September 2017 Newsletter

The latest newsletter (September 2017 edition) is now available for download.  Hard copies are available from the dojo or on the dojo noticeboard, or you can view it online – Newsletter – September 2017 (PDF 3.4MB).

Latest News:

  • Soke Cup Results – Kumamoto, Japan
  • Space for Rent
  • Upcoming Events

SCK Students:

  • Little Champion Belt & Tip Promotions
  • August Kyu Grading & Leadership Results
  • Attendance Recognition
  • Top Training Students
    • Little Champions – Klaire Krausz (9 lessons)
    • Karate Kids – Bailey Keefe (16 lessons)
    • Teens/Adult: Justin Otto (26 lessons)
  • Welcome New Students
  • Student Birthday’s
  • Committed to Excellence – Bailey Keefe, 7 yrs

Challenge Yourself:

  • Dojo Records

Community & Fun:

  • Japanese Lessons at the Dojo (Saturday Class for 14 years +)
  • International Senior Grading Results
  • Soke Cup – Demonstrations
  • June Tournament Results

Blog Posts & Articles

Download the newsletter now: Newsletter – September 2017 (PDF 3.4MB).

Grading Results – 26 Aug 2017

Congratulations to all students who successfully moved to new levels at the recent grading.  As always it’s wonderful to see students moving up to new levels.  While it’s always nice to see change in level, it’s more important to focus on your learning than the colour of your belt.

After the grading we spoke to Selina Strazari who graded to 1st kyu about her journey and we’ve asked her to write a few words about this so that we can share it with all members.  We’ve shared it in a separate post, it’s well worth the read – The Tortise Takes The Cake.

And…. the results.  Congratulations to everyone who passed their grading.

12th Kyu – Yellow Belt

  • Chloe Grice
  • Tenaya Grice
  • Nate Sihota
  • Navi Sihota

11th Kyu – Orange Belt (White Stripe)

  • Tessa Nielsen (double graded)
  • Terry Plant (double graded)
  • Abigail Robb
  • Tayah Thompson

10th Kyu – Orange Belt

  • Katja Baarslag

9th Kyu – Green Belt (White Stripe)

  • Holly Crocker

8th Kyu – Green Belt

  • Zac Evett
  • Emmett Furner
  • Flynn Jordan
  • Irena Sprey

7th Kyu – Blue Belt (White Stripe)

  • Frazer Evett

6th Kyu – Blue Belt

  • Cooper Darling
  • Steven Phillips

5th Kyu – Purple Belt (White Stripe)

  • Patrick Edwards

4th Kyu – Purple Belt

  • Paul Murray
  • Sonya Wright

3rd Kyu – Brown Belt (White Stripe)

  • Anthony Williams

1st Kyu – Brown Belt (Black Stripe)

  • Selina Strazzari

The next kyu grading will be:  Saturday, 21st October.  Registrations close:  Friday, 13th October.

And some photos after certificates and belts were presented…..

Also a photo of some of our Little Champions who have earned new tips or belts recently.

The Tortoise Takes The Cake

At our recent kyu grading, one senior members, Selina Strazzari moved up to 1st kyu.  Next step, black belt.

Like most people, her karate journey hasn’t all been a smooth easy path.  There have been times when she’s moved forwards quickly and other times when it’s been hard going for her.  After the grading we spoke to her and she shared some thoughts about her journey so far.  After listening to what she had to say, we realised that there was some good insights worth sharing, so we asked her to do this short piece of writing.

Here it is….

Personal Musings on Grading Day and the days leading up to them

The Tortoise and the Hare is a story about the two aforementioned animals having a race. You all know how it goes: Hare bounds ahead, gets tired, takes a nap and the Tortoise wins. Slow and steady wins the race. Or in this case, the black belt.

During my recent grading to 1st kyu, I came to the realisation that the dojo is made up of Tortoises and Hares.

The Hares bound along, giving it everything they have. They train hard whenever they’re at the dojo and never lose sight of the next prize. They’re the ones who shoot through the ranks with great focus and determination.

But some Hares, their mindset is different. They rise through the beginner ranks in no time and with seemingly very little effort. Then they reach blue belt. For many, it’s a tough roadblock. Things start to change from going through the motions to learning the purpose behind those motions. Time between gradings gets exponentially longer and some Hares give up. Others become Tortoises, either willingly or unwillingly. The unwilling ones generally quit the race as they aren’t progressing as fast as they are used to. The willing ones persevere, knowing that the harder they work the more progress they will make, no matter how slow.

