It has taken me a while to get around to contacting you with my past and present martial arts background. I have been chatting with Kym lately who keeps encouraging me to supply you with the relevant information with a view to joining your association. So I thought it was about time I did something about it. I am still training 4 times a week and instructing on two of those occasions, even though at times feeling a little long in the tooth, particularly when trying to recover from injuries – not as quick to recover as when one was younger. Anyway here is the history of my martial arts from when I joined Rod Dobson’s club in Salisbury in South Australia when I was about 15.
I trained under Rob for 6 years (and a very hard task maters he was). Looking back it was some of the best karate training I received. During that 6 years I also trained with Kym for that whole period, and a great rivalry we had. We kept pace with each other through until grading for black belt. Around this time (1979/80) Rob was relocating to the US and Kym and
I were going to continue his organisation for him , with his blessing. However I followed job opportunities interstate and for many years lost contact with Rob and Kym.
During this period I continued to train and to try and find a style and organisation that reflected the training I had received from Rob – which was a difficult task as Rob/Slzagowski had set the bar very high. For numerous years I tried many different styles of martial arts and
karate. Many of their training methods left me cold. Eventually I had children and drop out of training altogether for a number of years.
In the late 1980’s I decide time to return to training and same problem (finding something suitable). In the end I looked for something close to home with the intent on just training to get my fitness levels up and to be content with this approach. What I found close to me was a
basterdised form of Tae Kwon Do called “Yung Jung Do”. The style was not brilliant but the exercise was good and when I joined I suggested I would just train – no grading. Anyway after a short time the blood started surging at sparring times and I spent a lot of time sparring with the instructors, who eventually seduced my into grading. I did grade in their system up to red belt just – one before black belt when they relocated their dojo to the other side of town. As I only joined because they were close and I was not prepared to travel across town I left.Around about this time my wife saw an advertisement in the local paper for a Kyokushin karate club nearby and stated that is what you used to do, and urged me to join and take my children. As I had been under the understanding for many years that Rob/Slagowski had been based on
Kyokushin, eventually I joined and started again at white belt.
The organisation I joined was indeed Kyokushin, and the Japanese guy “Kancho Shegio Nagayama” had split with Kyokushin months before I joined. His new name and style is called “Seiyushin” which is exactly the same Kyokushin – just a different name (as you would expect after 30 years of Kyokushin training). I have been training with Shegio for the past ten years
and have progressed through his system to the rank of 3rd dan. Because of my background with Rob’s club and the level I achieved I with Rob, have been instructing for Shegio over the last 6 years and starting new dojo’s for him which I remain at or pass on to him or other students run while I have started others in other areas.
I still train with Kym when he is in Brisbane or when I can get to Adelaide and have started to embrace some of the techniques he is teaching along the Jujitsu side of things. Having stated all of this still my proudest Karate moment was when Rob presented me with my second dan in his/Kym’s organisation. (I have attached a couple of photos of this).
I have attached scanned copies of my certificates for your consideration and I would be most pleased if you think I am worthy of formally joining the Szlagowski organisation.
If you need anything further from me please don’t
hesitate to ask.
I look forward to your response - David Gooding.
-Hello DavidI thank you for your inquiry.
Mate you were graded to 2cnd Dan by Rob Dobson - the 6th man that our founder Grandmaster Wally Szlagowski graded to Black belt. And who led S.K.A. For some time till he moved to S.A. In the early 70's.
You also state you have trained in Kyokoshin (albeit a variation) a style that Wally was strongly influenced by.
Kym Reid has respectfully mentioned you more than once, and you come from the same
already recognised source as he does.
You ask if you are worthy? - Yes.
My friend I am doing my small best to gather all members of what I call my "Szlagowski Family"
I am Scottish in origin and think in a very simplistic way - S.K.A. Has become my Clan, my Family and I wish survival for it..Our line is the earliest in our country and I wish it to
With joy I invite you to apply.
We are not a business. - We and you are just Australia's oldest school.
Regards and respect. - John Cook - Master , Secretary S.K.A.