top of page

The Shukokai and self-defence coaching offered at Edinburgh University Karate Club covers Shukokai style kata (forms) and its practical application (bunkai), drawing parallels to the self-defence applications of traditional karate. We also offer specific self-defence sessions which teach how to defend yourself in real life situations, and include groundwork, locks and throws.

Our coaches come from a variety of martial arts backgrounds, and have all represented the University in their times here as students. You can find out more about their backgrounds below. Shukokai licenses are with Kugatsu Karate-Do (KKD).


Shukokai gradings are held once a semester, and cover some self-defence aspects as well as knowledge of kata and kumite (sparring) taught in the sport karate classes. Whether you are looking to train traditional martial arts and advance through the grades, learn how to defend yourself or just get fit and have some fun, our sessions are open to everyone.





Our Coaches

4th Dan

SKGB Level 3 Coach


Dave Orr

Dave Orr has been coaching karate at the University of Edinburgh since 2008, and in that time, he has coached university squads to win the Scottish University Karate Championships 18 times and win the British University Karate Championships 12 times.


Dave began training karate in 1976 in Kilmarnock's Kisan Karate Club. He studied at Strathclyde University where he was team captain for three years, picking up individual and team kumite golds at the Scottish University Championships in 1989. A masters degree at York University gave Dave his first exposure to KUGB events, where he won the North of England Open Championships and medalled at the KUGB student nationals.


On returning to Scotland, Dave trained at Glasgow School of Art Karate Club for a number of years before moving to Edinburgh and, when studying Business at the University of Edinburgh, joined Shukokai Karate Club. In 2000 Dave again won gold in individual and team kumite at the Scottish University Championships, as well as winning the Scottish University League and medalling at the British University Championships with the men's kumite team - with the men's team enough to merit a half-blue. In recognition of his university coaching contribution, Dave was named the PriceWaterhouseCoopers Coach of the Year in 2005.

3rd Dan

BTEC Level 3


Zachary Janes

Zach has been practicing martial arts since 2002, gaining his Shodan in Nanbudo from Yoshinao Nanbu in 2007. He began training in the club in 2007, and joined the coaching staff in 2012. He gained his Sandan (3rd Dan) in Shukokai karate in 2016. He is also qualified to teach the Functional Edge system of self defence.


Zach mainly teaches the Shukokai kata syllabus, traditional Okinawan karate self defence techniques, and kobudo (weapons) when time permits.

4th Dan


Peter Gibbons

Peter joined the Edinburgh team as a graduate student in 2009, after completing his Undergraduate degree at Nottingham University. Peter started training in Shukokai Karate under Chris Mileham in 1995 with the SSKU (formerly SKU), grading to Shodan in 2002, and subsequently Nidan in 2004. During his time at Nottingham University, Peter also trained in Shotokan and Shorin-Ryu Karate under Dr. Andy Roosen whilst continuing his study of Shukokai, and graded to Sandan with the SSKU in December 2007.


After joining the Edinburgh team, Peter quickly became a core member of the competitive team, which led to him being elected Club Captain in Summer 2010. In 2011, Peter captained the Edinburgh karate squad to their first BUCS win since 2006 and a 13th successive Scottish University Championship. At the end of 2011, Peter was awarded his Yondan by Peter Allen, VP of the AMA. In 2012, Peter captained the karate squad to a second Edinburgh double with the landslide victory at BUCS 2012 and a 14th Scottish University Championship, alongside success at several local and national championships.


In recognition of his contribution to these successes as both a competitor and club captain, Peter was awarded both a Blue and Colours by Edinburgh University Sports Union in May 2012. Peter stepped down as Captain in Summer 2012, and subsequently joined the coaching team in September 2012. In October 2012, Peter received his NFPS advanced award in self defence instruction and Functional Edge fundamentals instructor from Gerard O’Dea of Dynamis Insight, and Tony Torres of Functional Edge MMA. At the start of 2013, Peter received an Executive Committee award from Edinburgh University Sports Union at the Sports Union Ball in recognition of his services to the club during his tenure as Club Captain. In May 2013 Peter was named Student Coach of the Year by the Sports Union.


Peter’s interests span the entire Shukokai syllabus taught at EUKC, his current training interests consists of classical Ryukyu Kempo and Kobudo alongside Functional Edge, Defence Lab and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu grappling for Self-Protection Purposes. In addition to this he brings his extensive sporting background in Shukokai and Shito-ryu Karate, as well as a keen interest in Scott Sonnons TACFIT exercise program to help students develop the skill-sets and fitness levels required to excel as a competitor in modern sport karate.

3rd Dan


Paul Skelding

Paul has been involved in Edinburgh University karate for over 20 years and currently holds the rank of 3rd Dan.

Paul started his karate career training in Shotokan at junior level before joining the University's Shukokai club in 1999. He was a pivotal member in numerous Scottish and British championship wins before being invited to join the coaching team in 2003, shortly after grading to Shodan (1st Dan) under Steven Webster, Gerard O'Dea and Bill Burger. Paul went on to grade to Shodan under Soke Robert Clark (9th Dan) of the Hontai Yoshin Ryu in his Ao Denku Kai Jitsu system the same year.


After spending 5 years in London, Paul returned to the club in the autumn of 2010 and went on to gain his NFPS Advanced Award Self Defence Instructor Certification in 2011. Paul has since graded to Sandan (3rd Dan) under Peter Allen of the AMA and continues to teach pragmatic and effective self-defence through the in depth study of kata, Dynamis Insight and the Functional Edge MMA systems.

bottom of page