Randolph Williams, 6th Dan, KUGB
Leeds Shotokan Karate Club is very sad to announce the death of Sensei Randolph Williams, 6th Dan.
Randy started training at LSKC in 1975 under Sensei Bob Rhodes, and after two decades of achievements as a national and international competitor took over the club in 2000. With the support of the KUGB, he has led the club from strength to strength and produced many fine Karatekas, including National squad members and National and Regional champions.
He passed ROKU-Dan (6th Dan) in 2006 and became a grading examiner shortly after and was set to continue developing in his role as a KUGB senior instructor. Randy was truly inspiring, engendering strength, self-belief and discipline in all who trained with him. His strength of character and mind is etched on the hearts of young and older club members alike, and the club will endeavour to take forth all that he has taught over the years to a high standard of Karatekas, compliant in all aspects of Karate-do.
Randy started training at LSKC under Sensei Bob Rhodes in 1975. Passing Shodan (Black Belt 1st Dan) in April 1982, he was selected for the K.U.G.B National Squad in 1983 and represented the British Team at the World Championships held in Egypt that year. He passed Nidan (2nd Dan) in August 1984 after competing with LSKC at the KUGB National Championships, Crystal Palace, where he gained 1st place in Team Kumite. Guided by Sensei Enoeda and Sensei Sherry, he kept his place on the National Team for 8 years alongside the likes of Frank Brennan, Ronnie Christopher, Gary Harford, Ian Roberts, and Jane Naylor. During this time, he travelled all over the world for competitions. After a succession of 1st and 2nd place Team Kumite medals, most notably at the E.S.K.A Championships in Sunderland in 1986 and 1987, he passed Sandan (3rd Dan) in May 1988.
The next decade saw a string of further achievements. This included 1st place Kumite awards in E.K.B. and K.U.G.B championships, both individually and as a National team member; winning the Shotokan Cup Individual Kumite in 1991, 92 and 93; passing Yondan (4th Dan) in October 1993 after gaining 1st place Individual Kumite in the Northern Region Championships and becoming K.U.G.B. Individual National Kumite Champion in 1996. He retired from individual competitions at this point, but continued to play a role in team competitions, and passed GO-Dan (5th Dan) in October 1998.
Having competed for 20 years, he decided it was time to pass on some of the knowledge and experience gained from senior instructors and through training. Taking over from Sensei Rhodes, Randy started running Leeds Shotokan Karate Club in August 2000. He has developed the club over the last twelve years during which time he passed ROKU-Dan (6th Dan) in October 2006 and became a Grading Examiner in June 2007. LSKC continues to grow in standard and size, and currently has nearly 100 members, including National squad members and National and Regional champions.
Randolph Williams Personal Profile:
Started training at Leeds Shotokan Karate Club, under club instructor Sensei Bob Rhodes in 1975. My reason for taking up martial arts was simply to get some sort of discipline into my life, also during the 70’s and 80’s Kung Fu was all the rage at the Movies. I was totally hooked by the way arms and legs were been used as weapons both to defend at attack. AMAZING.
I only lasted 6 months on my 1st attempt; it certainly was not as easy as it looked on screen. In fact, I was surprised at the amount of hard work and dedication that was needed.
After rejoining the same club in 1978, I have continued to this present day. In 1982 I travelled down to the “Red Triangle Dojo“ in Liverpool with 2 of my club mates for squad selection, that meaning selection for the National Squad.
Members from other clubs attended, they too wanted a place on the squad, we all had to fight each other in order to be selected. Sensei Enoeda and Sensei Andy Sherry took the training and selected only 2 people from those that had attended. I was unlucky, on this occasion I wasn’t picked. I went away pleased with my performance, and Sensei Enoeda explained had they need 3 fighters I would have been the third, not bad for a Brown Belt.
In 1983 I was selected and became a member of the K.U.G.B. National Squad. My first ‘away’ outing was at E.S.K.A. Championships held in Munich, Germany. I fought in the team, we battled our way to finish 3rd place in the event. I also represented the British Team at the World Championships held in Cairo, Egypt that year. Team members included brilliant karate exponents such as Bob Poynton, Steve Cattle, George GodFrey, Frank Brennan to mention a few. Although we did not win anything on that outing we had a good time.
My ‘home’ debut was at Crystal Palace at the National Championships in 1984. In those days the K.U.G.B. always had an international friendly match. I can remember feeling extremely nervous, had it not been for Frank Brennan who was also on the team, giving me a few words of advice from his own experience which helped me to ‘chill out’ I don’t know what would have happened. After that I was fine, we won the Friendly event.
I kept my place on the National Team for a period of Eight years in that time I was fortunate to travel all over the world, places like Sweden, Turkey, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland that come to mind. My fondest memory was the trip to California in 1987 just before the E.S.K.A.
