Sensei Gordon Gavienas : 7th Dan, Chief Instructor, Level 3 Coach with Sports Coach U.K.
Sensei Gordon Gavienas’ involvement in karate started in 1972, when he joined the Shotokan dojo run by Sensei Danny Thomson. Having changed to the Sankukai style, he achieved his Shodan grade in that discipline in 1974 under the tutelage of Sensei Al Doran, twice winning the Open Championship in kumite competition. Returning to Shotokan in 1976, Gavienas Sensei was awarded his second Shodan grade in 1981 by Sensei Keinosuke Enoeda, United Kingdom Chief Instructor of the Japan Karate Association, and by 1982, Gavienas Sensei was the proud holder of a continuous ten year record of kumite champion in all the clubs to which he had belonged.
Not content with this success, Gavienas Sensei continued to compete at both local and national level, winning the Karate Union of Scotland Individual and Team Open Kumite Championship in 1981, Individual Kumite Championship in 1982, Scottish Karate Association Individual Kumite Championship in 1986, 1987 and 1991 and Team Championship in 1992, as well as gaining 1st place in the Middle Weight Category and Runner Up in the Open Weight Category of the Scottish Karate Governing Body Championships in 1987.
This record of achievement saw Gavienas Sensei competing with and against several karateka of world standing, in a career which has seen him train with such notable figures as Ticky Donovan, Jeff Thompson, Pat McKay, Vic Charles and Billy Higgins. In addition, he has benefitted from instruction and grading by numerous Japanese instructors of world renown, including Tomita Sensei, Enoeda Sensei, Kawasoe Sensei, Kase Sensei, Ohta Sensei and Kanazawa Sensei.
Since shifting his focus to club and individual development within the broader framework of karate at National and British levels, Gavienas Sensei now holds the positions of Scottish Karate Association Committee/Grading Panel Member (1998), Scottish Karate Association Coaching Assessor (2013), Scottish Karate Association Chief Referee (2017), Scottish Karate Governing Body Judge Level A (2013), Scottish Karate Governing Body Referee Level A (2014), Scottish Karate Governing Body Referee Commission Member (2017), National Tatami Coach (2017), British Karate Federation Referee and Judge – both at Level A (2016), and European Karate Federation Judge B (Kata) (February 2020).
Sensei Peter Sheridan : 5th Dan, Level 3 Coach with Sports Coach U.K.
Sensei Peter Sheridan’s involvement in karate started in 1969, when he joined the Kobe Osaka Dojo run by Sensei Tommy Morris, training in the Shukokai style until 1971 and attaining the rank of 1st Kyu.
A variety of circumstances curtailed his involvement for several years thereafter, but in 1979, Sheridan Sensei returned to training and embarked upon his current journey in Shotokan Karate, progressing through the grading system under Senseis Kawasoe and Enoeda, before being awarded his Shodan in 1984. Although somewhat old for the competition circuit at that time, Sheridan Sensei continued to participate in Club and Association competitions, spurred on by the opportunities these afforded to experience, to learn and to improve. Semi-finalist in the Scottish Karate Association Open Kumite Championships in 1985 – aged 35 – was a moderate highlight! In that same year, Sheridan Sensei was awarded his Scottish Karate Association Instructor’s Certificate by the Scottish Karate Board of Control (the governing body at that time).
In the course of his karate journey, Sheridan Sensei has had both the privilege and benefit of training and instruction by numerous Japanese instructors of world renown, including Enoeda Sensei, Kawasoe Sensei, Kase Sensei, Ohta Sensei and Kanazawa Sensei.
Sheridan Sensei and Gavienas Sensei have trained together for more than 40 years, and, as the Budo Club has developed, Sheridan Sensei has been proud to hold the position of Sempai (Senior Student) in Gavienas Sensei’s Budo Dojo. In this capacity, he has delivered several courses and seminars to the club, examples of which include “Muga Mushin, Zanchin and Kime – Fundamentals of Shotokan Karate” and “Kihon No Juyo-Sei – The importance of Foundations”. In addition, Sheridan Sensei is proud to have been entrusted with the development of the Club’s website, through which, in conjunction with Gavienas Sensei, he seeks to assist all students in their understanding of, and attainment in, the Way of Shotokan Karate as practised in the Budo Club.
In 2013, Sheridan Sensei was awarded his Association level Referee and Judge qualification by the Scottish Karate Association Refereeing Commission.
Now in his 72nd year, Sheridan Sensei remains proud and privileged to continue on his karate journey in the company of Gavienas Sensei, his fellow instructors and every member of the Budo family.
Sensei Natalie Moore (née Gavienas ) : 5th Dan, Level 3 Coach with Sports Coach U.K.
