8 Days To Go…. Let’s Get Competitive!

Although most people never start karate wanting to get into competition, tournaments can certainly be a lot of fun and a great way to put your skills to the test and develop mental and emotional strength under pressure. With just 8 days to go until our sign on day, we want to share a little bit about the tournament experience.

At Sunshine Coast Karate, we have been privileged to help students perform competitively at state, national and international levels.  The competitions that we participate in follow the ideals that O Sensei pursued with his strong fighting spirit.  Although he often put his own skills to the test in kakedameshi (field combat) and he had the scars to prove it, as a teacher he realised that it wasn’t realistic to expect all of his students to do this and in turn became an advocate for bogu kumite (fighting with protective equipment).

In practicing and competing kumite in this way, we develop a greater sense of commitment because you have to make contact, but we do it in a safe way.  Let’s face it, in the modern world, most of us need to get up and go to school or work the next day, and if you fight like O Sensei did without all of the protective equipment, there are going to be a lot of injuries.

Every week during the tournament season we run tournament squad training for those who are keen on pursuing a tournament career.  Right now, we’re preparing for our first tournament of the year which is to be held on the Sunshine Coast, Sunday, 18th March.  Spectators are welcome to come and watch the action, and for members, entry form is out now:  Sunshine Coast Tournament entry form (Sun, 18 March 2018).

As I mentioned earlier, we don’t just participate in local tournaments, last year we took a team of members from the Sunshine Coast to compete at the Soke Cup, International Chito-Ryu Karate Championships. Although it was a relatively small team, of just 11 competitors, we came away with some great results, including:  6 gold, 3 silver and 3 bronze medals and 2 overall tournament champions in their respective divisions.  For full details read the original blog post.

And here are a few video clips of our Sunshine Coast representatives from the 2017 International Chito-Ryu Soke Cup for you to enjoy too.

Sami Phillips (aged 12 yrs), competing for the first time internationally.  A video of her individual kata performance.  No placing this time, but still a great performance.

Sensei Martin Phillips, overall tournament champion in the men’s black belt division.  Final round kata performance, winning the gold medal.

Sensei Sandra Phillips.  Ladies Black Belt, Kumite Champion.  This is her final round match, going through the entire tournament without any points being scored on her by any other opponent in either individual or team kumite.

Jack Graham, overall tournament champion in the Jr A (19-20 yrs), black belt division.  This was Jack’s 2nd Soke Cup.

Of course as a new student, tournaments are probably the very last thing on your mind, but it’s definitely worth knowing that there are plenty of opportunities to go down this path if it becomes your passion.

We are getting very excited now as we are just over one week away from our 2018 Sign on Day.  Stay up to date as we continue our Sign on Day Countdown via our SCK Facebook Page.

We look forward to meeting you and your family soon.



9 Days To Go…. Talk About Lucky!

With 9 days to go until the Sunshine Coast Karate Sign On Day, today we wanted to take a little bit of time to show some gratitude for our teachers and those who have come before us to pave the way for us and future generations.  Without them, we wouldn’t be where we are today and sharing Chito-Ryu Karate-Do with the Sunshine Coast.

Back when we first started learning karate, it seemed like there was a new Bruce Lee movie coming out every second week and that was one of the big things that got so many people started on their journey in the martial arts.  But it didn’t stop there, over the years there have been so many pop culture icons who have flown the flag for the martial arts industry.  Here are a few that I’m sure you’ve heard of…

  • Jackie Chan
  • The Karate Kid Movies with Mr Miyagi and Daniel-San
  • The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Power Rangers
  • And of course there are countless other Hollywood movies who have featured some amazing martial arts fight scenes.

1980’s martial arts icons: Mr Miyagi & Bruce Lee. Alongside our very own karate master, Sandra Phillips Sensei.

Although the movie industry has been responsible for getting so many people into the martial arts, the reality of martial arts is very different to what’s shown in the majority of movies.  And with the martial arts industry being so unregulated, even to this day, just about anyone can open up a dojo.  We could have walked into any old dojo and started, but we’re really grateful that we stumbled across Chito-Ryu.

