The Gold Coast branch of the Okinawa Goju Ryu Kenkyukai is run by Damien Martin (6th dan) and Hannah Thornton (5th dan) at the Southern Cross Martial Arts Centre. This Gold Coast Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate dojo is located on the North end of the Gold Coast, at Helensvale, in a spacious, clean and modern training facility.
The Okinawa Goju Ryu Kenkyukai is headed by Masaji Taira sensei, Hanshi, 9th dan.
Damien and Hannah and a number of students travel to Okinawa annually to train with Taira sensei.
The Okinawa Goju Ryu Kenkyukai is renowned for its in depth study of the applications of kata.
The dojo is a part of the non-profit Southern Cross Martial Arts Association Inc
Carl plays the shakuhachi, a Japanese end-blown flute with roots in the Zen Buddhist tradition.
His solo performances concentrate on honkyoku, the Zen Budddhist repertoire. He has studied the traditional and contemporary repertoire from leading players in Japan and Australia. He has been teaching and performing in Queensland for over twenty years. Carl has performed professionally interstate, in Japan and in India.
Carl has performed at the last two prestigious World Shakuhachi Festivals, in Sydney in 2008 and in Kyoto in 2012. He has also taught and performed at several Australian Shakuhachi Festivals, most recently at Redlands in 2015. He has also performed at many festivals, including Woodford, for BEMAC, at the Brisbane Powerhouse, the Japanese Consulate, among others. These performances are both solo and with other artists, particularly the Brisbane- based koto player, Takako Nishibori. Carl also organises and runs workshops for schools through the Japanese Cultural Centre.
He has made three recordings in India. The first was at the prestigious Madras Music Academy (equivalent of the Queensland Cultural Centre). There he recorded a CD called Revelation with leading Carnatic violinists and international musicians. It hit the Top 10 in the classical music loving state of Tamil Nadu. The second and third were recorded in the spiritually important city of Varanasi in northern India in early 2014. There, he and his music partner in IJIMP, Ravikesh Singh, along with three leading north Indian classical musicians recorded an album, Soul of Benares. At the same time, Carl took the opportunity to record in the same studio with the world class sound engineer, ”Pumpy”, and created the solo honkyoku album, Letter B.
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