40 Years of Chito-Ryu Karate


The other night, at the end of class I was presenting some certificates to students to acknowledge their training anniversaries. I presented first two certificates and both students had been training for with us for 6 years.

Then I got to the next one…

Debbie, who organises the printing of our certificates had slipped a certificate in there for me.

40 years training!

It’s astonishing to realize I’ve been practicing Chito-Ryu for four decades.

One cheeky student, who shall remain nameless, asked “So, does that make you feel old”.

In all honesty, yes, it kind of does…

Looking back and reflecting on my journey it’s been incredible.

I started training in Chito-Ryu on the very first day my original teacher opened his dojo in Newcastle in 1984. I don’t have any record of the exact date, but I think it was around this time of year. Under his guidance, I became a leader in the dojo and a also began teaching karate.

I loved competing and was selected to represent my dojo and Australia at my first Soke Cup in Vancouver, Canada, 1989, as a 12 yrs old. Since then, I have competed in a total of 8 Soke Cups and was also selected to compete at the 1994 & 1996 WKF World Championships and several other international WKF events (prior to that as a junior).

In 1997-98 I had the opportunity to live and train in Japan at the Chio-Ryu sohonbu dojo in Kumamoto, under the guidance of 2nd Generation Soke. This was a turning point for me, that has helped me see karate as a life-long endeavour and continues to shape my karate journey to this day.

In the dojo I met Sandra, who has been my wife and we continue to train together. I am very grateful to have shared so much of the journey with her. She continues to challenge and inspire me with all that she does.

Together we moved to the Sunshine Coast in 2000 and established our what has grown into our current full-time dojo.

During on of my regular training trips to Japan (about a decade ago), I just happened to be there at the very first kobujutsu class that Higuchi Sensei ran at the Sohonbu. Learning Kobujustu alongside of Karate has proven to be invaluable to help me even more deeply understand principles of bio-mechanics and power generation.

Over the year I have had the opportunity to learn from, train with and compete with so many people from around the world that I am glad to call my friends.

One friend in paricular who has shared a parallel journey with me is Mark Snow Sensei who I am very happy to be training with this weekend at our annual QLD trianing camp. He too is celebarating 40 years of Chito-Ryu this year.

Although the motivation for training has changed over the years, I feel more grateful than ever to have karate a part of my life. Thank you to eveyone who has helped me it such an amazing journey.

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