As a side note, about the unregulated nature of the martial arts industry, we’d like to share something from Noonan Sensei, one of our teachers – Warning – We’re not all the same.  Noonan Sensei is currently the most senior ranked Chito-Ryu teacher in Australia and one of the most senior outside of Japan.  He visited our dojo last year to share his incredible knowledge with senior students from throughout Queensland.

The thing we like most about Chito-Ryu is that it’s so deep.  We’ve been studying Chito-Ryu for a combined 60+ years (34 years & 28 years), yet in the presence of the people that we’re proud to call our teachers, we still feel like white belts.  We’re not saying that we’re hopeless, but we do realise that there is still so much more to learn.

Our original teacher of Chito-Ryu, Brian Hayes Sensei is no longer studying Chito-Ryu, but we are very grateful for the foundation that his teachings have provided.  The thing that we’re most grateful for though is that he introduced us to our current teacher, Soke Chitose, the worldwide head of the International Chito-Ryu Karate-Do Federation (ICKF).

Martin Phillips Sensei & Soke Sensei

Soke Sensei continues a long lineage passed onto him by his father, renowned Okinawan ‘Kake-Dameshi’ (Challenge Match) fighter, Dr Tsuyoshi Chitose (Snr), known to students of Chito-Ryu as O Sensei.  O Sensei 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, and Kanryo Higaona.

O Sensei

We never had the pleasure of meeting or training with O Sensei.  We didn’t even start studying Chito-Ryu until after he had passed away, but throughout the years we have had the pleasure of training with a lot of his senior students who are now the current day masters of Chito-Ryu.

Every year, we make a point of going to Japan and other countries around the world to continue our studies of Chito-Ryu.  We have very close ties with Soke Sensei and his dojo in Kumamoto, Japan and he has introduced us to a lot of other senior Chito-Ryu instructors.

We have also been bringing world leading instructors here to the Sunshine Coast every year since around 2004.  Just last year we had a the pleasure of hosting Soke Sensei, Higuchi Sensei & Minowa Sensei (Soke Sensei’s sister).

Higuchi Sensei, Soke Sensei, Sandra Sensei & Martin Sensei

Noonan Sensei from Sydney got some great video footage of Soke Sensei and Higuchi Sensei’s visit to his dojo after they were on the Sunshine Coast last year.  This gives a great indication of the kind of training that we do at the higher levels.

Chito-Ryu Karate is a rich style, with incredible depth in the senior ranks and we are very fortunate to learn from them and in turn share with the Sunshine Coast community.

Although, our teachers won’t be physically present at the upcoming Sign on Day, you can have comfort in knowing that you will still benefit greatly from their teachings.


10 Days To Go… Karate Is Not Just For Kids

One of the best things about our job, is that we get to learn from and be inspired by people of all ages and from all walks of life.  The dojo is an incredible learning environment in which everyone can unite, work in a harmonious manner and embark on a journey which leads to a more abundant and prosperous way of living as individuals and as a community.

Today we are 10 Days away from our “2018 Sign on Day” and we are absolutely loving this countdown, as it is giving us so many opportunities to celebrate the amazing people that we get to work with everyday.

Yesterday, we introduced you to one of our young karate kids, Lachlan.  Today, we are going to introduce you to a few of our adults, see what they are up to in the dojo and what they have to say about SCK.

For those who have been following us on Facebook from sometime now, may have noticed that there are possibly more photos of kids then there are of adults.   Don’t let this scare you away.  There is an increasing number of adults joining our programs at SCK.  SCK provides early morning classes, day classes and evening classes so that you can keep a balanced lifestyle of everything that is important to you.

Parents are welcome to come along and train with their kids at SCK.  One of the best things you could ever do is to jump in line and train with your kids.  “Leading by example” is one of the most powerful means to inspire and influence your children.   You’ll no longer need to “use words” to tell your kids what they “should” be doing.  With you leading the way and demonstrating good habits in practice, you can’t help but have a positive impact on your children and all people you connect with throughout your day.

