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About Us

We may be led by a two-time world champion but at Blackburn Karate we are about much more than winning.

Unlike other sports, karate is about developing grit and character as much as physical skills and strength. Encouraging effort and perseverance, resilience and heart, our programs help students stay focused, exercise self-control and make good choices.

We are home to a thriving local karate community, including many families where mum, dad and all the kids participate in classes throughout the week. With over 30 years of teaching experience, our lead instructors have had the pleasure of watching many students grow from children into successful adults, excelling with determination and humility.

We are proud to deliver programs that encourage, inspire and challenge our students and give them the skills to thrive in any endeavour. Give us a call, come down to our training centre and find out more about being part of our karate community.

The History of Our Style

Shukokai – ‘Way for all’

Karate as a martial art was cultivated on the Japanese island of Okinawa during the 19th century.

The two main strands of karate in Okinawa consisted of the Shuri-te system and the Naha-te system. The Shuri-te system, from where Shotokan karate derived, was known for its long range techniques and lengthy stances, while the Naha-te system, from where Goju karate derived, was known for its shorter technique and close-in fighting ability.

Kenwa Mabuni Sensei ( 1889-1952) trained under both systems, and from his studies, took the best aspects from each to form what is known as the Shitoryu style of karate.

Shukokai karate evolved from the Shitoryu style and was developed over a number of years by Chojiro Tani Sensei, a student of Kenwa Mabuni. Shukokai was developed to be more combat effective and is probably the most popular of all the Shitoryu styles practiced throughout the world today.


Kobe Osaka International

Blackburn Karate Club and its members have enjoyed a close association with Kobe Osaka International for over 25 years. Chief Instructor of Kobe Osaka Karate-do Renmai is Shihan Tommy Morris, who has trained extensively under the Shukokai masters Chojiro Tani and Shigeru Kimura. He was awarded 8th Dan in 2003 by the World Karate Federation (WKF), and is currently the WKF’s Presidential Advisor.

Shihan Tommy Morris formed Kobe-Osaka International in 1991.  The first KOI championships were held in Glasgow a year later with Australia as one of nine representing countries.  Sensei Richard was very proud to win Gold in this inaugural event.

Blackburn Karate and its members have attended every KOI championship since and have built many lasting friendships all over the world. Students have the opportunity via this affiliation to attend international competitions as well as training courses with other karate-ka from around the world.

Sensei Richard’s relationship with Shihan Tommy actually goes way back to 1985 when he attended one of Shihan Tommy’s early Australian Training Courses. He was awarded his Blackbelt by Shihan Tommy in 1988 and the two continue the Sensei – student relationship to this day.  Along with his son Steven Morris (7th dan), Shihan Tommy still visits Australia each year to train Sensei Richard and the students at Blackburn Karate Club.

“Sensei Tommy has been my teacher for over 30 years.  Not just in karate but in life. He is a great mentor and role model, and someone I continue to look up to”  Sensei Richard.

Tommy Morris

Shihan Tommy Morris

WKF Presidential Advisor

Shihan Tommy Morris has travelled the world extensively teaching karate and self defence.

He regularly visits Australia to conduct seminars and gradings.

Our Affiliations