November 2017 Newsletter

The latest newsletter (November 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 November Newsletter (PDF 3.8MB).  Read the newsletter or follow the links below for blog posts, which expand on some of the newsletter items further.

Latest News:

SCK Students:

  • QLD Titles Success – results (PDF)
  • October Kyu Grading Results
  • Attendance Recognition – Top Training Students
    • Little Champions – Timothy Probert (13 lessons)
    • Karate Kids – Sam Phillips & Savannah Perdikis (24 lessons)
    • Teens/Adult: Bailey Keefe (29 lessons)
  • Welcome New Students
  • Celebrating Senpai David Strazzari
  • Student Birthday’s
  • 2018 Japan Training Scholarship

Challenge Yourself:

  • Dojo Records

Community & Fun:

  • Japanese Lessons at the Dojo (Saturday Class for 14 years +)
  • Some Sensei’s 2017 Australian Tour

Download the newsletter now:  2017 November Newsletter (PDF 3.8MB).

Kyu Grading Results – 21 October 2017

Congratulations to all students who recently moved up to new levels at our recent kyu grading.  A special mention to Katelyn Plant-Bates and Rika Tsuchida who both double graded.  We’ve been a little bit slow getting the grading results published as we wanted to take a bit of time to get some photos of the certificate and belt presentations to share with the post.

There is one final kyu grading scheduled for this year, Saturday 2 December.  If you are currently working towards this grading, the final progress check prior to the grading will be the week commencing, Monday, 13 November and then registrations for grading will close, Saturday 25 November.

12th Kyu – Yellow Belt

  • Ryan Bastick
  • Samuel Carpenter

11th Kyu – Orange Belt (White Stripe)

  • Jaskaran Bhotoya
  • Cameron Grima
  • Ava Perry
  • Katelyn Plant-Bates ** Double graded
  • Che Staal
  • Marco Strano
  • Mikele Strano

10th Kyu – Orange Belt

  • Abby Kerrison
  • Tessa Nielsen
  • Rika Tsuchida ** Double graded
  • Sean Wardell
  • Jasper Wiseman

9th Kyu – Green Belt (White Stripe)

  • Lachlan Edwards
  • Richard Krausz
  • Miyuki Power
  • Zak Wright

8th Kyu – Green Belt

  • Jay O’Pray

7th Kyu – Blue Belt (White Stripe)

  • Lachlan Davies

5th Kyu – Purple Belt (White Stripe)

  • Matai Doughty
  • Lily Ludbrook

4th Kyu – Purple Belt

  • Jake Herden

1st Kyu – Brown Belt (Black Stripe)

  • Sam Phillips

Here are a few photos of students who graded, after the presentation of certificate and new belt.  There are still a couple of presentations yet to be done, so unfortunately we don’t have photos of everyone yet.  Well done to everyone who successfully graded.

Leadership Team Newsletter – October 2017

Our dojo leaders, play a very important role, supporting supporting the instructors and helping the students.  It is our hope than many of our current dojo leaders will become future instructors, so we’re serious about giving our leaders the best possible training and education.

Download the current edition:  Leadership Team Newsletter – October 2017 (PDF – 3.8MB).

What’s in this issue:

  1. Thank You!!!
  2. This Month’s Focus
    • Japanese in the dojo
    • Using student names
    • Belt Tying
  3. Leader of the Month (September) – Anthony Williams
  4. Self Mastery – Thinking V’s Doing
  5. Upcoming Leadership Events
    • October
    • November
    • December
  6. Leadership Support – Request additional support

If you have any questions about anything in this newsletter or would like to know more about the Sunshine Coast Karate leadership program, please speak to your instructors.

Download the current edition:  Leadership Team Newsletter – October 2017 (PDF – 3.8MB).


October 2017 Newsletter

The latest newsletter (October 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 – October 2017 Newsletter (PDF 3.2MB).

Latest News:

SCK Students:

  • Committed to Excellence – Sean Wardell (1 yr), Miyuki Power (1 yr), Sonya Wright (3 yrs)
  • Michael Noonan Renshi (7th Dan) on the Sunshine Coast
  • Attendance Recognition – Top Training Students
    • Little Champions – Hayden Hosking (9 lessons)
    • Karate Kids – Faith Hardy (25 lessons)
    • Teens/Adult: Bailey Keefe (25 lessons)
  • Welcome New Students
  • Student Birthday’s

Challenge Yourself:

  • QLD State Title & Squad Classes
  • Dojo Records

Community & Fun:

  • Japanese Lessons at the Dojo (Saturday Class for 14 years +)
  • Some Sensei’s 2017 Australian Tour

Download the newsletter now: October 2017 Newsletter (PDF 3.2MB).

What’s Better Than A Science Lesson With Einstein?

