My Kyokushin story


I was born in Poland in 1956, and took an interest in martial arts when karate was considered mysterious and strange, something completely not of this world. There were no clubs of any style in the town where I lived, so I travelled to the city of Radom where I trained in a Kyokushin Dojo run by Ryszard Szczepanski. Kyokushin Karate was spreading rapidly across eastern Europe in the seventies, but despite that, there were still only a handful of  black belts in Poland. Therefore, I took it upon myself to open a club in my home town. When the doors opened for the first time, there were more than 70 new students wanting to participate. Numbers grew, and there came a point when the group had to be split into two parallel classes. I continued a hard training regime, training 3 nights a week in my club and 2 nights a week with my black belt instructor.

 I attained the 8th. Kyu in 1976, and three years later I was the very proud owner of a 3rd kyu certificate.

During my training in Poland, I attended international camps conducted by the leading karateka at the time, such as Loek Hollander, then President of Kyokushin Karate in Europe. I took part in training camps in Krakow and Szczecin.

Roman K. in Szydlowiec Dojo Poland 1978

Sensei Roman-training camp Poland-Szczecin 1980

My fighters took part in competitions at a local and national level.             

My dojo organized numerous presentations, we considered every occasion to be a good one to show off the great strength of  kyokushin karate. These presentations were held in school halls, the city square, or in our local castle. Even on the streets of our town!

In 1981 I sadly said goodbye to my Szydlowiec Dojo. However, I had many keen students who had risen through the ranks and continued the legacy of Kyokushin Karate.

Unfortunately, due to the political situation in Poland, I migrated to Australia with my family in 1982.

My road to Australia was not as straight forward as one might think.

In 1981, as the Solidarity movement grew in strength in Poland, ordinary people openly demanded improvement in day to day life– more than they ever had before. Everyone knew that something was going to happen soon. At that time I was 25 years old, and just like many other young men and women, I wanted to feel free to travel wherever and whenever ever I wanted, and  could not wait to see the World and taste what it had to offer. I did not want to be constrained by a system that did not leave room to grow.

I vividly remember my first encounter with the West. It was right after we’d crossed the border of the Slovak republic,  where we were greeted by a huge Coca-Cola poster in Austria, it was displayed on the barn of the first Austrian village we wondered to. It was clear to us than that we were on the western part of what we call a Civilized World.

Crossing the border was only first, and  relatively easy step on my road to freedom and a new life.


About six weeks later, my wife and two sons joined me in Austria. At that time the only road to the West lead through a refugee camp in Vienna. In this camp you could find displaced people from all eastern European nations, most of them came from Poland like my family. Some people seemed to be lost, confused and overwhelmed by their predicament. Some of them cried before they crossed the gate of the refugee camp, some stood there for hours holding passports in their hands- not knowing what to do.

I had made up my mind long before I arrived in Vienna, so I did not have any trouble handing out passports of all my family members and officially beginning the   process of emigration.


During 7 long months in Austria I practiced my basic techniques and kata whenever I could. I also trained there for some time with some Shotokan practitioners, as every opportunity was good to stay fit and keep training.  

Finally, after numerous interviews my family was accepted by the Australian Embassy. On the 28th. of January 1982, we landed at the Melbourne airport.

We settled in Melbourne. With practically no English language skills, I ventured out and found the Kyokushin Karate Sunshine Dojo. I felt completely at home with the people at the dojo, since all Kyokushin classes are held in Japanese, there were no difficulties in participating in classes.

I had two sons at that time, Martin born in 1975 and Paul, Born in 1980, naturally I introduced them to Kyokushin Karate. Martin began training at age 10 and Paul at age 5 in Geelong at Corio Dojo run by sensei Luke Grugrevic.

Paul at 5 years old

in his first do-gi

Paul at 7 years old going for blue belt

Martin at about 11 years old,,

demo. with Corio Dojo

Until 1991 I trained in various clubs in Melbourne and Geelong- where I attained 1st kyu.

In 1992,  I moved with my family to Brisbane, Queensland. Soon, my sons and I began training at the Cameron Quinn Brisbane Dojo. At the time of our joining the club, Gary O'Neill and Walter Schnaubelt, (two of the students from the dojo, among others) were Uchi Deshi (live in students of Mas Oyama, the founder of Kyokushin in Japan.)

In 1993 I passed my shodan, (1st Dan black belt exam.) I received my coveted belt in the spring of 1994. I received my official belt and certificate almost simultaneously with the sad news about death of  Sosai Masutatsu Oyama. (Mas Oyama)

By this stage my sons Martin and Paul have achieved 1st kyu.

After training with Shihan Cameron Quinn for further 12 months, in 1995 I opened the Kyokushin Karate MacGregor Dojo.