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Shihan Cyril Cummins 8th Dan 1938 - 2017 Uncategorized

R.I.P. Shihan Cyril Cummins 8th Dan

Shihan Cyril Cummins 8th Dan 1938 - 2017
Shihan Cyril Cummins 8th Dan 1938 – 2017

It is with great sadness that we have to inform you that Shihan Cyril Cummins 8th Dan, Chief Instructor and founder of Birmingham and Halesowen Shotokan Karate Club has passed away after a short battle with cancer.

Shihan Cummins was a pioneer of karate in the West Midlands originally starting training in 1964 initially gaining his shodan in 1966 with the Budo of Great Britain. After training with sensei Hirokazu Kanazawa he later retook his shodan with the KUGB / JKA in 1968. He continued to grade with the top Japanese sensei within the JKA receiving his 6th Dan from Sensei Keinosuke Enoeda. Shihan Cummins remained with the KUGB / JKA for many years as a senior instructor, grading examiner and national referee. During this time he was a constant fixture at Sensei Enoeda’s Crystal Palace training courses, training on every one of Sensei Enoeda’s courses from 1967 until Sensei Enoeda’s death. He was also a regular instructor in Sweden for the Spring Course for almost two decades. He appeared on the covers of Combat, Traditional Karate and Shotokan Magazine being inducted into the “Combat” and “Martial Arts Illustrated” Halls of Fame as well as appearing many times in the press and media.

Shihan Cummins was known as the Trainer of Champions, training many champions over his over 50 years of training including National, European and World Champions including renowned competitors such as Sensei Ronnie Canning and Sensei Ronnie Christopher. Many of his students have also gone on to become instructors in their own right continuing his legacy in karate.

After leaving the KUGB, Shihan Cummins continued to teach his brand of fierce, no nonsense traditional Shotokan karate for which he was famed at BHSKC introducing and inspiring new generations of students in Shotokan karate as well as the bo, sai, tonfa and other weapons.

He celebrated his 50th year of karate training in 2014 having previously being awarded his 8th Dan in 2013 by NAKMAS. As a sign of respect and acknowledgement of his great contribution to karate upon receiving his new rank, his senior students decided to use the honorific title of “Shihan” when addressing Sensei Cummins in class at BHSKC.  Shihan Cummins agreed to this but was never a stickler for ceremony and was happy for his students to address him as both “Shihan” and “Sensei”.

After receiving his terminal diagnosis Shihan Cummins continued to teach and pass on his vast wealth of experience and knowledge taking his last class at the long standing BHSKC Halesowen dojo where he taught Gankaku with bunkai a few weeks before his death, taking questions from students and demonstrating as he always had. Throughout this period he continued to inspire and embody his motto of “Never give up. Never give in.”

The BHSKC Team would like to extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends and present and former students he will be sorely missed.


New venue and time for Wednesday’s Bartley Green class…

As many of you may know there has been a change in ownership at Bartley Green Leisure Centre and changes in policy at the school that have resulted in us no longer being able to train there on Saturdays and having only an hour for Wednesdays. Thus after consultation with those who attend the class we have decided that we will be regrettably ending our over 30 years of training at Bartley Green and instead relocating the class to Longbridge Methodist Church, the same venue as the Saturday class. This decision hasn’t been taken lightly but we feel it provides the best training opportunity for all BHSKC students. The class will run from 6pm -8pm, allowing more time for training and is more accessible being close to Longbridge train station, major bus routes and road routes. The class will be taken by Sensei Austin Birks 5th Dan and Sensei Sue Hession 4th Dan.


We hope to see you all there.


The new venue:

Longbridge Methodist Church,
Bristol Road South,
B45 9TY

(opposite the drive in McDonalds)

See the Google Map here for directions.


New venue for Saturday session starting 6th May and…

Bartley Green Leisure Centre has recently undergone a change in ownership and there have been changes in the availability of the attached school premises. As you all know we have been trying to negotiate with Bartley Green so we can keep training on a Saturday, but sadly we have not been able to come to any arrangements to make this possible, so with a heavy heart we have to say no more Saturday training at Bartley Green from Saturday 22nd April 2017, but we will still be there on a Wednesday 7pm – 8pm. We can no longer go in early at 6.30pm, so please don’t arrive and go in before 7pm.