And I, proud to admit, am a Tortoise. I didn’t rise through the ranks like a Hare. I plodded along, failing as many gradings as I passed, watching Hares overtake me. Some of those Hares finished the race, but most did not. But I continued to step forward, not losing sight of the finish line, and suddenly it was time to grade.

And now I’d like to use a cake analogy. Just because.

Baking skills are recommended.

When your card starts to fill, you begin to feel something inside you. A hunger. So, in preparation for your grading, you gather your ingredients. You gather the techniques, the strength, the spirit and the focus. You train for months, fuelled by that hunger, until you’ve gathered your ingredients. Until your sensei’s say that you have the right ones and you’re ready to start baking.

Then, on Grading Day, you mix your ingredients together and bake the cake. The more effort you put into the grading, and the better quality your ingredients, the bigger the cake. The better it tastes when it comes out of the oven. I can attest how great that feeling is.

I was on 2nd kyu for close to two years. After one year, I did a practice grading. As I didn’t have all the ingredients, my cake sunk. So I, being a Tortoise, bid my time and slowly learnt which ingredients I needed and gathered them. By the time the hunger came for the next level, I was ready. I baked my cake. It came out of the oven soft and fluffy. The feeling of success that came with that was incredible.

So if you’re a Tortoise or Hare it doesn’t matter. Just take the cake.

2017 Soke Cup – Kumamoto, Japan

The dust is now starting to settle after the 2017 Soke Cup, International Chito-Ryu Karate-Do Championships.  And we are very proud to say that our local Sunshine Coast representatives have done us proud.  Not everyone came away with medals, but everyone definitely had some great performances and learned a lot from the experience.

The Soke Cup is usually held every 3 years, but this year’s event was postponed a year due to the devastating earthquakes in Kumamoto, Japan, the host city.  As a result, competitor numbers from around the world were down a bit, but the competition was still fierce and there were still around 500 competitors.

This year our team travelled in stages.  The first group, Sensei Sandra, Klaudia Caston, Sam Hunt & Sami Phillips went 2 weeks before everyone else to train at the Sohonbu.  The weather was hot, the training was great, all in all, a great experience.  This year’s Japan training scholarship recipient, Klaudia documented her experiences on the association website, through a number of blog posts, worth reading if you haven’t already.

Sensei Helen joined the group half way through for training and the Soke Cup experience.  This year she didn’t compete, but refereed for the her first time at a Soke Cup.

During the week immediately prior to the Soke Cup, the rest of the team travelled to Japan:  Sensei Martin, Rosemarie Caston, Keanu Caston, Jack Graham, Renae Saunders, Bailey Keefe & Savannah Perdikis, plus several family members who had come along to support the team.


After checking into the hotel, everyone who had just arrived in Kumamoto took a trip to the sohonbu dojo to catch up with the others who had just finished their final training session with Higuchi Sensei.  Thankfully the weather was starting to cool down a bit thanks to the Typhoon that had passed in the days before, but it was still well over 30 degrees.

After a brief catch up, it was time for a few special presentations, upstairs in the air conditioning.  Sam & Keanu had graded to shodan (black belt) earlier in the year at the QLD camp, but now it was time to receive their grading certificates and black belts.  Unfortunately, not the best photo, but still a special moment.


A last minute addition to the schedule, we arranged to join a full day tour of around 100 people:  Australians, Canadians, Norwegian, plus a few locals who lead the tour.  We visited Reigando, a famous cave in Kumamoto where Miyamoto Musashi lived for a year while he wrote the Book of Five Rings, while there, we stopped for lots of photos, watched a demonstration from the 21st Soke of Nitenichi-Ryu (Musashi’s unique double sword style), plus interviews for the local media.  We even made it into the local newspaper.

From reigando we travelled to the Aso region and visited Meihodo facility dedicated preserving the bushido spirit of Japan.  It is an amazing place, that is definitely worth visiting.  Tanaka Sensei, and old friend and senior Chito-Ryu teacher, organised the tour and also has been working at Meihodo since February this year.  While at Meihodo, we watched several demonstrations, toured the facilities and several people got to experience using a samurai sword… no pressure with everyone watching.