I’m sure there is someone reading this that may classify themselves as being “too old” to do martial arts.  Well, have we got news for you.  We have an over 50’s class that we run through U3A and we have students training in our regular classes who are over 50.  Age is no barrier.  We may all be built a little differently and have a few battle wounds and limitations, but one of the benefits of Chito-Ryu Karate-Do is it’s flexibility to cater to the needs of individuals.  There is no one size fits all, we must all respect our beginnings and carefully train in a way that promotes the steady improvement in all areas of our life.

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream” ~ C.S Lewis

The adults featured in the video below have all had a tremendous impact on us personally and the SCK community as a whole.  It is because of them and all our members, that SCK is the place that it is today.  And, we thank them for their willingness to be featured in this countdown as a means to welcome more adults to SCK.


“Believe me, this is an excellent Karate school. Those sensei are brilliant not only in Karate skills but as a people. If you want to learn Karate in a fair, feel safe, fun environment, this is the one for you. (I have started to learn at the age of 50 ++ and still loving it)  Cheers” 
~ Rika Tsuchida



11 Days to Go…. Lachlan is on Top of the World!

What better way to continue our countdown to our 2018 Sign On Day than with celebrating a young man who has been training for more than half of his life.   Young Lachlan is on top of the world as he celebrates 5 years of training at SCK with his karate friends.  We are so very grateful to have been given the opportunity to work with Lachlan for so many years.  It has been an incredible journey so far.

Can you imagine what it is like to keep doing something for 5 years, especially when you are as young as Lachlan?  I’m sure it is easy for some of you, but the temptation to start and stop activities can distract many of us from truly building a better life for ourselves and our families.

Unfortunately the habit of starting and stopping things in our lives can become a part of us and when things get tough whether it be in a relationship, work or activity we can have a tendency to give up and go looking for the next “new thing”.  This habit of starting and stopping can isolate us, leave us feeling as though we are chasing our tail and overwhelm us with negative feelings.

With the encouragement and support of his family, Lachlan is learning  a lot about commitment and how to make it a powerful habit in his life.  It’s like putting money into an investment fund, topping it up regularly and watching it grow.   With consistent investing, this money will start to compound and open up a whole new world of opportunities.

It’s not always easy to come up with a few extra dollars to invest, much like it may not be easy to remain committed to your goals when things get tough.  But even the smallest contribution will keep momentum and keep your money growing at an accelerated rate. “Time” is a powerful player in life, for all of us.  We all receive 24 hours a day and every day we have to decide how we are going to “invest” this time.

Getting back to our amazing Lachlan, he may not have any idea that the habit of commitment may lead him to a more rich and fuller life. He may simply just be choosing to focus on keeping it fun, enjoying his friends and challenging himself to move towards his short term goals (one step at a time).  What if Lachlan continues to push forward on this journey, and time and time again conquers adversity, strengthening from the inside out with every experience.  How big will his world seem to him when he reaches the age of 18?  What kind of foundation will he have to propel him into adulthood?

We are so excited for Lachlan and all of our students who continue to persevere with their training at SCK and nurture these valuable life skills that will set them up for life.  It is especially beautiful observing the life long friendships which are developed within the dojo.  It’s not always easy pursuing our goals, but when you surround yourself with like minded people in a positive environment the sky is the limit.

On Saturday 17th February at our 2018 Sign On Day, you’ll get to meet many students who have been a part of our SCK family for many years.  You may even get to meet Lachlan.   Jump in, train with them and be inspired.  All of our students are all so very different yet this is what makes them special.  They all bring their own unique flavour to the dojo which makes SCK a great place to learn, grow and contribute to the lives of others.

Until then, join us at SCK Facebook and we’ll continue to share more about what makes SCK a great place of learning, growing and loaded with fun for the whole family.

SCK Sign On Day is Only 12 Days Away…. And You’re Invited!!

If you are reading this post prior to Saturday 17th February, you are in for a real treat.  SCK will soon be hosting their 2018 Sign On Day (Come and Try) and you and your family are invited.
Our goal at SCK is to “transform lives, one family at a time” by teaching you a combination of traditional karate (Chito-Ryu Karate-Do) and valuable life skills which may one day save your life.

Our SCK team is lead by husband and wife team, Martin & Sandra Phillips who have invested more than 17 years serving families of the Sunshine Coast community and continue to provide a safe, positive and supportive learning environment for all to enjoy.  You’ll get to meet and train along side of Martin & Sandra on Saturday the 17th February along with their team of seniors who will support you throughout this experience.

