Local Judoka Paul McConville earns his 6th Dan grade at Shinken Shobu Ryu

​The Shinken Shobu Ryu club was established just under 50 years ago by Martin Savage, a former Teacher with St Marks Secondary School Warrenpoint. Martin is a 4th Dan black belt, National Judo Coach and a National Level 4 Kata Examiner.
Paul McConville receives his 6th Dan belt. (L-R) Brian Smith, Gerard Moore, Dermot McCaul (Snr Club Coach), Paul McConville, Dawid Jurkiewicz, Olegas Gajosinskas.Paul McConville receives his 6th Dan belt. (L-R) Brian Smith, Gerard Moore, Dermot McCaul (Snr Club Coach), Paul McConville, Dawid Jurkiewicz, Olegas Gajosinskas.
Paul McConville receives his 6th Dan belt. (L-R) Brian Smith, Gerard Moore, Dermot McCaul (Snr Club Coach), Paul McConville, Dawid Jurkiewicz, Olegas Gajosinskas.

Martin started coaching Judo in the former Ulster Polytechnic as a student and later in the Budokan Judo Club based in Newry. Martin has since retired from teaching but it is because of him that Shinken Shobu Ryu covers so many areas of Judo instruction, such as formal Judo technical knowledge, training in preparation for local, national and international competitions, coaching in Judo katas which demonstrate perfect throwing principles, self defence or just getting fit and enjoying the activity.

Over the many years, Martin has gained a deep knowledge of and passion for all things Judo. This passion is matched by his willingness to share his knowledge and experiences with anyone who is interested and wishes to progress within the martial art. Club members have travelled to international competitions in France, Austria, Japan, Morrocco and to the United Arab Emirates.

The club caters for all ages of student from five years of age up to 75 years of age. Students work at their own pace but are given encouragement at every stage. All that is needed is the desire to try something new and learn. The club provides any equipment that is needed until you are ready to commit fully.

​Shinken Shobu Ryu Junior and Senior classes.​Shinken Shobu Ryu Junior and Senior classes.
​Shinken Shobu Ryu Junior and Senior classes.

Paul McConville 6th Dan

Paul McConville started Judo in 1978 with the BudoKan Judo Club based in Newry. Martin Savage, 4th Dan, Level 4 Kata Examiner, was the coach at the time. At 13 years of age, Paul was not into sport of any description, but his brother had started Judo and it was suggested that he give it a go.

It was love at first sight. He was a slow learner but as his confidence increased, he began to make gains. After two years he won a bronze medal at the NI Junior Championships. It was like winning the Olympics. He got his 1st Dan black belt at age 20, 2nd Dan two years later. He had to take a break for a number of years due to work commitments but with the introduction of the Judo Masters competitions within the UK, he gained his 3rd, 4th and 5th Dan grades.

Paul has won Gold medals in the Irish Open Championships, Irish Masters Open, All-Ireland Championships and North-West Open Championship. He has won numerous Silver and Bronze medals at the England Northern Home Championships, Salisbury Open and at the High Wycombe and Samurai Masters Championships. He is qualified as a Level 2 Judo Coach and is a keen Judo Kata enthusiast.

Paul loves nothing more than discussing Judo tactics, techniques and coaching methods. His enthusiasm for the Martial Art is infectious and inspiring. He was awarded the 6th Dan grade by the British judo Association because of his competitive nature, love of the Martial Art and his work in promoting the principles and values of Judo. You cannot gain a 6th Dan award through competition. It is awarded to you by other 6th Dan and higher grade practitioners in recognition of your work within Judo.

Dawid Jurkiewicz 1st Dan

Dawid started his Judo career in Poland aged 9. 30+ years later he still has the love for the sport/martial art and is still competing in national and international competitions.

Growing up in Poland, he trained within his regional judo team and often attended training sessions with the national team. Over recent years he has competed in a number of competitions, including the World Veteran’s Championship in Marrakech, Morrocco in 2019. In 2020 the World Veterans Championships were held in Warsaw, Poland. In 2023, he won silver in Abu Dhabi.

In the intervening years, he won silver in the All-Ireland Masters in Dublin in 2019 and Gold at the Irish masters in the Under 90kg weight category and in the Open weight category.

Juniors progressing to Senior class

We have a number of Juniors, members under 16 years, who are continuing their Judo journey, moving up from the Junior class in our sister club, Hashi Judo Club, Mayobridge, to our senior class in Warrenpoint: Charlie Rafferty, Callum Donnan, Michael O’Hare, Kalel Magee, Aoife Reavey, Maria Burns-Kimbley.

Ciaran Dunbar 4th Kyu

Congratulations to Ciaran Dunbar for attaining his Orange belt, 4th Kyu grade. Here’s to attaining the Green 3rd Kyu grade over the coming months.