Championships, which were to be held in Sunderland of that year. Headed by Sensei Enoeda and Sensei Sherry the squad included the likes of Frank Brennen, Ronnie Christopher, Gary Harford, Ian Roberts, George Best and Miles Draper, not forgetting the women Karen Finley, Jane Naylor and Julie Holdsworth. We all had a good time, trained every day for the time we stayed out there and amused ourselves in the evening. Needless to say, the whole experience brought the team spirit to its maximum as we then went on to become Team Kumite winners at the E.S.K.A. Champs that year.
Over the years that I have been training I have met a lot of people and made a lot of friends. I have trained with some of the world's most outstanding competitors, in the early years, people like Terry O’Neil, Steve Cattle, Billy Higgins, before they retired. The team of the eighties renowned fighters like Ellwyn Hall, George Best, Gary Harford, Ronnie Christopher, and the most talented competitor, in my opinion, is Frank Brennen.
I have trained under many senior Japanese instructors, Sensei Enoeda, Tanaka, Tabata and Case Sensei. British instructors, Sensei Sherry, Terry O’Neil, Bob Poyton, Billy Higgins, Frank Brennen and not forgetting my club instructor and mentor Sensei Bob Rhodes who I have trained under from day one. All these people have had a hand in all my achievements.
As a competitor at international level, a lot of my success is down to the coach and squad members who motivated and encouraged me to do well. At national and domestic level again success was due to a lot of encouragement from teammates and club members. To mention a few, past and present, Norman Gommersall, Geoff Fletcher, Kevin Rushworth, and good friends Sarjeet Singh, and Wilburt Liburd.Then there are Nick Heald and Mat Price who have both gone on to be senior internationals and run their own clubs.
After becoming the K.U.G.B National Individual Champion in 1996, I decided it was the right time to retire from individuals competition, and just be available for the team for the next 4 years.
Randy Williams’ Achievement List:
1979: K.U.G.B Shotokan Cup Brown Belt Kumite 2nd place
1980: K.U.G.B Shotokan Cup Brown Belt Kumite 1st place
1981: K.U.G.B Shotokan Cup Brown Belt Kumite 1st place
1982: April 18th Passed Shodan ( Black Belt 1st Dan)
1982: K.U.G.B Shotokan Cup Black Belt Kumite 2nd place
1983: North of England Open Karate Championships Individual Kumite 1st place
1983: E.S.K.A. Championships Team Kumite 3rd place.Munich, Germany
1983: World Championships, Cairo, Egypt
1984: Northeast Open Karate Championships Individual Kumite 1st place
1984: K.U.G.B National Championships Team Kumite 1st place
1984: August 17th Passed Nidan ( Black Belt 2nd - Dan)
1985: E.K.B National Championships Team Kumite 1st place
1985: E.S.K.A. Championships Team Kumite 2nd place. Istanbul, Turkey
1986: E.K.B.National Championships Team Kumite 1st place
1986: E.S.K.A. Championships Team Kumite 1st place. Sunderland, England
1987: E.S.K.A. Championships Team Kumite 1st place. Sunderland, England
1988: May 12th Passed Sandan ( Black Belt 3rd Dan )
1988: E.K.B. National Championships Mid. Wt. Individual Kumite 1st place
1988; E.S.K.A. Championships Team Kumite 1st place
1990: E.K.B. National Championships Mid Wt Individual and Team Kumite and Team Kata 1st place
1990: Member of World Championship Squad that beat Japan in the finals to win Gold in Sunderland
1991: K.U.G.B. Shotokan Cup Kumite 1st place
1992: K.U.G.B. Shotokan Cup Kumite 1st place
1993: K.U.G.B. Shotokan Cup Kumite 1st place
1993: Northwest Open Karate Championships Individual Kumite 1st place
1993: Northern Region Championships Individual Kumite 1st place
1993: Oct 9th Passed Yondan ( Black Belt 4th Dan )
1993: Represented the K.U.G.B. at the E.S.K.A. Championships in Cyprus
1994: K.U.G.B. National Championships Team Kumite 1st Individual Kumite 2nd
1995: K.U.G.B. National Championships Team 1st place
1995: K.U.G.B. Shotokan Cup Kumite 1st place
1996: K.U.G.B. National Championships Individual Kumite 1st place Team kumite 3rd place
1998: Oct 3rd Passed GO-dan ( Black Belt 5th Dan )
1999: K.U.G.B. National Championships Team Kumite 1st place
2000: K.U.G.B. National Championships Team Kumite 2nd place
2006: Oct 7th Passed ROKU-dan ( Black Belt 6th Dan )
2007: June 1st Grading Examiner