Team training at the Sohonbu dojo.  In the morning Sunshine Coast & Gold Coast teams trained at the Sohonbu dojo.  Quite a few team members took the opportunity to do a bit of local sight seeing throughout the day.  And again later that day in the evening, more team training in the park outside of Kumamoto Castle.


International meetings, referee training, team training at the tournament venue, weigh-ins, final preparations…  Unfortunately we had a few team members who had come down sick on this day and probably would have preferred spending the day in bed, not the best timing.


The tournament… there are so many photos & videos on our Facebook page, take a look if you haven’t seen them already.

Sunday night after the completion of the tournament, it was time for the farewell party.  Time for everyone to let their hair down.


For most of our Sunshine Coast team, we enjoyed the day at the international training seminars with students from around the world: Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Norway, Japan.  The morning session was kobudo with Higuchi Sensei, in the afternoon we had a seminar with Soke Sensei and Naoyuki Sensei.  As always, lots of great learning.

During the morning session, a number of people from around the world were sitting senior grading tests at the Sohonbu.  There was no one from the Sunshine Coast this time, but amongst those successful in passing to new levels were:  Noonan Sensei from Sydney, passing his 7th Dan, making him the highest ranked Chito-Ryu Karate-ka ever in Australia and one of only a handful of westerners ever to achieve this rank.  Also Adam McDonanald from the Blue Mountains was successful in grading to 3rd Dan.

After a huge week for the Soke Cup, everyone headed home on Tuesday.

Now for those who attended this Soke Cup, I’m sure everyone is already making plans for the next one, which will be in 2 years time in Penticton, BC, Canada.  There is already a lot of excitement brewing and it’s sure to be a great event.  If you’ve got your eye on a place on the team, your training starts now.  Even if you’re an absolute beginner, you could be on the team.  It all starts by getting involved in the squad class, and the upcoming QLD state title in October would be a great start.

But hold on…. The results.  I haven’t shared the results yet.

I did say that the results of Sunshine Coast competitors was amazing.  That’s why we wanted to leave them until last… saving the best until last!

Here they are:

Jr D Team kata: 3rd
Bailey Keefe, Sami Phillips & Savannah Perdikis

Jr A/B Team Kata: 1st
Klaudia Caston, Jack Graham & Renae Saunders

Jr E Girls Kata: Top 8 – Savannah Perdikis

Jr D Boys Kata: Top 8 – Bailey Keefe

Jr B Girls Kyu Kata: 4th – Renae Saunders

Jr A Boys Black Belt Kata: 1st – Jack Graham

Adult Ladies Black Belt Kata: 4th – Sandra Phillips

Adult Mens Black Belt Kata: 1st: Martin Phillips

Masters A/B Ladies Kyu Kata: 4th – Rosemarie Caston

Jr Girls Team Kumite: 3rd
Klaudia Caston, Renae Saunders & Tiffani Nikolovski (Tasseikan)

Jr Boys Team Kumite: 1st
Jack Graham, Ben Dempsey(GC), Wian Harm (BM)

Adult Mens Team Kumite: 2nd
Martin Phillips, Keanu Caston, Adam Higgins (GC), Brendan Young (GC), Anthony Horgan (GC)

Adult Ladies Team Kumite: 4th
Sandra Phillips, Samantha Lenton (GC)

Jr F Girls Kumite: Fighting spirit award – Sami Phillips

Jr B Girls Kyu Kumite: 1st – Renae Saunders

Jr A Boys Black Belt Kumite: 2nd – Jack Graham

Jr A/B Girls Black Belt Kumite: 3rd- Klaudia Caston

Adult Mens Black Belt O/75kg Kumite: 2nd – Martin Phillips

Adult Ladies Black Belt U/65kg Kumite: 1st – Sandra Sandra

Tournament Champions

Adult Mens Black Belt – Martin Phillips

Jr A Boys Black Belt – Jack Graham

There you have it.  The 2017 Soke Cup from a Sunshine Coast perspective.  Now, the only question left.  Are you going to be on the team in 2 years time?

Soke Cup – Adjusted Training Schedule & Dojo Closures

The final members from the Sunshine Coast competing at this year’s Soke Cup (International Chito-Ryu Karate-Do Championships) are busy packing, ready to leave tomorrow.  While it’s exciting for all of our team who are going to Japan (and those who are already there).  It means class schedules will be effected for the next week and half.

