Instructor Profile

Sensei Claire Gillman

1st Dan Seitou Ryu

1st Dan Goju Ryu Karatedo Seiwakai

1st Dan JKF Goju Kai


Grading History

Shodan/1st Dan – Seitou Ryu (2016)

Shodan/1st Dan – Goju Ryu Karatedo Seiwakai (2017)

Shodan/1st Dan – Japan Karatedo Federation (JKF) Goju Kai (2017)

Training History

After training as a child (until the age of around 12) and working abroad consistently for 7 years (2002 – 2009) Sensei Claire decided to get fit again as she had an inactive job at the time and wanted to make some new friends.

Being a former swimmer she decided it was a toss between karate and swimming and in her own words “I definitely know I made the right choice!”

Upon making her enquiries to a few clubs and getting nowhere, she recalls not getting a good vibe from the last person she spoke to. When she called Sensei Richard and he basically said “See you Friday then for your taster session” and Claire remembers thinking, “Oh wow, now that means I have to actually go!”

Once she started training Claire was very interested in competing as she had done so as a child. Once she reached the minimum grade of orange belt in December 2012, Claire decided to go for squad selections in January 2013 and was successfully chosen. With the exception of one season, she has been in the squad ever since.

Sensei Claire has made some amazing friends and is very happy and proud to be part of the Seitou Ryu family!

You can train with Sensei Claire on Mondays at the South Ockendon dojo.


DBS Checked (enhanced disclosure)

Paediatric First Aid (2015)

British Gymnastics Basic Trampolining (2000)

ASA assistant swimming Instructor (1998)

NNEB Diploma in Nursery Nursing (1998)

Football – Junior Team Manager (1995)



2016 – Competitor of The Year  (SRK Annual Awards)

2015 – Student of The Year (SRK Annual Awards)

2015 – Sempai of The Year – SRK 10 Year Anniversary Celebration

Competition Achievements

Sensei Claire is a member of the SRK National Squad and regularly competes in both kata and kumite. She has an impressive record of wins at local, regional and particularly at the national level where she has placed in over 25 championships in just the last few years.