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Latest from BHSKC

  • Jun 12 / 2017
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Funeral Service: Shihan Cummins’ laid to rest

Today was the funeral of our Chief Instructor and founder, Shihan Cyril Cummins 8th dan. The funeral service took place at Our Lady and St. Rose of Lima in Weoley Castle attended by numerous family members, friends, colleagues and students from throughout his karate days including Sensei Yoshinobu Ohta, Senseis Ronnie Christopher, Ronnie Canning and Slater Williams and many others plus friends from his time as a bus driver and other former careers. Others had expressed their regrets about not being able to attend but wanted his friends and family to know that their thoughts were with them.

Shihan’s coffin was carried by three family members and three of his students and close personal friends and welcomed to the church with a guard of honour all wearing their gis and obis lining the pews and accompanied to and from the alter by a personal guard of his current students. As the coffin passed students bowed to pay their last respects.When the coffin reached the front of the church his six personal guard performed a final bow to Shihan  lead by Shihan’s senpai Sensei Austin Birks before they stood as a honour guard by the coffin throughout the service.

A moving tribute was paid to Shihan Cummins by Sensei Austin Birks,  Sensei Matt Russell read a poem he had written and Senseis Ronnie Christopher, Ronnie Canning and Lloyd Stephenson gave a touching at at times humorous tribute describing training with Shihan Cummins in the 70’s.

At the end of the service again the personal guard lead a final bow with Shihan’s coffin being led from the church by two of his young students who awaited him at the exit.

Shihan Cummins was laid to rest at a private interment accompanied by his family, personal guard and close friends followed by a private wake where a few stories where exchanged remembering past  times with Shihan Cummins.

The family and all of us at BHSKC would like to thank everyone who participated to day to help carry out Shihan’s final wishes and give him the send off he deserved. We will be holding a get together in the near future so that all students can gather together to remember Shihan and share memories of their times training with him.

Below are just a few pictures from training with Shihan Cummins


  • May 28 / 2017
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UPDATE: Funeral of Shihan Cummins

Funeral update:
12/06/17, 11am
Our lady and St Rose of Lima
Gregory Avenue
Weoley Castle
B29 5EA

Those wishing to take part in the guard of honour please be there from 10.15 – 10.30 at latest to practice, wearing your gi and smart appropriate foot wear. Please can you find parking spaces on the roads adjacent to church as it’s a small car park and is needed for family members thankyou.

Anyone who can make it to Longbridge on a Wednesday or Saturday for training, we will also be running through the guard of honour etiquette .

This is shihans last dojo please make it one to remember. If you’re an instructor I would appreciate knowing how many students will be coming to form the guard of honour, there will be students there who will have been able to practice who will guide those who haven’t, please be guided by them, Osu.

All are welcome to attend the service but after the service there will be a private interment for family and invited guests.


Sensei Sue Hession

  • May 23 / 2017
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Details for the Funeral of Shihan Cyril Cummins

We are now able to announce the details for the funeral of Shihan Cyril Cummins. As per Shihan Cummins’ wishes the family have requested that all karateka attending the funeral wear their gi and obi (karate suit and belt) to the ceremony.

The funeral will take place at the following location on Monday 12th June 2017 at 11am:

Our Lady and St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church
Gregory Avenue
Weoley Castle
B29 5EA
See the location on google maps here:

  • May 16 / 2017
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Enquiries about Shihan Cummins’ funeral

We would like to thank everyone for all the kind messages of condolence and sympathy on this site, our Facebook page and our posts in Facebook Shotokan groups and pages.

As I’m sure you appreciate it is a difficult time at present for his wife and family who are dealing with the loss of Shihan Cummins and taking care of the necessary arrangements. Therefore it would be greatly appreciated if people could refrain from calling the house in order to enquire as to the date of the funeral. Once the necessary arrangements have been completed and family members informed we will post an announcement here and on our Facebook page with regard to the funeral arrangements.

Thank you for your understanding during this difficult period.

The BHSKC Team

  • May 13 / 2017
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Memories of Shihan Cyril Cummins

Thanks to Gary Tully for sending in this photo taken at the KUGB Nationals at Crystal Palace where BHSKC won 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. What a great memory and proud moment for Shihan Cummins and his students.



  • May 12 / 2017
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Personal video tributes in memory of Shihan Cummins 8th Dan R.I.P.

This is a personal tribute from a BHSKC team member that has been created to remember Shihan Cyril Cummins’ long and successful career in Shotokan Karate.

His personal ethos was very simple: Never give up, never give in. His memory will live on with the many karateka around the world who will train as he expected them to.

Thank you, Shihan Cummins. Osu.

Here is a short video courtesy of Eric Mather in memory of a truly great karate practitioner, instructor and mentor. Sayonara Sensei.

  • May 12 / 2017
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R.I.P. Shihan Cyril Cummins 8th Dan

Shihan Cyril Cummins 8th Dan 1938 - 2017

Shihan Cyril Cummins 8th Dan 1938 – 2017


It is with great sadness that we have to inform you that Shihan Cyril Cummins 8th Dan, Chief Instructor and founder of Birmingham and Halesowen Shotokan Karate Club has passed away after a short battle with cancer.

