Not long ago, martial arts in Australia were sorely lacking in variety, with most options being restricted to the classics like Karate and Taekwondo. These days, we’re spoiled for choice, the rising popularity of UFC combined with personalities like Ronda Rousey and Joe Rogan becoming household names have inspired a boom in a variety of martial arts, from Muay Thai to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. However, that’s not to say that the classics have been left behind. In fact, clubs like GKR are proof that Karate in Australia is still just as relevant as ever.
Founded by Kancho Robert Sullivan in the ’80s, GKR showcases a blend of Goju and a Shotokan-based style, stemming from Sullivan’s martial arts background. GKR provides an all-ages, all-inclusive environment with dozens of dojos across three countries, focusing on positive growth and inter-club interaction. The club also offers multiple seminars, covering topics like self-defence, tournament preparation, and Kata development. For students with a competitive streak, GKR regularly hosts martial arts events in Australia, including state titles, national championships, and even international world cups.
Having recently held its 10th World Cup in England, with over 750 competitors in attendance, GKR's focus is back in Australia, with state titles currently being held across the nation. This month sees competitors in Victoria and WA duking it out for the gold. These events will culminate in the GKR Karate 2019 Australian National Championships on Saturday, November 2nd. Although competitor registration is not yet open, interest in the event is already high, with almost 400 RSVPs on Facebook; GKR will announce via Facebook when competitors can register for the event.
The Australian Nationals will be held at the Gold Coast's Coomera Indoor Sports Centre. For those familiar with GKR, this is the same venue where the club earned its Guinness World Record for “Most people breaking pine boards simultaneously”. Though there's no guarantee that any records will be broken at the 2019 Nationals, it will nonetheless be one to keep an eye on.
Further details, including tournament results, can be found at GKR’s website: https://www.gkrkarate.com/