About

The martial arts style that the Golden Knights teaches is called Kin Bushi Ryu and is distinguished by its eclectic approach to the martial arts. A high degree of co-ordination is the main result: fluid, supple, functional movements which are free from any form of rigidity.

The instructors of our group are well trained, highly skilled martial artists, who will help develop your physical and mental abilities to a level you may not have though possible.

You will be taught a wide-range of fitness and self defence concepts, borrowing movements from such martial arts systems as: Karate, Kickboxing, Judo. Aikido, Jujitsu, Tae Kwon Do, Kung Fu and more, enabling you to be more aware and proficient in self defence.

As a fighting art, Kin Bushi Ryu is characterised by its use of techniques modified from many ancient arts to meet the unrestrained and unpredictable nature of violent attackers. Kin Bushi Ryu techniques are based on a simplicity and economy of motion, blending a subtle defence with quick, smooth, powerful, penetrating attack.

Legs are a major offensive weapon. Our range of kicking techniques have evolved from tae kwon do and muay thai kickboxing. Most kicks are to the upper and lower leg, knee, groin, or ribs. High kicks to the head and upper body, while practised in training, are sparingly used in self defence.

Hand techniques are based on the many punching and striking techniques typical of karate, while also utilising principles of western boxing in deceptive combinations.

Grappling is appropriate at close range and throws, takedowns and immobilizing holds are employed from judo, jujitsu and aikido principles.

Stances, posture and body shifting are other important elements of Kin Bushi Ryu. Since there are a multitude of moves in our system, there are different stances for each situation. Stances are flexible and can be changed with direction and type of movement. Emphasis is placed on mobility and stability. Generally, movement is natural and free flowing, not unlike a boxer. In a grappling situation the centre of gravity (the hips) is lowered, so as to increase stability. Conversely, when the centre of gravity is raised, mobility is improved. No one stance is suitable for all occasions.

Defensive skills are a combination of boxing evasion and karate blocking techniques. The blocking techniques utilise both soft circular and hard linear movements.

Physical conditioning is mandatory although done at your own pace and in time you will be astounded by the improvements made in the areas of flexibility, strength, and endurance.

A variety of weapons are studied later in the training. Although, primarily used as a source of self-development and personal enlightenment, practical self-defence skills are also incorporated in to the training.

Founding Master

Gary MacRae, Kancho, 8th Dan Black Belt [Picture pending]

Family Genealogy

The MacRae clan has been traced back to 1263 in the Scottish highlands. The Eilan Donan castle in Kintail is regarded as the home of MacRaes and was the place of the rising of the first Jacobite rebellion in 1719. The military strength of the MacRaes was very considerable at this time but suffered terribly in the battles of Sherriffmuir and Glenshiel.

Gary’s great great-grandfather, Alexander MacRae (1828-1903), came to live in Australia with his immediate family in 1852. He started with little money and built up a transport business on the goldfields. He eventually took up land in the Oxley district of Victoria, where he dealt in livestock. He was most successful in this business and in 1882 he bought the Breadalbane homestead 30km south of Bendigo, Victoria. The Breadalbane homestead was a sizable property of more than 7,380 acres (2,950 hectares).

Alexander’s son, Archibald, moved to the Pyramid Hill district, Victoria, with his wife after purchasing a property at the turn of this century. Pyramid Hill is a small rural township 100 km north of Bendigo.

Boyhood

Gary was the first child of Graeme (a farmer) and Wendy and was born on April 20, 1959, in the Pyramid Hill Bush Nursing Hospital. He has a sister, Carolyn.

During the first years of his life, young Gary lived a small farm a few kilometres out of the town. His father was unfortunately killed as a result of a car accident when Gary was just five years of age, after which the family moved into the township where he lived until leaving for the army at seventeen.

Gary attended the local school and later travelled to Kerang, 60km away to complete his schooling. He did not like to study but usually made acceptable grades. He enjoyed an active childhood and although he suffered from asthma he was energetic and determined in sport.

