Purdue Karate Club
Goju-Ryu Karate


Welcome all Boilermakers! If you are looking to train in a martial art in the Purdue area, you have found the right place. Come check us out!

Find Out More

Summer 2018 Announcements


When do we meet?

Practice Schedule

NOTE: Summer Practice times are different


Our Story


Gōjū-ryū (剛柔流), (Japanese for "hard-soft style") is one of the main traditional Okinawan styles of karate, featuring a combination of hard and soft techniques. Both principles, hard and soft, come from the famous martial arts book Bubishi (Chinese: wu bei ji), used by Okinawan masters during the 19th and 20th centuries. Go which means hard, refers to closed hand techniques or straight linear attacks; Ju, which means soft, refers to open hand techniques and circular movements.

A Go technique meets force with force; either with a head-on-force blocking technique, or by diagonally cutting the strike with (one's) force. It is an example of the defender using the attacker's force and momentum against him or her. Although hard techniques require greater strength for successful execution, it is the mechanics of the technique that accomplish the defense.

The goal of the Ju technique is turning the attacker’s force to his or her disadvantage, with the defender exerting minimal force. With a soft technique, the defender uses the attacker’s force and momentum against him or her, by leading the attack(er) in a direction to where the defender will be advantageously positioned (tai sabaki) and the attacker off balance; a seamless movement then effects the appropriate soft technique.

The origins of karatedo go back to the ancient travels of Buddhist monks throughout the Asian frontier. Unarmed and oppressed; it became necessary for them to develop a weaponless form of self-defense for their survival.

Merchants travelling south from China to the RyuKyu islands; or Okinawa; brought with them this art of the ‘Chinese Hand’ or ‘To-De’ (later to be called karate-empty hand).

During this time Japan invaded these islands and its warriors found themselves confronted by the fierce retaliation of skilled practitioners of this secret art.

In the late 1800’s; an enthusiastic Okinawan youngster by the name of Chojun Miyagi became well-skilled in the art and determined to know more. He was advised to travel to China to study the many different methods of martial arts. His search lead him to the hard school of Shaolin Chuan; the soft school of Pakua Chan; and from these two he developed his own style of Goju; hard and soft. He advocated that both the hard and the soft complimented each other and he created the Sanchin and Tensho, a formal exercise which combined both these elements.

Also featured in the style is the breathing exercise known as Ibuki, which incorporates external breathing, Yo ibuki; a strong vocal hiss which emphasizes dynamic tension, and internal breathing. In Ibuki, which is nasal and is performed with techniques. The use of this exercise creates deep abdominal development and rejuvenation of energy. The whole body is exercised both internally and externally.

The student of Chojun Myagi; the carpenter Murata; traveled to Japan and began to teach. One of his students was a young man who was agile, fast and strong and had a reputation for being a deceptive fighter, giving no ground to any adversary. He was known as the ‘Cat’, because of his favorite fighting stance, Neko ashi kamae (cat-stance). His name was Gogen Yamaguchi. He soon proved to be a man of credibility and initiative and became highly respected in karate circles in Japan.

He systemized the style into basically the system used all over the world today, and organized the style into its current organization, Goju Kai (Kai meaning organization).

On his deathbed, the old master Miyagi called for all the senior members of Goju Kai and announced to them his choice of a successor. It was then that Gogen Yamaguchi became 10th Dan and the Grand Master of Goju Kai – the Kaicho.

At about this time, Japan was occupied by the American Forces and many American servicemen became attracted to this dynamic art, and in particular to the well-organized school of Gogen Yamaguchi, and then brought home to America the discipline they had learned. Miyagi had visited Hawaii in 1930 and then Yamaguchi traveled to Hawaii on the invitation of Instructor Masaichi Oshiro of the Hawaiian Goju Kai school in 1966. It was there that the head of our style, Hanshi Tino Ceberano, first met Yamaguchi in his local humble dojo. He had decided to live in Australia with his Australian wife and asked for Yamaguchi's blessing to open a dojo in Australia. The Master agreed and so the Goju Kai was established in Melbourne in late 1966.

