Ivan Birch

I started my karate journey in 1975 at the University of Salford, under the instruction of Mike Toze and Carl Douglas. As club secretary I helped organise the National Student Championships, where I first met sensei Poynton who became a close and constant friend. After university I moved to Eastbourne and as a 4th kyu became a founder member of the University of Brighton karate club. I gained my 1st dan in 1984, and in 1985 helped start the Red Lion Shotokan Karate Club, where I still train and teach. I gained my 6th dan in 2014.


I am an emeritus professor of human sciences and work as a consultant expert witness in forensic gait analysis, the study of the way people walk to assist in the process of identification. I feel privileged to be able to assist the criminal justice system and work with police, security agencies and defence teams in the UK and overseas.