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Is Go Kan Ryu worthwhile?
Yes
9%
 9%  [ 1 ]
No
90%
 90%  [ 10 ]
Total Votes : 11

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Calvalier
White Belt
White Belt

Joined: 02 Sep 2014
Posts: 1


PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 7:56 pm    Post subject: Go Kan Ryu Karate Reply with quote

Hi, this is my first post, but I thought if anyone could help me, it would be actual karate practitioners.

I did karate many years ago, but quit because I fell out of love with it. I wanted to go back about two years ago, but developed a physical condition I needed surgery for, and couldn't. Well, I had the surgery, and last week my mother, who I wanted to do Karate again, came across a guy who was starting a new karate class in our local community center.

He seemed like a good guy, and he offered a pretty good deal with a couple months trial period as long as I bought the gi. I did so without really doing research on it.

But, after I have signed on, I looked it up, and apparently Go Kan Ryu only has positive reviews from people who have been doing Go Kan Ryu for years.

Can anyone help me with this?

I feel like a bit of an idiot for not doing research before hand, but anyways, I was just wondering how practical and effective it is, or if it's just a marketing scam like so many have said.

Thanks in advance.
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Wastelander
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 18 Oct 2010
Posts: 2506
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Styles: Shorin-Ryu, Shuri-Ryu, Judo, KishimotoDi

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GKR is a touchy subject. From what I understand, they often hire instructors who have trained in other arts, so a big problem is consistency in instruction. Some of the instructors have a solid martial arts background, and are very good. Some have just a couple years of experience, and are not. In the end, if you like the instructor and enjoy the training, that's good enough. If it isn't realistic/practical enough for you, then you can always do some research and find somewhere else to train.
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Nidan Melbourne
KF Sempai
KF Sempai

Joined: 21 Aug 2013
Posts: 2262
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Styles: Goju-Ryu, BJJ, Balintawak Arnis

PostPosted: Tue Sep 02, 2014 9:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of welcome to KF!

What was the condition that you needed surgery for?

In majority of countries it isn't all that good. In Australia they seem to be fairly good.

They are good if your wanting to socialize. But practicality and effectiveness it can be quite questionable. They are a combination of Shotokan and Goju-Ryu (2 of the 4 main styles of karate), but don't really exhibit the great treats of both.

Some members here would be able to assist more so than me.
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guird
Orange Belt
Orange Belt

Joined: 21 Jun 2013
Posts: 198

Styles: BJJ, MMA, Gongkwon Yusul

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:25 am    Post subject: Re: Go Kan Ryu Karate Reply with quote

Calvalier wrote:
Hi, this is my first post, but I thought if anyone could help me, it would be actual karate practitioners.

I did karate many years ago, but quit because I fell out of love with it. I wanted to go back about two years ago, but developed a physical condition I needed surgery for, and couldn't. Well, I had the surgery, and last week my mother, who I wanted to do Karate again, came across a guy who was starting a new karate class in our local community center.

He seemed like a good guy, and he offered a pretty good deal with a couple months trial period as long as I bought the gi. I did so without really doing research on it.

But, after I have signed on, I looked it up, and apparently Go Kan Ryu only has positive reviews from people who have been doing Go Kan Ryu for years.

Can anyone help me with this?

I feel like a bit of an idiot for not doing research before hand, but anyways, I was just wondering how practical and effective it is, or if it's just a marketing scam like so many have said.

Thanks in advance.


I understand there are some GKR dojos that are o.k. , but from what I hear the sparring is limted to non-contact which means that even if the kata instruction is very good and the instructor has a lot to teach you the poor sparring will limit the quality of the training.

I'd have a look at other options first, but if you want to do karate, enjoy the GKR lessons, and don't like the other options in your area, you may as well do it anyway.
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Harkon72
Black Belt
Black Belt

Joined: 27 Aug 2012
Posts: 1875
Location: Wales
Styles: Okinawan Karate, Aikido, Ninpo.

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard varying comments about GKR, some say they are ok, others say they are awful. For me they seem like a business, a belt factory. Basically, if you pay, you pass. The rumor is that they value their numbers and their income so much that they would never fail anyone, regardless of their level of skill. It sounds like the iconic Mcdojo model, expensive rubbish. And to have a non-contact system? If this is what you want, join a gym, do aerobics.
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Wado Heretic
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 23 May 2014
Posts: 469
Location: United Kingdom, England, Shropshire
Styles: Wado-Ryu , Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu (Kodokan), RyuKyu Kobojutsu

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go Kan Ryu; is not an authentic Okinawan or Japanese system, and is run essentially like a business. Like any commercial venture; it will have its exploitative elements, but on balance will do what it can to please, and keep, its customers. To be candid; it is the livelihood of its founder and other members at the top of the pyramid, and like any board of directors it wants to see profits.

On a technical level; it does what it does well, in Australia at least. It is a successful on the National All Style circuit (Take that with a pinch of salt), and has produced several athletes who have competed elsewhere with mixed success. It is a non-contact system; meaning it is unlikely to prepare you for the rigors of a real confrontation. Though to be fair; I know of point fighters who have more than done the job of defending themselves when attacked (Again, pinch of salt).

Kata wise; it is a mix of Shotokan, and Goju Kai (Japanese/Yamaguchi branch of Goju-Ryu). Now, the International Go-Kan-Ryu Karate Federation (IGKF) claims Go-Kan-Ryu is a hybridisation of Keishinkan and Goju Kai. However; the trained eye can see it is a mix of Shotokan and Goju-Kai. Their explanation for this is that Keishinkan is a variation of Shotokan; a claim which has some reasoning but little validity to it. Keishinkan is a dojo founded by Masanao Takaza; a student of Kanken Toyama who himself was a student of Anko Itosu, and Itosu was also the teacher of Funakoshi Gichin, the spiritual founder of what became Shotokan. Modern Keishinkan, as a group, in fact practices Okinawan Seito-Shito-ryu; and is an organisation name, not a style unto itself.

