Headteacher Simon Keegan’s training timeline describing his teachers, styles and achievements over the last 30 years in martial arts. He currently holds the grades of 5th Dan Karate and 5th Dan Jujutsu. He is a recognised Shikon instructor, an officer for Karate Jutsu International and holds many other positions.
2017: Appointed chief researcher (UK) for Karate Jutsu International
2017: Awarded 5th Dan Jujutsu by Shikon Technical Committee headed by Steve Rowe 8th Dan. Previously graded 5th Dan Karate on the mat in 2012.
2016: Opens new Bushinkai Hombu, in a fully equipped Japanese/Okinawan style Dojo.
2016: Performs Karate with the London Symphony Orchestra, the first time Karate has ever been performed at the legendary LSO. The music was specially composed to fit the kata.
2015: Celebrates 20 years of formal Shotokan/Budokan training (and 30 years informal study in total)
2015: Launches Classical Karate & Jujutsu magazine dedicated to the martial arts of Okinawa, Japan and China.
2015: Becomes co-ordinator of Daily Mirror’s MMA site
2015: Already a 5th Dan Karate and 4th Dan Jujutsu, is awarded honourary 3rd Dan in Judo/Jujutsu by Kodokwan, EJJU, IJJF, Aiichi University.
2015: Becomes editor of Martial Arts Guardian and publishes unseen pictures from the early years of British Karate and Jujutsu as well as The Lost Book of Kushanku.
2015: Demonstrates Karate and Jujutsu at Japanese cultural festival for the second year
2014: Attends seminar with Fumio Demura in Shito Ryu Karate, Toyama Ryu Batto Jutsu and Kobudo to celebrate the premiere of the documentary The Real Miyagi
2014: Writes The Lost Book of Kushanku, read in more than 100 countries
2014: Begins cross training in Muay Thai with Kru G Zappone
2013: Appears on the cover of Martial Arts Illustrated and interviewed by Alfie Lewis
2013: performs a Liverpool demo for Alfie Lewis attended by the legendary Terry O’Neill
2012: Grades 5th Dan Karate on the mat under Shihan PAJ Handyside 8th Dan, recognised by Karate England, WUKF and IMAF.
2011: Awarded black sash 2nd Duan in Taji Quan (Yang style Tai Chi)
2011: Celebrates 10 years training in Shotokan with R Carruthers (on top of previous training)
2010: Awarded the shogo title of Renshi (polished teacher) as a 4th Dan in Karate/Jujutsu for 3 years
2009: Awarded black sash (1st Duan) in Taji Quan (Yang style Tai Chi) after 11 years training in the art
2009: Begins training in Escrima including seminars with Grandmaster Tongson the grandmaster of the Classical style of Abaniko Tres Puntas
2008: Celebrates 8th anniversary of Bushinkai at Dai Nippon Butokukai UK Hombu
2008: Appears on the cover of Traditional Karate magazine
2007: Becomes a founder member of the English Karate Federation
2007: Becomes chairman, Karate technical director and Jujutsu technical director of TEMAA
2007: Awarded 4th Dan by the World Karate Association also recognised by IMAF GB
2007: Hosts 50th Anniversary of British Karate masters course teaching alongside masters from Kokusai Budoin, Dai Nippon Butokukai and the Seibukan
2006: Becomes a member of International Ju Jitsu Federation and Karate Jutsu International
2006: Trains with Hanshi Wingrove in Poland, Birmingham, Manchester and Wigan. Hanshi Wingrove is the UK’s senior Karate, starting in 1957 and also trained 21 years in Japan where he studied Karate Jutsu under masters like Hiroshi Fujimoto.
2006: Becomes International Director of IMAF GB (later UKBF)
2005: Establishes Bushinkai’s Manchester Dojo at Van Dangs
2004: Trains under masters Shizuya Sato (Nihon Jujutsu), Mitsuhiro Kondo (Aikijujutsu) and Tadanori Nobetsu (Nisseikai Karate) and grades 3rd Dan under Reiner Parsons who studied Karate under Nobetsu, Sakai, Higaonna and Kai and Nihon Jujutsu under Sato. The Nisseikai style combines Naha Te (Goju Ryu) with Feeding Crane (white crane) Kung Fu.
2004: Awarded 2nd Dan in Ryukyu Kempo Karate Jutsu, derived from the teachings of masters Oyata and Hohan.
2003: Attends the unveiling of Tokugawa Ieyasu’s treasures for the first time outside of Nikko Toshugu shrine
2003: Attends Shihan Handyside’s 40th anniversary seminar
2003: Becomes a member of Kokusai Budoin Japan with 2nd Dan Karate (Hirokazu Kanazawa’s division) and Nihon Jujutsu (Shizuya Sato’s division) grades recognised by hereditary shogun Tokugawa Yasuhisa
2002: Opens a Dojo at Wigan College and one at Robin Park
2002: Performs Chinese sword in front of mayor of Shanghai at Euro championships
2002: Becomes a columnist for Kata Unlimited magazine
2001: Joins the Bugei Renmei and grades 2nd Dan Jujutsu under J Lee-Barron and G Scarrott (tuition is in Jujutsu, Aikijujutsu, Iaido, Jodo, Ninjutsu and more) and 2nd Dan Karate under R Carruthers
2000: Establishes the Bushinkai Academy at the Northwest College of Martial Arts, Wigan
2000: Competes in final Karate competition placing in World Karate Association championships
1999: Awarded blackbelt by Sensei S Bullough (WKA) in Karate and Bushido
1999: Begins formal study of Tai Chi, training at an academy for nine years
1998: Wins silver at FSK championships weapons kata (Iaido)
1997: appears in Fighters magazine 1996: Joins the British army specialised training in counter terrorism and urban warfare
1996: Wins British Gold medal in kumite twice
1995: Joins the Bushido Academy under Shihan Stephen Bullough, eventually becoming his teacher’s senior student.
1990: Joins first boxing club, also learns fencing, archery and Chinese broadsword
1988: Simon’s father returns from living and working in China with his first Kung Fu suit
1986: Begins informal study of basic Karate/Jujutsu under father David Keegan around this time
1979: Born in Liverpool
1960s: Simon’s father David Keegan trains with the Red Triangle Karate club in Liverpool and studies Chinese Taoist classics. Served with the military in the 1970s, he studies Kobudo and in the 1980s lives and works in China.
1959: Simon’s father David Keegan begins study of Jujutsu with Sensei Bernie Blundell in Kirkby
1945: Simon’s great uncle Bill Nelson begins study of Jujutsu under Gerald Skyner in Liverpool
1939: Simon’s grandfather Jim Nelson serves in the British Army, great uncle Bill serves in the Navy and great uncle Ted is a Royal Navy Master at arms who fought in Okinawa, Japan and China
1928: Simon’s grandfather and great uncles are taught boxing by their father William Nelson who established a small informal club in his back yard for teaching local children
1914: Simon’s 4 great grandfathers serve in the First World War
1900: Simon’s great great grandfather August Nilsson teaches his sons boxing and unarmed combat
1880s: Simon’s great great grandfather August Nilsson serves with the Swedish Royal Navy
1840s: Simon’s great great great grandfather Herve Briant serves with the French Royal Navy. Napoleon III sends marines to Tomari, Okinawa. The sailors derive a fighting system call chausson
1780s: Swedish Nilssons in Canton and Ryukyu. Nils works on cargo ships at same time Tode Sakugawa is tasked with defending cargo from pirates