History & Heritage



The origins of Karatedo go back to the ancient travels of Buddhist monks throughout the Asian frontier. Unarmed and oppressed; it became necessary for them to develop a weapon less form of self-defence for their survival.

Merchants travelling south from China to the Ryukyu Islands – or Okinawa – brought with them this art of the ‘Chinese Hand’ or To-De (later to be called Karate – ‘Empty Hand’). During this time Japan invaded these islands and its warriors found themselves confronted by the fierce retaliation of skilled practitioners of this secret art.


Okinawan Founder


In the 1900s, an enthusiastic Okinawan youngster by the name of Chojun Miyagi became well-skilled in the art and determined to know more. He was advised to travel to China to study the many different methods of martial arts. His search led him to the hard school of Shaolin Chuan; the soft school of Pakua Chan; and from these two he developed his own style of Goju – Hard and Soft. He advocated that both the hard and soft complimented each other and he created the Sanchin and Tensho, a formal exercise which combined both these elements. Also featured in the style is the breathing exercise known as “Ibuki”, which incorporates external breathing – Yo Ibuki; a strong vocal hiss which emphasises dynamic tension, and internal breathing – In Ibuki; which is nasal and is performed with techniques. The use of this exercise creates deep abdominal development and rejuvenation of energy. The whole body is exercised both internally and externally.


A student of Chojin Miyagi, the Carpenter Murata, travelled to Japan and began to teach. One of his students was a young man who was agile, fast and strong, and had a reputation for being a deceptive fighter, giving no ground to any adversary. He was known as the ‘Cat’, because of his favourite fighting stance, Neko Ashi Kamae (the Cat Stance). His name was Gogen Yamaguchi. He soon proved to be a man of credibility and initiative and became highly respected in Karate circles in Japan.

Gogen Yamaguchi systemised the style into basically the system used all over the world today, and organised the style into what I know as The Goju Kai (Kai = Organisation).

On his death bed, the old master Miyagi called for all the Senior Members and announced to them his choice of a successor. It was then that Gogen Yamaguchi became 10th Dan and the Grand Master of Goju Karate – the Kaicho!!

At about this time, Japan was occupied by the American Forces and many American servicemen became attracted to this dynamic art, and in particular to the well-organised school of Gogen Yamaguchi, and then brought home to America the discipline they had learned. Miyagi had visited Hawaii in 1930 and now Yamaguchi travelled to Hawaii on the invitation of Instructor Masaichi Oshiro. (3rd Dan Tino Ceberano’s Instructor.) It was here at the Hawaiian Goju Karate School back in 1966 that 3rd Dan Tino first met and studied under Grand Master Yamaguchi.






After receiving his 3rd Dan by the Grand Master, and at the request of Kaicho Yamaguchi, the young instructor Tino Ceberano left his native country of Hawaii to start life in Melbourne with the purpose of establishing the style of Goju Karate in Australia. From small beginnings the School of Goju Karate has grown and multiplied and is probably the most widely practiced of the Styles in Australia. This is due in no small part to the skill and dedication of Tino Ceberano, 3rd Dan.

Tino Ceberano has travelled back and forth to Japan on many occasions for his own and for his students senior gradings, as well as taking Teams across and hosting International Teams here in Australia, all to maintain a standard at least equal to any Karate anywhere in the world. He endeavours to maintain this standard now through his control of quality over his instructors and by maintaining a vigil over visits to dojo’s Australia Wide, but perhaps mostly by his own rigorous training routine which maintains his position in charge of the I.G.K.

With his involvement on the International Karate scene over many years as Chief Referee of World Union of Karate Organisations, as well as holding the title of Vice President of the same organisation (the most prestigious in the Karate World) the reputation of his students is recognised not only Australia wide but also worldwide. He is without question the most well known Karate-Ka (one who studys karate) in Australia.

In May 1989 Kaicho Gogen Yamaguchi died aged 81. In 1990 Goshi Yamaguchi (3rd Son of the Master) a long time friend of 3rd Dan Ceberano took over the reins of the Goju Kai and promoted himself to the rank of 10th Dan. 3rd Dan Ceberano decided his future lay separate of the Organisation and formed the International Goju Karate School maintaining the ideals of the truly traditional Style of Goju Karate.

In February of 1992 Tino Ceberano completed his 7th Dan Grading under the supervision of 20 of his seniors (ranked from 7th Dan to 9th Dan) of the Gohaku Kai Okinawa Goju Ryu Renmei, and the Directorate of the Okinawa Budo International.

His record is open to all, bit his greatest referral has always been the quality of his students.


Tino Ceberano’s eldest son, Kyoshi Paul Ceberano, has followed in father’s footsteps. Having effectively been ‘born into karate’, Kyoshi Paul began training at a young age under the strict guidance of his father. He currently holds the rank of “Kyoshi” 6th Dan Black Belt and is Chief Instructor of Ceberano Martial Arts Academy.

Kyoshi Paul is passionate about teaching and sharing karate with others. From beginners and advanced adults, to juniors and “Little Ninjas” Kyoshi Paul is a respected teacher throughout Australia.