Stacey Karetsian Kyoshi Shihan

The pursuit of excellence and focus on constant improvement keeps us determined and inspired to continue to reach our maximum potential.

Stacey Karetsian Kyoshi Shihan

Chief Instructor | 7th Dan Black Belt

Stacey Karetsian Shihan has been training and teaching karate since 1984. His passion for karate has led him to a lifelong pursuit of learning and devoting his life to this incredible martial art. He has been studying Goju Ryu Karate since 2003 and established Goshukan Karate Academy in 2018.

In 2022, Stacey Shihan achieved the remarkable accomplishment of being awarded the 7th Dan in both Seiwakai Gojuryu and JKF (Japan Karate Federation) Goju Kai. This prestigious recognition makes him one of the youngest JKF Goju Kai 7th Dan Black Belts outside of Japan.

As the Chief Instructor of Goshukan Karate Academy, Stacey Shihan brings his extensive experience and expertise to the students. His deep understanding of Goju Ryu Karate, coupled with his unique journey and achievements, allows him to provide unparalleled instruction and guidance to his students.

Stacey Karetsian - Timeline



Stacey’s karate journey began in 1984 when he started training in his local Shotokan (Japan Karate Association) club. His interest for karate quickly turned into what would become his lifelong passion, and within 3 years he was awarded his first black belt (1986). During the first few years of his karate journey Stacey amassed multiple Regional, State and National titles, and in 1988 he represented Australia in the Japan Karate Association World Shoto Cup.


 Whilst studying Civil Engineering at the University of South Australia he started training with a new club (Go-Kan-Ryu Karate) and decided to make karate his profession after completing his degree. In 1994 he moved to Sydney and started working with GKR Karate. His karate skills were recognised and he was promoted to Senior Instructor (NSW/ACT). In 2000 he was promoted to be the club’s Assistant Chief Instructor & Executive Vice President, a role that would see him impart his karate knowledge and leadership skills worldwide. 


In 2003 Stacey met with senior instructors from Seiwakai Goju Ryu and formed an alliance that would see GKR members take regular trips to Japan to help build knowledge and ties with the Seiwakai Organisation. On their first trip to Japan they were introduced to Mr Shuji Tasaki (Founder and President of Seiwakai Goju Ryu) and Mr Seiichi Fujiwara (Vice President Seiwakai Goju Ryu).

Stacey’s love of both Shotokan (Shuri-te) and later the Goju (Naha-te) styles allowed him to greatly advance his knowledge and skills, which influenced the advancement of the kata in the GKR syllabus as well as steer the Goju element of the club towards what was being taught in Japan.


His influence and technical prowess was noticed by the Founder of Seiwakai Goju Ryu International (Shuji Tasaki) and in 2007 Stacey was awarded 5th Dan Seiwakai by Mr Tasaki, and was bestowed the name ‘Goshukan’. 


Stacey graded to 5th Dan in the Japan Karate Federation (JKF) in 2008.


In 2013, Stacey was awarded the rank of Renshi in Seiwakai and in the JKF Goju Kai (one of first JKF Goju Kai Renshi to be awarded in Australia).


In 2014, Stacey graded to 6th Dan in Seiwakai Goju Ryu, and was successful in achieving 6th Dan with the JKF Goju Kai just 3 days later in Sendai, Japan.


 In 2018 Stacey established Goshukan Karate Academy and has since focused his time and efforts solely on the development of the Goju Ryu style of karate under the leadership of Seiichi Fujiwara Hanshi (Chief Instructor and President, Seiwakai Goju Ryu Karate International). 

The headquarters of Goshukan Karate Academy are in Sydney (Seven Hills).

It was also in 2018 at the Seiwakai Training camp in Omagari (Japan) that Stacey was awarded the title of Kyoshi in Seiwakai Goju Ryu.


In 2022, Stacey was among a small group of international members who travelled to Japan for the Seiwakai Goju Ryu training camp in Omagari, and the JKF Goju Kai International Training Camp in Yokohama. He tested and successfully passed his 7th Dan Belt in both Seiwakai Goju Ryu and JKF Goju Kai.

This achievement makes him one of the youngest to achieve the rank of 7th Dan JKF Goju Kai outside of Japan.

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Frequently asked questions


What are the benefits of training in karate?

Karate is more than a self defence fighting system. It is a way of life. We are learning a martial art, to build strength in both mind and body, and yet we wish to never have to use the physical component of the art to defend ourselves. Consistent training in karate can develop strength of mind, body, spirit. By developing fighting skills you build confidence, inner security, awareness, respect for self and others. Karate training builds character, it teaches us life skills to help us to overcome challenges, solve problems, embrace opportunities, strive for excellence.

Do I need to be fit to start?

Absolutely not. Karate is a personal endeavour and every student is encouraged to participate at their own pace, with no expectation of fitness or ability.

Am I too old to start?

If you can walk onto the mats you can train in Martial Arts! We have had people start training well into their 50’s and even 60+!

Can my whole family have a class at the same time?

Yes, we have a number of different options to get the whole family (Mum, Dad and kids of all ages) involved, without multiple trips. We have the option of a family class in which parents train in the same class as their kids and complete part of the class by themselves and the other part all together!

What are your class sizes?

Class sizes vary throughout each program and peak time. We abide by recommended instructor ratios which are as follows: kids classes ratio is 15:1 and for general classes it is usually 20:1.

How long will it take to reach Black Belt level?

It takes approx. 4-5 years to get black belt, depending on how many times you train a week and how committed you are to your improvement.

Do I have to start as a white belt if I have been training in another Goju Style?

What we’re doing is recognising the experience level that people who have already trained in a Goju based karate system and letting them train in their current grade belt until they are ready to be assessed and formally graded to the appropriate grade level in Goshukan Karate. There are many clubs within the same/similar styles or systems today, and just like when you are studying any tertiary education and gain credit points when moving from one course to another, the same can be said for transferring your karate journey from one Kai (school) to another. Speak to us about your situation. Every person is assessed on their own merits and training history.

What is the Australasian Federation of Traditional Karate & Kobudo (AFTK)?

The purpose of the Australasian Federation of Traditional Karate and Kobudo (AFTK) is to promote traditional karate and kobudo throughout Australasia. The AFTK focuses on ethics, technical seminars, workshops and all that is necessary to promote the spread of karate and kobudo in Australasia and to promote friendly beneficial relations between AFTK members. Goshukan Karate Academy is proud to be a member of the AFTK.

What is the Japan Karate Federation?

The Japan Karate-do Federation was established in 1964 to organize and oversee all styles of traditional Japanese Karate. This organisation is part of Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (文部科学省 Monbu-kagaku-shō). It is led by a member of Cabinet who is selected by Japan’s Prime Minister.The vast majority of traditional Goju Ryu organisations are members of the JKF Goju Kai. This organisation seeks to preserve and perpetuate the style of karate that was developed in Okinawa, Japan by Mr. Chojun Miyagi. Goshukan Karate Academy is a member Seiwakai Goju Ryu and therefore a member of the Japan Karate Federation.

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