The rural setting, in which Gary was bought up, cultivated a love of the outdoors. In his early years he spent time on the farm, also camping and fishing on the banks of the Murray River and its tributaries where his family spent much of their vacations . He became an accomplished marksman, and a great deal of the time on his grandfather’s farm was spent honing these skills by hunting rabbits and other game.

Army Career

IET Cultana SA Early 1976 [Picture pending]

In 1976 Gary volunteered for service in the Australian Defence Forces and served in the arm with the 3rd Battalion Royal Australian Regiment located at the time at Woodside, South Australia. He was employed as an infantry soldier who was trained in several specialist roles. His marksmanship skills were acknowledged and he undertook sniper training. He also spent time as a Mortarman and unit Physical Training Instructor.

In 1977, as part of the Australia’s Five-Power Defence Agreement, he completed a tour of duty as part of a ground forces contingent guarding the Air Base at Butterworth, Malaysia.

Early karate training

Triad Zen do kai [Picture pending]

It was while in the army that Gary was first introduced to the martial arts. He began his karate training in 1979 under the instruction of Ed Skipter a talented instructor of Bob Jones’s style of karate, Zen Do Kai. Gary would travel from the army base at Woodside to Adelaide, up to four nights a weeks to pursue his passion. He excelled in the karate environment and immediately entrenched himself as a capable and persistent student.

He opened his first karate school in Aldgate in March, 1981, as a Brown Belt and achieved his black belt the following month on ANZAC Day. Upon leaving the army in late 1981, Gary settled in South Australia to continue his martial arts training and to follow his dream of becoming a professional instructor.

Gary actually became an instructor almost by accident. His original motivation to start his class was just to assist a few of his army mates who also trained with him but who after a time lacked the motivation to travel from Woodside to Adelaide. As time went on the class grew in size and after just a few months he grew in his teaching role and that it was the kind of occupation he would like to make a career of.

Creek Festival Demo Early 80s [Picture pending]

Through the early ’80s with the help of his growing band of black belts, he established numerous other schools in and around Adelaide and also interstate. Much of his personal training was done under Zen Do Kai’s founding master Bob Jones. Gary would regularly travel from Adelaide to Melbourne where Bob Jones was based and spend time under his personal instruction.

Gary describes Bob Jones as the most inspirational influence in his life and without a doubt the most celebrated martial artist in Australia.

Mr Jones, an experienced nightclub security guard, had trained originally in the traditional karate style of Goju Kai. Because of Mr Jones’s occupation he quickly learned that there was a need to modify the traditional applications and techniques to make them more practical for use in the modern street survival . In 1970 Bob Jones had founded his style of karate, Zen Do Kai.

Gary late 80s [Picture pending]

The constant desire to find the best of fighting system led Mr Jones to be attracted to the Americanised full contact karate, later to be known as kickboxing. He introduced this sport to Australia in the late ’70s and by the early ’80s was affecting the original fighting style of Zen Do Kai. Using only the best of everything is why Bob Jones can be legitimately labelled the first Karate freestylist and the father of kickboxing in this country.

Bob Jones was so impressed with Gary’s dedication and abilities that he became a confidant to Mr Jones and was often summoned to assist him with numerous projects. In 1983 Gary assisted Mr Jones with the writing of a Zen Do Kai training and administrative manual.

Golden Knights Gary MacRae [Picture pending]

Gary is also credited as the pilot of what became Zen Do Kai’s major merchandise outlet. During these early years hardly a day would go by that didn’t involve some form of martial arts training. This included formal instruction in kickboxing, jujitsu, judo, aikido, kendo, iaido and other budo skills.

In May 1985 Gary was involved in a serious motorcycle accident. He was knocked from his motorcycle by a pallet of bessa blocks that had fallen from the back of a truck.

Gary can now joke about holding the world brick breaking record but back then it was no joking matter. His injuries threatened his continued participation in the martial arts. The accident left him with a broken neck and a severely broken arm.