In an age where there’s a Martial Arts schools on every corner, in an unregulated industry (anyone regardless of credentials can start a Martial Arts school) and everyone’s a “master”, we want to differentiate ourselves from the phonies. Real benefits come from training real Karate.

Many of our members perhaps don’t realise how lucky they are to have joined Sunshine Coast Karate.  Many people join because our location is convenient or they’re impressed by our full-time facility or the flexibility we can provided by offering lots of classes.  Or maybe it’s that we try to operate in a professional manner and do our best to provide a high level of customer service.  These things alone set us apart from a lot of martial arts schools on the Sunshine Coast, especially those operate on a part time basis out of community halls.

But the thing that’s perhaps most different is what we teach and how we teach.  We’ve been around for a few years now.  Although as a dojo we can boast many world champions that we’ve created over the years or the fact that we have both male and female “master” instructors who have dedicated their lives to the study of that system that we teach, that’s still just the tip of the iceberg.

We too have been very fortunate to find a style of karate, Chito-Ryu that has some amazing teachers from all around the world.  Every opportunity we get, we travel to learn from them or bring them here to our dojo for all members to learn.  Just recently we had a visit from Michael Noonan Sensei, who was recently graded to the level of 7th Dan in Chito-Ryu.  For those who had the opportunity to train with him, it was an opportunity to see something extraordinary, a glimpse at what is possible in your training when you dig deeper and really study the basics.  Even he, says, some of the things he does, just look fake.  With seemingly little effort he’ll throw you to the floor or strike you, but when you’re on the receiving end, you can feel the power in his technique, IT HURTS, A LOT.

In Chito-Ryu Noonan Sensei is not a rarity.  All of the teachers that I have had the pleasure of training with at his level are amazing.  They’re not just amazing teachers, they’re also amazing martial artists in their own right.

And that brings me to the exciting news we have for our martial arts enthusiasts on the Sunshine Coast.

In keeping with Sunshine Coast Karate’s commitment to excellence and providing the absolute best tuition for its students, we are proud to announce, Soke Chitose, Supreme Instructor, will be visiting our Dojo next month (Saturday 25th – Tuesday 28th November). Soke Sensei will also be accompanied by Higuchi Sensei, 7th Dan, Kyoshi & Okinawan Weapons expert.


Many of our younger and junior ranked students may not fully appreciate the opportunity afforded by this visit. It is like receiving music tuition from Mozart, a soccer lesson from Pelé, or a science lesson from Einstein.

Soke Sensei has an incredible Martial Arts’ pedigree. His father was the renowned Okinawan ‘Kake-Dameshi’ (Challenge Match) fighter, Tsuyoshi Chinen, later changing his name to Chitose and affectionately known in Chito Ryu circles, as O’Sensei. Chitose Snr, became the Sixth Master of Tode, in a successive lineage that began with; the First Generation Beechin Chinen, who along with the Second Generation Beechin Matsumura, was a member of King Shokei’s Royal Guard, the Third Generation Uekata Awane was a member of King Shoiku’s Royal Guard, Fourth Generation was Beechin Hokama, and the Fifth Generation was Chitose’s teacher Sesho Aragaki. He was also under the tutelage of such luminaries as; Chotoku Kyan, of whom I was told by Soke, was very influential in his father’s later direction, and Kanryo Higaona, where he became close friends with another student, the well-known Chojun Miyagi founder of Goju Ryu.

O’Sensei continued his martial arts career in Tokyo where he studied medicine and became one of the early pioneers introducing Karate to the Japanese mainland. In Tokyo, he assisted the spread of Karate by teaching in Gichin Funakoshi’s Dojo, the founder of Shotokan, a colleague from Okinawa. Later in life, O’Sensei was awarded one of only six gold-belts by the Okinawan Government.

It is this rich knowledge and technique, passed down through generations and unfortunately lost in so much of modern Karate, that Soke Sensei provides to his students.  I have had the privilege of being Soke Sensei’s student for the last 30 years.  It is very obvious to me though, that at 67 years old Soke Sensei continues to advance his abilities. By that, I do not mean that he only becomes a better teacher with age, but that his Karate continues on the journey of improvement as he gets older, a phenomenon for which his father was well known.

During Soke’s visit students are encouraged to attend as many lessons as possible, there are no attendance restrictions. We are also inviting all students from our affiliate Dojos, and hoping to see students and senior Instructors from Sydney, Blue Mountains, Newcastle & Gold Coast throughout the period. International ICKF visitors are also welcome.

Our regular class schedule will be in place, plus we will also hold some additional class over the weekend.  As a we get a little closer we’ll share the specific details for sessions.  All members are encouraged to get to as many classes as possible.

To learn more about classes at Sunshine Coast Karate, register now for a FREE trial karate lesson.

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)