Damien McLaughlin 8th Dan

Sensei Damien McLaughlin HACHIDAN 8th Dan, is Warriors Chief Instructor.

He has trained in the Shukokai style since 1972. He is without doubt a MASTER in the Shukokai style of Karate.

Sensei Damien attained his Hachidan 8th Dan on the 5th May 2013. In 1972 the SKU was known as the S.W.K.U ” W ‘ stood for WORLD.


Starting his karate training originally at the YMCA in Manchester city centre under the tutelage of Sensei Steve Powell.

In 1977 he attained his Shodan 1st Dan, black belt under the legendary Sensei Shigeru Kimura. This was his third attempt as he had failed the two previous occasions under Sensei Kimura high standards. Interesting to note, no one passed on the first attempt. On the first two attempts Damien was also the reigning SKU Kata Champion.

The issue everyone was having was that Sensei Kimura had recently changed the style. Replacing the original Shukokai double hip movement with a hip twist. Over 70% of those who attended the second grading also failed due in no small part to the fundamental changes to the style he had implemented.


Damien was always good at Karate Kata and could pick up new Kata’s easily. His fighting “Kumite” capabilities were also of a good level. Sensei Damien soon became a regular senior member of the SKU Shukokai Karate Union England Squad. 

The SKU England Squad was coached at the time by Sensei Eddie Daniels 9th Dan and managed by the current SKU Chief Instructor Sensei Stan Knighton 10th Dan. 


Sensei Damien recently retired after many years as a karate competition judge and referee. During this part of his career he held the post of Chief Referee for the SKU. Organising and officiating their highly respected national and open karate tournaments.

He also was a fully qualified and accredited WUKF World Union of Karate Federation Referee. Officiating both home and abroad.

Since Sensei Damien hung up his whistle, he now prefers to focus on teaching and preparing his students for competition. His many years of experience as a competitor and referee now proves invaluable in this role. Now helping his students to reach their full potential on the karate competition circuit and tatami.