Biographies of Ilkley Dan Grade Instructors



Mark Outterside - 6th Dan (SKU) & 5th Dan (SSKU)

Mark is the Chief Instructor of the club. He founded and has run the club for over 27 years now. A summary of the journey can be found here.




Giles (3rd Dan) and Shirley (2nd Dan) Blackburne

Giles first started karate under Sensei Frank Cope at Wirral Shotokan Karate Club (K.U.G.B.) in 1974, achieving 1st Dan at the age of 12 in 1978 and 2nd Dan in 1980. Whilst studying Chinese in Taiwan, Giles achieved 1st Dan in Olympic (WTF) style Taekwondo in 1988, then later in Glasgow, with the Taekwon-do Association of Great Britain (TAGB), achieved 2nd Dan in 1994 and 3rd Dan in 1997. He fought several times for the Scottish team. A new direction led to a 1st Dan in Kendo with the British Kendo Association in 2001. After a break, Giles started training at Ilkley Karate Club in 2006, gaining his 1st Dan in Shukokai Karate in 2007 and 2nd Dan in 2009 (SKU).Shirley Blackburne began Taekwondo in Glasgow in 1992 and achieved a 1st Dan with Taekwondo Association of Great Britain (TAGB) in 1996. As a green belt Shirley had some early competition success as a silver medallist in the Scottish sparring championships. After a break from training to have a family, she joined Ilkley Karate Club in 2007, achieving her 1st Dan in Shukokai Karate (SKU) in 2010.

Daughter Rose Blackburne achieved her First Dan in Karate (SSKU) in 2010 after 4 years of training at the Club. In doing so she became the third generation of Blackburnes to reach Black Belt (her grand father is also a 1st Dan in Shotokan Karate). Rose was especially delighted to be amongst the first group of Ilkley students to achieve a Dan grade under the new SSKU syllabus. In little over 5 months she had picked up the new katas and subtle changes in technique to the point that the examiners did not notice her SKU origins. In achieving her 1st Dan at only 11 years old, she has beaten her dad - much to his consternation - and pride.




Andrew Johnston - 3rd Dan

I started Karate aged 10 in 2001 under the instruction of Sensei Mark Outterside at Ilkley Karate Club. In December 2012 I was awarded my 3rd Dan Black belt, aged 21. I originally learnt Shukokai karate with the Shukokai Karate Union (SKU) until the club switched to a much more traditional association which is recognised in Japan, the Shito-Ryu Shukokai Karate Union (SSKU), in 2010.

I have been competing in both kata and kumite at a high level since yellow belt, my highest achievement came in October 2011, when I won a silver medal at the Shito-Ryu World Cup In Italy for the men's under 60kg fighting category. Despite an emphasis on the sport side of karate I am also very interested in the traditional side of karate, the history as well as self-defence as this was the main reason for starting karate at aged 10, as I was bullied at school and wanted to learn to defend myself, although I have never been in a physical altercation and I do believe the best course of action is to avoid conflict.

In the future I hope to run my own karate club in the local area and compete and train in Japan for the 2015 World Congress. Changing from the SKU to the SSKU also means there are many and better opportunities to train and compete abroad.Coming soon




Patrick Walton - 2nd Dan

Patrick Walton – 2nd Dan Instructor

Unlike my colleagues, I began my karate journey rather later in life in 2004 at the tender age of 47. It just goes to show that you are never too old to learn new skills.

I started as a raw beginner with Sensei Mark and Sensei Simon eventually being awarded my first dan 2009. During these years I found that training at the Ilkley Dojo was the perfect answer to a busy working life and an ideal way of releasing all the stress and strain that modern life has to offer.

I was accredited as an English Karate Federation instructor in 2011 after training with many Masters in Japan, Europe and the excellent team at the Ilkley club. EKF accreditation not only proves karate ability but ensures that the Instructor is first aid trained, insured and CBR checked. I now teach self-defence as a full-time occupation. My karate journey has included intensive summer training camps across Europe. Moreover, I have trained in Japan with Soko Haruyoshi Yamada President and Chief Instructor of our Union. European Chief Instructor, Sensei Tsutomu Kamohara 9th dan, in the UK with Masters Sensei Denis Casey 8th dan and in my early years Sensei Stan Knighton 9th dan.

I am qualified as an Associate Instructor in the ABC Fighting system with Chris Crudelli. Chris is well known for his TV work specifically the series “Mind Body & Kick Ass Moves” he is an accomplished martial artist studying many martial fighting systems, leading him to develop the ABC System. This is designed for knife fighting but works as equally well with the hand. He is in great demand from Special Forces across the globe to as an instructor of his system, given its proven value.

In addition to building my Karate skills I am exploring the Israeli combat system of Krav Maga.





Simon Holden - 2nd Dan

My training started way back in 1985 at Addingham Karate Club under the instruction of Graham Thorpe. After a short break to do my school exams I started training again, staying with Graham for another year or so. During this period both clubs, Ilkley and Addingham, used to train together sometimes and I spent more time training at the Ilkley club (we used to call it the Kata club). Even after the first training session I could tell that the club had a different feeling about it, more relaxed but perhaps more focused at the same time on the traditional and spiritual side of karate in which I am more interested. Addingham was much more a 'sport' karate club. At Addingham we used to travel every weekend all over the country entering competitions of which I won quite a few, but lost just as many too.

Since joining the Ilkley club the emphasis changed slightly. Although still entering competitions, Mark encouraged us (students) to enter both kumite and kata, believing that it made you a more rounded person/competitor; it certainly helps with self confidence standing out in front of a few hundred people doing your kata!

I have never been a belt chaser and have taken what seems like an age to get to 2nd dan although I have been training for over 20 years. This doesn't really bother me as I still enjoy training and teaching when I can. I tend to concentrate more on the practical application of karate, practising the basic kata (bunkai) and pressure points.

In the future I hope my children will try karate; it is a tough, demanding discipline with many beneficial rewards.