About Drogheda School of Karate

Serving the community voluntarily since 1969

The first news or reporting as regards a Karate Club or Karate School in Drogheda appeared in an edition of the Drogheda Independent on Friday, February 21st 1969 on page 15. An add for Karate School Demonstration read as follows: A Karate Club is being formed in Drogheda. This fine sport, which affords a person the opportunity of learning the Art of Self Defence for personal protection has really caught on in Dublin and a big effort is to be made to popularise it in the town. Dublin has about 6 clubs, the main one at the health centre in Westmorland Street. The owner Don Reilly together with green belts John Linnane and Niall Sweeney, were in Drogheda at the weekend to prepare the way for the opening of the club. It will be based at the Drogheda Amateur Boxing Club premises in the Fair Green. Cllr. Johnny Connor of the Boxing Club is delighted to have the opportunity of helping to start another new sport in the town and feels that it could catch on in a big way here. Joe Dunne of West Street who has been attending the club in Dublin for about 6 months says there are about 5 or 6 people that I know of in Drogheda taking part in Karate activities and we thought it would be a good idea to have a club in the town. It is a very good sport and we are hoping that quite a few people will take it up. Demonstration: On Saturday 3:30pm in the Boxing Club Gymnasium. Enthusiasts will have a fore taste of what to expect in the future months when Ace Japanese Instructor Mr Suzuki who is a real expert (he is a 4th Danblack belt which has taken him some 13 years to achieve) will be assisted by 8 green belts in what should prove to be a most interesting session. This is believed to be the first Karate Club outside Dublin and it is hoped to have classes on 2 nights a week. Monday’s & Wednesday’s.

Founded in 1969 by Mr. Joe Dunne and others who where already studying under Suzuki Shizuo Sensei 4th Dan in Dublin. Suzuki Sensei came to the Drogheda School 3 times a week to teach Authentic Japanese Wado-Ryu Karate -Do to the students of the Drogheda School. The Drogheda School of Karate was registered with the national governing body in Dublin. Their first Dojo was in the Drogheda Amateur Boxing Club. The School moved to various places over the next couple of years and even though the school moved from place to place Suzuki Sensei still came to Drogheda for Instruction and he also gave a couple of very good demonstrations to the General public in Drogheda until he handed over to Mr. Yoshiko Iwasaki 4th Dan in 1971. Iwasaki Sensei from Yokohama, Japan Chief Instructor of AIKW taught at the Drogheda School until 1989 and was assisted by local instructors Philip Nulty & Barry Healy and at that time his departure was a big loss to the Drogheda School. Mr. Michael Guilfoyle and Mr. Derek Desmond took over Aikw from Iwasaki Sensei.

In 2000 Mr. Philip Nulty resigned from AIKW and the Drogheda School followed suite. They formed the Republic of Ireland Karate-do Wado-Kai and appointed Mr. Oliver Brunton (7th Dan JKF) as Technical Adviser and Grade Examination Director of the Drogheda School. Brunton Sensei is a regular visitor to the Drogheda School for Courses, Seminars & Grade Examinations. In the early years the instructors were Suzuki Sensei, Iwasaki Sensei. Local Instructors were Mr. Joe Dunne, Mr. Jerry Mc Keon, Mr. James Howell, Mr Philip Nulty , Mr. Barry Healy. However, Mr. Philip Nulty has continued to teach the school since 1977. Some of the Premises used by the School were Drogheda Amateur Boxing Club, Drogheda Rugby Club, The Order of Malta Rooms, Parochial Centre, Peter St., St. Mary’s CBS, The Scholes Club, O’ Raghallaig Sports Centre , Workspace Centre , in 1997 to Oct. 2007 the Lcr Centre , Yellowbatter Pk. Oct. 2007 to Feb. 2010 Greenhills Community Sports Complex, Greenhills & presently The Barbican, St. Peter’s Parish Centre, William St. Drogheda .

Events which are highlights for the school are the Annual North V South Championships in Belfast, The Annual Cross-Border-Cross-Community Project which features people from Belfast & Drogheda coming together in Drogheda On the Boyne in a sporting, educational and social gathering thanks to the sponsorship help from Coca-Cola International Services Their Annual Easter & Christmas Competitions which are held annually since 1977, their Annual Summer Camp in Drogheda and the NIKW Annual Spring , Summer & Winter Camps in Belfast, and their Annual Presentation Awards Night. Members who were successful in Dan Grade Examinations were, Philip Nulty, Charles mc Bride, David Moran, Anita Cowley, Oliver Carolan & Philip Smith. Members have won 2 silver an two bronze medals at the European Championships And over 90 All Ireland Championships wins and over 100 runner ups, many North v South Championships Gold, Silver & Bronze Medals and some of our students finished in the Last 16 and last 8 of Wado-Kai World Cup in Japan over the years.