Not to be one to give in easily and with a residual disability in his arm, he fought his way back to ‘full’ fitness and successfully presented his 5th Dan grading in December, 1985.

The start of Kin Bushi Ryu

One particular aspect of the Bob Jones’ approach to martial arts was his perpetual alteration of techniques and grading requirements of his system of karate. While it is fair to say that this continual evolution bought Zen Do Kai it to the cutting edge of martial arts, it did however eventually caused Gary to question whether or not this was what he wanted.

The popularity of kickboxing, which Mr Jones introduced to Australia, did inadvertently diminish the focus of some aspects of Zen Do Kai that originally attracted and motivated him. Over the final years of the ’80s Gary was in a constant tug of war between remaining loyal to the man and style he owed so much and the desire to take a different path.

In December, 1990, Gary and his Instructors parted from Zen Do Kai to pursue the aspiration of sustaining a contemporary, self defence-oriented karate system with a foundation firmly based around classic martial arts beliefs of personal development.

Some people view this split as a renunciation of Bob Jones’s organization or methods; maintains that this is not the case.

While a parting of the ways is never easy, Gary has always maintained an admiration and respect for his former master, acknowledging that it is he who provided the foundation of his martial arts knowledge.

Contemporary times

Karin Gary Tim Mike [Picture pending]

In accordance with the accepted requirements, Gary was nominated and promoted to 6th Dan Black Belt in December, 1991, at a Golden Knights major grading. On the same day he presented his Judo Black Belt grading which was a thrill to the hundreds of Knights students present.

In 1999, after an eight year qualification period Gary was granted a promotion to 7th Dan Black Belt.

Gary’s dedication to the martial arts was recognised in 2000 when he was nominated by the SA Minister of Sport & Recreation to be awarded the Australian Sports Medal.

The citation reads: “For dedication, commitment, professionalism and enthusiasm in the promotion of the martial arts in South Australia.”

After the required qualifaction period Gary was promoted to 8th Dan Black Belt in December 2009 and title is Kancho (Grand Master).

Martial arts innovations

Gary is a strong advocate of the notion that martial arts should be more than the pursuit of ultimate combative methods or the endless accumulation of techniques. He believes that what really a matters has nothing to do with elitist martial arts frolic but the spirit in which it is pursued.

Gary has developed skills in teaching that follow in the footsteps of many of the great martial arts masters who have gone before him. A natural teacher, Gary has done much to introduce the martial arts in areas which many instructors tend to neglect or shy away from.

For instance, he has specialized in teaching young children and people with disabilities.

His Kids Karate program is designed especially for children from five up to twelve years of age. While the grading requirements are similar to that of the adult syllabus, the more dangerous and inappropriate techniques and knowledge have been omitted from the program.

His work in the area of teaching martial arts to people with disabilities attracted world attention in 1989 when Gary and his team presented a workshop at an international conference. This exposure highlights the fact that martial arts can be a very effective rehabilitation tool for those people who suffer debilitating afflictions to enable them to regain, in part or whole, their motor skills and mobility.

Another interesting area which Gary has used his martial arts talents is the training of elite athletes to supplement their fitness and skills for their particular sporting activities. He has worked with Test and state level cricketers, AFL footballers and National and State level netballers.

More recently Gary has sponsored a very successful self defence program that is conducted in high schools all over Adelaide.

Nationally Recognised Qualifications

  • Advanced Diploma Community Services (Management)
  • Diploma Volunteer Management
  • Diploma in Counseling
  • Diploma Community Services (Youth Work)
  • Certificate III Community Recreation (Instruct) Martial Arts

Official Awards

  • Australian Service Medal (SE Asia Clasp)
  • Australian Sports Medal
  • National Medal
  • Australian Defence Medal
  • CFS Service Medal
  • UN Volunteer Fire Service Medal

Our History

From the earliest times, human kind and their primitive ancestors have had to fight to survive. Our early ancestors organised themselves into groups or tribes for mutual protection, codifying the knowledge and experience of combat into systems which could be taught to the next generation, so improving their chances of survival when faced with a dangerous enemy, whether animal or man.

