Northern Rivers Shukokai Karate is based on the Shito-Ryu style of karate whose origins date back to Japan.  In keeping this tradition alive, we are dedicated to building character and teaching students to respect themselves, each other and the art of Shukokai Karate.  Our mission is to teach students to cope with everyday stresses, helping them to be confident in who they are and to solve problems without having to fight.

Our Clubs History

The Northern Rivers Shukokai Karate Dojo was formed by Stan Harris & Barry Potts, after Stan moved from Canberra to Alstonville in October 2002.
Both Stan and Barry were students of Richard Harris as members of the ACT Shukokai Karate Dojo, which was formed when Richard and Barry started training at work in the staff room at lunchtimes.
Barry moved from Canberra to Lismore in August 1994 as a 4th Kyu Purple Belt, and briefly trained with one of the local Karate dojo’s until work and family commitments took a higher priority. After several years of no training, Barry called Richard to see if there was a style that he could train with, yet maintain his connection with Shukokai. During this phone call, Barry was informed that Stan had just relocated to Alstonville and was now a Black belt (Shodan-Ho).
After a quick call to Stan, Barry and Stan started training in Stan’s garage and when weather permitted, in Barry’s carport. Not long after, they started training at the Goonellabah Community Centre on Oliver Ave and the club grew from that point on.

Shukokai History

What is Shukokai karate?

The two main strands of Karate in Okinawa consisted of the Shuri-te system and Naha-te system. The Shuri-te system, from where Shotokan Karate derived, was known for its long range techniques and lengthy stances, while the Naha-te system, from where Goju Karate derived, was known for its shorter technique and close-in fighting ability.

Kenwa Mabuni Sensei (1889-1952) trained under both systems, and from his studies, took the best aspects from each to form what is now known as the Shitoryu style of Karate. Shukokai Karate evolved from the Shitoryu style and was developed over a number of years by Chojiro Tani Sensei, a student of Kenwa Mabuni.

Shukokai, meaning the “Way for All”^ was designed around the study of body mechanics, and is famed for its ‘double hip twist’ to maximise the force of its strikes. Due to this, Shukokai is known as one of the hardest-hitting Karate styles and is probably the most popular of all the Shitoryu styles practiced throughout the world today.

Chojiro Tani ((谷 長治郎 Tani Chojiro) was born in 1921, and started his formal karate training under Miyagi Chojun, who founded the Goju-ryu style, while a student at the Doshisha University in Kyoto. After a few years, Miyagi Chojun returned to Okinawa and the founder of Shito-ryu, Kenwa Mabuni took over the teaching. Upon graduating from university, Tani began learning Shuri-te and then Shito-ryu from Mabuni as well. After many years of training under Mabuni and becoming one of his most senior students, Tani received the certificate of succession from him and became the head of Shito-ryu, enabling him to use the name Tani-ha Shitoryu.

Chojiro Tani began teaching the Karate style Shukokai (meaning the way for all) at a dojo in Kobe, Japan in 1946. Shukokai was designed around the study of body mechanics, is very fast due to its relatively high stance aiding mobility,[3] and is known for the double hip twist, which maximises the force of its strikes; making it one of the hardest-hitting Karate styles.

Shukokai was established in Kobe in 1951. In occupied Japan immediately after the war the establishment of martial art organizations was not recognized by the GHQ, so Tani Sensei and several leaders founded Shukokai(修交会),`an organization(会)) to master (修)) the association of various things’ (交)). It was a time when commodities were scarce so training took place in underground dance-halls or within a ring of trucks lined up to form a circle. When the sanction on Japanese martial arts were finally lifed and it became possible to participate freely in these activities, a national martial arts event was held in Kobe, the Karate demonstration causing a great commotion amongst the many spectators.

^ – Feb 2018, Recent investigation into the proper translation of Shukokai has determined a more accurate translation is “Fellowship (Friends) Training together under the same roof”. Thanks goes to Dimitris Petrakis Sensei, 4th Dan, General Secretary & International Liaison Officer, Shito-ryu Shukokai Union for his tireless research in to the history & origins of Shukokai.


Our team of instructors are lead by Sensei Barry Potts,
with Sempai Simon Barlow and Sensei Todd Usher.

Barry Potts
Barry PottsSensei, Jun Shidoin
Sensei Barry has a combined 20yrs of training and teaching Karate

Australian Shukokai Karate – Sandan (3rd Dan)

International Associate Instructor Shito-Ryu Shukokai Karate Union Japan

3rd Place Kata Australian Shukokai Karate Inviational

Todd Usher
Todd UsherSensei
Sensei Todd has over 20yrs of training and teaching Karate and is currently NSW State Kumite Coach

Shodan Yoseikan-Ryu Karate International
Current NSW Coach

2 times Junior National Champion
6 times Senior Male National Champion
12yrs as Member of Australian Karate team
Former Team Captain
2 times Oceania Karate Champion
Former Indonesian Open Champion
Former NZ Open Champion
Silver Medallist Commonwealth Karate Championships
Bronze Medallist English Open Championships


Select one of our training Programs and click in the Join Now button to register for your trial classes.

Warriors (4yrs-8yrs)

$49954 Week Trial
  • $49.95 TRIAL – 8 CLASSES
  • Fitness
  • Social Skills
  • Positive Attitude
  • Anti-Bullying
  • Improved Concentration

Juniors & Seniors (9yrs up)

$59954 Week Trial
  • $59.95 TRIAL – 8 CLASSES
  • Improved Concentration
  • Self Defence
  • Functional Fitness
  • Leadership Skills
  • Positive Mindset
  • Mobility