has trained and graded with all of the top KUGB instructors; Sensei Enoeda, Sensei Sherry, Sensei's Poynton, O'Neil, Higgins, Rhodes, Brennan and Harford, to name but a few, and he has also had the enormous privilege of training with Sensei's Osaka and Tabata.

In 2003 Bryan left Gateshead to take over the running of Denchi-Kai, where he achieved the club's first Northern region finalist, (bronze medal), and coached the club's first National Champion and two England junior squad members.


Finally in 2006 Bryan opened Low Fell SKC, and club successes so far include:

2007 - Coached:

  • Northern Regional Champion (boys individual Kumite)
  • National's Silver medallist (boys individual kata)
  • National's Bronze medallist (girls individual kata)
  • National's Bronze medallist (girls individual Kumite)


2008 - Coached:

  • National's Silver medallist (Boys Kumite)
  • Bronze medallist (Team Kata)
  • Youth National Gold medal Champion (boys individual Kata)
  • Youth National Silver medallist (Team Kata)
  • Youth National Bronze medallist (boys individual kata)
  • Shotokan Cup Gold medal Champion (Individual Kumite)

Personal achievements include.

  • North East Open Kata Champion 1992, & 1993, runner up 1994, third 1995; you can see where this was going (too old to compete with the young guns)
  • Northern Region Bronze Medallist team Kata, can't remember the year it was so long ago
  • Achieved Shodan in 1995
  • Achieved Nidan in 1997
  • Qualified as KUGB Judge in 1999
  • Qualified as KUGB referee in 2002
  • Achieved Sandan in 2003
  • Trained over 50 students to 1st, 2nd and 3rd Dan and many to International level.
  • Also coached numerous students to instructor standard capable of opening and running their own clubs.

Greatest achievements

  • Coaching son David to Shodan, Nidan, Northern Region and Youth National finals.
  • Finally moving out of Council run centres and opening Low Fell SKC with the assistance of Neil Ainsley and Dave Stabler.
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