Shorinjiryu Karatedo Australia was founded in the late 1970’s as a branch of Shorinjiryu Kenkokan Karatedo by Shihan Laurence Vanniekerk (Lori Vann), a former instructor of the Shitoryu style who became a student of Hanshi Masayuki Hisataka and also trained under Kaiso Kori Hisataka. Following Shihan Vanniekirk’s retirement in the mid-1980’s, Shihan Phil Hooper and Shihan Scott Brown took over as joint chief instructors.
In 1994, Shorinjiryu Karatedo Australia became an independent school of Shorinjiryu, with Shihan Hooper continuing to lead the organisation until his retirement in 2000. At that time, Kyoshi Jim Griffin (Queensland) and Shihan Max Estens (NSW) took over as joint Chief Instructors, roles they continue in until this day.
In 2000, the Australian Shorinjiryu Karatedo Association became a member of the International Shorinjiryu Shinzen Kyokai under the leadership of Hanshi Myron Lubitsch. The Shorinjiryu Shinzen Kyokai is not a school, but an umbrella organisation that brings together many independent schools of Shorinjiryu for tournaments and mutual development.
In 2007, the Australian Shorinjiryu Karatedo Association became a branch of the Shorinjiryu Kenyukai Watanabe-Ha World Federation, under the auspices of Kaicho Shunji Watanabe, Hanshi 9th Dan. Hanshi Watanabe was one of the senior students of Kaiso Hisataka, and continues to practice and teach Shorinjiryu Karatedo as it was taught to him by the founder.
In 2011, the Australian Shorinjiryu Karatedo Association again became independent, forming a new school of Shorinjiryu – Shorinjiryu Koshinkai Karatedo. Meaning the group of the old and the new, Shorinjiryu Koshinkai Karatedo combines the old and new style Shorinjiryu practices we have acquired from current and former mentors like Hanshi Lubitsch, Hanshi Hisataka, Hanshi Watanabe and Shihan Vanniekirk.
The Australian Shorinjiryu Karatedo Association teaches Shorinjiryu Koshinkai Karatedo. Incorporated as an association in Queensland in the early 1980’s, the Australian Shorinjiryu Karatedo Association currently has a number of dojos in Brisbane, Central Queensland, Northern NSW, Sydney and Melbourne and is proud to be a member of the Shorinjiryu Shinzen Kyokai.