History & Lineage Of The Oromocto Dojo
The founder of Goju-Ryu Karate was Miyagi Chojun. In the early twentieth century, one of Miyagi’s students was performing at a local demonstration. This student was asked what the name of his Karate system was. The student did not have an answer for him. The student reported this back to Miyagi, and Miyagi said that the next time he asked that question that the answer was Goju-Ryu. (Hard Soft System)
Miyagi got this name from the third line in the poem “Eight Precepts of Quanfa” from the book “The Bubishi” (See Patrick McCarthy’s translation)
Miyagi Chojun was a student of Higashionna Kanryo. Higashionna had travelled to a number of places, including China. It is said that he had learned Chinese Fighting systems while there. Upon his return to Okinawa, he taught Miyagi. Miyagi blended the Chinese systems with Okinawan systems and developed, what was later to be called, Goju-Ryu Karate.
One of Miyagi’s senior instructors taught Goju-Ryu Karate at a university in Japan. Yamaguchi Gogen was one of this senior’s students.
It is said that Miyagi had a conversation with Yamaguchi. It was during the course of this discussion that Miyagi gave instruction to Yamaguchi to spread “The Goju” word around the world. Yamaguchi became the founder of Japanese Goju-Ryu.
Yamaguchi is responsible for much of the proliferation of Goju-Ryu Karate throughout the world. His sons, Gosei (United States) and Goshi (Japan) still actively teach.
Tasaki Shuji started training with Yamaguchi Gogen in 1951 and stayed with Yamaguchi till 1971. In 1971 Tasaki formed the Seiwa Kai Goju-Ryu Karate organization. Tasaki was one of Yamaguchi’s most senior students, even being the principle instructor at one of Yamaguchi’s Dojos.
Seiichi Fujiwara Shihan was born in 1950. He began his training in Goju-ryu under Gogen Yamaguchi Shihan.
Today he has earned the ranks of 8th Dan JKF Goju-kai, 8th Dan Seiwa kai Goju-ryu and 7th Dan Japan Karate-do Federation. Fujiwara Sensei is also a Director and Coach of Akita Karate-do Federation Goju kai, and is currently the Chief Instructor of Seiwa Kai Goju-Ryu, having taken over after Tasaki Shuji’s passing in 2011.
Considered to be the Father of Canadian Goju, Master Dalgleish trained under many notable Sensei. Richard Kim, Mas Oyama, Gosei Yamaguchi, Nishiyama, Robert Trias, Masami Tsuroka, Peter Urban and Yamamoto, just to name a few. Master Dalgleish in return had many notable students. Bill Hind (founder of Canada Goju), Ken Tallack (founder of Meituku-Ha Goju-Ryu Karate), Don Gauthier, Yogi Isreal (Sudbury Goju-Kai), and Don Benoit (Founder of Benoit’s Goju-Ryu Karate-Do and most senior member of Seiwa Kai Goshu Kan Canada).
In 1972 Don Benoit started training under Master Bob Dalgleish at the Sudbury Goju Kai Karate Dojo. Don's insatiable appetite for karate and diligent training earned him his black belt in just over one year. His journey in the martial arts has continued throughout the years.
From 1981 to 1989 he ran Sudbury Goju Ryu. In 1993 Benoit's Marital Arts evolved. World Champions have gotten their start at Benoit's Martial Arts under Don's guidance. Don Benoit also distinguished himself as a competitor in kata and won Super Grands World NBL Titles for kata in 1997 and again in 1999.
Don is a member of the Karate Canada and received his dan recognition and accredited as a sixth degree black belt, through the NKA (Canada) in 2002. In 2003 the NKA accepted Don's application for style recognition and officially registered Benoit's Goju-Ryu Karate-Do as it's own style. This evolution lead to his clubs name change when Don became the founding president of Benoit's Goju-Ryu Karate-Do.
Don Benoit had the honour and privilege of training under Grandmaster Gosei Yamaguchi at his home dojo in San Leandro, California.
In April 2007 Shihan Don Benoit became a member of the Japanese Karate Federation and received his 6th Dan with Seiwa Kai. Shihan Don Benoit was awarded his Master Instructor Certification and became 2nd Executive Vice President of Seiwa Kai Canada. Seiwa Kai North America Chief instructor is Isao Yabunaka Shihan, 7th Dan Kyoshi.
In 2011 Shihan Don Benoit was awarded the prestigious Syl Apps Award in a formal presentation by Ms. Best, Minister of Health & Sport for the Province of Ontario.
In 2012 Shihan Don Benoit was also awarded 7th Dan by Karate Canada.
Shihan Benoit is currently sought after for his expertise by Karate Ontario and Karate Canada for his judging and refereeing expertise. He is also the most senior member of Seiwa Kai Goshu Kan Canada.
(Quoted from Benoit’s Martial Arts website.)
Sylvain (Sly) Lessard
Shihan Sly, as he is affectionately called by his peers, started his Martial Arts training in the early 1970s. He started with Judo in Manitouwadge Ontario and carried his Judo training until 1981 in Sudbury Ontario.
Shihan Sly then wandered (as he puts it) from dojo to dojang to kwon and tried many different arts including Ju jutsu, Tae Kwon do, and Kung Fu.
In 1983 he walked into Shihan Benoit’s Sudbury Goju-Ryu Karate Dojo, and within 15 minutes he knew had found home. Shihan Sly is still a student of Shihan Don Benoit and travels to the Hombu Dojo in Sudbury two or three times a year.
Shihan Sly was a strong competitor, competing is several Ontario tournaments, and later as the Captain of the Karate New Brunswick team competing at the Karate Canada Nationals in 1999 and 2001.
In October of 2008, Shihan Sly was awarded the rank of Godan (5th Degree Black Belt), and was bestowed the title of Renshi (Master Instructor) by Seiwa Kai Canada.
Shihan Sly also trained with such notables as Masami Tsuroka (Seminars and clinics), Patrick McCarthy (Seminar), Takeshi Uchiage (Seminars and clinics), Shuji Tasaki (Seminars and clinics, and special training sessions), Isao Yabunaka (seminars, classes, clinics), Seiichi Fujiwara (Seminars, clinics and special training).
Shihan Sylvain (Sly) Lessard is the current Dojo Principal of the Oromocto Dojo in Oromocto, N.B..
For more information on the History Of Goju-Ryu Karate please read “The Bubishi”, as translated by Patrick McCarthy or visit http://www.benoitsma.com/history.htm