During the period, Monday 7th – Wednesday 16th August, our dojo will be operating on an adjusted training schedule.  During this period, Senpai Matthew Stevenson will be teaching a small number of adult classes.  In fact, after speaking with him more the other day, we have decided to also open up these classes to intermediate and advanced kids (8 yrs + & green belt or higher).

The class schedule throughout this period will be as follows:

Mon 7th Aug
6:15-8:00pm – Teens & Adults, plus Kids intermediate (8 yrs +, green belt or above)

Tue 8th Aug
6:15-8:00pm – Teens & Adults, plus Kids intermediate (8 yrs +, green belt or above)

Wed 9th Aug
No classes – Dojo closed

Thu 10th Aug
6:15-8:00pm – Teens & Adults, plus Kids intermediate (8 yrs +, green belt or above)

Fri 11th Aug
No classes – Dojo closed

Sat 12th Aug
10:30-11:30am – Teens & Adults, plus Kids intermediate (8 yrs +, green belt or above)

Mon 14th Aug
6:15-8:00pm – Teens & Adults, plus Kids intermediate (8 yrs +, green belt or above)

Tue 15th Aug
6:15-8:00pm – Teens & Adults, plus Kids intermediate (8 yrs +, green belt or above)

Wed 16th Aug
6:15-8:00pm – Teens & Adults, plus Kids intermediate (8 yrs +, green belt or above)

Thu 17th Aug
Regular training schedule resumes

Good luck to all of the Sunshine Coast members representing our dojo and Australia at the Soke Cup.

  • Shihan Martin Phillips (referee & competitor)
  • Shihan Sandra Phillips (coach & competitor)
  • Sensei Helen O’Grady (referee)
  • Klaudia Caston (competitor)
  • Bailey Keefe (competitor)
  • Sam Hunt (competitor)
  • Keanu Caston (competitor)
  • Jack Graham (competitor)
  • Renae Saunders (competitor)
  • Sami Phillips (competitor)
  • Savannah Perdikis (competitor)
  • Rosemarie Caston (competitor)

2017 QLD Senior Training Weekend

This year, Sunshine Coast Karate is pleased to be hosting the 2nd annual senior training weekend open to all Chito-Ryu brown & black belt students. All QLD brown & black belt students are encouraged to make it a priority to attend this special training event. If you are unable to attend, please send your apologies.

The purpose of the senior training weekend is to help standardise the technical direction of Qld Chito-Ryu and also to help you set your goals and give you a clear direction towards your next level. For QLD members, all black belt gradings will be conducted at either the QLD camp (usually in May) or the senior training weekend (September/October) each year, so this is also your chance to witness the gradings and get a clear picture of what is expected when it’s your turn.

Saturday, 9 September

  • 8:45-11:30am Training (with regular classes)
    • (8:45-9:30am L/C class)
    • (9:30-10:30am kids class)
    • (10:30-11:30am teens/adults class)
  • 12:00-1:00pm Dan Grading & Practice Grading
  • Lunch break
  • 2:30-6:00pm Training
  • 7:00pm Social dinner (venue TBC)

Sunday, 10 September

  • 6:00-7:30am Beach Training (Maroochydore)
  • Breakfast
  • 10:00-12:00 Training
  • Lunch break
  • 2:00-4:00pm Training

Registration closes – Friday, 1st September 2017.  Senior weekend registration form – September 2017 (PDF).

A few photos from last year…

July 2017 Newsletter

The latest newsletter (July 2017 edition) is now available for download.  Hard copies are available from the dojo or on the dojo noticeboard, or you can view it online – July 2017 Newsletter (PDF 6.4MB).

Latest News:

  • Australian Team Uniform Presentations
  • Space for Rent
  • Upcoming Events

SCK Students:

  • Congratulations Beau
  • Grading Results
  • New Students
  • Student Birthday’s
  • Attendance Recognition
  • Top Training Students
    • Little Champions – Timothy Probert (12 lessons)
    • Karate Kids -Sami Phillips (27 lessons)
    • Teens/Adult: Bailey Keefe (30 lessons)

Challenge Yourself:

  • Fight-a-Thon Fundraiser’s
  • Dojo Records

Community & Fun:

  • Japanese Lessons at the Dojo (Saturday Class for 14 years +)
  • ?Over 50’s U3A Class
  • Shihan Martin Phillips Visits the Gold Coast Dojo
  • June Tournament Results

Download the newsletter now: July 2017 Newsletter (PDF 6.4MB).