Shihan Cummins was a pioneer of karate in the West Midlands originally starting training in 1964 initially gaining his shodan in 1966 with the Budo of Great Britain. After training with sensei Hirokazu Kanazawa he later retook his shodan with the KUGB / JKA in 1968. He continued to grade with the top Japanese sensei within the JKA receiving his 6th Dan from Sensei Keinosuke Enoeda. Shihan Cummins remained with the KUGB / JKA for many years as a senior instructor, grading examiner and national referee. During this time he was a constant fixture at Sensei Enoeda’s Crystal Palace training courses, training on every one of Sensei Enoeda’s courses from 1967 until Sensei Enoeda’s death. He was also a regular instructor in Sweden for the Spring Course for almost two decades. He appeared on the covers of Combat, Traditional Karate and Shotokan Magazine being inducted into the “Combat” and “Martial Arts Illustrated” Halls of Fame as well as appearing many times in the press and media.

Shihan Cummins was known as the Trainer of Champions, training many champions over his over 50 years of training including National, European and World Champions including renowned competitors such as Sensei Ronnie Canning and Sensei Ronnie Christopher. Many of his students have also gone on to become instructors in their own right continuing his legacy in karate.

After leaving the KUGB, Shihan Cummins continued to teach his brand of fierce, no nonsense traditional Shotokan karate for which he was famed at BHSKC introducing and inspiring new generations of students in Shotokan karate as well as the bo, sai, tonfa and other weapons.

He celebrated his 50th year of karate training in 2014 having previously being awarded his 8th Dan in 2013 by NAKMAS. As a sign of respect and acknowledgement of his great contribution to karate upon receiving his new rank, his senior students decided to use the honorific title of “Shihan” when addressing Sensei Cummins in class at BHSKC.  Shihan Cummins agreed to this but was never a stickler for ceremony and was happy for his students to address him as both “Shihan” and “Sensei”.

After receiving his terminal diagnosis Shihan Cummins continued to teach and pass on his vast wealth of experience and knowledge taking his last class at the long standing BHSKC Halesowen dojo where he taught Gankaku with bunkai a few weeks before his death, taking questions from students and demonstrating as he always had. Throughout this period he continued to inspire and embody his motto of “Never give up. Never give in.”

The BHSKC Team would like to extend our deepest condolences to his family, friends and present and former students he will be sorely missed.

  • Apr 29 / 2017
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New venue and time for Wednesday’s Bartley Green class starting 3rd May 2017

As many of you may know there has been a change in ownership at Bartley Green Leisure Centre and changes in policy at the school that have resulted in us no longer being able to train there on Saturdays and having only an hour for Wednesdays. Thus after consultation with those who attend the class we have decided that we will be regrettably ending our over 30 years of training at Bartley Green and instead relocating the class to Longbridge Methodist Church, the same venue as the Saturday class. This decision hasn’t been taken lightly but we feel it provides the best training opportunity for all BHSKC students. The class will run from 6pm -8pm, allowing more time for training and is more accessible being close to Longbridge train station, major bus routes and road routes. The class will be taken by Sensei Austin Birks 5th Dan and Sensei Sue Hession 4th Dan.


We hope to see you all there.


The new venue:

Longbridge Methodist Church,
Bristol Road South,
B45 9TY

(opposite the drive in McDonalds)

See the Google Map here for directions.

  • Apr 27 / 2017
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New venue for Saturday session starting 6th May and changes to Bartley Green times

Bartley Green Leisure Centre has recently undergone a change in ownership and there have been changes in the availability of the attached school premises. As you all know we have been trying to negotiate with Bartley Green so we can keep training on a Saturday, but sadly we have not been able to come to any arrangements to make this possible, so with a heavy heart we have to say no more Saturday training at Bartley Green from Saturday 22nd April 2017, but we will still be there on a Wednesday 7pm – 8pm. We can no longer go in early at 6.30pm, so please don’t arrive and go in before 7pm.

However from Saturday 6th May 2017, Saturday training will be at a new venue , Longbridge Methodist Church, Bristol Road South, Birmingham B45 9TY opposite the drive in McDonalds at the current time of 11am – 12.30pm. The class will be split between Sensei Austin Birks 5th Dan and Sensei Sue Hession 4th Dan with sessions for senior and junior grades. Sensei Steve O’Reilly 3rd Dan will be taking the Halesowen classes. Thanks for your understanding and sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.

Any questions please ring Sensei Sue Hession on 07976805472

See the Google Map here for directions.

  • Mar 28 / 2017
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A video of Shihan Cummins training session with a special surprise

Another great video courtesy of Eric Mather from the training session on Saturday 25th March 2017 with a nice surprise for Shihan Cummins at the end organised by one of his young student’s in her early teens, Sophie Prosser of Core Karate. Sophie decided on her own to start the application process for Shihan Cummins to be considered for an honour and upon writing to Buckingham Palace to follow up on this received a letter from Her Majesty including a little something for Shihan Cummins.