Goju Kai Sydney Goju Kan was founded in 1970 by World IKGA Vice President Paul Starling Shihan Kyoshi who has been a loyal and devoted member of Goju Kai Karate do Australia for 46 years: he was the first graduate in 1973 as Shihan Renshi from Gogen Yamaguchi Sensei's prestigious Nihon Karate do Senmon Gakko, and the only Australian Shihan to Graduate.
Paul Starling commenced training in the Gogen Yamaguchi school of Goju Kai Karate do as a teenager 46 years ago in the early 1960's, with the founder of Goju Kai in Australia; Merv Oakley Sensei. At that time there were very few Karate Instructors qualified to teach in Australia, and only a handful were legitimately graded to any black belt level of proficiency. Oakley Sensei was a pioneer of Australian Karate, and had travelled to the Hombu Dojo in Japan to train with Gogen Yamaguchi Hanshi for extended periods.
Paul had trained in Judo
from a very young age with a very distinguished teacher; Sensei Ron
and for many years continued training in Judo and Goju Kai Karate do
concurrently on a daily basis He travelled enormous distances from his
home via public transport in order to achieve his desires to train with
the very best teachers in Sydney.
from Barker College in
Waitara Sydney with his Leaving Certificate (equiv. Higher School
Certificate), he commenced a career with Unilever Australia and also
the Australian Army CMF, due to the influence of his father. Lieutenant
Colonel Noel George Reid Starling who worked tirelessly in order to
promote Sydney Goju Kan using his extensive marketing skills. A
career Army man, he was said to have been
the longest serving soldier in the Australian Regular Army when he
passed away in 1999. (Lieutenant Colonel Starling, born in 1913 had
added a number
of years to his birth date in order to sign on as a soldier in approx
Photo of Paul with his father Lt Colonel Noel G.R. Starling
discussing his appointment as Shidoin 1970.
It was as an Army
Officer that Paul also honed his skills at
leadership and the self discipline that helped him build Sydney Goju
Kan and the Macquarie University Karate Club into successful
traditional Japanese Dojo.
Whilst in Japan at the Karate do College, Paul had stayed with Gogen Yamaguchi Hanshi in his home , and had also acted in a secretarial capacity for the IKGA (International Karate do Gojukai Association). In this role he had became very closely aligned with the Yamaguchi family in Japan, and he has since returned on many occasions with very large groups of his students to train with both Gogen Yamaguch Hanshi prior to his death in 1989, and also with Goshi Yamaguchi Shihan, Gosen Yamaguchi Shihan and also Wakako Yamaguchi Shihan.
Japan in 1970 representing Australia at the
First World Karate do Championships, Gogen Yamaguchi suggested the name
of Sydney Goju Kan for Paul's own Dojo, and the School has been in
operation ever since. Along with the Macquarie University Karate Club
(established 1968) The North Sydney branch of Goju Kai Karate do ,
along with the other foundation Dojo ie: in Hornsby, Asquith and West
Pymble, Sydney Goju Kai members of Paul Starling Shihan trained with,
and competed against their Melbourne Goju Kai colleagues under the
tutelage of Constantino Tino Ceberano Shihan in the foundation years
until 1989 when Ceberano Shihan formed a new school apart from the
Yamaguchi family. It was at that time that Paul Starling Shihan became
the Chief Instructor of Goju Kai Karate do Australia until retiring
from that position 15 years later in 2004 due to a sudden illness.
[Photo courtesy of Blitz Magazine]
senior student has been training with him for 37 years: Dr Mark Burton
6th Dan Renshi Shihan, former Australian & New South Wales Kata
Champion, is now the New South Wales Branch Chief and Chief Instructor
for Goju Kai Karate do Australia Sydney Goju Kan. Mark Shihan teaches
classes at Womberal,Central Coast Region, and at Macquarie University.
Please see the profiles /Instructors section for more information
regarding Mark Shihan's many accomplishments. Mark is assisted by
Sensei David Harrison Jokyo 4th Dan, current Heavy Weight Jiu Kumite
Medalist at the IKGA World Championship 2005-Holland. David Harrison is
a long time student over the past 29 years and is now President &
Chief Instructor of the Macquarie University Karate Club Dojo having
assisted and followed on from Paul Starling Shihan since 2004.
Paul now refines techniques of
and Black Belts in 'Special Advanced Classes' at the Macquarie
Whilst at the JAPAN KARATE DO COLLEGE (NIHON KARATE DO SENMON GAKKO) where Paul trained full time for one year in 1973, he was taught by Grandmaster Gogen Yamaguchi (Goju Kai), Grandmaster Hironori Otsuka (Wado Ryu), Grandmaster Iwata Manzao (Shito Ryu), Grandmaster Tamae (Rembukan), and Grandmaster Motokatsu (Gansho) Inoue (Ryukyu Kobujitsu Hozon Shinko Kai). Also trained by Goshi Yamaguchi Saiko Shihan, and several other Japanese Shihans of the time.
Paul played a pivotal role in the 1983 Classic Australian Movie 'The Coolangatta Gold' as a Karate Instructor, accompanied by several of his black belt students who played the part of the Karate class. Paul was approached by the film's director and writer (Igor Auzons and Peter Schreck) in 1982 and asked to train a leading actor, Joss McWilliam, in Karate methods full time over a period of 3 months in order for the actor to fulfill his role in the film. Joss trained diligently as a beginner on a daily basis with Paul and the senior instructors of the Dojo. His character in the film was a Black Belt Shodan however in reality Joss was actually a white Belt in Karate. See this link for further details:
Many International, National, and State champions have come from Paul Starling's Dojo. Many of his students have gone on to become Internationally recognized instructors in their own right. Amongst Paul's Black Belt Graduates who have gone on to become Shihans are Ingo De Jong 8th Dan Hanshi (IKGA Vice President, Director of the European Bloc, Branch Chief for Scandinavia), Helmut Moldners 5th Dan Renshi (former NSW North Coast Branch Chief), Dr. Mark Burton 6th Dan Renshi (NSW Branch Chief and Chief Instructor) and Alexandra (Sandie) Starling 5th Dan Renshi (former WKF World Championship medalist).
Current IKGA Qualifications - Paul was awarded KYOSHI License in 1989 by Saiko Shihan Yamaguchi, 7th Dan in 1995 in Tokyo Japan, and was also graded to 5th Dan in the Ryukyu Kobujitsu Hozon Shinko Kai in 1988 by Grandmaster Motokatsu (Gansho) Inoue in Shimizu City, Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan.
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