History of Karate   •   Okinawan Goju Ryu History

Robert Marshall Dalgleish November 6, 1942 - July 6, 1978

If you want to talk about "Canadian Goju Ryu Karate" you must start with Sensei Bob (Robert Dalgleish). He is the reason we must call it "Canadian Goju". If it was as simple as going to Okinawa, studying Karate and returning to Canada to teach it then yes we could simply call it Okinawa Goju. However Sensei Bob had many many influences in his karate life and it is these influences, which eventually made up what is known as Canadian Goju Ryu.

Canadian Goju Ryu has influences from Chito ryu, Shotokan, Ishin Ryu, USA (Urban) Goju, Okinawa Goju, Yamaguchi Goju, KyokuShin-Kai and more….

Sensei Bob was an information junky once referred to as 'the dojo rat' much like in Canada when we call someone a rink rat, a hockey player who is always at the rink getting in as much ice time and practice as possible. Sensei Bob loved to travel the rails and loved karate, this is how he came to meet and exchange information with so many top karate masters. .

Following are some excerpts of Sensei Bob's bio taken from the Goju Kai Karate Dojo Handbook. Reprinted without permission


Master Bob Dalgleish started his initial training in 1959 under the guidance of Master Masami Tsuruoka, 9th Dan and head instructor of the Chito Ryu style of Karate Do in Toronto, Ontario. Master Dalgleish studied with Master Tsuruoka for a period of two years after which he journeyed to California to continue his studies under Shotokan Master Hidetaka Nishiyama. Remaining with Nishiyama for a period of two years off and on, Master Bob Dalgleish attained the level of 1st kyu brown belt in the Shotokan School of Karate-Do. .

Having attained two separate grades of brown belt, Master Dalgleish then travelled throughout the United States and Canada, gaining knowledge and sharing with karate-ka throughout the nation. From 1959-1964 Master Dalgleish studied and trained in the following styles:
  • Chito Ryu (Japanese) under Tsurouka
  • JKA Shotokan Ryu under Nishiyama
  • Goju Ryu under Yamaguchi & Yamamoto
  • Ishin Ryu under Armstrong
  • Tai Chi Chuan under Master Jung of Vancouver Canada.
In 1965, Sensei Dalgleish taught in Vancouver, B.C. and was elevated to the level of 3rd degree Black Belt by Master Masutatsu Oyama of the KyokuShinKai style. Master Dalgleish stayed in Vancouver and established a dojo there and then returned to Toronto, Ontario where he introduced the Shotokan style and KyokuShinKai style to Eastern Karate Club.

Between the years of 1965 and 1967, Master Dalgleish journeyed from Toronto to New York, several times to learn Japanese Goju style under Master Peter Urban. However, Sensei Dalgleish had to start at the bottom and wear a white belt for a period of 2 years and after a 2-week grading period, he was again recognized as his previous rank of 3rd degree black belt by Master Urban. Sensei Dalgleish then retuned to Toronto and introduced the Goju style to Canada via the Eastern Karate Club.

In 1969, Master Dalgleish travelled to San Francisco, California where he was accepted by Master Gosei Yamaguchi, to train in Yamaguchi Goju Ryu (Japanese) and again, Master Dalgleish started from the basics and on up. When Master Dalgleish left Master Yamaguchi, he was recognized as a 3rd degree Black Belt in the Yamaguchi style of Goju Ryu.

Between the time periods of 1967 and 1968, Master Dalgleish travelled to Phoenix, Arizona, to train with Master Robert Trias, 8th Dan and founder of the United States Karate Association. Master Trias, without any doubt graded Master Dalgleish to 4th degree Black Belt and instructed him in the Okinawan Shorei style of Karate-do.

In 1971, Master Dalgleish was granted the 5th degree Black Belt in Goju Ryu and later was granted the Masters' rank of 'Renshi' by Shihan Yamamoto, from Japan.

Master Bob Dalgleish travelled to Sudbury, Ontario in 1970 to establish the Sudbury Goju Kai Karate Dojo, until his death in 1978.

Dalgleish's most senior student and the man who even today is considered to be the senior Goju teacher in Canada is Bill Hind Kyoshi. Bill Hind still teaches Goju Ryu today in Toronto, his group is called "Canada Goju" .

Another student of Dalgleish was Don Warrener who for many years had a dojo on Main Street East in Hamilton and another 25 dojo franchises throughout Ontario. Warrener's senior students included Phil McColl, Wally Platt, Gerry Kasper, Conroy Copeland and Deborah Toth.

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