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A name well known world wide in martial arts circles is Kyokushin Karateï¿½s Hanshi John Taylor. Commencing his martial arts career in 1963, John Taylor, now (Hanshi) 9th dan (one of the worlds most highly ranked Kyokushin martial artists) has forged a reputation as a strong yet fair leader to many thousands of Kyokushin Karate devotees. Shihan Taylor's reputation as a leader is one that has been forged from over 40 years of tough personal training and exemplary teaching. His methods of leadership could be described no other than "iron fist with a velvet glove.
Acknowledgements for his efforts have come from areas well outside the field of his art reflecting the community respect he is able to pride himself in. Acknowledgements include the 2000 Australian Sports Medalï¿½ for acheivement in sports and a nomination for Australian of the Year in 2004.
John Taylor's martial arts career began in Sydney in 1963 when Kyokushin Karate was first introduced to Australia. Graded to shodan black belt in 1966 (under the leadership of the then Kyokushin leader Ivan Zavetchanos). John Taylor became one of the worlds first Uchi Deshi (full time live in) students of Sosai Mas Oyama, founder of the Kyokushinkai system, and regularly trained with Sosai right up until the time of his death. John Taylor developed a deep personal and professional friendship with Sosai Oyama and remains a loyal and dedicated ambassador to the system, its phylosophies and beliefs.
John wasted no time in training hard to fullfil his next goal of competing in international competition. His training efforts paid off and in 1967 he competed in the Australia vs. New Zealand teams championships of which Australia earned the championship cup. John Taylor has has first hand experience in the evolution of the Australian martial arts industry, he was after all a founding member of the Federation of Australian Karate Organisations (FAKO) which later was to become the Australian Karate Federation.
Other credits to John Taylors name include the organisation and running of the "Australian Karate Championships" at the Sydney Town Hall in Australia on the 20th March 1977. The tournament (which now holds its place in history as being one of Australia's most successful full contact Karate events), was attended by none other than the infamous head of the Kyokushin Karate Kaikan Sosai Masutatsu Oyama. John Taylors friendship with Mas Oyama was already well established, many years of training in Japan with Sosai Oyama secured this priviledged status. John Taylor is also recognised as being one of the first westerners to ever be accepted into, and complete the famous Kyokushinkai uchi deshi (full time live in student) program in Japan. The Japanese people to this day still hold Shihan Taylor in high regard for his training efforts and in contributing to the growth of what was to go on to become the largest martial arts system under the control of one man, this being Mas Oyama. Elected in 1997 as vice president of the International Karate Organisation, Kyokushinkai-kan. John Taylor is chief instructor of the Australian Kyoushin Karate Organisation and boasts over eighty schools to his network base and still growing.
Apart from many tournaments held annually another event in need of mention is the 1998 Commonwealth Karate Championships. These championships were held as part of the Australian Bicentennial year celebrations, 16 countries taking part, no one as been equal a tournament of its calibre since.
Not one to sit back and rest on his enviable track record, Shihan Taylor remains in the front line of his chosen career path by working energetically in his contribution to the ongoing improvement of the martial arts industry. A passionate supporter of on-going education, Shihan Taylor now shares his lifes experiences and academic knowledge to students from all walks of life through the International College of Kenshusei, flexible learning programs.
After formally establishing Kyokushin-kai, Oyama directed the organization through a period of expansion. Oyama and his staff of hand-picked instructors displayed great ability in marketing the style and gaining new members. Oyama would choose an instructor to open a dojo in another town or city in Japan. The instructor would move to that town and usually demonstrate his karate skills in public places, such as at the civic gymnasium, the local police gym (where many judo students would practice), a local park, or conduct martial arts demonstrations at local festivals or school events. In this way, the instructor would soon gain a few students for his new dojo. After that, word of mouth would spread through the local area until the dojo had a dedicated core of students. Oyama also sent instructors to other countries such as the United States, Netherlands, England, Australia and Brazil to spread Kyokushin in the same way. Oyama also promoted Kyokushin by holding The All-Japan Full Contact Karate Open Championships every year and World Full Contact Karate Open Championships once every four years in which anyone could enter from any style.
The International College of Kenshusei are proud to be working with one of Australian Karate's true legends.