MOUKOKAI KARATE Founder and Chief Instructor - Sensei Rob James
Sensei Rob James, MOUKOKAI KARATE Founder and Chief Instructor, started training in the martial arts in 1986 in the Australian Freestyle Tae Kwon Do Association. He progressed to the rank of brown belt, switched to karate and the rest is history.
Sensei opened his first karate dojo in 1992 at just 18 and after lengthy discussions with ( Shihan at the time ) Hanshi Howard Lipman as to what would be expected of him, joined the Kyokushin International Karate Organisation which was directly affiliated with the International Karate Organisation Kyokushinkaikan and Sosai Mas Oyama himself.
Hanshi Howard Lipman, 9th Dan, is a designated Branch Chief of Kyokushin, appointed by Sosai Masutatsu Oyama in 1989.
After many years of training in various Kyokushin dojo's as well as boxing, travelling due to work commitments and life getting in the way as it does, Sensei crossed paths with Shihan Lipman again in 2011 and once again was accepted into what is now known as the Kyokushin International Martial Arts Australia.
In 2012, Sensei Rob opened his second Kyokushin Karate Dojo, in Aspley, which later moved to the current location in Kedron.
In 2016, while building and consolidating the Kedron Dojo, Sensei Rob decided to open a second KIMAA dojo in Nundah (Sensei's third as a dojo operator) on Brisbane's Northside, continuing to spread Kyokushin and also expanding KIMAA'S operations in Queensland.
Now teaching 8 classes a week across two locations, Sensei continued taeching and training four nights a week for two solid years. Unfortunately, Nundah Dojo closed due to unforeseen circumstances in 2018 leaving him no choice but to focus entirely on the Kedron Dojo, which wasn't a bad thing and probably a blessing in disguise.
Shortly afterwards, Sensei was involved in a motor vehicle accident which resulted in lower back injuries, leaving Sensei unable to work in his usual occupation.
With injuries sustained which included PTSD, Chronic Adjustment Disorder and diagnosed with severe depression, no income and no financial support from government departments, Sensei continued teaching and in 2019 even guided one of his long time students to Shodan, 1st Degree Black Belt.
Sensei believed that the only way to help himself overcome the depression, anxiety and PTSD was to give back to others who were less fortunate than he was.
He began making better use of his time while in recovery, donating his time, teaching Kyokushin Karate to children on the Autism spectrum at various Police and Community Youth Clubs ( PCYC ) around Brisbane. He became an Approved Volunteer Coach through the PCYC organisation until mid 2020, but to this day, continues teaching Kyokushin Karate to children on the Autism spectrum in various locations around Brisbane.
In 2022, Mouko Dojo Brisbane is celebrating ten continuous years being of service to the local community. Over the last ten years, we have produced many local and state champions and one student from absolute beginner to 1st degree black belt. We have proudly bully-proofed many children and Sensei often gets messages of gratitude and appreciation from parents and even teachers.
Sensei Rob has also trained in boxing and this includes one exhibition bout as an amateur, which he won. This goes with the one Kyokushin Karate match that he ended up losing.
He has trained with many karate masters over the years including Sensei Avi Nardia, the founder of modern KAPAP. Sensei Avi and Sensei Rob became friends and was later invited to write a testimonial for his book entitled " Sensei on the Road", available here. Sensei Rob has also trained in Japanese Swordsmanship at the Brisbane Koryukan with Shihan Bill Johansen.
He has also trained in Hokama Kobudo and achieved the rank of 6th Kyu ( green belt ). This was awarded by Hanshi Howard Lipman who is the Australian Branch Chief for Hokama Kobudo in Australia.
You can find more information here.
Of all the people Sensei has trained with, he still considers Hanshi Howard Lipman and Shihan Rick Cunningham as his teachers and mentors. Although values, principles and standards are not aligned, he wouldn't be half the man he is today without the influence of these amazing martial artists and will forever be grateful.
Sensei achieved a lifelong dream of being promoted by Hanshi Howard Lipman to the rank of Sandan, 3rd degree black belt in Kyokushin Karate on the 9th of September, 2017.
In March 2022 Sensei resigned from the Kyokushin International Martial Arts Australia, becoming an independent Kyokushin Karate Dojo and his focus shifted to consolidating the Mouko Dojo, presenting his students with more and better opportunities to grow and evolve becoming the best possible versions of themselves and as a result, fine examples of the Kyokushin Way.
In May 2022 the Board of the International Karate Organisation Kyokushinkaikan Union accepted an application to become an accredited Kyokushin Karate Dojo and Sensei Rob James and his rank were registered and recognised in Japan.
Unable to commit fully to spreading the Kyokushin messsage with the IKOKU, Sensei did the honourable thing and made the difficult decision to resign from the IKOKU and retire from the art of Kyokushin Karate altogether in December 2023.
Sensei Rob continues to teach people how to win in life by sharing not only his wisdom and knowledge of Karate, but his wisdom from life experience. He knows it's true because he has lived it.
He genuinely wants to see people win, achieve and succeed because he believes there is enough sun for everyone.
Some of his favourite mantras are;
" What You Seek is a Game You Can Win"
"It Ain't Wrong to be Strong"
" You Can Be A Victim or You Can Lock and Load"