GBOYEGA OLATUNDE | 4TH DAN | INSTRUCTOR
Sensei Gboyega’s first contact with martial arts was in 1990, it was however the Korean art of taekwondo that he was introduced to after following his cousin to a taekwondo class in his area. Nothing come of this interest until a fateful day in late November 1993, he saw his neighbor (then 12 years old) practicing karate; out of curiosity, Gboyega asked to be shown a karate move – upon throwing a punch and finding himself on the floor after an ura-mawashi geri (Hook Kick) and Ashi-Barai (Leg sweep) combination he decided to join the famed University of Lagos (Unilag) Dojo (where his neighbor trained) on December 7, 1993.
Initially training under Sensei Andrew Adebayo, his interest in karate exploded when two senior sensei’s and National Champions (Sensei Segun Akinola & Sensei Wole Babalola) visited the dojo. This provided inspiration to consistently train in the dojo and to seek additional personal instruction from Sensei Segun Akinola. While admission into the University of Ilorin (Unilorin), initially threatened to derail his karate training, he was fortunate to find a karate dojo in Unilorin headed by Sensei Jean-Claude Abanda (who was in his final year). Gboyega thus became a senior student and head of the Unilorin dojo upon Sensei Jean-Claude’s graduation. He also continued his training during school holidays and graded to Shodan in 1998.
He graded to Nidan under the Tiger of Shotokan Karate, Sensei Keinosuke Enoeda then Chief Instructor of the Karate Union of Great Britain(KUGB) upon his first visit to Nigeria in 2000. He attempted his Sandan grading in 2005 under Sensei Andy Sherry & Sensei Frank Brennan but was unsuccessful after initially coming back from a three-year karate hiatus. This grading setback (in the kata segment) ended up being a turning point in his karate, as a lot more emphasis became placed on performing excellent technique and greater understanding of the body mechanics required to perform good kata. This resulted into deepening his understanding of all aspects of kata (other styles inclusive)and him becoming one of the best young karate kata instructors in Nigeria.
He successfully graded with the KUGB, to Sandan in 2010 and graded Yondan in 2015. He possesses an in-depth knowledge of karate and martial arts, with his cross-training evident in his instruction and also possesses a wealth of experience over the years of teaching karate to young children. He is also a top-ranked Zonal Referee in Kata and Kumite in Nigeria.
Outside Karate, Gboyega holds a B.Agriculture from the University of Ilorin and an MBA (Investment & Risk) from Imperial College Business School, London. He is an associate of the Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers, and holds certifications in Fixed Income & Commodities Trading. He is a consummate investment Banker with over a decade experience in Wealth and Portfolio Management, Proprietary and Securities Trading and Business and Financial Advisory.
He is also an avid Arsenal FC Fan.