Sami’s Fight-A-Thon Results

Last Friday, 23 June, Sami Phillips completed her fight-a-thon with great success.  As one of the youngest Soke Cup competitors from our dojo this year, Sami has been working hard collecting sponsorship to help offset some of the costs of competing at the Soke Cup.  On the fundraising front there has been a lot of support from family, friends, dojo members and the community and Sami is very grateful.  But the fight-a-thon itself was also a great experience too.  It was a great opportunity for Samiour junior squad members to get some great kumite match practice.

In total, Sami did a total of 20 kumite matches, broken up into blocks of 5 consecutive matches.  After each block of 5 mathches, there was a 1 minute break to recharge and rehydrate.  Here’s the results:

Matches 1-5

1. Emmett v’s Sami – Sami wins 2-1
2. Flynn v’s Sami – Sami wins 3-0
3. Savannah v’s Sami – Sami wins 2-1
4. William v’s Sami – Sami wins 2-0
5. Anthony v’s Sami – draw 0-0

Matches 6-10

6. Isabella v’s Sami – Sami wins 3-0
7. Zac v’s Sami – Sami wins 1-0
8. Emmett v’s Sami – Sami wins 3-0
9. Flynn v’s Sami – Sami wins 1-0
10. Savannah v’s Sami – Savannah wins 1-0

Matches 11-15

11. William v’s Sami – draw 0-0
12. Anthony v’s Sami – Anthony wins 2-1
13. Isabella v’s Sami – Sami wins 3-0
14. Zac v’s Sami – Sami wins 2-0
15. Emmett v’s Sami – Sami wins 1-0

Matches 16-20

16. Flynn v’s Sami – Sami wins 3-0
17. Savannah v’s Sami – draw 0-0
18. William v’s Sami – Sami wins 1-0
19. Anthony v’s Sami – Anthony wins 2-1
20. Isabella v’s Sami – Sami wins 1-0

And a few photos from the fight-a-thon too.


June Grading Results

Our recent grading was a little smaller than the past few gradings, but all students who passed have shown some great growth as they continue to develop their karate and move up the levels.  Congratulations to everyone who successfully graded.

12th Kyu – Yellow Belt

  • Silas Hart
  • Jacqui Lippey
  • Angus McCrone
  • Bailey McRae
  • Ava Perry
  • Rika Tsuchida

10th Kyu – Orange Belt

  • Samantha Beaton
  • Casey Grima
  • Richard Krausz

9th Kyu – Green Belt (White Stripe)

  • Jasmine Caston
  • Kaden Fisher
  • Isabella Kearney
  • Torsten Sprey

8th Kyu – Green Belt

  • Edwin Cuellar
  • Matteo Cutuli
  • Lachlan Davies

7th Kyu – Blue Belt (White Stripe)

  • William Baarslag

There are already a lot of students who are on the cusp of being ready for grading, so as always continue to train hard and if you’ve got your eyes set on your next level keep working hard in the dojo and keep up your home training too.

Next grading is scheduled for:  Saturday, 26th August.

June 2017 Newsletter

The latest newsletter (June 2017 edition) is now available for download.  Hard copies are available from the dojo or on the dojo noticeboard, or you can view it online – 2017 June Newsletter (PDF 6.7MB).

Latest News:

  • Black Belt Gradings
  • Space for Rent
  • Upcoming Events

SCK Students:

  • Aabid – Playing to Win
  • New Belts for our Little Champions
  • New Students
  • Student Birthday’s
  • Attendance Recognition
  • Top Training Students
    • Little Champions – Maya Batic (9 lessons)
    • Karate Kids -Savannah Perdikis (29 lessons)
    • Teens/Adult: Bailey Keefe (31 lessons)

Challenge Yourself:

  • June Tournament
  • Dojo Records

Community & Fun

  • QLD Karate Camp
  • Japanese Lessons at the Dojo (Saturday Class for 14 years +)
  • ?Japanese Immersion Day at USC

Download the newsletter now: 2017 June Newsletter (PDF 6.7MB).