Ged Moran

I believe that if the WKF type of Karate gains more popularity, it will be at the expense of Traditional Karate standards. It won’t be the death of good Shotokan; There are still a lot of top-class associations out there, but they will sadly become the minority.

Ged Moran

An experienced karateka, Ged Moran has been practising Shotokan Karate since the 1960s. Known for his flexibility and his teaching, it is through his video company, Legend Television that he is best known. Through Legend TV he has documented the golden age of the KUGB. Without his footage, an important part of Karate history in the United Kingdom would have been lost.

Ged Moran was born on 12 December 1943, in Salford, England. Salford was considered one of the toughest parts of Manchester. He was the oldest of two children, having a younger sister.

In 1944 Moran’s uncle, Bernard Moran, died in Normandy, France, during World War II. He was aged 31.

In his teens, Moran was very fit. He was a keen cyclist until his 20s.

In 1958 Moran left St John’s Roman Catholic Boys School. He became an apprentice engineer.

By 1967 Moran had begun learning Judo at a Manchester dojo. One night, he watched a Karate class and was impressed by what he saw.

Moran began learning Karate from Peter Casson in 1967. A brown belt, Casson was a member of the KUGB (Karate Union of Great Britain).

In June 1967 Keinosuke Enoeda visited the Manchester dojo. He conducted a grading, following a training course. In his first grading, Moran was promoted to 8th kyu by Enoeda. This was also the first time he met Andy Sherry, who would have a big influence on his Karate.

Andy Sherry would sometimes visit the dojo to conduct courses. Moran developed a deep respect for him and would always try to attend any of the courses conducted by him.

In 1969 Moran established the Salford Shotokan Centre. It was Sherry who suggested he open a dojo in Salford. The dojo was located close to the Manchester docks. On the odd occasion, drunken seamen would come to the dojo to challenge him. His Karate proved to be a deterrent.

Apart from teaching Karate Moran also worked as a taxi driver in Manchester.

By 1970 Moran was training regularly at the Liverpool Red Triangle’s instructors’ morning class, under Andy Sherry, twice a week. The training was tough. Other members of the class included Terry O’Neill, Bob Poynton, and Frank Cope.

In 1974, Moran was promoted to 1st Dan. That year he became a professional instructor. He eventually ran nine dojos.

Moran met Lynn Powell in 1976. Powell was a Wado-Ryu practitioner who ran the Merthyr Karate Club. Moran was asked to teach classes at the dojo. The club eventually joined the KUGB. This helped to establish Shotokan Karate in Merthyr Tydfil and South Wales.

In 1977, the Salford Shotokan Centre was happy to host a visit from KUGB Chief Instructor, Keinosuke Enoeda.

Moran began a course with the Open University in 1978. He studied Media Post Production.

In the early 1980s, as was common with some karateka of the time, Moran did some door work. He worked on the doors of the notorious Ritz Nightclub in Manchester. Moran has described his time on the doors as a testing ground for what worked and what didn’t. Other notable karateka such as Terry, O’Neill and Gary Spiers have said the same thing.

Moran graduated from the Open University in 1983.

By 1985 Moran had purchased some video recording equipment. He began recording at the various national and international KUGB events he attended. He also recorded at KUGB squad training sessions. Over time he has amassed an archive of more than 600 hours worth of footage.

In June 1988 Moran resigned from the KUGB. This was mainly due to his increasing workload from the filming he did. By this time he had become a qualified KUGB referee.

In December 1990 Moran established Legend Productions. A production company, it became a world leader in creating martial arts programs.

Moran established the BSF (British Shotokan Federation) in 1993, becoming Chief Instructor. At its peak, the BSF had over 2000 members. Around this time he also started training with Peter Consterdine of the BCA (British Combat Association). Consterdine would sometimes visit the Salford dojo where he would teach classes for black belts and doorman.

Moran eventually joined the JSKA(GB) under Charles Gidley and George Carruthers. He became the JSKA(GB.) Executive Secretary. The JSKA(GB) was affiliated to Keigo Abe’s JSKA (Japan Shotokan Karate Association).

In 1998 Moran was promoted to 6th Dan by Charles Gidley and the British Kyogi International Technical Committee.

Moran was a strict examiner when it came to Black belt gradings. He wanted his association to maintain a high standard. In 2004 following a grading where he failed 20 out of the 21 students, several dojos left the BSF, taking many of their members with them.

Moran closed the BKF in 2004.

In 2005 Moran was promoted to 7th Dan by the EKGB (English Karate Governing Body), and the ISKS (International Shotokan-Ryu Karate-do Shihankai).

Moran moved to Staten Island, New York, in 2008. He eventually began training and teaching at the Brooklyn dojo of Thomas Casale of the JSKA-USA. Casale had been a member of the United States Karate team from 1988–1994.

In the United States, Moran had the opportunity to train and teach at other Shotokan dojos, including those run by Richard Amos, John Mullin, and Steve Bowkowski.

Moran retired from actively teaching in 2009. Much of his time much of his time was taken up by Legend Productions. He frequently travelled between the UK and the United States.

In May 2022 Moran resumed training with Peter Consterdine in Leeds.

On 19 January 2023, Moran was promoted to 9th Dan, by Peter Consterdine and the British Combat Karate Association. Consterdine presented him with his certificate.

Ged Moran currently lives in Staten Island. He has a son and daughter, and several grandchildren.

Charity has been a very important part of Moran’s life. For many years. He has done unpaid voluntary work at St Ann’s Hospice in Manchester.

Moran has never been afraid to speak, his mind, a right he has earned. He has strong views on the growth of sport karate at the expense of traditional Karate.

Over the years Moran has written many articles for publications such as Shotokan Karate Magazine.

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