What type of karate do you teach?

We teach authentic Japanese Goju Ryu karate. This a close range self defence oriented system.

Do you enter competitions?

No. We are a budo or self defence school, unsuitable for competitions. We concentrate on the authentic civilian self defence aspect of martial arts as well as developing life skills in our members.  These include such attributes as courtesy, self discipline, respect and leadership.

Where and when are your Classes?

Our classes are held at Hillside and Gladstone Park/Tullamarine.

WESTMEADOWS

Location:     Westmeadows Public Hall, Raleigh St, Westmeadows (opp Westmeadows Tavern), Westmeadows (opp Westmeadows Tavern)

Days:             Monday

Times:           Senior Class (12 years and over) : 7:00pm - 9:00pm

[Juniors (min age 9 years)] 7:00pm - 8:00pm

A class is also available at this dojo Sunday mornings after some experience has been gained, and at the invitation of the Chief Instructor.

WESTMEADOWS

Location:      Wednesday training is at our Hombu (home) dojo.  Address and details will be advised to new members when joining the club.  No visitors at this dojo.

Days:             Wednesday

Times:           Senior Class (12 years and over) : 7:00pm - 9:00pm

A class is also available at this dojo Sunday mornings after some experience has been gained, and at the invitation of the Chief Instructor.

SYDNEHAM/HILLSIDE

Location:      Banchory Community Centre, Banchory Ave, Hillside,

Melways Map 354 J-10

Days:             Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Times:           Senior Class : 7:00pm - 9:00pm.

Junior Class (minimum age 9 years): 7:00pm - 8:00pm.

At what age do you accept students

The minimum age to train with us is 9 years.  We have a good cross section of teenagers, and adults.

How long does it take to get a Black Belt?

If you attend 2 classes a week and progress through the gradings as they are scheduled, it takes 3 and a half years to achieve Black Belt.  We do not have probationary grades as some organisations do, so we do not have what is called “Shodan-Ho” and so on.  With us, a Black Belt is a FULL black Belt.

What is the minimum age for Black Belt ?

There is no minimum age, but given we don’t take students under 9 years, in practice, the minimum age is 12 or 13 years.  Until the student reaches 15 years they are “Junior Black Belts” only because of age,.  They wear a black belt with a white stripe, only to show that they are under 15 years of age.  They are given a full black belt without any further grading test or expense when they turn 15 years.

How old do you have to be to start karate ?

Our club accepts students at minimum age 9 years.  Very young children respond to a children’s syllabus with lots of fun activities and karate oriented games.  We do not offer this in our club. If the potential student is coming up 9 years, please give us a call to discuss. 

Do you have female students ?

Yes we do, a good cross section of ages too. Three of our current Black Belts are women, one them being our highest graded Black belt.

How about uniforms and so on?

The club can supply uniforms.  Only traditional full white uniforms are allowed.  Badges are supplied when you join.  Depending on the quality of the uniform, prices vary between $50 and $110. You can supply your own uniform, but just check with us first if its ok.  For example, judo and taekwondo uniforms are not acceptable.

Can you explain what “traditional” karate is?  I’m confused about this “competition” and “non-competition” stuff.  I thought karate was just karate.

“Traditional” infers that something is hundreds of years old. Karate is barely one hundred years old.  Karate people have tried to describe their style as traditional to differentiate themselves from the many breakaway styles, mixed systems, and organisations which go their own way with little attention paid to the original and enriching aspects of martial arts.    We like to use the term “seito” a Japanese word meaning “orthodox”.  We practice karate as taught to us within the lineage of our school.  We do not add, alter or delete from the karate handed down by our ancestors.  There are refinement changes passed down from our Grandmaster in Japan, but we do not change things to suit ourselves, or our view of things.  In other words, we teach and practice the karate handed down with minimal change over the years from the masters who have gone before.

Now about competition.  Many schools engage in what is called “sport karate”, with their main focus to compete in tournaments against other karate people, to win prizes, and gain fame as “champions”.  This was not the original purpose of karate.  Techniques designed to efficiently defend yourself are taken out of the karate for safety.  We do not deride this approach, it is simply not the way our school operates.

We operate a disciplined, non- contact, budo school which focusses on the development of the individual in all areas of their life, through the practice, study and living the orthodox way of the warrior.  (Budo is a Japanese word meaning “the way of war”.  We study and practice fighting (war) so that through our preparedness and understanding, fighting is not required except as a last resort.  We don’t have to care about how other schools operate.  As our Head Teacher in Japan says….”we have the waza (technique)”.

Do you ever go to Japan ?

Our Chief Instructor trains in Japan every year and often takes senior students to experience training in our Master’s dojo in Tokyo.  Additionally, Japanese senior Instructors come to Melbourne to teach us from time to time.

Do you do full contact? How much contact?

Good question!!  We are non-contact, and any contact is severely frowned upon.  We all need to be safe, to continue our lives in a healthy and happy manner.  We take personal safety very seriously.   Since we evolved to a self defence approach some 10 years ago, we have had no injuries caused through heavy contact, or accident because we do not engage in full-on free sparring.

What's the difference between Taekwondo and karate?

Basically, Taekwondo is a Korean martial art, originally developed from Japanese Shotokan karate.  In Korea it evolved to a system which is primarily based on kicking.  Karate on the other hand uses kicks too, but is primarily a hand or fist art.  At the higher levels of karate even hitting is very minimal, the techniques becoming more throws, locks, takedowns and so on.  Taekwondo is primarily a sport in Australia

How often do you have gradings?

We have gradings for advancement 3 times a year, and Black Belt gradings once a year.

Do you practice weapons?

In martial arts, weapons are considered extensions of the limbs.  Our attitude to weapons is that you first need to master the empty hand concept of karate.  When you can competently perform karate, weapons can then become an option, but even then we consider weapons as a “hobby” within the system.  So the practical answer to this question is No.

What is your lineage?  Is it important?

Lineage is important to consider if you wish to practice true Japanese karate. We have an impeccable lineage which allows us to trace our heritage directly to the Founder of Goju Ryu.  Whilst many karate organisations can claim this also, most cannot.  Most can only claim “linkage”, which means at some time or other there was direct lineage but now, for various reasons they cannot.  This is usually caused by clubs breaking away from their parent style and going their own way.  These clubs have no senior Master and operate independently doing their own thing. 

Our lineage is:-

Chojun Miyagi to Seko Higa to Kanki Izumikawa to Sosui Ichikawa to our Head Master, Kazunobu Tsubamoto

How big are the   classes?

Our school is small compared to   most.  Classes rarely exceed 10 to 15   members, so you will receive close, individual attention, and not be lost in   a big class.  Unlike many schools, you   will be taught directly by a 6th Dan master, not a lower graded   black belt or brown belt.

How long have you   been operating?   

We opened our first dojo in Tullamarine during the month of March 1986, and began our club in Hillside in 2001.

Can I come and watch   a class?

Sure!!  We can do better than that!!  You are welcome to come along and try 2   free lessons to see if what we practice is what you are looking for.  We train in bare feet, so just come along   in trackpants and a Tshirt, and you’ll be fine.

Of course you are welcome to   observe a class in progress if you wish.

These are some of the questions   we have been asked.  If you have more   or would like more information please send us an email or call us.

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