However from Saturday 6th May 2017, Saturday training will be at a new venue , Longbridge Methodist Church, Bristol Road South, Birmingham B45 9TY opposite the drive in McDonalds at the current time of 11am – 12.30pm. The class will be split between Sensei Austin Birks 5th Dan and Sensei Sue Hession 4th Dan with sessions for senior and junior grades. Sensei Steve O’Reilly 3rd Dan will be taking the Halesowen classes. Thanks for your understanding and sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

Any questions please ring Sensei Sue Hession on 07976805472

See the Google Map here for directions.


A video of Shihan Cummins training session with a…

Another great video courtesy of Eric Mather from the training session on Saturday 25th March 2017 with a nice surprise for Shihan Cummins at the end organised by one of his young student’s in her early teens, Sophie Prosser of Core Karate. Sophie decided on her own to start the application process for Shihan Cummins to be considered for an honour and upon writing to Buckingham Palace to follow up on this received a letter from Her Majesty including a little something for Shihan Cummins.


Dan Grading Certificate Presentations March 2017

Shihan Cummins presented the certificates from the March 2017 dan gradings to his students that had achieved their dan grades on the Saturday class at Bartley Green and Tuesday class at Halesowen dojo. Congratulations to Kathy Dearden from Ippon Ken Shotokan (5th Dan), Susan Hession (4th Dan), Richard Amuzu (4th Dan), Roger Cox (3rd Dan), Perry McEwan (2nd Dan), Ivan Butler (2nd Dan) and Tariq Maluana (2nd Dan) on achieving their grades. These have been a result of years of dedication and training and are great achievements.

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Shihan Cyril Cummins: Martial Arts Illustrated Hall of Fame…

On Saturday 11th March 2017 Shihan Cyril Cummins 8th dan, BHSKC Chief Instructor and founder was inducted into the Martial Arts Illustrated Hall of Fame. MAI’s Paul Barnett surprised Shihan Cummins during a special kata and kumite class with the award in the presence of some of his current and former students including Sensei Slater Williams 7th dan who created the video below. On behalf of Shihan Cummins we would like to thank everyone who attended and was involved with this special event.

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A video from the day:

News and Events

March 2017 training session

Some photos taken during yesterday’s training session. Beginners during a warm up led by sempai Blake Bartlam and a group photo of kyu and dan grades.  Click on the photo to get to the album.

Training session March 2017

News and Events

Congratulations to Sensei Hession on being awarded 4th Dan…

On the 4th of March 2017, Sensei Susan Hession successfully completed her 4th Dan (Yondan) grading under Shihan Cummins, 8th Dan. Congratulations on this amazing achievement!




GREAT NEWS: Saturday’s Kata and Kumite Class is back…


This Saturday’s Kata and Kumite class is back on.
We have a different venue for this week as the Bartley Green dojo is closed, Longbridge Methodist Church, Bristol Road South. B45 9TY. Usual time of 11am – 12.30pm.

Time to get back to training with Shihan Cummins now the gradings are over so we would like to see as many of you as possible. Don’t leave those new belts and your gi in the wardrobe come and train this Saturday. Don’t miss out:




Special congratulations for a very successful grading

Congratulations to everyone who graded today on the BHSKC March 2017 gradings. Special congratulations to the new Dan grades: Kathy Dearden from Ippon Ken Shotokan (5th Dan), Susan Hession (4th Dan), Richard Amuzu (4th Dan), Roger Cox (3rd Dan), Perry McEwan (2nd Dan), Ivan Butler (2nd Dan), Tariq Maluana (2nd Dan).

An amazing achievement. Well done to all of you.

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Ivan Butler

Tariq Maluana

Perry McEwan

Roger Cox

Richard Amuzu

Susan Hession

Kathy Dearden