Wow, what an amazing year we have had! The dojo has gone from strength to strength with the standard of karate and the dedication of the students at an all time high.
New Black Belts
This year we gained two more senior black belts with Sam Lenton and Brendan Young grading to shodan (1st dan). We also had Anthony Horgan successfully grade to nidan (2nd dan) and Monica Lester achieve jun-shidoin (junior instructor). All these senior students have trodden their own unique path with many ups and downs to get to where they are. They are all now well positioned to help others on their journey to achieving a black belt in Chito-Ryu Karate. For the dojo it is fantastic to now attend classes where there is often 2-3 black belts in the front line!
We also had a new Little Champion Black Belt this year with Liam Glover achieving this rank. With a limited time frame to achieve this level (ages 4-7 years) it takes a lot of dedication, talent and hard work to get to a Little Champions Black Belt.
Soke Cup Success
2019 was a Soke Cup year (Chito-Ryu World Titles), with six Gold Coasters attending the Chito-Ryu Karate World Titles in Penticton, Canada. It was a great event bringing together the Chito-Ryu family from all around the world. The Gold Coast did very well winning three gold medals. Well done to everyone in the team for the support and encouragement you showed each other before, during and after the event. You certainly lived up to the dojo motto of “Achieving Personal Excellence Together”. You can read the full report of the Soke Cup here => Soke Cup
The next Soke Cup is Japan 2022, it is never to early to set your goal to be part of the 2022 team.
A significant milestone for Australian Chito-Ryu occurred over the Soke Cup weekend with Sensei Michael Noonan from the Sydney dojo successfully grading to the teaching title of Kyoshi (equivalent to a professor). He has become the first Australian to reach this level, and one of a few in the world. A very fitting reward for 40+ years of dedicated study.
A huge thank you to all our leaders who do such an amazing job in the classes. The number of leaders capable of taking a class on their own is growing and there are more developing these capabilities. The leadership skills being developed will allow those that wish to go down the path of teaching karate or even opening their own dojo to do so with a strong experience base behind them. Currently we have Senpai Sam Lenton taking the Saturday classes and Sensei Monica Lester taking an evening class each week. They have been doing an awesome job, with everyone raving about their classes. I have received nothing but glowing praise in the feedback for both of them.
My vision for the future is for a number of dojos around the Gold Coast region with great leaders such as this supporting each other and sharing the Chito-Ryu way with more and more Gold Coasters.
New Classes in 2019
This year we commenced weekday day classes on Tuesday and Thursday (from 9:15-10:15) providing an opportunity for parents, shift workers and home schooled kids to participate in karate classes. These day classes are slowing growing in popularity. From discussions with the Sunshine Coast dojo their day classes started slowly as well but have now progressed to be one of their largest classes with very dedicated students. If you would like to join these classes in 2020, please speak with Sensei Adam. They are a great class for parents to take some time to work on themselves.
We have also added a Saturday morning fitness class which has been very popular. This class is run by Senpai Sam Lenton. The fitness class is open to members and non-members (you don’t have to know karate) and is a great way to start the weekend.
Thank you to all our Parents and Families who Support us to enjoy Karate
It is a great honour that you allow me to guide you and your children through the karate journey. It is my goal that through karate I can help all our students develop skills that will carry through to all areas of their lives and see everyone transfer the success that they achieve in karate into a successful life. I appreciate the time that parents take to bring their children to karate and the time that partners and spouses give up to allow us to do karate. It would not be possible to do the thing we love without your support.
Some of our students are lucky that they live near the dojo, but others drive a fair distance to get to us (we have students that come to us from as far away as Brisbane & Beaudesert) passing other karate schools to get to our dojo. I am thankful for the extra effort you go to to be part of Gold Coast Chito-Ryu Karate.
I would also like to make a special mention of Joshua Sheath who has moved back to New Zealand for a couple of years to complete a nursing degree. Joshua has kept up his training when he can around work and studies and has made a point of getting back into the dojo when ever he has come back to Australia. To keep his focus and commitment to be part of the Gold Coast dojo from that far away is pretty special.
Annual Award Winners
The annual award winners will be announced tonight at the End of Year Break-Up. At Gold Coast Chito-Ryu Karate we do not give out many awards so to be considered for an award is pretty special. This year was perhaps one of the most difficult ones I have had in choosing the winners with so many amazing students to choose from. Our final winners are very deserving of their recognition but everyone should be proud of what they have done throughout the year.
What’s happening in 2020?
We have another great year planned. Our class schedule has been working well so we will be keeping it the same with just one little change. Adults who wish to train with their children in the junior class are welcome to. The classes will be primarily focused on the juniors but their will definitely be enough to keep the parents going.
There will once again be 4 tournaments in QLD for students to challenge themselves to achieve their best. The dates are still to be confirmed but at this stage look like being:
- Gold Coast Tournament – Sunday 1 March
- Sunshine Coast Tournament – Sunday 31 May
- Gold Coast Cup – Sunday 9 August
- QLD State Titles (Sunshine Coast) – Sunday 13 September
We will also be holding our seasonal gradings for Juniors and Seniors (dates to be confirmed)
- Autumn Grading – Friday 20 March
- Winter Grading – Friday 5 June
- Spring Grading – Friday 4 September
- Summer Grading – Friday 4 December
In March I will be taking a small group of senior students with me for a weeks training at the headquarters in Japan.
In May 2020 the Gold Coast will be hosting the annual QLD Chito-Ryu Karate Camp. This is a great weekend of karate that everyone should try and be part of.
We will be having special guest instructors including Soke, Higuchi Kyoshi, and Phillips Shihan.
And we have a number of other fun events planned such as Beach Training, Kangeiko, Seminars, Parents Night Out and more.
It is shaping up to be a big year and I can’t wait for you to be part of it!
Once again thank you all for allowing me to be your Sensei. I hope you have a wonderful and safe holidays and look forward to seeing you back in the dojo on Tuesday 7 January.
P.S. There are many ways to grow our dojo but the best way is word of mouth so please tell all your friends about us and invite them to come be part of great karate family. We are happy to provide a free trial lesson to anyone you bring with you so they can experience our dojo for themselves.
Gold Coast Chito-Ryu Karate
“Achieving Personal Excellence Together”