Gold Coast Chito-Ryu Karate’s instructors are focused on teaching you and your children real traditional martial arts with a focus on developing great people along with great technique to ensure a healthy body and real karate skills. Teachers are role models and the instructors at the Gold Coast Chito-Ryu Karate take on this responsibility with the awareness and focus it demands.

We recognise the importance of developing quality instructors for the future so have developed a leadership program that teaches keen students the qualities of leadership and the techniques of teaching/mentoring to ensure our art lives on for many future generations.

Not all instructors are the same, so come and see what Gold Coast Chito-Ryu Karate has to offer. We are sure you can be confident you have made the right choice by training with us.


Sensei Adam Higgins
Sensei Adam Higgins, 3rd Dan

Shihan Adam Higgins

Shihan Adam Higgins began his karate journey 30 years ago, experimenting with different styles before finding Chito-Ryu Karate-do in 1996. He realised this was the authentic and meaningful karate style he was looking for, with significant depth and history. His single-minded determination saw him reach black belt level in a few short years, excelling in all aspects of karate.

Shihan Adam has a special interest in helping children and teenagers develop their personal character and resilience through their study of karate. His gentle approach means he’s a firm favorite with even the smallest karate kids. His teaching style is a combination of no-nonsense discipline mixed with fun and positive reinforcement.

Creating leaders of the future

As the head instructor at Gold Coast Chito-Ryu Karate, Shihan Adam is focused on developing future leaders and helping his staff grow their own teaching abilities.

Shihan Adam is a hands-on instructor who takes a personal interest in each of his students as individuals. Over the past 25 years as an instructor, he has become highly skilled at identifying the potential in his students and supporting them to reach that potential even when they think it’s impossible. As a result, Shihan Adam has seen a number of his students achieve black belt ranks and higher.

A high proportion of his younger students are recognised with leadership roles at school, with many students being elected house captains, school captains, student council members, and more. It’s no coincidence; leadership and communication skills are key lessons learned under Shihan Adam’s teaching.

Shihan Adam is also focused on creating a safe space for students with special needs.


As a style with an Okinawan heritage, Chito-Ryu Karate-do incorporates weapons training. Sensei Adam is acknowledged as a world-leading kobudo practitioner and instructor. He achieved Nidan level in Matayoshi Kobudo before switching his focus to Chito-Ryu Kobujyutsu in 2015, in which he is now ranked Sandan .

Always learning

Shihan Adam continues to train and develop his karate under the guidance of Soke, the head instructor of Chito-Ryu.

Competition success

Shihan Adam has been a fierce competitor in sports karate on the national and international stage. He has represented Australia at seven World Titles events, where his results have included an impressive two world titles in kumite (sparring) and numerous medals for kata and kobudo.

Shihan Adam has now turned his attention to coaching. Under his direction, Gold Coast Chito-Ryu Karate students have achieved no fewer than nine world titles and have medalled at numerous world championships.

  • Yondan Chito-Ryu Karate-Do
  • Shihan Chito-Ryu Karate-Do
  • Sandan Chito-Ryu Kobujyutsu
  • Nidan Matayoshi Kobudo
  • Competitive Record:
    • 2019 Soke Cup World Titles Dan Masters B Male Kumite Champion
    • 2013 Soke Cup World Titles Dan Masters B Male Kumite Champion
    • 2007 ICKFA Tournament Champion
    • 2011 ICKFA Kumite Champion
    • 2008 ICKFA Kumite Champion
    • 2007 ICKFA Kumite Champion
    • 2005 ICKFA Kumite Champion
    • 2007 ICKFA Kata Champion
    • Represented Australia at Soke Cup World Titles in 1998, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2017, and 2019

Anthony Horgan
Sensei Anthony Horgan, 2nd Dan

Sensei Anthony Horgan

Sensei Anthony Horgan was one of the first students at Gold Coast Chito-Ryu Karate. He was the dojo’s first black belt, the first to achieve the level of Jun-Shidoin (junior instructor), and the first to reach nidan (second dan black belt).

A keen sportsman all his life, Sensei Anthony has extensive experience performing at a high level. Whether it’s travelling the world to ski, being part of the Brisbane Lions AFL team, or coaching the Danish national cricket team, Sensei Anthony knows what it takes to unlock the highest levels of achievement. He brings that experience and know-how to the dojo, where he inspires everyone to dig deep to find new levels of capability.

Sensei Anthony is based in Brisbane, travelling to the Gold Coast dojo to train as often as he can. His energetic and innovative classes are so much fun that students barely even realise how hard they’re working.

Sensei Anthony is a positive role model and mentor for all karate kids, always setting the example by working hard and displaying the right attitude.

Competition success

Sensei Anthony has represented Australia at no fewer than five World Titles, where he has achieved three gold medals and numerous minor medals. He has also won numerous national titles, and continues to compete and referee while also taking on a valuable coaching role for our less-experienced competitors.