All cultures have had or still have forms of structured martial arts systems. Our Western culture for example, as boxing, wrestling and fencing. However, generally it has been the eastern martial art methods of Karate, Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do and Judo that have influenced the development of self defence systems in the west over the past 40 years.

The lineage of the fighting system and philosophy of the Golden Knights Martial Arts (Kin Bushi Ryu), for the most part, are found with a system of traditional karate called Goju and the more contemporary style called Zen Do Kai.

sensei_miyagi_[Picture pending]

Goju Ryu was created by an Okinawan named Chojun Miyagi (1888-1953). Goju Ryu Karate means hard-soft style and was developed by merging ideas from Chinese systems of fighting (Kung Fu) with those of the indigenous karate systems of Okinawa.

Miyagi travelled to Japan to spread his karate. A Japanese student of Miyagi’s, Gogen Yamaguchi, began to formulate his own ideas and techniques. Through developments he made from the original Goju Ryu, Yamaguchi broke away from Miyagi and founded his own Goju Kai system. Goju Kai soon became very important in Japanese martial circles, becoming far more popular than his master’s system of Goju Ryu.

gogen_[Picture pending]

Tino Ceberano, an Hawaiian, who was graded by Yamaguchi from 3rd through to 6th Dan, migrated to Australia in the mid 60’s and established a school of Goju Kai in Melbourne. Ceberano has been credited with having had a large influence on the development of martial arts in this country.

Tino C2_[Picture pending]

One of Ceberano’s students who went on to become a pioneer in the martial arts, was Bob Jones, the founder of Zen Do Kai. Jones, an experienced street fighter, soon discovered that despite the best intentions, some

applications and techniques of the traditional karate systems were not effective in the modern street survival situation. From this knowledge he began to utilize only the most useful and practical techniques, from Gojo Kai and other fighting systems, into his security work. It was this attitude of using only ‘the best of everything’ that was the basis of his Karate method.

Bob Jones [Picture pending]

Jones founded his Karate school in June 1970, and more or less maintained its Goju foundation until the late 70’s when with the influence of American Sport Karate, Jones gradually moved away from the classic, rigid karate style of combat, to a more free moving and dynamic style of fighting. Although the fighting style had changed the principle of being a practical self-defence system had not, nor had its traditional karate philosophy. Because of this freestyle approach, Zen Do Kai became more popular and through the 80’s, hundreds of schools were established all over Australia.

Gary MacRae began training under Jones in 1979 and quickly established himself as one of his most dedicated students in Adelaide. Gary opened a his first karate school in the Adelaide Hills in March 1981, later with the help of his many Black Belts, he established numerous other schools in Adelaide and interstate. These schools are now part of the Golden Knights Martial Arts Group.

Gary 1990 [Picture pending]

By the end of the 80’s Jones’ had modified his karate method to such an extent that its fighting style had become more sports orientated, mainly due to the popularity of kickboxing which Jones introduced to Australia from America. With the kickboxing theme beginning to overwhelm the traditional substance of Jones’ methods, a cross road was encountered by Gary and his Instructors; to become a much more ‘Americanised’ sports karate or to maintain a modern, self defence orientated karate system with a foundation based around traditional principles. Gary and his instructors chose the later.

In December 1990, the Golden Knights Martial Arts Group officially ceased to be a member of the Jones’ organisation. Opting instead to become an independent martial arts organisation, which is guided by a set of principles layed down at the genesis of Martial Arts.

Today, Gary MacRae and the Instructors of the Golden Knights Martial Arts Group are committed to the concept of teaching a system of martial arts that combines superior self defence skills with a balanced blend of karate, kickboxing, judo and weaponry, while following traditional philosophies.