Go Kan Ryu/GKR (yes...the door to door ppl...)

Discussion in 'Karate' started by honest_john, Jul 28, 2004.

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  1. honest_john

    honest_john New Member


    Can anyone give me an informed opinion on these guys (more specifically in the SE of England - see below). Whats the lesson structure like i.e. Cardio vs. Syllabus, etc.

    Lots of eyebrows are raised simply becuase of thier door to door recruitment approach I know, but has anyone actually trained with them? whats your impression I'd like to know.

    Please though no pointless hearsay or conjecture :) and especially no need for the usual "thier ****, j'accuse McDojo" etc, etc... :)


    Locations in the SE:
    Bracknell, Burghfield, Caversham, Caversham North, Denefield, Didcot, Earley, Greenham, Henley, Newbury, Preistwood, Tadley, Thatcham, Tilehurst, Whitley, Wokingham, Woodley, Yateley.
  2. YODA

    YODA The Woofing Admin Supporter

    I attended one class out of curiosity when they opened up here a few years back. I was appalled at the poor standard of instruction and lack of general martial arts knowledge and ability shown. The class had all the hallmarks of a class taught by an orange belt wearing a black belt who had ben instructed not to do anything that may involve physical effort or lead to (gasp) a bruise. He'd been training for 6 months but assured me that the intensive training he'd undergone was equivalent to 5 years in a typical Dojo. Yeah Riiiiiiight.
  3. honest_john

    honest_john New Member

    Cheers Yoda, thanks for the feedback, seemingly you're not the only one to have this attidue to GKR.

    PS. Slownsteady - are you out there, care to lend some balance to the debate?
  4. Martial Mark

    Martial Mark Valued Member

    GKR Karate started in Australia and was founded by Robert Sullivan, I actually met him myself at a GKR seminar and he is an incredibly good fighter (Hands like spades!)

    GKR getting very popular in the UK at the moment but its all through self advertising, they do a lot of door to door work and I personally think some of the instructors are trained up too quickly to start new classes in new regions, dont get me wrong they do have some very good teachers but it really depends on the area, if you do research on the teachers in your area and find out how close they are to the teachings of Robert Sullivan the less watered down the training might be.
  5. JohnnyX

    JohnnyX Map Addict

    I have found the GKR Karate Forums.


    Lots of stuff in there - warts and all.

    The 'GKR Politics Forum' makes very good reading. :D

    Overall, it seems that they lose Sensei's left, right and centre for some reason!

    Students never get told the reason why. :(
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2004
  6. Interesting bunch!?!?

    Am I right in saying that GKR clubs are under central 'ownership' of GKR Head-honchos? ...

    ... or are they only extended as far as their Regional Managers?

    Just thought I'd add this wonderful link to the Unofficial GKR UK page ... http://www.gkrkarate.org/ ... have a look at the kata vids. Call me soft, but I strangely don't feel the need to defect to GKR!

    Last edited: Jul 29, 2004
  7. Damien

    Damien Valued Member

    What does it mean?

    Hi Guys,

    Go Kan..

    What does the above mean?. I'm sure there is someone on the list that understands this langauge, rather that just putting two words together that we know (have read) the seperate meaning of!

  8. GojuKJoe

    GojuKJoe Valued Member

    a former go kan ryu practitioner joined our club (goju ryu and shotokan) a while back, and he seemed to have absolutely no knowledge whatsoever of what he was doing, he knew a few kata, but they seemed to be a little random, like he wasa 6th or 5th kyu i think and he knew saifa, hiean shodan, nidan, sandan, and bassai dai. He also told us, that you were awarded the next grade, based on how many people you got to join the club, and not so much because of your training and ability. This may have been just a bad dojo, but naturally, it has given me a fairly negative view of go kan ryu until i see something better.
  9. jessie_c

    jessie_c New Member

    My first proper post. :p :rolleyes: :) What a way to start off. ;)

    Just to clear up a few misconceptions.

    Martial Mark said...

    Yes you are right in saying that some instructors are far too inexperienced. However, people can pick and choose. I have made the choice to train with an instructor who has been teaching for nine years and is an excellent karateka. Someone who is serious about their karate will think to look to other dojos and those that aren't... well... are just there for a work out, and I suppose the instructors in question can give that to them still.

    Johnny X said...

    Yes... I'm a member of that site, among others. There are some interesting debates and you're right in saying people are disillusioned. Many see the light and decide to part ways. Part of the reason why we lose Senseis is that they are recruited at too low a level, come to their senses, realise how little they know and give it up... They're replaced by low graded Senseis again, so it's a never ending circle.

    Jamie said...

    I don't quite get what you're saying. GKR is run mainly by Shihan, our 4th Dan "Executive Vice President". He is in charge of various Zone Directors, who are in turn in charge of their own areas, eg. Eastern Australia. They are in charge of looking after the RMs, who run regions in these areas, some with as many as 30 dojos, some with as little as 4.

    GKR is a club, then there are regions which have dojos in them.

    GojuKJoe said...

    Absolute rubbish!

    There are SDCs, Self Defence Consultants, who go door to door and sell memberships. They are referred to as "Full timers" and have the opportunity to train with the Regional Manager a few times a week, unlike the average student. They are said to grade faster, probably because of the extra intensity of their training.