  • Nidan Chito-Ryu Karate-Do
  • Jun-shidoin Chito-Ryu Karate-Do
  • Shodan Chito-Ryu Kobujyutsu
  • Competitive Record/Awards:
    • 2010 Soke Cup World Titles Kyu Mens Kumite Champion
    • 2007 Soke Cup World Titles Novice Mens Kata Champion
    • 2007 Soke Cup World Titles Novice Mens Kumite Champion
    • 2012 ICKFA Kumite Champion
    • 2010 ICKFA Kumite Champion
    • 2009 ICKFA Kumite Champion
    • 2007 Karateka of the Year
    • 2006 Budoka of the Year
    • 2005 Budoka of the Year
    • Represented Australia at Soke Cup World Titles in 2007, 2010, 2013, 2017, and 2019

Monica Lester
Sensei Monica Lester, 1st Dan

Sensei Monica Lester

Sensei Monica began her karate journey in 2008 as one of the first adult female students at Gold Coast Chito-Ryu karate. She started her training as a way to escape the house while working from home and caring for a toddler. Along the way, she became an inspiration to many students in the dojo and was the first female student at Gold Coast Chito-Ryu Karate to achieve her black belt and the first female student to achieve her Jun-Shidoin (junior instructor) qualification.

Sensei Monica’s classes are notable for her calm, quiet demeanour and her ability to focus on the details to help everyone improve their karate.

Sensei Monica has a particular interest in kobudo (weapons training) as well as all aspects of karate. At tournaments, you’ll find her refereeing, where competitors benefit from her attention to detail and knowledge of what makes a strong performance.

Sensei Monica knows what it takes to be successful and her never-give-up attitude makes her an ideal role model for everyone in the dojo, male and female alike.

Sensei Monica can usually be found teaching classes on Wednesdays at 6pm.

  • Shodan Chito-Ryu Karate-do
  • Jun-Shidoin Chito Ryu Karate-do
  • Shodan Chito-Ryu Kobujyutsu
  • Awards:
    • 2019 Budoka of the Year
    • 2008 Budoka of the Year
    • 2015 Karateka of the Year
    • 2012 Karateka of the Year

Sensei Samantha Lenton, 1st Dan

Sensei Samantha Lenton

Sensei Sam fell in love with Chito-Ryu Karate-Do in 2012 when she started training along with her family. She was soon attending as many classes per week as she could get to, and achieved her black belt in 2019 and her Jun-Shidoin (junior instructor) qualification in 2020.

Sensei Sam’s classes are high-energy and inclusive, with a focus on having fun while learning. She is passionate about helping students of all ages overcome their perceived limitations and realise that they can achieve their goals if they’re willing to work hard.

In her Saturday morning classes, Sensei Sam works with both the youngest karateka (from age four) and some of the dojo’s oldest karateka (aged in their 60s) and everyone in between, so she draws from a wide range of fun yet challenging ideas to keep everyone engaged and learning throughout the classes.

While she loves literally every aspect of karate, Sensei Sam has a particular interest in kumite, seeing it as a valuable building block of confidence both inside and outside the dojo. She has competed successfully at various local, national, and international tournaments in both kumite and kata. She has represented Australia at three World Titles, medalling at each of them and taking out the gold medal for kumite in Canada in 2019.

At Queensland tournaments, you’ll find Sensei Sam alternating between competing in the senior divisions, refereeing, and coaching. She finds her perfect balance in juggling all three roles.

Sensei Sam can be found teaching classes on Saturday mornings from 8:30am, and is usually in the dojo five days per week (six if she can get away with it).

  • Shodan Chito-Ryu Karate-do
  • Jun-Shidoin Chito-Ryu Karate-do
  • Shodan Chito-Ryu Kobujyutsu
  • Competitive Record/Awards:
    • 2019 Soke Cup World Titles Dan Masters B Female Kumite Champion
    • 2015 Australian National Titles Adult Female Kumite Champion
    • 2015 Australian National Titles Adult Mixed Team Kumite Champion
    • 2013 Australian National Titles Kyu Grade Kata Champion
    • 2013 Queensland State Titles Adult Female Kumite Champion
    • 2013 Queensland State Titles Kyu Grade Kata Champion
    • 2013 Queensland State Titles Team Kata Champion
    • 2013 Queensland State Titles Tournament Champion
    • 2017 Budoka of the Year
    • 2013 Budoka of the Year
    • Represented Australia at Soke Cup World Titles in 2013, 2017, and 2019


Having a high rank in karate does not automatically make you a great instructor, having knowledge and being able to impart knowledge are two different things. At Gold Coast Chito-Ryu Karate we provide a dedicated leadership Program for those with an interest in pursuing a teaching career in karate or are simply looking to develop their leadership skills for inside and outside the dojo.

Through the progressive stages of our Karate Leadership Program we teach students how to assist other students, lead by example, instruct segments of classes, instruct entire classes, develop programs and class plans, motivate students and more. Through this program we are sure that Chito-Ryu Karate-Do will continue to grow with dedicated qualified instructors.

Little Champions Karate
Children’s Karate Classes with qualified instructors