The Irish Kenpo Karate Union was founded in 1979 by Ambrose Maloney. Our Chief Instructor is Paul Brennan, who runs the Glasnevin Club in Dublin. As an organisation we work to promote the highest standards in the martial art of Kenpo Karate, to teach this vital self-defence skill to its many members and to compete in the international arena. We are one of Ireland's largest martial arts organisations with over 500 members in 13 clubs run by highly qualified instructors.
Ambrose Maloney began his kenpo training in the 1960's at the Fitzwilliam Square Karate Club under John Conway. In 1972 he opened the Glasnevin Kenpo Karate Club and training took place at St Vincent's School Hall.
In 1979 he founded the IKKU. His first black belts were Paul Brennan, Joe Brennan, Anne Maloney, Stephen Maloney, Vincent Leavy and Dessie Cunningham who were all graded by Rainer Schulte.
Paul Brennan took over as Chief Instructor in 1985. Paul began training in 1975 and graded to black belt in 1981. He was graded to 2nd Dan by Ed Parker who was the founder of the Kenpo Karate system. Paul is currently ranked 6th Dan and is the IKKU Squad team coach.
In 2012 the IKKU Glasnevin Club moved from St Vincent's School hall to a new facility in Finglas.
Glasnevin Kenpo Karate Club is the headquarters of the IKKU. It now has the distinction of being one of the oldest clubs in the country, and over the years has produced over 40 black belts. The club has an annual membership of 50 students, mainly adults, but with an increasing number of juniors now being recruited.
The club has produced many international competitors through the years and currently have eight athletes on the national squad.
The club instructors are Paul Brennan and Paul Dawson, but we also have several assistant instructors, who are available to assist up and coming students.
The club try to promote a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, with the emphasis on children's classes being fun and enjoyable. We try to develop the childrens motor skills and help them learn through games which relate to karate.
The adult classes are focused on practical self defense, forms, and sparring. We also try and tailor the lessons to suit the needs of the student as they approach a grading or tournament.
We welcome new members and have designed a six week introductory course for beginners that we run throughout the year.
In the IKKU we aim to make classes fun for children of all ages, with an emphasis on enjoyment and participation regardless of ability. We want children to gain a positive experience from karate. Making exercising fun is vital. Our specially designed program, teaches a practical self defence system while increasing strength, flexibility and developing co-ordination.
Gradings are structured to give children a goal for which to aim. These take place three times yearly. The IKKU allows the student progress through the different grades in the form of different colour belts from white to black. The sense of achievement gained by the students as they advance through the system, builds self confidence and allows them develop strong self discipline which enhances focus and concentration both of which are essential in school and throughout their lives.
We encourage the children to participate in sport karate, Kata (forms) and Kumite (sparring) with the emphasis on participation, effort and enjoyment. Safety in clubs and at competition level is of primary importance; with no head contact permitted and controlled contact to the body, during Kumite.
The IKKU subscribes to the Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children's Sport as published by the Irish Sports Council.
The IKKU is committed to making every effort to ensure that young people who choose to participate in Martial Arts can do so in a safe, secure and nurturing environment. We are committed to practices that protect young children from harm and we recognise and accept our responsibility to develop awareness of issues that may cause harm.
Kenpo karate offers a very practical form of self-defence, and is a great way of improving fitness levels, self-confidence, co-ordination, flexibility and overall health all while learning an indispensable skill.
The techniques and forms that are taught in the IKKU system allow the student to build self-confidence, which is an essential asset throughout our lives.
The IKKU hold several gradings annually and training in each club is structured to prepare students in a focused manner from 8th Kyu (Yellow Belt) all the way up to 1st Kyu (Brown Belt) and then through the DAN (Black Belt) grades. The IKKU hosts two competitions annually, which involve all our members from all over Ireland. In addition to this we run squad training prior to travelling to competitions both national and international. All senior students are encouraged to get involved with squad activities and are encouraged to participate in all aspects of the association.
In the last number of years IKKU members have participated at many major international events including the British Open, The Dutch open, Scottish grand prix events, Wasquehal karate invitation, EKF European Campionships and WKF World Championships.
Safety in training is of utmost importance to the IKKU, all its clubs and their respective coaches. We are currently involved in working with the National Coaching and Training Centre, Limerick to develop Level 1,2 and 3 coaching structures specifically designed for martial arts training.
In striving to achieve these goals the IKKU contributes to enhancing its members' self-confidence, self-discipline, self-respect and self-control, as well as their physical fitness and all round sense of wellbeing.