Kyoshi Angela O'Connor

8th Dan M.A

Chief Executive, World Budo Kai

Over the years Angela has achieved a 5th Dan in Kung Fu, 3rd Dan in Judo, 8th Dan in Ju Jitsu, Master Practitioner of Zen Shin Katsu, Cert Ed Diploma of Acupuncture and Diploma of Aromatherapy. 

During the 60’s Chinese Martial Arts were rarely heard of in East Yorkshire but despite this, Angela’s father Norman Sangwin, joined the Amateur Judo Association. In 1940 at the age of 12, he had been introduced to Kung Fu and Ju Jitsu. Her mother, Hilda Sangwin, then began Judo after meeting Norman, and both her older brother and sister learnt Judo before her. By the time Angela was born, learning Martial Arts was a forgone conclusion for the children and in the family home the ‘Judo Room’ seemed like an excellent place for the children to play with its padded floor! One of her first memories as a child was going to sleep at night to the sound of resounding crashes, thuds and muffled gasps as Norman taught the locals various forms of self-defence. As a three year old in 1963, she didn’t know that it was unusual to have a Victorian terrace house in a Yorkshire seaside town where the entire downstairs been knocked through to encompass a Martial Art’s Do Jo!

By the mid 60’s Norman was teaching Angela’s elder brother Kung Fu, while she was entering Judo competitions without much luck in winning gold. In 1967 she managed second place at an A.J.A Championship where she was awarded a bar of chocolate for runner up! Having refused to accept the chocolate trophy, Hilda Sangwin donated her very own medallion that she had won that year in the women’s competition to her daughter – which Angela still looks after now.

After 1972 Norman set up Judo and Kung Fu classes in Hornsea, followed by Hull. The popularity then led to the formation of the Martial Arts Associated Clubs in 1974 a multi-style organisation with Norman at the helm. With hard work and commitment Angela obtained her first Black Belt in Kung Fu in 1977. This then paved the way for her Black belt in Judo, and in turn her Black Belt in Ju Jitsu in 1979. 

Angela’s Martial Arts career took a back seat when she began Nursing and then Midwifery in the early 80’s. By this time Karate and Aikido Instructors and their classes had united under the banner of the M.A.A.C and were keen to cross-train, learning new techniques under Norman Sangwin’s guidance. 

In 1982 the Sangwin family initiated week-long training courses that began in Scarborough for the first eight years, followed by Southport and then Skegness. The multi-discipline training weeks were successful for almost 20 years and it was at these courses that the Sangwins started teaching the revival system of Katsu to the Dan-grades that graduated. In 2000 after Norman retired, Angela and her sister Kathleen took over the responsibility of organising the annual training event for the United Martial Arts International Guild. Currently one-day multi-discipline Budo training courses run every three months at the Beverley Leisure Centre and are organised by Soke Colin Sangwin.

Katsu (also known as Kuatsu) had been traditionally taught to Judo and Ju Jitsu Dan Grades for centuries with Norman Sangwin continuing the tradition, instructing his students on a series of techniques required to revive the victim, how to push energy (Ki), and to relieve pain from acute trauma occurring during Martial Arts training activities. It was the beginning of structured training in Katsu and found many eager students wanting to learn the healing systems of the Martial Arts. Later this developed into Zen Shin Katsu – a system much less aggressive but able to help a wider variety of health problems.

By the mid 80’s Angela finished her Nursing and Midwifery studies and her desire to travel inspired her set sail for Australia. However, this ‘gap year’ soon turned into 12. During her time in Australia Angela taught Ju Jitsu in Frankston, Victoria and it was not long before she met her late husband, Wayne Short. Wayne enthusiastically studied Shaolin Ch’uan Fa Kung Fu for eleven years and immersed himself in the Chinese language and culture. Angela and Wayne married five months after meeting and worked together teaching and promoting Martial Arts in Victoria for 12 years. 

They developed the World Budo Kai in Australia, as a sister organisation to the U.M.A.I.G in Great Britain and soon attracted instructors of Karate, Kick Boxing, Weaponry and Wing Chun who shared common ideals in Martial Arts. They returned regularly to England to attend Budo courses during this time. 

In 1991 Norman Sangwin visited Australia and The World Budo Kai Australia hosted a multi-style event in his Honour . Angela was awarded her 3rd Degree in Kung Fu, and 5th Dan In Ju Jitsu. As a female Martial Arts instructor she also wanted to promote sensible self-defence for women and developed a popular program which she and Wayne taught to over one thousand 15 – 18 year olds each year, in over 22 Secondary Colleges in Melbourne from 1991 – 1997.

They had not anticipated the events of March 2000, when Wayne died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 43, leaving behind Angela and their three young children. Family, friends and all of the Martial Arts students were numb with shock. Wayne had been in the process of trialling a preventative health program for the Ministry of Defence involving Tai Chi and Zen Shin Katsu, which had proved more successful then they could have possibly imagined. 

At this time Angela was working in her spare time as a Nurse Assessor at NHS Direct and taught alternative therapies for the East Riding of Yorkshire Education Department. After some consideration she decided to continue with the MOD program herself, and was approached to continue teaching Tai Chi Ch’uan on Wayne’s behalf for the Ministry of Defence’s School of Transport. 

In 2004 Angela met David O'Connor and to their surprise they found that their sons Michael and David then both aged 15, attended the same Kung Fu class in Hull. Angela and David’s relationship blossomed and they married in 2005. Angela continues to teach Tai Chi and is the Complementary Therapist for the Defence School of Transport at Leconfield.

+ Soke Norman Sangwin

11th Dan M.A, Founding member of the United Martial Arts International Guild

+ Soke Colin Sangwin

9th Dan U.M.A, Chief Executive, U.M.A

+ Mandy Joules

4th Dan U.M.A, Executive Officer, U.M.A