Shin gi tai

Sensei Profiles

Dermot O'Keeffe


Sensei O’Keeffe has been studying Shotokan Karate-Do since 1979, just two months before his sixteenth birthday, and it was then that he saw the man that would impress on him the true secrets of success and achievement in Shotokan Karate… Good attitude and hard work. This man is Sensei Andy Sherry, 9th Dan. Sensei O’Keeffe started training in Shotokan in 1979 under KUGB, graded to 1st Kyu under various KUGB Instructors including Sensei Eneoda.

Teaching since 1982. Sensei’s career to date has brought him to train with some of the worlds best Instructors and has gained great experience from them. Sensei O’Keeffe has been described as having a unique method of teaching, using traditional training methods as well as modern, to ensure that everyone who trains with him gets the best of old and new.He has won JKS World, All Japan & European Kata Gold and European Kumite bronze.Sensei is a qualified fitness instructor/Personal trainer (NCEHS) and Neuromuscular therapist (NMT). He is also a certified Level 2 Coach with the NCTC. With this experience and knowledge of anatomy and physiology, it means those who train with him learn how to practice karate techniques properly, thus reducing the risk of injury due to bad practice. His only regret is that all too often, politics in Karate prevent Shotokan Karateka from training together as friends,regardless of affiliation. If this was possible we could improve the development of Shotokan Karate in Ireland make us one of the best nations competing on the International stage.



1982 My instructor broke away from the KUI. Took over as Chief Instructor of the Red Dragon Karate Club.
1982-87 Trained and competed with various instructors from different styles, Wado, Goju Ryu, Tae Kwon Do, Kick-boxing. During this time won many All Styles tournaments.
1987 Won the WAKO World All Styles and Kickboxing Championships.
1988 Approached Sensei Tommy McGrane with the view to returning to a recognised Shotokan Karate Organisation JKA.
1990 Received Shodan under Sensei Andy Sherry.
1990 Competed in the World Shoto Cup in Sunderland. Also competed in the ESKA Europeans Championships in Italy.
1992 Graded Nidan under Sensei Andy Sherry.
1999 Graded Sandan under Sensei Andy Sherry.
2001 Re-opened the Red Dragon Shotokan Karate Club.
2004 Graded Yondan under KUGB panel: Sensei Sherry, Sensei Poynton & Sensei Naylor.
2006 Joined Japan Karate Shotorenmei.
2007 Won JKS World Kata Championships.

Graded Godan under JKS panel: Masao Kagawa Sensei JKS World Technical Director


Won Veteran Kata in 10th All-Japan National Championships

Over the years Sensei O’Keeffe has trained with visiting instructors like Enoeda Sensei (Chief instructor for JKA Europe), Ohta Sensei, Kawasoe Sensei, Kagawa Sensei, Kanazawa Sensei and Sensei Andy Sherry and Sensei Frank Brennan and many more. He travels regularly to Japan, to train in the JKS Hombu dojo under Sensei's Kagawa, Yamaguchi,Kanyama,Ishimine & Inada to name a few.Sensei O’Keeffe hopes to pass on as much of this experience to his students for many years to come.