    I have absolutely no idea how you could have gotten that story... LOL. That's funny. :p

    I'll make a general post about GKR when I can think more clearly. ;)
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2004
  10. GojuKJoe

    GojuKJoe Valued Member

    i really did get that story from the man who joined our club, his level of knowledge was terrible for the grade he was supposed to be. But like i said, it must have been just a bad dojo, i didn't mean to disrespect any serious karateka of GKR
  11. jessie_c

    jessie_c New Member

    That's fine. :) I know there are karateka out there who have no idea and aren't serious. I'm not trying to defend them or anything. :) I actually found it quite funny. ;)
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2004
  12. Mike Flanagan

    Mike Flanagan Valued Member

    I've been making a bit of a nuisance of myself on the Go Kan Ryu forums this last week. I'm afraid I couldn't help myself. The more I read the more shocked (or should I say SHOCKED!!!) I get.

    Let's be clear what we mean by 'some instructors are far too inexperienced'. This means that people as low as 7th kyu (orange belt) have been awarded 'sensei' status and given their own clubs to run. Of course, they don't get given a black belt to wear, they have a 'special' black and white belt. I did express my surprise that such 'senseis' could get insured in the UK as martial arts instructors. Apparently there's an easy way round that, they just don't bother with instructor's insurance.

    The door to door salesmen, or 'self-defence consultants' theoretically could have no training in karate whatsoever. Marketing is done entirely by this route so the organisation has to spend no money on it at all. The 'self-defence consultant' gets a cut of the new member's joining fee.

    Anyone heard of pyramid sales? I have to take my hat off to the Go Kan Ryu 'Kancho' for thinking of applying the concept to karate.

  13. JohnnyX

    JohnnyX Map Addict


    Excellent First Post. And ......

    Big Welcome to the MAP Madhouse. :D

    What grade are you and how long have you been training?

    Cheers. :)
  14. Scaramouch

    Scaramouch Lost Soul

    The "pyramid sales" concept is not new in MA. Its been around in TKD in the US for a good few years. They justify the idea by saying that the chief instructor has invested time and effort in training their students. If some of their students then get to BB and want to start their own school then they believe that their original instructor should get some financial reward. Its not an idea I agree with but you could argue that international MA organisations operate at a higher level but in a similar way.

    Take the JKA for example, who have been around for +50 years(?), they actually call themselves the JKA corporation and their directors although karateka are Japanese businessmen. No one would say that the JKA is a cowboy outfit because they take money from all their affiliated clubs. Go Kan Ryu are just a bit more blatant, with their upfront sales tactics.

    Just for the record, I'm not a fan or have ever practised GKR just giving another point of view.
  15. Mike Flanagan

    Mike Flanagan Valued Member

    Its not so much the hierarchical structure that I object to. Its the use of beginners to teach beginners, which is an excellent way to generate exponential growth but surely cannot result in good quality martial artists.

    At least the JKA, as I understand it, have at least some interest in promoting and teaching (by their own definition) good quality karate.

  16. Scaramouch

    Scaramouch Lost Soul

    Yes, I take your point Mike.

    IMO all MA instructors should all be a minimum BB grade and have also gone through certified instructor training. Ideally the instructors courses should also be verified by another organisation, whether that be government (i.e. council) or an int. sports body. Basic first aid and insurance should be a legal requirement as well.
  17. jessie_c

    jessie_c New Member

    Thanks. :)

    I'm currently a 7th kyu with the club, looking to grade to 6th kyu within the next two weeks. I was told tonight at training that I should be a 6th kyu right now. :eek: News to me. ;)

    I've been "training" with GKR for just on one and a half years. I have no previous martial arts experience, so I know I am probably not even regarded as a novice. I have an incredible amount to learn, but I'm excited by this. :)

    In saying "training", I really don't feel I can say I have been training for the full time I have been with the club. I would say I have only realised how much karate means to me in the last four months, and I also think I've really only been seriously training hard for the last eight months.

    I currently train two - three nights a week in the dojo, which equates to 6.5 hours of dojo time a week. I wish this was more, but my main focus at the moment is on getting through my last year and a half of high school. I also train at home regularly and am involved in some GKR related sites, as I previously mentioned. They take up a lot of my time. ;)
  18. GojuKJoe

    GojuKJoe Valued Member

    jessie, i'm curious, since GKR is a mix of goju and shotokan, which katas do you do up to black belt?
  19. jessie_c

    jessie_c New Member

    Our katas are as follows - the grade and kata together are what kata you need to get to that grade.

    8th kyu - Yellow Belt: Taigyoku Shodan
    7th kyu - Orange Belt: Taigyoku Nidan
    6th kyu - Green Belt: Saifa
    5th kyu - Blue Belt: Saifa
    4th kyu - Red Belt: Bassai Dai
    3rd kyu - Brown Belt: Bassai Dai
    2nd kyu - Brown (One black tip): Seiunchin
    1st kyu - Brown (Two black tips): Empi
    Shodan ho - Provisional Black Belt: Sanseru and Sepai
    Shodan - Sepai and Hangetsu
    Nidan - Kanku - Dai and Kururunfa
    Sandan - Shishoshin and Kanku - Sho
    Yondan - Seisan and Sochin
  20. kerling

    kerling Hidden haito style

    ahH DON'T DIE

    I liked this thread.

    I love reading about MC dojos and mcDOJO conspiracy.

    I think this is a cool stew. I mean did you look at the un official webpage.

    The kata videos ..erhmm .. hmm... I won't say much but I hey I laughed alot so they where worth watching.

    One question!

    How long time between belts.

    I have been going at karate for 12 years now and I still can't see people that have trained just over a year do bassai dai.
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