Kenpo Women’s Symposium
Helping Women Find Community and Grow

Sinéad Byrne

Sinéad Byrne is a 2nd Degree black belt in Kenpo and a 6th Dan black belt in Bujinkan. Her current Kenpo instructor is Ms Jaki McVicar and Bujinkan instructor is Mr. Marc Moor. Sinéad began her martial arts journey in 2001 after attending her first Kenpo class in Dublin, Ireland. She fell in love with training, attending classes four times a week, competing at every tournament possible and practicing every second she had to spare. Once she attained her 1st Degree after a grueling test in the heat of Mexico in 2007, Sinéad also began to train in the traditional art of Bujinkan, which has taken her to Japan a few times now to train with some of the grand masters.

 Sinéad competed locally and internationally for 10 years in Kenpo, as well as open-style tournaments. She won many trophies and medals along the way, and three times she won Grand Champion. Though most would not believe it, competing terrifies Sinéad. She’s not competitive but has always loved the rush of taking part. She then took a ten-year break from competing to grow her own club, Kenbu Dojo. In 2022, she took her first team of students to Malta to compete at the European Kenpo Karate Championships. There, they had huge success, and Sinéad went through more nerves and emotions than every tournament she ever did by herself put together! Sinéad also taught her first seminar at such a big event, and as the only female instructor there, she chose the much-misunderstood topic of “Fight like a Girl,” which was well-received by all in attendance.

Sinéad now lives in Gloucester, UK, with her fiancé and runs her dojo full time. Over the last ten years Sinéad has worked in childcare and also as a sports development officer, coaching everything from gymnastics to golf. In 2019 she gave up her day job to run her own school full time. Teaching has always been Sinéad’s passion. She spent many years developing a child-friendly and fully-inclusive syllabus, tailoring her martial arts to the person instead of making the person fit her martial arts. Regardless of age, gender, additional needs, or ability, there will be a way for the students at her dojo to take part and feel included while progressing at their own rate. 

Sinéad’s other hobbies include traveling, doing arts and crafts, and going to kickboxing classes. However, she can often be found planning lessons, increasing her skills, or creating fun events. She has loved every piece of her journey so far over the last 21 years.