Instructors
I.K.O Goju Ryu Karate Do
Sensei James Ellis
Born: 1970
Grade: Godan 5th Dan
Sensei James began the study of Karate at the age of nine (9) in 1979 under Shihan Theodore Tsanidis at the IKO’s original dojo in Earlwood. Sensei James trained as a boy through the rigorous exercises and demands of the time and obtained his blackbelt (Shodan) in 1985 at the age of fifteen (15). In the same year, he became an assistant instructor under the supervision of Shihan Tsanidis at the Earlwood dojo and a year later taught classes on his own. In 1988 at the age of eighteen(18) he was awarded his 2nd Dan (Nidan) and also entered tertiary education the same year at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) studying Structural Engineering. The demands of the course forced him to retire in 1988 however he recommenced his training in Karate in 1993 when he graduated.
Sensei James was initially inspired to do karate as a means of self defence and was encouraged by his father to do so. Sensei James was also fascinated by the intricate moves displayed in Martial art cult films of the time. Today, Sensei James’ inspiration and motivation comes from seeing Shihan Theodore Tsanidis and Master Yamamoto’s athleticism, energy and quality of life even in their 60’s and 70’s respectively. Goju-Ryu karate has rewarded Sensei James with confidence and patience in the dealings of his everyday life.
In recent years, Sensei James has obtained
  • 3rd Dan (Sandan) in 2009
  • 4th Dan (Yondan) in 2013
  • 5th Dan (Godan) in 2015
Sensei James makes a conscious effort to balance his work commitments and his Martial arts training and is committed to teaching traditional Japanese Budo. Sensei James is currently the head instructor at the Earlwood Dojo where he continues to further develop his knowledge and expertise in the art. Outside of karate, Sensei James works for himself as a Structural Engineer.