From small beginnings the school has grown substantially and has been visited twice by Master Yamaguchi and his son Goshi Yamaguchi before Master Yamaguchi's passing in 1989. Hanshi Tino Ceberano is well known as the 'father of Australian Karate.' With the passing of Master Yamaguchi without leaving a defined successor, Hanshi Tino Ceberano has continued to develop Goju; however, the style remains basically as it was taught by Miyagi, and progressive training methods have been given added enhancement. Karate has become not only a means of self-defense but an effective way of acquiring and enhancing both physical and mental health and discipline for all people.

Shihan Kevin Webb is a 5th Dan Black Belt and a professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue. He has served as the club's master instructor since founding the club at Purdue in 1990. Originally from Australia, he trained under Tino Ceberano, Kancho (9th Dan), who is a direct student of Gōju Kai karate founder Gōgen Yamaguchi (1909–1989). Ceberano established Gōju Kai in Australia in 1966 at Yamaguchi's request.

Sensei Dan Leaird is a 3rd Dan Black Belt and first joined the club in 1995 when he came to Purdue as a graduate student. Sensei Dan served as the club president while he was a student, and has served as the club advisor since 2001. Vocationally, he is a senior research scientist, and the lab manager of the Ultrafast Optics and Optical Fiber Communications Laboratory in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Our dojo is recognized under Hanshi Tino Ceberano, and we are proudly a member of the Tino Ceberano Martial Arts Schools.

Frequently Asked Questions


We try to add variety to each workout so that no two classes are the same. A typical class includes different variations of stretching, calisthenics, resistance exercises, karate forms and movements, self defense techniques (jujitsu), sparring, and kata (formal choreographed patterns of kicks blocks and strikes).

Membership in the club is open to anyone affiliated with Purdue University, and anyone is welcome to train with us. Because of the training location, a membership to the Co-Rec is also required. Semesterly membership dues are required for student members, but they are not assessed for new members until mid-semester. So come and try us out fee-free!

Welcome! Regular gym workout clothes are perfectly fine to wear, and you may also want a water bottle. We train barefoot, and the floor is parquet. You'll need to sign a Purdue Rec Sports waiver before training with us.

The traditional training uniform (gi) is required for testing, and it imparts a nice snap to strikes and kicks. You can order them online for a cost of about $50. It's best to consult with club members on the weight and size you'll need before ordering. We train in white uniforms, whose style is referred to as karate, student, or traditional.

We train year-round at Purdue, summers and breaks generally included. See the schedule for specifics on times and locations.

You are welcome to come train with the Karate Club wearing the belt from the style you know. If you would like a belt in Goju, you can test in at the level matching your abilities. Since many styles of karate are more similar than different, you may be surprised by how fast you can pick it up!

There are grading sessions once per semester (fall and spring only), typically on the Saturday before classes end. If you attend a majority of practices and work hard, you will have developed the skill needed to advance one or perhaps even two degrees (kyu) in rank!

Preserving the safety and well-being of its members is the primary directive for Purdue Karate Club, and all training elements are voluntary. The abilities and skill levels of participants are taken into account during a practice. However, karate training does contain certain sparring and partner-centered exercises where force and speed are involved, making it a contact sport with inherent risks. You can choose which elements you wish to participate in, and accommodations for medical conditions or injuries are readily made.

Check the about us section. In addition, Wikipedia has an excellent primer on the subject, and a search on YouTube for "Goju" with any of the kata listed on the wikipedia page will produce videos that are very close in style to the ones the club currently practices.

Our dojo is recognized under Hanshi Tino Ceberano, and we are proudly a member of the Tino Ceberano Martial Arts Schools.

Let's Get In Touch!


Reach out to us via email or social media with any questions you may have!
New members are always welcome.