About Us

The name “Gunn Academy” comes from Shaun’s ancestry line of the Scottish Clan Gunn. The Gunn motto Aut Pax  Aut Bellum that is displayed in the sword is Latin and means Either Piece or War or as Shaun likes to say the Yin/Yang of Scotland.  As the school was forming, Shaun’s family, friends and students came up with and voted on the name in honor of Shaun’s dedication to teaching and the commitment he has given as a coach, instructor and mentor.

Shaun's MMA school 306Shaun's MMA school 312

Keith Jackson

has been training in the martial arts since age 11. He began training Kung Fu and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in 1999. Since then he has achieved a black belt in Kung Fu and a black belt in BJJ as well as becoming very proficient in Boxing, Muay Thai, Judo and Wrestling. He began teaching in 2001 and has coached and instructed several MMA fighters with successful careers and titles to their name. He began teaching in 2001 and has coached and instructed several MMA fighters with successful careers and titles to their name. He has completed his black belt journey under Black Belt Noel Smith and Master Renato Tavares (American Top Team)

Shaun Wilson

has been training in martial arts for over 30 years and in the course of his training and dedication has received multiple black belts from various forms of the Arts . Shaun had trained in styles of Kung Fu, BJJ, Judo, Tae Kwon Do, Karate, Ninjitsu, and boxing; as well as becoming proficient in teaching MMA and conditioning classes. Teaching consistently for the past 20 years Shaun and has helped grow many programs at multiple schools and instructed and mentored countless students. Finally the time has come to open a new school, one to call his own, with his partner, long time friend and valued instructor Keith Jackson. In addition to the teaching he also is the Director of Operations at SCD Information Technology and the Head Security for the American Rogues (a Celitic rock band).

Clan Gunn Information:

Clan Gunn claims descent from the Norse Jarls or Earls  of Orkney and from the ancient Celtic Mormaers of Caithness  through Ragnhild, daughter of Moddan in Dale, son of Moddan,  Mormaer (High Steward) of Caithness, who was killed in 1040, and granddaughter of Saint Rognvald, Jarl of Orkney, who married Gunni, the reputed name-father of the Clan.  Gunni was himself a  grandson of Sweyn Asleif’s-son, the ‘Ultimate Viking’ and hero of  the Orkneyinga Saga.

Sweyn Asleif’s-son had his long hall on the island of Gairsay,  off the east coast of the Mainland of Orkney and lands in Caithness  at Freswick, a few miles south of Duncansbay.  The principal Gunn  lands were, however, acquired through Ragnhild, who inherited great  estates in Caithness and Sutherland on the death of her brother,  Harold Ungi, Jarl in Orkney and Earl of Caithness in 1198.

These were inherited by Snaekoll (White head) Gunni’s-son the  second chief of the Clan.  His rights to the Norse Earldom were,  however, forfeited as he had murdered John, the then Jarl in  Orkney, over a land claim dispute arising from their mutual  descent from the ancient Jarls of Orkney.  Thus from the middle  of the 13th century the Gunns were essentially a Caithness family.

At this time Clan Gunn were at the height of their power.  They  appeared to possess virtually the whole of Caithness, which was then  passing from the influence of the Norse Earldom to that of the King of  Scots.  Snaekoll Gunni’s-son is reputed to have built Castle Gunn at  Bruan, on the east coast of Caithness south of Wick.  There is a tradition  that Castle Gunn was destroyed by the King of Norway, whose daughter one of  the Gunn chiefs had married, though he already had a wife at Castle Gunn.   When the second wife sailed to Caithness to join her husband, the Gunn clan  arranged for the beacon to be placed on a dangerous rock at Ulbster and so  wrecked the ship and all aboard were drowned.  The castle was destroyed in  revenge and the Gunn chief and his retainers were slain.

Little is known of the history of the Clan during the 13th and 14th century  and it is not until the 15th century that history records the exploits of  the Clan and its chiefs.  Nonetheless, it is clear that during the 14th and  15th centuries the Gunns were gradually dispossessed of their lands in the  fertile parts of Caithness by the Sinclairs, Keiths and others, who  obtained grants of land from the Scottish kings, anxious to increase their  influence over the fringes of their kingdom.  Consequently by the mid 15th  century George Gunn of Ulbster, Chief of Clan Gunn and Crowner of  Caithness, held his main lands at Ulbster and Clyth on the rocky coast of  Caithness, and the majority of the Clan by then occupied the highland  regions of Caithness in what are now the Parishes of Latheron, Halkirk and  Reay.

It was George Gunn, the Crowner, also known as “Am Braisdeach Mor”, or  “Big Broochy” from the insignia worn by the Gunn Chiefs, as Crowners of  Caithness, who after many skirmishes with Clan Keith over rival land  claims sought to reach a conciliation with the Keiths at St. Tayre’s Chapel,  near Ackergill Tower, the seat of Keith of Ackergill in 1478 (other say  1464) and was killed in the unequal battle at the chapel where the Keiths  arrived for the twelve-aside parlay with two men to each horse.  In 1978  the Earl of Kintore, Chief of Clan Keith and Iain Gunn of Banniskirk, the  Commander of Clan Gunn, signed a Treaty of Friendship between the two clans  at the site of the chapel, bringing to end the 500 year old feud.

After the death of George, the Crowner, and his sons at Ackergill, the  Clan split into three distinct families — James or Seumas, the Crowner’s  eldest son who survived the battle, moved with his family to Kildonan in  Sutherland, subsequently known as Gleann na Guineach or Gunn’s Glen, where  he obtained lands from the Earls of Sutherland;  Robert, the second  surviving son established his line in Braemore, in the southern heights of  Caithness as the Robson Gunns, and John, the third surviving son settled  in Cattaig or Bregual in Strathmore, in the higher reaches of the River  Thurso above Westerdale.

The Hendersons and Williamsons and Wilsons of Caithness are said to be  descended from Henry and William, two of the Crowners’ younger sons.   Other Gunn families established themselves at Crosskirk, near Forss, on the  North coast of Caithness and in Reay, Strathy and Strath Halladale in the  MacKay country.  The various chieftains leased their lands from the Chiefs  of Clan Sutherland and Clan MacKay and in turn sublet these to their  immediate families who subdivided them among their families.  There was,  however, a surprising amount of movement from one part of the country to  another and so it cannot be assumed that all Gunns in one area were  necessarily all of the same branch of the family.

Indeed many clansmen do not bear the surname of Gunn.  Surnames were not  commonly used until comparatively recent times.  They would have been of  little use where everybody was of the same clan.  A man or a woman was  therefore known as John or Jean mac Sheumais or mac Dhaidh, son or  daughter of James or David, of Clan Gunn, and when a surname came to be  used many adopted their father’s name and hence John or Jean Robson,  Georgeson, Williamson etc.

The Mac Sheumais (or McHamish) Gunns continued to live in Strath Kildonan,  first at Killearman and later at Badenloch at the top of the Strath, until  the old line died out in 1782.

The chiefship of the Clan has been dormant since the death of the son of  George Gunn of Rhives in 1874.  The head of the Clan, in the absence of a  recognized chief is Iain Gunn of Banniskirk, who has been appointed  Commander of the Clan by the Lord Lyon King of Arms at the request of the  landed and armigerous members of the Clan.

The Clan Gunn Society which was formed in 1960 to promote a spirit of kinship  among members of the clan throughout the world acquired the Old Parish Church at Latheron as a Clan Heritage Center.  The Clan gathers in Caithness every three  years.

Taken from The Clan Gunn and Its Country, published by the  Clan Gunn Heritage Center, Latheron, Caithness.