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Dan Grading Success

15 Nov 2021

Leeds Shotokan are delighted to announce the recent dan grading success of Shaho Mahmood and Ronan Mascarenhas.

Under the watchful gaze of Sensei Frank Brennan 8th Dan and Sensei Garry Harford 8th Dan, Ronan was successful in achieving his Shodan (1st Dan), and Shaho managed to achieve the grade of Nidan (2nd Dan).

Both have worked incredibly hard for their achievements and have shown the dedication and determination required to achieve their goals.

Everyone at Leeds Shotokan are very proud of you both!

KUGB Student and Youth Nationals

07 Nov 2021

The final two competitions of 2021 were held at Queens Park Spots Centre in Chesterfield on the 7th of November.

This year saw the National Youth Championships and National Students Championships run side by side. Because of this it meant that a few of our competitors could enter multiple categories and get more time on the mat than usual.

The small Leeds Shotokan team saw Libby Vernon enter her strongest competition showing this year as she continues to improve and build her confidence in both the Youth and Student the Kumite. It was also fantastic to see Mustafa Younes put his mitts on for his first taste of National Competition in the boys Kumite.

It was the duo of Jade Stapleton Smith and Luciano Zanuni who dominated the day though, between them taking the gold medal in every event they could enter.

Jade came out on top in the final of the Student Championship and Luciano took gold in the Youth category. And they fought side by side to take the gold medal in the Students Team Kumite, an extra challenging day for them given that they had to start every match an ippon down due to not having a 3rd fighter.

As ever we are very proud of everyone who goes above and beyond to compete in these championships. They are long but rewarding days and we hope to continue to grow our competition squad in the new year.

GOLD – Male Team Kumite – Student Nationals – Leeds Shotokan
GOLD – Male Senior Kumite – Student Nationals – Jade Stapleton-Smith
GOLD – Male Junior Kumite – Youth Nationals – Luciano Zanuni
SILVER – Male Senior Kumite – Student Nationals – Luciano Zanuni
BRONZE – Male Junior Kumite – Youth Nationals – Jade Stapleton-Smith

KUGB Northern Regions 2021

24 Oct 2021

The KUGB Northern Region championships took place in Sunderland, and it proved to be a fantastic day for Leeds Shotokan.

The event sees some of the best competitors in the country compete alongside some newer competitors hoping to gain valuable experience. It is a great opportunity to see some of the best Karate in the country go head to head.

Ethan Armstrong returned to form after a disappointing Shotokan Cup outing to take the Senior Male Kumite in style. He followed this up by leading the Senior male team to glory alongside Luciano Zanuni, Jade Stapleton-Smith and Nathan Brady. This was a particularly excellent achievement as it marked the 5th year in a row that Leeds Shotokan have been crowned champions of the Northern Region.

Luciano and Jade renewed their friendly rivalry in the final of the junior male kumite with Luci coming out on top on this occasion after an excellent Gyaku Tsuki punch.

Libby Vernon entered a strong display in the Junior Female Kumite battling through a couple of rounds to earn a well-deserved bronze medal. Alison Sherridan, competing in an event of this size for the first time, gained fantastic experience as she works towards her black belt grading, picking up a bronze medal in the Senior Female Kumite in the process.

It was, however, Serena Matyas Sarri who was the Leeds star of the day. Serena entered her first competition with Leeds Shotokan at the National Championships a few months ago, and despite losing in the first round of both events, gained fantastic experience and a determination to work hard. Over the next few months Serena has dedicated herself to training, completing private lessons most weeks as she works hard to improve her Karate. This improvement was fully on display just a few months later at the Northern Regions where she fought and defeated some fantastic fighters on her way to a sliver medal in the Girls Kumite 10-11 years. Her day wasn’t finished there though having made her way to the children’s brown belt kata final where her excellent performance of Bassai Dai was enough to take the title.

The day was rounded off perfectly when Luciano Zanuni was awarded the Randy Williams Memorial Trophy for best overall competitor. The trophy, previously held by Ethan Armstrong, has a special place in Leeds Shotokan as it honours the late, great Sensei Randy Williams. Sensei, who was Chief Instructor at Leeds Shotokan for many years, sadly passed away in 2012 so it is especially moving for the trophy to come back with another of his students.


GOLD – Leeds Shotokan – Male Team Kumite
GOLD – Ethan Armstrong – Senior Male Kumite
GOLD – Luciano Zanuni – Junior Male Kumite
GOLD – Serena Matyas Sarri – Children’s Brown Belt Kata
SILVER – Jade Stapleton-Smith – Junior Male Kumite
SILVER – Serena Matyas Sarri – Girls Kumite 10-11 Years
BRONZE – Alison Sherridan – Senior Female Kumite
BRONZE – Libby Vernon – Junior Female Kumite