SA Gorei Karate – Shihan Harry Pieterkosky (Chief Instructor)

Shihan Harry Started karate on March 3, 1965 with Karate-Do under Sensei’s Hugh and Dennis St John Thompson, who were then under the J K A style. He was one of the first seven students to grade for black belt under the Goju-ryu system in October 1968. In 1969, he was appointed as Karate-do’s second uchideshi (full time trainee instructor). In 1971 when Sensei Morio Higaonna came to South Africa for 3 months, he was assigned to the Sensei as his personal assistant and chaperone. Before leaving, Sensei Higaonna graded 5 of the students to 3 dan including himself and Sensei Dennis and he qualified as instructors.

In June 1973, he broke away from Karate-do due to religious and racial reasons, and started S A Gorei Karate. At that time, when racially mixed classes were not accepted, he ran non-racial classes. In 1974, he was graded national B Class referee. By 1975 he was graded to fourth dan. In 1976, he was made Chief Referee at the Springbok trials in Kimberley and also refereed at the tournament between RSA, Great Britain and Japan.

In 1972/3, he was the captain of the S A “B” team against a team from England. Since 1975 he has refereed at least one or two national tournaments every year and is still doing so. In 1985/6 he was manager of the Western Province junior team. In 1994 he was re-graded to A-Class referee. He spent time as the Chief referee of the Western Province as well as on the national referees panel. In 1985 at the African Games he received his Continental B Class Judge status. In 1997 he was the Manager for the Western Province Junior and Senior team and also the assistant Coach.

Most recently he was graded to 8th Dan a most prestigious level as it is only shared by a handful of karateka in South Africa. He still trains three mornings a week from 5.30 to 7.00 am, (black belts only) excluding the training he does with his classes. He teaches 5 days a week, Monday to Friday, with about 5 classes of one and a half hours each per day to grow personally.