Sensei Mark Donaghy, 6th Dan and Sensei Libby Donaghy, 4th Dan

Sensei Mark Donaghy, 6th Dan

Sensei Mark and Sensei Libby Donaghy are the co-instructors of the Shi-Gaku-Kan. Their teaching is shared in two venues, in Aberdeen and in Peterhead. Most of their students attend at one or the other venues, but a few of the most dedicated train at both. With upwards of 60 adult students and more children, theirs is by far the largest single karate club affiliated with the SKIF in Britain. Sensei Mark and Sensei Libby devote their lives completely to karate-do, having no other livlihood than that provided by their students' fees.

Sensei Mark Donaghy was introduced to karate almost by accident: he saw a class taking place when he was looking to attend an evening class in break-dancing, but when he saw karate he knew at once that karate would take over his life. At Mark's first lesson his new sensei suspected a temerarious spirit and decided to test his aptitude for self-discipline by making him stand in kiba-dachi for the whole session. Despite the testing beginning, perhaps even because of it, Sensei Mark at once became a dedicated karateka and has devoted his whole adult life to the practice and study of karate-do. When he left school he turned down the opportunity of an apprenticeship in hydraulic engineering, choosing instead to become a labourer in a fish-factory and subsequently a fish-filleter working 12 hour shifts, so that he could spend the rest of his time in physical training and developing his karate technique. While still a young man he decided that he would practise karate full-time, earn his living, and support his family teaching the art.

Sensei Libby Donaghy, 4th Dan

Sensei Mark's wife Libby was not enthusiastic about karate at first, but as a result of Sensei Mark's dedication to the art, she decided to explore karate agreeing to persevere in the art as far as her green belt before deciding whether or not to give it up. Like her husband, Sensei Libby was drawn into karate after her first lesson, and now as a 4th Dan and has been a co-instructor in the Shi-Gaku-Kan Dojo for many years.

Sensei Mark was already married and had already drawn Libby into karate when he spoke to her about his ambition. After much perseverance and many sacrifices Sensei Mark and Sensei Libby have achieved the goal that seemed at first unattainable: they practice and teach karate-do together full-time.

Sensei Mark was SKKIF national champion in kumite in 1996 and in kata and kumite, making him Grand Champion the following year and every year to 2003 when he withdrew from competitive sporting karate to concentrate on karate-do. He also represented Scotland and the United Kingdom in international competition. He started karate in 1984 under the instruction of Sensei Jim Hardie. He was graded Shodan in 1988 by S. Hardie and R. Burns, to Nidan in 1991 by S. Hardie, and from Sandan to Rokudan by Kancho Kanazawa, to Sandan in 1995, to Yondan in 1999, to Godan in 2004, and Rokudan in 2009. Sensei Libby was graded Shodan by Jim Hardie in 1992, and from Nidan to Yondan by Kancho Kanazawa, to Nidan in 1995, Sandan in 2000, and Yondan in 2010.

As leaders of the Shi-Gaku-Kan Sensei Mark brings Yang, power and precision, and Sensei Libby brings Yin, precision and power.

(Revision date: Wednesday 24th July 2013)