Sensei Natalie Moore’s involvement in karate formally started in 1990 as a six year old, although one suspects she was a “toddler karateka” at home with Gavienas Sensei even before joining the Club!
Progressing through the Junior Grading system over the subsequent 9 years, during which period she was Club Junior Champion three times (1996 – 1998), Sensei Natalie Moore commenced her Senior career in 1999, when she received her Senior Shodan.
Among her many subsequent successes, at local, national and international levels, particular highlights have included Bronze Medallist in the Scottish International Open (2009), Bronze Medallist in the Scottish National Championships (2010), Bronze Medallist at the Portuguese International Open (2011) and Scottish Karate Association Kumite Champion (2016).
In furtherance of her commitment to karate at a broader level, Natalie has immersed herself in the world of Coaching and Refereeing, undertaking numerous coaching courses on a broad range of topics (e.g. Motivation and Mental Toughness, Analysing Your Coaching, Coaching Disabled Individuals etc), participating in the Active Schools Programme, and building her experience and reputation as a Referee and Judge by officiating at competitions whenever the opportunity arose (more than 30, for example, within the year 2016-17). Natalie is particularly interested in helping to develop the role of female referees within the competition circuit at both local and national levels.
In addition to having Scottish Karate Association Judge and Referee status, Sensei Natalie Moore currently holds the positions of Scottish Karate Governing Body Referee Level A (November 2018), Scottish Karate Governing Body Judge Level A (2017), and National Tatami Coach (2017). Furthermore, Natalie was successful in her application for the prestigious post of Child Protection Officer for the Scottish Karate Governing Body (Dec. 2017) and, most recently, was appointed Child Protection Officer for the Scottish Karate Association (Feb. 2018).
Sensei Lauren Harkins (née Gavienas) : 4th Dan, Level 3 Coach with Sports Coach U.K.
Sensei Lauren Harkins’ involvement in karate formally started in 1994 as a 6 year old, although, with a maiden name of Gavienas, one suspects she was also a “toddler karateka” like her older sister!
Achieving her Junior Shodan in 1997, Lauren’s commitment and dedication saw her progress to Senior Shodan in 2004, from whence she has continued to progress to her current Yondan status, awarded in 2017.
Lauren has enjoyed considerable success at both local and national competition levels, particular highlights of which have included Scottish Karate Association Senior Female Kata Champion (2009 – 2016), Scottish Karate Association Senior Female Kumite Champion (2014), Scottish Medallist Senior Female Kata (2016), as well as consistent medal success in numerous Wishaw Open Competitions in Kata, Individual Kumite and Team Kumite.
In furtherance of her commitment to the discipline of karate, Lauren has immersed herself in Coaching, with particular emphasis placed on directing and supporting fellow karateka who are preparing for gradings or competitions. In pursuit of her own ongoing development, Lauren has attended numerous courses across the country in the company of medallists of National and International renown.
In June 2019, Lauren became only the second person to receive the prestigious Bert Sutherland Etiquette Award – the significance of which can be gleaned from the site’s Ethos page.
Sensei Alan Major : 2nd Dan, Level 2 Coach with Sports Coach U.K.
Sensei Alan Major’s involvement in karate started in 2010, when he joined the Budo club under the tutelage of Gavienas Sensei, obtaining his Shodan in 2013 before progressing to Nidan in 2016.
Major Sensei’s commitment to training and learning has resulted in considerable success in the veteran’s competition circuit at local, national and international level. Highlights have included regular medal positions in the Wishaw Grand Prix competitions (where he was most recently Champion in 2017), British Open Bronze Medallist (2014), Four Nations Bronze Medallist (2014 and 2015), Karate-No-Michi World Federation : European Veterans Champion (2016), Scottish Karate Association Senior Kumite Champion (2016), and Scottish Karate Association Champion (2017). Furthermore, it is testament to Major Sensei’s commitment to the high ideals of Budo Karate, that Gavienas Sensei awarded him the Bert Sutherland Etiquette Award in 2013. (For details on the significance of this award, please refer to the site’s Ethos page.)
Major Sensei has attended numerous competition and technical seminars with several competitors and instructors of world standing, including Kagawa Sensei, Sensei Luca Valdezi (W.K.F. World Kata Champion), Sensei Junior Lefevre (World Kumite and Kata Champion), Sensei Renè Smaal (W.K.F European Kumite Champion), and Sensei Sandy Scordo (W.K.F. World and European Medallist).
Major Sensei currently holds the positions of Scottish Karate Governing Body Kumite Referee Level A (2017), Scottish Karate Governing Body Kata Judge Level A (2019), National Tatami Coach (2017), British Karate Federation,Referee (Kumite) and Judge (Kata) Level B (2019).