Shihan Gordon Foulis

Shihan Gordon started karate with Karate-Do in 1968 at the age of 12. His first instructor was Sensei Marty St John Thomson. Under the tutorage of Hanshi Denis St John Thomson he progressed through the ranks and attained Shodan (black belt) at the age of 16 – the youngest person within the system to have achieved such a feat.

He spent many weeks of his junior years attending Gashukus (special training camps) and joined the senior classes at the age of 15 years old. This assisted in his rapid progress through the ranks.

He excelled in kata and randori/kumite and competed very successfully for many years in local and international competitions. He was crowned Grand Champion in both kata and randori/kumite five years in a row.

Shihan Gordon represented Western Province and was the Springbok captain who led a successful international tour to Switzerland and England in 1981. The team made a clean sweep of all competitions in each country.

Shihan Gordon, with two other Shihans, formed the ‘Kokusai Karate-Do Renmei South Africa’ (KKDRSA) organisation in 2007 and decided to join the organisation of Kancho Rony Kluger. This personal decision was prompted by the need to source the true teachings of Okinawan Goju Ryu from as close to the source as possible. His concern was that the transferring of information was getting distorted and personalised by the instructors and this would eventually lead to the loss of vital pieces of historic teachings and understanding.

Shihan Gordon travels annually to international gashukus to upgrade his knowledge of martial arts and keep in contact with this ever-growing circle of warriors.

In February 2010, he attended the Mossel Bay International gashuku held under the leadership of Kancho Rony Kluger. Kancho Rony had seen the need to introduce a Kobudo system that was similar in ideas and principles to the Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate-do system and so invited Nishime Sensei, a long-time friend and founder of Yamanni Ryu Kobudo, to South Africa for the first Kobudo Gashuku. This Kobudo system incorporates all the traditional Okinawan weapons and has become an integral part of the teachings.

He has 54 years of martial arts experience and has travelled extensively to countries such as Israel, Hungary, Ireland, Namibia, Botswana, Switzerland and Australia to further his martial arts knowledge. He has been the resident instructor at Cape Town Milnerton Dojo since February 2013. Shihan Gordon currently holds the rank of 6th dan.