HIGH-ranking black belt leaders from Swan Hills Goju Ryu Karate Club were honoured at a celebratory dinner in Midland.
The senior martial arts experts collected fifth, fourth and second-degree black belt certificates.
WA head of style for Goju Ryu Karate Australia, Sensei Bob, earned his 6th degree (dan) ranking in his last visit to Okinawa, the birthplace of karate.
“I’m extremely honoured to have been awarded this very special rank, and will continue to do my best to follow the tradition of those who have gone before me,” Sensei Bob said.
He encouraged his senior students to do the same and pass on their knowledge in the spirit of karate.
The certificates were prepared and signed in Okinawa by world head of style Sensei Shigetoshi Seneha .
Sensei Bob congratulated the group. He said it was rare to attain a black belt and few continued to higher rankings.
Chris Papmarkos, now a sensei in his own right, received his 5th dan certificate.
Leone Spiccia and Wolf Konrad of Mundaring and Paul Crabtree of Swan View were recognised as 4th dan senior instructors, making a total of five across the Midland and Mt Helena dojos.
Sensei Chris has practised karate for 30 years. “This is a very significant moment for me,” he said.
“I think it’s remarkable that between Sensei Bob, myself and our senior instructors we have over 220 years of experience to offer the students.”
Damien Bell, sensei at Swan Hills Goju Ryu’s sister dojo in Bridgetown, Tony Wray, Warren Hope and Lisa Skrypichayko of Stoneville, all received their 2nd dan certificates.
Sensei Bob teaches students of all ages at his Midland and Mt Helena dojos.
He is a senior kata coach for the Western Australia Karate Federation.
For more information about the club, email Bob at bob@swanhills|gojuryu.com.au.