Veteran karate coach to open dream dojo in Malaga


Jessica Bratich-Johnson with daughter Rubika Johnson (3) and Branco Bratich. The Bratich family are opening a new karate school, Yoseikan-Ryu Karate, in Malaga. Picture: Andrew Ritchie
Jessica Bratich-Johnson with daughter Rubika Johnson (3) and Branco Bratich. The Bratich family are opening a new karate school, Yoseikan-Ryu Karate, in Malaga. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

TEACHING three generations of karate has inspired a 45-year veteran coach to open his dream karate school in Malaga.

Branco Bratich (65) a self-taught karate coach, has coached athletes from grassroots to elite levels across his illustrious career, which is highlighted by about 1000 gold medals.

Bratich coached his daughter, Jessica Bratich-Johnson who won a bronze medal at the 2006 World Championships and now his granddaughter, Rubika (3) has just started karate.

Yoseikan-Ryu Karate in Malaga mainly offers classes to children but also trains its existing athletes.

Bratich said the growing demand for under-five classes contributed the opening of the school.

“We have got a traditional training area and a modern training area but I like to say that we are teaching modern karate with traditional values,” he said.

“I like the respect of the young people, I look around me and I am a 65-year-old man and I have got young people who want to spend time with me and are happy to learn from me.

“I enjoy identifying someone who has got that heart and if they have not got that heart, I will create the heart.”

Bratich said coaching was not just about winning.

“It is about life experience, failure and success…the motto with Yoseikan is ‘get up, we do not give in’,” he said.

“I know you can accumulate money and everything but I accumulate good quality people.”

Bratich-Johnson said her father coached her from home during her early days.

“It is amazing to have this actual premise, where we used to privately train in the garage to get to that level, so now this is very special for little kids,” she said.

Bratich said karate was likely to be included in the 2020 Toyko Olympic Games and hoped some of his students could be selected.

Bratich-Johnson said she was also excited at the prospect for Yoseikan-Kyu.

“For me, just seeing our students make that level, that would be amazing… it is something I would really love to see,” she said.