From what I can uncover; the Shotokan influence, and the Keishinkan being a variation of Shotokan line, became predominant after the rise of Stacey Karetsian and Gavin Samin to prominence in the new millennium. Both had prior Shotokan experience, and Karetsian himself was a successful competitor before joining Go-Kan-Ryus management. I could be wrong; and the Keishinkan Robert Sullivan studied was indeed a variation of Shotokan, however, all the evidence I have found does not render this likely. The timing of the rise of Karestian and Samin to de facto technical directors of the system, and their back ground just makes me think that the Shotokan influence is literally Shotokan, not a Shotokan variation. This should not be a deal breaker; but to me it seems to have all the makings of a dishonest sales ploy, and a revision to make sense of the declared history.

Overall, Go-Kan-Ryu is not dissimilar to the Karate classes you will find most kids taking in any dojo or club; limited contact for safety reason, an emphasis on a lot of repetition, and kata on a performance level. It can be fun, and be good exercise. It can be a fine hobby, and if you enjoy it I cannot think of a reason to stop doing it.

Now; I would not touch it due to my suspicions and not liking the business practices. I would not suggest it to someone looking for effective self-defence, or who was looking to compete in MMA or the like. If you are looking for full-contact competition, or to have a realistic, and in-depth comprehension of self-defence, then it probably is not for you.

I would just keep your eyes on the business side if you are enjoying it, and be sure to keep your toes in reality when it comes to what you are doing.
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mal103
Purple Belt
Purple Belt

Joined: 21 May 2011
Posts: 559


PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Warning bells when anyone asks for money up front or a contract, most good schools/Dojo's that I know run as a small profit making business, although if they charged for their time and managing time they would be well out of pocket, basically the books balance and the running of the club is done for the enjoyment of training and teaching.

My old club was making money out of it and in the end (before I left) they were starting to put profits over standards. Another I know has watered down the standards completely to make it fun for kids.

If you are interested then you need to train for more than 5 minutes to REALLY find out if you can stick with it long enough to get anything out of it. Karate to me is like a long term savings account, you enjoy putting money away but much later you start getting a return on your money.

Maybe seek out an established Dojo and ask about a trial.
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sensei8
KF Sensei
KF Sensei

Joined: 23 Feb 2008
Posts: 15286
Location: Houston, TX
Styles: Shindokan Saitou-ryu [Shuri-te/Okinawa-te based]

PostPosted: Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Is Go Kan Ryu worthwhile?

Running the risk of sounding hypocritical and losing the respect from fellow KF members...

YES!!

Why?

If the MA can teach the practitioner ONE thing that will be effective in saving him/her, then by all means, that MA is worthwhile. Let's not worry about the business models and the like that might or might not surround said MA, that's worry about if a student can get even just ONE effective thing from that MA...I believe that that MA is worthwhile to give it a chance.

We've our own personal and professional feelings about GKR, and they're no secrets, but if just ONE slice of whatever can provide nutrition substance to that person, then whom am I to deny them of that?!



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Hawkmoon
Pre-Black Belt
Pre-Black Belt

Joined: 17 Jun 2013
Posts: 891
Location: MK in the UK
Styles: Kyokushin

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 5:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

... this merry go round again!

I've said no in the vote, and will temper my comments as I have been 'corrected' in the past about my view and them!

MA is MA, no matter what the name says on the badge, the student will be as good etc as the effort that they and the instructor both put in.
This has an upper limit and that limit is set/defined by the instructors ability ...

Let me very clear on this one point I am speaking from there 'pitch' delivered to me when they canvassed my local area and discovered I was already an a senior karate man.
They will and do approach a 'lower' grade (lower than shodan) and offer an accelerated GKR coarse to obtain a BB in there name, a total of 12mths was explained to me.

I can see the expansion of knowledge in this approach as a positive thing, but I do not see a stable or structured 'school' being the result.

This way of doing things has a very clear business idea and approach to 'product' development. Which is a concern to me, and as development goes an extremely easy thing to influence and take control over.

Why and how?

Why?
To use them as a parent organization to build your own organization off of there infrastructure, and even fiances, I wonder if there legal team have a defined plan to deal with such IP theft!!!

How?
Get a group of your fellow <insert MA style) students and create a pocket of schools teaching your 'art' and grow it and become you not them and not you official organization, become your own!
Sorry isn't there enough splintering going on without adding to it with yet more and potentially lesser setups?

I'm sorry i don't see a stable school or structure, I do see sound business product development sense.....
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Wado Heretic
Green Belt
Green Belt

Joined: 23 May 2014
Posts: 469
Location: United Kingdom, England, Shropshire
Styles: Wado-Ryu , Kobayashi Shorin-Ryu (Kodokan), RyuKyu Kobojutsu

PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to support Hawkmoon's statement; I have run into three different offshoots of Go-Kan-Ryu, and none of them fell particularly far from the tree. One merely took the Shotokan influence to its logical conclusion, the other simply replaced the Shotokan with Wado-Ryu where they could, and the last was Go-Kan-Ryu in every thing but name.

It happens in all martial arts; people either fall into schism because they disagree with leadership, or they wish to follow their own approach and the upper echelons are too rigid to allow it within their organisation. However; the business like model of Go-Kan-Ryu seems to have a greater proficiency for causing such things.

I would not let the politics of the greater system put you off; no one would engage in Shotokan, Wado-Ryu or Kyokushin if they did. If the instructor is good, you enjoy what he does, and the club is a good fit in general; then no point being put off by the history and politics.
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