top of page

Parent Testimonials

The most important people to tell you about any martial arts class, are the ones who have experienced it first hand. So here are some honest comments I have been sent, by some of my current parents of the class. 
Kenbu Dojo logo Gloucester

"Ninjutsu training with Sinead has given my son confidence in all types of physical activity - the benefits in balance and fitness translate easily into rock climbing, rugby or surfing - he’s also more confident amongst other children as the classes are of mixed ages and has started to learn more about discipline and respect. I’d recommend it to any parent."

Nick Knowles

Kenbu Dojo Gloucester

"It’s really hard to put into words the huge positive impact Sinead and Kenbu have had on my son.  He’s been training for over five years and loves both the sport and the club.  The environment Sinead creates is really special.  There is a real sense of community, a team and all students work together even though their ages can range from five to eighteen. There is also a sense of responsibility which has sometimes amazed us.  That responsibility doesn’t lead to pressure though and, although he always wants to do well, I haven’t seen evidence he feels under pressure to achieve. 

Sinead has a special way of offering children a chance to shine.  That might be helping to teach others, joining one of the club boards, completing nationally or just being recognised and rewarded for making people smile. I think a quote that sums it up for me is after a sweaty online session I congratulated Fin on sticking with it, his response ‘A ninja doesn’t give us, I need to train to do well’.  I would recommend Sinead and the club, for any child, of any age."

Gill Balodis

Kenbu Dojo Gloucester

"What an amazing club! Our daughter has been a member since she was 8 years old and she still loves it as a teenager!  The leadership is spot on with each and every child seen as an individual.  They are encouraged, supported at every stage and can learn at their own pace.  As a parent I love that across all age groups and ability levels the children work together and this helps to give it a family feel.  I would highly recommend the Kenbu Dojo. They ensure that it's always fun and the children learn life skills,  a positive mindset and grow in confidence.  Thank you Shidoshi Sinead and Dai Shihan Marc for your passion to teach, patience, loyalty and your aim to ensure everyone is the best they can be."

Mrs Johnson

Kenbu Dojo European Karate Champions 2022

I cannot recommend the Kenbu Dojo and especially Sinead.  When Xander first started he had a learning delay.  Sinead was extremely patient with him.  The progress he has made is incredible. With Sinead's help he has moved up through his belts and became a club level member at the age of 8.  Joining Kenbu was the right decision for him, he loves his lessons and it has taught him to calm down and listen.  " I love sparring and came third in the competition last year, I love doing roundhouse kicks and I want to carry on Until I'm a grown up".

Sarah Stone

Ladies Only Gloucester Karate Group

"Just to say that my daughter Maryam absolutely loves coming to her martial arts classes each week. She's been doing martial arts with this club for 3 years now... And she still enjoys it so much. She has grown much more confident within herself since training with sinead. Sinead is an excellent teacher and really inspires and motivates her students to always perform their best."

Ummi Hasan

Kenbu Dojo Gloucester

"My son Leo has been attending Sinead's Budo Warrior School for seven years.
There is no other sport or club that he has wanted to attend for anything like that length of time.
There are probably many reasons for this.
First is Sinead's student-focussed teaching style. She is clearly an Budo expert, but more than this, Sinead understands my son Leo's skill level and personality and teaches him in a way that meets his individual needs. In Leo's words "she pushes me beyond my limits; but not too far". As a result he has made steady, and rewarding, progress.
While teaching, Sinead balances positivity with necessary structure. The class is disciplined, but there is zero machismo. (Something that I was concerned might not be the case before Leo started). Sinead organises regular social events that I'm sure have contributed to the supportive environment within the club. The students all seem to get on well together and Leo values the friendships that he has made there. The club is as much a healthy social event as it is a learning environment.
Being one of Sinead's Budo Warriors is one of the many significant parts of Leo's life, and something of which I am very proud."

Ben Bishop

Kenbu Dojo Gloucester

"I have never met a teacher like Sinead. My son learns so much more than a martial art. He has learnt team work, patience and the process of working to achieve a long term goal. The class has provided him with an extended family as well as incredible life skills. Thanks to Sinead at the age of 5 my son became the under 8s British Sparring champion. His ability to retain and remember forms and self defence moves is incredible given his young age - I have no doubt at all this is due to Sinead’s fun and patient teaching style. Would highly recommend these wonderful and inclusive classes."

