Pat's profile


Pat O’Sullivan


I first started karate in 1974 at the Havant “Gojuryu” club.

Training was physically very hard with a lot of emphasis on body conditioning and surprisingly not so much emphasis on technique training. My first grading followed fairly quickly under Sensei Vernon Bell who was one of the main instigators of British karate.

In 1977 after a short break from training I joined the Selsey Karate Club run by Pat Connolly. The style being practiced was Shotokan and I took to this like a duck to water.

The regular visiting senior instructor was Sensei Merv O’Donnell who, as I well remember, was always a stickler for technique and timing. He had many sayings to help get the point of his teaching across. His favourite saying seemed to be “swivel those hips” Hence his nickname at the time of “Sensei swivel hips Merv”.


Pat (Purple belt) at a Selsey club competition - circa 1978


My 1st Dan was attained in 1981 with the KUGB under the direction of Sensei K Enoeda.


At that time I had a greater interest in the kumite aspect of Karate and gained several competition honours. My favourite technique being a feint front arm head attack disguising the real attack of a chudan reverse punch. It seemed to work remarkably well.



Pat against Greg Wedekind in the POKT


In 1982, SEKU was formed by Sensei Mick Dewey (Chairman and Chief Instructor) and Sensei Merv O’Donnell (Secretary and Senior instructor). At the same time I was asked by Sensei O’Donnell to become an assistant Instructor at his new Portchester Karate club. It was a great honour to be asked but it was not easy leaving my old club of Selsey. Fortunately Pat Connolly, my club Sensei and good friend, persuaded me that rather than thinking of leaving Selsey, I should think more of how it would help to build SEKU.


Sensei’s Andy, Merv, Pat and Paddy (Four in front row)


Having helped Sensei O’Donnell to establish the Portchester club and develop its first Black belts I was encouraged by him to think about starting and running my own club.

Although I was very happy being the Club Senior Instructor and covering for Sensei O’Donnell when he was absent on SEKU courses and gradings, I could see that what he was suggesting was in fact a natural personal development for myself.

I started the Fareham Karate Club in 1985 and using the principles that we had developed and proved at Portchester the club quickly grew to a good size with both a healthy junior and adult membership. Unfortunately due to work pressures I had to pass the club onto one of my senior students and as work allowed I maintained my personal training and also gained a lot of experience as a visiting instructor to clubs in the Hampshire and West Sussex areas.


In 1993 I was invited to join Sensei Jim Hele at Hayling Island as an Assistant Instructor. Sensei Jim was the Senior Referee with SEKU and looked after Referee and Judges training courses. Under his guidance I gained various judge and referee qualifications, and of course assisted with the SEKU Championships and the Portsmouth Open Karate Tournament's.

As many SEKU members will know Sensei Jim Hele fought cancer for some years but passed away in 2004. Unfortunately due to work commitments I was unable to take over the running of the club and in “a returning to my roots” manner came back in 2006 to Portchester Karate club. Upon returning I was naturally apprehensive about how I would be received by the current membership. I shouldn’t have been - in only three or four weeks it felt as if I had never been away.

To return to the top press here

Karate Day time lessons

Daytime Karate lessons are now being held on Thursday mornings at the Castle St, Portchester,  Day Centre. For further information please ring 07713284430 or email

These classes are for a range of people with varying abilities and in particular for the older and fairly active person that would like to benefit from the health aspects of practicing Karate and at the same time exercising their minds in the learning of new skills.

Existing students of Karate are also catered for in the lessons. In particular those on shift work and others that cannot get to their regular training lessons.

Further information

For the Portchester Karate Club and clubs in other areas or different training times, please email or telephone 07713284430.

Latest News

Events Calendar

<< June 2019 >>