Who’s who – Goju Ryu
FOUNDER & CHIEF INSTRUCTOR
George Ciechanowicz is the founder & chief instructor of Kin Shin Kai. He commenced his martial arts journey at the La Trobe University Karate Club in Melbourne, Australia.
More than forty years later, now a 7th Dan Black belt and master level Goju Ryu instructor, he still continues that journey.
Goju Ryu Karate is the tradition initially developed by the original ‘Mr Miyagi’.
Generations later, the late master Ohtsuka Tadahiko sensei developed his Goju Kensha system as one of the most magnificent expressions of that Goju Ryu tradition.
Kyoshi George was fortunate to be involved in the Australian branch of Goju Kensha from it’s beginnings in late 1973.
He believes (as did Ohtsuka Tadahiko sensei), that Self Defense should be taught as an internal and not just external practise. That is, it should be holistic and embrace mind, body spirit and lifestyle habits.
Kyoshi George then eventually formed his own Kin Shin Kai association based squarely on Goju Kensha methods and philosophy.
He did this to offer students an alternative to standard dojos, offering things he saw would put the students first.
Not focussing on continually growing bigger, but rather maintaining a ‘family style’ feel where each individual student can feel they matter and are cared about
Developing each student according to their own individual abilities and needs
Overlaying a simple & effective self defense program over the traditional karate practices to enable a quicker path to self defense competency
Revealing (to the more mature & responsible students) the old school, sometimes brutally effective, ‘self defense secrets’ of traditional karate practices which modern Japanese karate has lost
Reviewing all practices & teaching in a constant search for improvement
Always remembering, respecting and acknowledging the old masters. The richness of what we practice we owe to them….
Kyoshi George not only has a great diversity of martial arts experience but also brings to his teaching knowledge from other relevant qualifications and competencies including Diplomas in Education, Acupuncture and Massage
George has been blessed to learn from, and be influenced by, some of the best masters of the Asian martial arts traditions. The most important three of these are:
MAJOR INSPIRATIONS & INFLUENCES – #1 Master Ohtsuka Tadahiko
Master Ohtsuka Tadahiko was the founder of the Goju Kensha (House of the hard – soft fist) continuing the development of the Goju Ryu tradition.
Not only was he an amazing martial artist, great teacher and wonderful human being, he also also a prolific researcher whose two high points were probably his ‘Karate do Kyohan’ (his ‘encyclopedia’ of Goju Ryu karate) and his translation of the ‘Bubishi’ (original instructional ‘Bible’ of karate) from old Chinese into modern Japanese.
Kin Shin Kai is squarely based on Ohtsuka sensei’s Goju Kensha and he remains our most important inspiration.
Ohtsuka sensei’s Goju Kensha had a major official presence in Australia from late 1973 till around 2004.
George Ciechanowicz, founder and chief instructor of Kin Shin Kai, was fortunate to be involved with Goju Kensha in Australia from the start.
He was last able to train with Ohtsuka sensei in Japan in 2008, shortly before O-sensei’s passing.
He was also honoured to participate & speak at Ohtsuka sensei’s 3rd year of passing memorial in Tokyo, June 2015. Video of that event may be found on the Ohtsuka sensei memorial channel on YouTube
MAJOR INSPIRATIONS & INFLUENCES – #2 Hanshi Patrick McCarthy
Patrick McCarthy is an exceptionally well-travelled and experienced martial artist whose research into the Asian martial arts is possibly unparalleled in the contemporary western world.
His almost 10 years living in Japan spent training and researching throughout the region saw him meet, interview and learn from an incredible range of masters.
This diverse background allows him to do a second to none comparative analysis of styles, methods and the accuracy of historical “facts” and to speak and teach with an authority that most western “masters” lack.
He was a pioneer in translating the Bubishi (referred to as the “bible” of karate) into English during the 1980’s and has published a number of books detailing the results of this and other research.
It is no coincidence that he was a friend and colleague of the late, Goju Kensha master Ohtsuka Tadahiko (who himself translated the Bubishi into modern Japanese) as they shared many research interests and experiences.
McCarthy sensei stresses that much of the perceived difference between styles is just stylistic expression and that many techniques are actually the same across styles.
His research has been instrumental in recovering the practicality of old school karate self defense methods.
These insights have really rounded off the development of Kin Shin Kai as a very practical & effective yet traditional martial art and for this we gratefully thank him.
MAJOR INSPIRATIONS & INFLUENCES – #3 Guru Maul Mornie
Moul Mornie is a direct family successor to the Bruneian silat system “Silat Suffian Bela Diri”.
This system is incredibly efficient and effective. It’s sheer brutal effectiveness makes it something which needs to be taught with caution and certainly not to anyone without a clear moral compass.
Nor in our opinion should it be taught to anyone without the understanding of what a proportionate self defense response is as most of the responses in Silat are on the strong to extreme end of the scale.
This is because of the culture it evolved in where many struggles were life or death and simple, brutally effective self defense was what was needed.
In the modern world we need students to be able to respond with far more nuanced, proportionate responses.
However for the more experienced and responsible student his methods offer us what could be analogised as a sharpening of tools for self defense at the more desperate and dangerous end of the spectrum. They add greater efficiency, simplicity & effectiveness to what we already use
We also draw a large amount of knife awareness knowledge and practice from the bladed weapon principles and skills contained in his family martial art system.
We find that his advice to finish the encounter and get away as soon as safely possible dovetails 100% with our philosophy.
It is Maul’s view and ours that those who have the illusion that they can ‘handle’ the situation and, particularly in the case of a knife attack, try to disarm and control the attacker rather than get away as soon as safely possible, are far more likely to get hurt and cut in the process.
Another great benefit of learning from Guru Moul Mornie is that he is tertiary educated, articulate in the English language and really well able to pass on the skills and methods of his family art.