Bob Rhodes, 8th Dan

Thursday 28th October 2021 – 7-9pm


Bob Rhodes was born in Leeds, North Yorkshire on the 3rd of March 1946. At school, he participated in a variety of sports so it wasn’t till he was 20 that he took up karate. Bob decided to join Leeds Shotokan Karate Club, run at the time by international competitor Ronnie Wade.

Bob first competed as a green belt at the KUGB National Championships as a member of the Leeds team which came second. He won kata and kumite individual and team events several times at the Northern Region Championships. Bob achieved final positions in the KUGB Nationals for kata and kumite and was a member of the Leeds team which won in 1973. During this time Bob was chosen for the KUGB National Squad and his first event as an international competitor was The Yugoslavian Golden Belt Competition.

For several years Bob Rhodes was a member of both the KUGB National Squad, and the GB All Styles Squad which was made up of the best fighters chosen from different styles. While Bob was in the KUGB team, they were coached by sensei Enoeda who at the time was also the European Chief Instructor. The KUGB team was successful in winning many International and European championships, and participated in World championships. Bob was also a member of the KUGB team which won several times in the All Styles National Championships, and he achieved 2nd and 3rd in the individual kumite events.

For the GB all styles team, the coach was sensei Steve Arneil. Bob was successful with the kumite team coming first in many international events against countries including France, Japan and Sweden. He was also successful with the same team in European and World team kumite events . Bob’s international career culminated in victory when at the age of 29, he was part of the kumite squad that beat the Japanese to win the world championship in California in 1975.

After retiring from international competition, Bob was elected KUGB Northern Region Officer where he was responsible for organising competitions and courses as well as instructing and coaching the Northern Region Squad. Bob carried out the duties of this position for 15 years.

Bob Rhodes became one of the eight KUGB grading examiners in the 1970s qualifying to grade up to 1st Kyu. In 2004 Bob Rhodes was appointed as a black belt grading examiner, a position only held by 6 people in the UK at the time. He was also a member of the KUGB Technical Committee, responsible for discussing and making decisions on technical matters. Bob was awarded 7th Dan in 2005 and 8th Dan in 2014 by the KUGB.

Bob has had many teaching successes including being coach for the KUGB Scottish Squad for a year. Within his Leeds Shotokan Karate Club where he was chief instructor for more than 30 years, Bob coached and mentored many successful national, international and world competitors including Sean Roberts, Randolph Williams, Caroline Quansah, Vivian Roland, Nick Heald and Matthew Price.

Bob Rhodes is a qualified National, European and  World Championship Referee and has had the responsibility of refereeing the finals in many of these competitions.

Bob has taught at clubs and courses all over the country as well as abroad. Over many years he has developed an extensive interest in exploring and creating kata bunkai and oyo which he is often asked to teach on courses. He will continue for as long as he can to teach and impart the vast knowledge he has gleaned over a long and active career.

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