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The origins of karate-do go back to the ancient travels of Buddhist monks throughout the Asian Frontier. Unarmed and oppressed, it became necessary for them to develop a weapon less form of self-defence for their survival.


(Some historians believe this is where Alexandra the Great and his warriors that helped trained the Tibetans/Buddhist Monks in their way of battle, after they conquered most of Europe and parts of Asia. This is where it is believed that the Tibetan monks would have brought these teachings to other parts of Asia, bringing forth the birth of most modern Martial Arts including styles such as Kung Fu, Karate, Judo and even Muay Tai.)


Merchants traveling south from China to the Ryukku Islands; or Okinawa; brought with them this art of the "Chinese Hand" to To-De (later to be called Karate - empty hand). 


During this time, Japan invaded these islands and its warriors found themselves confronted by the fierce retaliation of skilled practitioners of this secret art.


In the mid-1800s, Okinawa was a place in turmoil as a result of the end of the old Samurai ways in Japan and the onset of the Meiji restoration, where the emperor once again ruled. They found themselves caught between the national interests of China, Japan and America (who they had previously paid joint tribute to).  The Okinawan king and his government were disbanded and made to become commoners, the whole city of Shuri saw mass unemployment and the forefathers of Karate found themselves going from being of the higher social class to a state of abject poverty.  In the late 19th Century an enthusiastic Okinawan youngster by the name of Chojun Miyagi, became well skilled in the art and was determined to know more. He was advised to travel to China to study the many difference methods of martial arts. His search led him to the hard school of Shaolin Chuan, the soft school of Pakua Chan, and from these two he developed his own style of Goju, Hard and Soft. He advocated that both the hard and soft complimented each other and he created the Sanchin and Tensho, a formal exercise which combined both these elements.


Also featured in the style is the breathing exercise known as "Ibuki", which incorporates external breathing - Yo Ibuki, a strong vocal hiss which emphasises dynamic tension, and internal breathing - In Ibuki; which is nasal and is performed with techniques. The use of this exercise creates deep abdominal development and rejuvenation of energy. The whole body is exercised both internally and externally.

A student of Chojun Miyagi, the Carpenter Murata, travelled to Japan and began to teach. One of his students was a young man who was agile, fast and had a reputation for being a deceptive fighter, giving no ground to any adversary. He was known as the "Cat", because of his favourite fighting stance - Neko Ashi Kamae (cat stance). His name was Gogen Yamaguchi. He soon proved to be a man of credibility and initiative and became highly respected in Karate circles in Japan.


Gogen Yamaguchi systemised the style into basically the system used all over the world today, and organised the style into what is known as the Goju Kai (Kai = Organisation).


On his death bed, the old master Miyagi called for all the Senior Members and announced to them his choice of successor. It was then that Gogen Yamaguchi became 10th Dan and the Grand Master of Goju Karate - the Kaicho!!


At about this time, Japan was occupied by the American Forces and many American servicemen became attracted to this dynamic art, and in particular to the well – organised school of Gogen Yamaguchi, and then brought home to America the discipline they had learned. Miyagi had visited Hawaii in 1930 and now Yamaguchi travelled to Hawaii on the invitation of Instructor Masaichi Oshiro of the Hawaiian Goju Karate School in 1966. From small beginnings the School of Goju Karate has grown and multiplied and is probably the most widely practised of the styles in Australia. In May 1989, Kaicho Gogen Yamaguchi died aged 81. In 1990 Goshi Yamaguchi (3rd son of the Master), took over the reigns of the Goju Kai and was promoted to the rank of 8th Dan by the Japan Karate Federation.


After receiving his 3rd Dan by the Grand Master, and with the blessing of Kaicho Yamaguchi, a young instructor Tino Ceberano left his native country to start life in Australia and to develop the style of Goju Karate in this country. He is without question the most well known Karate-Ka in Australia.


Tino Ceberano Hanshi, Kudan, 9th Dan, is often referred to as the father of karate in Australia. His years of experience in the martial arts have provided him with skills and knowledge that has written him into the martial arts history books.

From this time Sensei Terry Carberry trained with an Organisation known as IGK and in 1997 decided his future lay separate of this and founded Australian Goju Karate and maintains the ideals of the truly traditional style of Goju Karate. His record is open to all, but his greatest referral has always been the quality of his students.


Despite having little or no serious direction toward "Competition" Karate (less than 1% of his students train for competition) Australian Goju Karate consistently produces State, National and International Champions at the highest level and standard of competition.


After fifteen years training under Sensei Terry Carberry, Renshi/Sensei Patrick Wong and Sensei Joseph Foremen. It was in 2013 Nikolaos (Nik) Kourtessis created his own style of Goju Karate.


Fighting Spirit Goju Karate's standards are formed from a basis of Traditional Goju Ryu & Goju Kai Karate-Do (also at the AKF and WKF competition standards. (However, like AGK, we also have “little or no serious direction toward Competition Karate.”) Our goal is to teach “what works” and not just “what look good” Karate should not be taught for “competition use only/as a sport” it should be “A Way of Life/ it’s a Lifestyle.” Along with the knowledge and elements of other martial art styles such as Taekwondo, Ninjutsu, Muay Thai and Xtreme Martial Arts with the goal of teaching - Discipline, Respect, Dedication and the "Never give up" way of life. The true keys of the Fighting Spirit.

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