Origins Of GKR Karate
Go-Kan-Ryu as a karate style was a natural evolvement of Kancho Robert Sullivans overall karate experiences.
Robert began his training in Goju Kai karate in 1964. His first instructor was Merv Oakley, the famous Gogen Yamaguchi’s Australian representative. After 5 years of intense training with Goju Kai, Robert converted to the Budokan style under Tony Chew. Tony’s father (Chew Chew Soot) was the Founder of the Karate Association of Malaysia. Robert then travelled to Kuala Lumpur for advanced training with Chew Chew Soot and Masayuki Takasaka. Takasaka was one of about 6 Japanese instructors who were teaching the Keishinkan style in Malaysia to students of Budokan.
Roberts friendship with Takasaka grew and Robert sponsored Takasaka to Australia to head up the Shotokan based style, Keishinkan. Robert then converted his Budokan club (based in Gosford, New South Wales) to Keishinkan.
Tony Chew had graded Robert to 1st Dan in 1969, and in 1970 Takasaka graded Robert to 1st Dan in Keishinkan. In March 1971 Robert travelled to Japan where he trained and lived on the premises with the Founder of Keishinkan, Master Masanao Takazawa. Robert received his 2nd Dan and Referees Diploma under the Keishinkan banner. Keishinkan was a member of the World Union of Karate Organisations (W.U.K.O.), the highest authority in the world in Traditional Karate Organisations and Tournaments.
Robert then travelled to the USA where he built a number of classes and trained with some of the top instructors in the USA of the time. Since returning home to Australia he continued to teach small groups of people and friends, while also taking time to marry and start a family.
With 20 years of karate experience behind him, Robert founded Go-Kan-Ryu Karate in 1984 in Adelaide, South Australia. At first his aim was to build a small club, sufficient in size to feed his family and ‘pay the bills’. What Robert did not realise is that turning his passion into his vocation would build him an organization that currently spans 4 continents and provides literally thousands of people an opportunity to train in one of the worlds most likeable martial arts styles.