Jessica Rose

Gloucester beginners martial arts age 4-7 years

"We searched high and low for a respectable martial arts school which had a passion to teach and not just greedy for an hourly lesson.
After extensive searching, we visited many schools, none really had the edge, were just money motivated, even after a trial lesson our heart wasn't feeling it.

Kenbu school came to our attention, and after getting in touch, we found Shidoshi Sinead to be very dedicated and passionate at what she does, she explained everything about her syllabus and experience which we were very impressed with.

We took our boy for a trial lesson.  We liked her method of teaching, her welcome, and how the kids are made to feel comfortable instantly.

I recommend anyone looking to start martial arts to look into Kenbu Dojo.

We can't recommend or praise Shidoshi Sinead enough for what our son has become so far, we will continue to send our son to her for years to come. Highly Recommend to anyone wanting to send their children to learn a form a self defence and gain confidence, look no further, Kenbu 100%"

Mr & Mrs Kara

Karate Beginners Kenbu Dojo Gloucester

"We have been with Kenbu for 4 years now and it has been the best decision for our eldest son. He has loved every minute of it and loves the challenges of learning techniques and forms for his next belt. Sinead’s lessons can be hard work and push the children to try their hardest but they always have a smile on their faces as Sinead’s style always makes the lessons fun. She teaches them martial arts but also confidence and gives them the ability to interact with people of different ages. She has an amazing ability to relate to each child and tailors their learning to them and their ability. Our eldest son has achieved amazing things with Sinead’s support and has gone from a shy child to quite literally taking on the world!

Our youngest has just started and even though he is a wriggly 5-year-old somehow Sinead manages to channel his energy and his concentration during the lessons. Sinead welcomes you into the club with open arms and it truly feels that you are part of the family."

Helen Burrell

Gloucester kids karate classes

"My daughter Elise has attended Kenbu for two years now! Sinead has worked really hard to improve Elise’s confidence and the change in her self -belief and independence has been amazing! This year, I was so proud that Elise was presented with ‘most improved’ student , 3rd place trophy for forms and a stances badge for her uniform,at the December tournament. Elise has made lots of friends and looks forward to coming to training every week. She’s so excited that she is now learning to use a jo staff! It’s a really lovely, welcoming group to be part of. "

Emily MacDonald

Gloucester Ninja Warriors age 4 - 7 years

"After moving to the area we spent weeks looking for a club where Ayleigh felt comfortable and confident. We trialled several different local clubs but none of them worked for her. Ayleigh was a quiet, five year old girl and she needed a club which wasn’t rough, shouty or male dominated. We were so pleased to find the Kenbu Dojo, which had a mix of boys and girls and this fact immediately made Ayleigh feel more comfortable. Sinead was so welcoming and incorporated fun games into the lesson which Ayleigh really enjoyed.  Sinead has made special efforts to keep the kids engaged, from bringing special treats back from Japan, to hosting a club tournament which was Ayleigh’s favourite event of the year. Ayleigh has had great opportunities to build her confidence over this past year and we are sad we could not take Kenbu with us on our move to Scotland."

Juliane Graham

Ladies Only Gloucester Karate Group

"Grace joined the class in 2017.  She really enjoys training and has made several friends .  As she has ongoing knee problems her training has at times had to be adapted to suit her but it has not held her back.  She has competed in inter club tournaments and also at the British junior championships.  She was extremely proud to be awarded student of the year 2019."

Vicki Reeves

Gloucester Warriors Kenbu Dojo

"Josh started in early 2019,  he was very shy to start with but with some gentle persuasion he joined in his first class, he has loved training ever since and his confidence has increased tremendously.   He was so proud when he was able to be part of the team at the British junior championships."