But, what if you’ve never done anything like this before?
We understand that it can be difficult to try new things and step out of your comfort zone especially when you are stepping into an unfamiliar environment.  We too are students and experience these same feelings from time to time, but we have learned that we always have 2 choices.  We’ll share these quickly here because they are of value.  Even if you don’t come and try a class at SCK, you can at least take something away that may serve you well in your life.

Option # 1:  Do what is familiar and easy and don’t step out of your comfort zone, even when there is a part of you that would like to have a go. You may find “fear” taking over the steering wheel and steering you to a place that feels comfortable and safe.  Yet, if you continue to choose the easy road (Option # 1), in time, you may find yourself  overwhelmed with “regret” and a sense of not growing into the person that you were meant to be.

That’s no way to live your life, and within your heart, you know it’s not how your life is meant to be. You are a good person and you deserve so much more.  Every time you allow fear to take control of your life, you give power to fear, you elevate fear and you strengthen it’s presence in your life.  The longer you feed fear in this way, the harder it can be to choose Option # 2.   It can feel as if you are imprisoned and a slave in what is meant to be a free world.

Option # 2:  You stand tall, take a breathe and share a smile.  You decide to have a go at something new.   You realise that “Fear is False Evidence Appearing Real” and you learn that you can “Face Everything And Rise”.  You learn that on the other side of Fear is Freedom and that you can choose “Option #2” more often in your life.  Every time you make a choice in this direction your smile gets bigger, you feel more alive and you welcome a truck load of passion and enthusiasm into your life.  You will become stronger and more compassionate every time you deliberately choose this path.

What is more amazing is what happens to the people in your life that are fortunate enough to share your company each day.  I believe that if you are still reading, you will soon know the impact that you will have on others. And, you have now found a community of like minded people at SCK who can support you moving forward.

Below is a poster sharing more details about our upcoming Sign on Day. We would love to meet you on Saturday 17th February and if you require further information, be sure to connect with us.

Join us as we count down the days leading up to our 2018 SCK Sign on Day.
Visit SCK Facebook 

Inspirational Effort from SCK’s Youngest Student

One of our young leaders, Anthony, had the pleasure of awarding our youngest student, Mahira, her yellow stripe belt. Congratulations Mahira on a great start to training at SCK. We are very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with you and your family.


Squad Training Begins

As we settle into 2018, it is now time to re-commence squad training and begin preparations for the 2018 tournament circuit.  2018 is especially exciting as students will have the opportunity to compete locally on the Sunshine Coast and travel to the Gold Coast, Sydney and Blue Mountains for additional competitions.

Stay up to date with the latest news surrounding tournaments by regularly visiting our Sunshine Coast Karate Facebook Page.  I’m sure there will be a lot of great action and inspirational stories to be shared throughout the year.

Welcome Back Sensei Helen!

Today, the weather forecast was kind to Sensei Helen. The rain stopped long enough for some fun lovin’ karate kids and little champions to shower her with “100 waterbombs”.

Picture #1: Sensei Helen learning about her welcome back surprise. hehehehehe…..

Picture # 2:
After lengthy visualisation practice, our kids rallied outside of the dojo armed with 100 waterbombs to welcome Sensei Helen back to SCK.

Picture # 3: Time to lose the glasses Sensei Helen. It’s time to celebrate your return to SCK.

Welcome back Sensei Helen! We hope you have an amazing year in the dojo.

More Great News… Welcome Back Senpai Debbie

For those that aren’t aware, we are pleased to welcome Senpai Debbie Woodhouse back to the dojo in 2018. Senpai Debbie has been having the time of her life travelling and hiking since her retirement.

Senpai Debbie resumed training in both the early morning and day classes last Tuesday and was once again back to her usual self inspiring all of us.  We are very fortunate to have you back in the dojo Senpai Debbie. Thank You!!

Sensei Helen is Back!!!

GREAT NEWS EVERYONE!!! This week we welcome Sensei Helen back to the SCK teaching team after time off due to a recent operation. Please help make Sensei Helen feel welcome on her return.