Sensei Alex began the study of martial arts in 1984 at the age of fourteen (14), inspired by the Goju-Ryu style of karate displayed in the movie classic “The Karate Kid”. Living in Europe at that time, was unable to find a local club that practised Goju-Ryu and started studying Judo and then later on Wado-Ryu. During this time he was given the opportunity to also briefly study under the now late head of Wado-Ryu, Tatsuo Suzuki. After moving back to Australia, Sensei Alex found a Goju-Ryu club and with committed training through his late teens and early twenties obtained his preliminary Black belt 1st Dan (Shodan-Ho) in 1993 at the age of twenty three (23). During this time he also had the opportunity to train with the visiting All Japan Junior Karate team in 1988 which provided an excellent insight into how training is conducted in the birthplace of karate. In 1994 he was awarded his full 1st Dan (Shodan) rank.
Sensei Alex Koutzoumis
Grade: Sandan 4rd Dan
Initially work travel commitments and then time demands required to successfully complete a Master’s Degree in Business and Technology from the University of NSW forced Sensei Alex to retire from karate for over a decade. In 2009 Sensei Alex was walking past the Earlwood Dojo and saw a flag with the ‘closed fist’ (symbol of Goju-Ryu). After watching a training session and seeing the traditional Japanese methods and disciplines being practiced at the Dojo, decided to join the club.
After training in both the Earlwood Dojo under Sensei James Ellis and at the Lakemba Dojo under Shihan Tsanidis (head of the IKO Group Australia), Sensei Alex was awarded his 2nd Dan (Nidan) in early 2011 and recently his 3rd Dan (Sandan) grade in 2015.
As a mature student of Goju-Ryu, Sensei Alex has now come to fully understand that the philosophy behind the meaning of Goju (“go” meaning “hard” and “ju” meaning “soft”), applies not just to karate, but to life in general; only hardness or only softness alone will not enable one to deal effectively with the fluctuations of life, it is a combination of both.
Sensei Alex is an assistant instructor at the Earlwood Dojo where he enjoys helping the younger generation of Goju-Ryu practitioners develop.