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Hanshi John Taylor
Vice president, International Karate Organization – Matsushima

A name well known worldwide in martial arts circles is Kyokushin Karate’s Hanshi John Taylor. Commencing his martial arts career in 1963, John Taylor, now (Hanshi) 9th dan (one of the world most highly ranked Kyokushin martial artists) has forged a reputation as a strong yet fair leader to many thousands of Kyokushin Karate devotees. Shihan Taylor’s reputation as a leader is one that has been forged from over 40 years of tough personal training and exemplary teaching.  His methods of Leadership could be described no other than “iron fist with a velvet glove”.

Acknowledgements for his efforts have come from areas well outside the field of his art reflecting the community respect he is able to pride himself in. Acknowledgements include the “2000 Australian Sports Medal” for achievement in sports and a nomination for “Australian of the Year” in 2004.

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John Taylor’s martial arts career began in Sydney in 1963 when Kyokushin Karate was first introduced to Australia. Graded to shodan black belt in 1966 (under the leadership of the then Kyokushin leader Ivan Zavetchanos). John Taylor became one of the world’s first UchiDeshi (full time live in) students of Sosai Mas Oyama, founder of the Kyokushinkai system, and regularly trained with Sosai right up until the time of his death. John Taylor developed a deep personal and professional friendship with SosaiOyama and remains a loyal and dedicated ambassador to the system, its philosophies and beliefs.

John wasted no time in training hard to fulfill his next goal of competing in international competition. His training efforts paid off and in 1967 he competed in the Australia vs. New Zealand teams championships of which Australia earned the championship cup.

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John Taylor has firsthand experience in the evolution of the Australian martial arts industry, he was after all a founding member of the Federation of Australian Karate Organizations (FAKO) which later was to become the Australian Karate Federation.

Other credits to John Taylors name include the organization and running of the “Australian Karate Championships” at the Sydney Town Hall in Australia on the 20th March 1977. The tournament (which now holds its place in history as being one of Australia’s most successful full contact Karate events), was attended by none other than the infamous head of the Kyokushin Karate KaikanSosaiMasutatsuOyama. John Taylors friendship with Mas Oyama was already well established, many years of training in Japan with SosaiOyama secured this privileged status. John Taylor is also recognized as being one of the first westerners to ever be accepted into, and complete the famous Kyokushinkaiuchideshi (full time live in student) program in Japan. The Japanese people to this day still hold Shihan Taylor in high regard for his training efforts and in contributing to the growth of what was to go on to become the largest martial arts system under the control of one man, this being Mas Oyama.

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Elected in 1997 as vice president of the International Karate Organization, Kyokushinkai-kan. John Taylor is chief instructor of the Australian Kyoushin Karate Organization and boasts over eighty schools to his network base and still growing.

Apart from many tournaments held annually another event in need of mention is the 1998 Commonwealth Karate Championships. These championships were held as part of the Australian Bicentennial year celebrations, 16 countries taking part, no one has been equal a tournament of its caliber since.

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Not one to sit back and rest on his enviable track record, Shihan Taylor remains in the front line of his chosen career path by working energetically in his contribution to the ongoing improvement of the martial arts industry. A passionate supporter of on-going education, Shihan Taylor now shares his life’s experiences and academic knowledge to students from all walks of life through the International College of Kenshusei, flexible learning programs.

The International College of Kenshusei is proud to be working with one of Australian Karate’s true legends.