Profiles - Past Instructors & Other Key People
Over the years there have been many Chito-Ryu instructors in Australia, all of who have contributed to the river of knowledge and either directly or indirectly impacted on all of the current leaders of the ICKFA. This page is here as a reminder of some of these people in order that we do not forget the contribution of those who have come before us.
Vance Prince Sensei
Chito-Ryu was introduced to Australia by Sensei Vance Prince then 4th Dan (and student of Higashi Sensei, the current honbucho in Canada) in the 1960's. He came to Australia via the SOHONBU (International Chito-Ryu Headquarters) where he spent some time training under O'Sensei. Prince Sensei was later graded to 5th Dan, Renshi before his involvement in the evolution of Australian Chito-Ryu ended. Amongst Prince Sensei's senior students, were: Bill Ker Sensei, was to later become Honbucho (Chief Instructor), and Chris Brown Sensei who established Chito-Ryu in Lithgow in the Blue Mountains Region in 1976.
Bill Ker Sensei
Bill Ker Sensei was Honbucho (Chief Instructor) of Australian Chito-Ryu from the late 1970's until 1991 when he retired from active involvement in the Chito-Ryu. During his involvement as Chief Instructor Ker Sensei taught Chito-Ryu in Sydney and was the first teacher of the current Honbucho, Mike Noonan Sensei. Ker Sensei still continues to train and is living testament to training in Chito-Ryu. In recent years we have been fortunate to once again see Ker Sensei involved in many Chito-Ryu events. In 2007 Ker Sensei was honoured with a perpetual shield named in his honour to be presented to the tournament at each year's national championships. Ker Sensei is pictured below making the inaugural presentation of the shield.
Chris Brown Sensei
Chris Brown Sensei introduced Chito-Ryu into the Blue Mountains region when he opened the first Chito-Ryu dojo in Lithgow in 1976. Brown Sensei is no longer actively involved in Chito-Ryu.
Brian Hayes Sensei
Hayes Sensei began his training in Lithgow 1980 as a student of Brown Sensei. Before long he moved to Newcastle with work, but in order to help continue his own training, he also established a Chito-Ryu dojo. When Bill Ker Sensei retired from the position as Honbucho, Brian Hayes Sensei was appointed to that role until he left that position in 2004. In the roles as Honbucho, he made many trips to Japan to train with Soke Sensei and other senior Chito-Ryu instructors as he progressed through the ranks to 6th Dan, Renshi. As his dojo grew and he enjoyed many successes in the field of sports karate, producing many successful karate athletes. Hayes Sensei has runs his own karate organisation independent of the ICKF.
Dave Hawken Sensei
Dave Hawken Sensei began his training in Chito-Ryu in 1976 under the
direction of Sensei Chris Brown at the Lithgow Dojo. Hawken Sensei had
trained in Kung Fu under the instruction of Sifu Walt Missingham before
commencing his training in Chito-Ryu. Hawken Sensei officially took over the
teaching at the Lithgow Dojo from Sensei Chris Brown in 1984 after Brown
Sensei relocated to Sydney.
Hawken Sensei was graded to Nidan Shidoin in Chito-Ryu by O'Sensei and was
responsible for the teaching of Chito-Ryu Karate from 1984-1992 when he left
Chito-Ryu and is now a senior teacher within the Kumiai-Ryu system. He
travelled and trained at the Sohonbu in 1984 with Andrew Connolly Sensei and
Chris Brown Sensei. Sensei Hawken guided the development of Chito-Ryu
Karate in the Lithgow, Blackheath and Katoomba areas during these years and
was responsible for training many students including Mark Snow Sensei
through to Black Belt level in Chito-Ryu.
Andrew Connolly Sensei
Andrew Connolly Sensei was a student of Sensei Chris Brown in the Lithgow
Dojo and commenced his training in 1976. Connolly Sensei was one of the
original students of the Lithgow Dojo. Connolly Sensei travelled to Japan in
1984 with Sensei Chris Brown and Dave Hawken Sensei and was graded to Nidan
Shidoin by O'Sensei. Connolly Sensei assisted Sensei Dave Hawken in the
teaching of Chito-Ryu Karate in the Lithgow region when Sensei Chris Brown
left the area in 1984. Connolly Sensei continued to teach many students
Chito-Ryu Karate over the years and in 1992 joined the Kumiai-Ryu system
after leaving Chito-Ryu Karate.
Charlene Machin is a shodan in Chito-Ryu who commenced her training in the Newcastle area. Charlene was Australia's first WKF (World Karate Federation) all styles world karate champion in 1992. Following the 1992 WKF World Chamionships Charlene appeared on the Austrlian version of the TV show Gladiator as "Storm". At present Charlene is not an active member.
Lou Zorz was a Black Belt in the Lithgow in during the 1980's and gave his life saving 2 young children who were drowning in a dam. When he saw children drowning and knowing that he could not swim himself, he raced into the water in an act of true heroism and selflessness. While he saved the children he lost is own life. In 2007 Lou was honoured with a perpetual trophy named in his honour to be presented to the winners of the team kumite event at each year's national championships. The inaugural presentation of the award was made by Mark Snow Sensei to the winning team (pictured below).
Cath Phillips, although never a student a Chito-Ryu has been a very big contributor as an administrator and a volunteer. Cath became involved in the local Newcastle association when her sons began training in Chito-Ryu. As her youngest son Martin (now one of the Regional Head Instructors) got more involved so did Cath. For several years, Cath took on the role as Treasurer for the national association and also coordinated the table officials at the 1992 & 2004 International Soke Cup Tournaments held in Newcastle. In 2007 Cath was recognised with a perpetual trophy named in her honour, which she presented to the winners of the team kata event at the national championships (pictured below).
A lawyer by profession, has never taken part in Chito-Ryu classes, but was awarded the rank of Shodan in recognition of services rendered in his professional capacity to the ICKFA throughout 2004-05. This honour is very rare in Chito-Ryu, with the certificate signed and stamped by Soke Sensei and presented by ICKFA Honbucho, Noonan Sensei at the 2005 National Championships in the Blue Mountains.
More profiles coming soon...
- Norm Perry Sensei
- Steve Davison Sensei
- Nelson Rosas Sensei
- Charlie Kudlic Sensei