History of Renbukan
Katsumi Iba, the founder of Renbukan in Australia, began his training at the age of 17 in Himeji in Japan’s west, which is famous for its heritage-listed castle, featured in the film The Last Samurai. He began training under Tani Sensei of the Shukokai school, but his principle teacher was Fujiwara Sensei, who was a student of Shitoryu karate’s founder, Kenwa Mabuni..
Today, Shito-ryu is one of the most widely practised karate styles in the world, but in the 1970s it was still on the rise. Before coming to Australia, Iba Sensei was responsible for establishing Shito-ryu in South Africa, after being invited to train their armed forces in the late 1960s.
When Master Iba was invited to instruct in Australia for three years in 1974 by Mr Lori Vann who had met and trained with Master Iba in South Africa the Aussies were keen to train with him, as he was then the highest graded karate instructor in Australia.
This is when the Australasian Renbukan Shito-Ryu Association was formed.
All of the current Instructors have received personal training from Katsumi Iba
The current instructors and dojos are:
Paul Hallas 7th Dan( Gold Coast ), Renbukan chief instructor
Ross Roberts 7th Dan ( Yamba)
Mike Jordan 5th Dan( Toowoomba)
Peter Bayliss 5th dan (Bardon)
Geoff Wayne 5th Dan (Lota)