Oliver Karate Academy
Colorado Springs, CO
Home Dojo of Ketsugo Goju-Ryu Karate


Ketsugo Goju-Ryu is a comprehensive training system rooted in self-defense. There isn't a set schedule of material for each day of the week, the curriculum changes daily so your body doesn't get used to a pattern.

Everything starts with basics or kihon. You have to learn footwork, punching, blocking, kicking and basic stances. From there you learn kata, two-person drills, and other things described below. There's certainly no shortage of material, but everything you learn must be practiced over and over.

We spend a great deal of time with each student to make sure the moves are done correctly, to the right targets, with the right spirit, etc. We work self-defense as realistically as possible while still in a controlled environment. It's a learning process that isn't accomplished over night and takes a great deal of patience. But if you're open to learning it's an incredibly rewarding training experience.   


Kata are sequences of offensive, defensive and transitional movements that are linked together to illustrate specific self-defense techniques and sometimes hidden moves.

1. Kihon Ichi (Basic One)
2. Gekisai Ichi (Attack and Smash One)*
3. Gekisai Ni (Attack and Smash Two)*
4. Gekisai San (Attack and Smash Three)
5. Hon'nogeki (Instinctive Attack)
6. Saifa (Destroy Defeat)*
7. Genshin (Anticipate an Attack)
8. Tensho (Turning Palm)*
9. Juhito (Ten Humans)
10. Isshoni San (Together Three)
11. Seiunchin (Calmness Conquer)*
12. Sanchin (Three Battles: Body, Mind and Spirit)*
13. Hente Do (Way of the Changing Hands)
14. Dobutsu San (Way of the Three Animals)
15. Bushido Rei (Way of the Warrior's Bow)
16. Kyoryoku Do (Strong or Powerful Way)
17. Shisochin (Four Direction Battle)*
18. Seipai (#18)*
19. Seisan (#13)*
20. Sanseiru (#36)*
21. Kururunfa (#17)*
22. Suparinpei (#108)*

          * = Core kata of Goju-Ryu


    Karate skills have to be learned, practiced and conditioned to the point of automatic response. In Ketsugo Goju-Ryu we employ many routines and training methods to help condition the student's body, mind and spirit.

    • Stretching Routines (plus Daruma Taiso, a stretching routine created by Seikichi Toguchi)
    • Punching & Blocking Routines
    • Kicking Routines
    • Heavy Bag Routines for Striking & Kicking
    • Focus Pad & Speed Bag Training
    • Makiwara Training


    Bunkai is the application of technique. In Kata Kumite, two students perform pre-determined sequences to bridge the middle area between kata and actual fighting. They allow the student to apply and understand the fighting techniques of the kata against an opponent. In Kiso Kumite, students train with a partner and focus on pre-arranged counter techniques. The counters include many of the kata bunkai techniques such as strikes, throws, take-downs, and joint manipulation.

    The Bunkai punching routine involves students paired up, going through moving punching and blocking techniques; emphasizing strength, timing, distance and precision.

    Waza and Self-Defense

    Waza (or techniques) are one-step fighting techniques which focus on control, distance, timing and targeting. Over time, as the student progresses in rank and skill these waza become more technical. Realism is always central to the technique.

    Self-defense is at the heart of everything we do in Ketsugo Goju-Ryu. Every aspect of training is centered and rooted in self-defense, from kata to sparring. The training provides the student with the speed, strength, timing, and distance needed to react appropriately to any given self-defense situation. Specific self-defense training involves evading and countering holds, grabs, and joint locks; and for each rank, there are new self-defense techniques to learn. Self-defense against the knife, gun, and club are also part of our training.


    Sparring is an important aspect of Ketsugo Goju-Ryu Karate and is a great way to implement various techniques, plus improve hand eye coordination, timing, distance, and confidence. Students begin sparring at gold belt, and all students take part. We use a continuous sparring method called iri kumi, where the fighting does not stop until time has expired. Full contact with control is the aim, but the intensity of the matches will increase with rank and experience, and will always defer to the lower ranked, or younger student.

    While our system includes eye gouges, elbows, joint strikes, etc., for safety reasons, sparring is done with Full Contact Kickboxing rules, plus groin strikes. At intermediate ranks, sweeps and take-downs are introduced, and at red belt, face contact is added.  

    Protective gear is worn on the hands, feet, head, groin, and shins.


    We practice both unarmed (karate) and armed combat (kobudo). We train with traditional weapons including the bo, tonfa, sai, nunchaku, and kama. The weapon becomes an extension of the body and is treated seriously. Weapons are typically reserved for higher levels of training, but are part of the system as a whole. We do not separate weapons (kobudo) from the overall curriculum. 

    Weapon katas include:

    • Kihon No Kon Dai - Basic (Movements) of the Bo
    • Chukyu No Kon Dai - Inter. (Movements) of the Bo
    • Keitei No Kon Dai - Adv. (Movements) of the Bo
    • Uchi Ka Mamoru - Strike or Protect (Tonfa)
    • Mamorimas To Kogeki - Defend and Attack (Sai)
    • Chukyu No Nunchaku Dai - Inter. Nunchaku
    • Chukyu No Kama Dai - Inter. Kama