Vicki Reeves

Kenbu Martial Arts for Children

"Sinead runs such a rewarding class for our children and is an inspirational and natural teacher, progressing all with great skill in differentiation according to ability and exuding awesome patience and understanding. The Budo class is a safe, nurturing and respectful environment where children learn amazing self-discipline way beyond martial arts technique and it has been massively beneficial to our daughter’s self-confidence in particular. I would recommend Sinead as one of the best teachers and role models our children have had the benefit of learning with, in school and outside it. You won’t find a more dedicated Shidoshi."

Steve Brown

Kenbu Martial Arts for Children

"My daughter joined the Budo Club more than 4 years ago, when she was aged 12, having never done any martial arts before, though she had developed an interest and wanted to give it a  try.  She was made to feel very welcome by the group leader Sinéad and the other club members and quickly settled into the sessions. 

From a complete beginner she has developed all her skills, learning forms, how to spar, compete in competitions, earning new belts as she has progressed and helping to teach new members as they join. Now aged 17, the Budo Club is such an important part of her life, she rarely misses a session. She has hugely developed her self confidence and gained many friends, it is more like a family to her. She has had so many new opportunities and experiences that mean so much to her. Probably the best thing has been going away for a Budo on the Beach weekend each year in Porthcawl as a family , when the club members can train for the weekend and undertake their belt gradings, which have given us all some special memories.

 Sinead  is an exceptional group leader who includes everyone, whatever their abilities and encourages individual members to be the best they can be, whilst developing at their own pace , all with a sense of fun and care about the well being of each person.

I am immensely proud as a mum of what my daughter has been able to achieve here at the club and to see all the positive benefits for her personal development as well. 

I would highly recommend the club for anyone interested in martial arts."


Student Testimonials

See what some of our older students have to say about their classes.

The Kenbu Dojo is a great place to be because of the atmosphere that is created during the sessions, as everyone is so encouraging and supportive, and we always have fun during the sessions, no matter how serious they may be. Doing techniques might sound repetitive and boring, but we all make them as enjoyable as possible.

Having seen how small the club was many years ago, compared to now, it’s amazing to see so many more students who are progressing, and are reaching the higher ranks, which is a testament to not only the student’s hard work, but Sinead’s too. She works really hard to get each student to where they are right now, and this has been proven when we have gone to tournaments, like the British Championships, where a large number of students had placed. It is incredible because you can see how much more confident people are in what they do, as it can be quite daunting to start something that you have never done before, but then to go from being a shy, new student, to performing a Form at a tournament is fantastic!


Kenbu Dojo Gloucester

I'd always wanted to do martial arts, as I found the idea of learning techniques and forms interesting. I also knew that doing sparring would be very useful, and that it would help raise my confidence.

What I like the most about the club is the friendly and warm atmosphere. I love how everyone is kind and helps each other out, and also how welcomed new members feel. When I first joined, I definitely enjoyed my first lesson because of the people, and not just learning techniques.

I always look forward to Monday every week, as that is the day I train on. Knowing it's Monday is a very positive thought to get me through the school day!


Kenbu Dojo Gloucester

I enjoy martial arts because it helps me build my confidence in a fun way. I like working with Sinead because she is focused on helping me be the best I can be. I feel like I can talk to Sinead about anything.


I have done amazing things that I never thought I would be able to, competing in the British and World Championships, because of Sinead’s support, teaching and encouragement.


Martial arts and self defence one to one sessions Gloucester

I joined the club in 2016, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Before I joined, I’d never been that confident, but I knew I really wanted to start martial arts. I found out about the kenbu dojo and started training, which led me to become both happier and so much more confident. I’m far from the person I used to be. I think what really got me to settle in when I first joined was the friendly and welcoming atmosphere, which helped calm my nerves.


It’s now been over 4 years since I joined and I’ve made many friends here and as most of us would say, the club is like a family, which is what really makes it special I think. What’s also good is that Sinéad is an amazing instructor who cares for each and every student and works hard to make sure we feel welcomed and at ease. She also creates a perfect balance between work and play, meaning we can all have a fun time, whilst still learning new things. I look forward to training every week and seeing everyone, and always leave in a better mood than when I arrived.


Gloucester Karate Class for Adults
More comments to follow soon!
If you would like to say something about our classes and have it added to this page please email it to us at



bottom of page