Damien Martin is the Kaicho (Head Instructor) of the Southern Cross Martial Arts Association. Damien has been training in the martial arts for over 30 years having initially commenced training in Judo in 1982 and then Zen Do Kai in 1984. Over the past 35+ years he has extended his interest in and explored the history and practices of a variety of martial arts; modern and traditional. Continuing his interest in all aspects of the martial arts he has researched and implemented many traditional aspects into his training, holding a 7th dan in Goki-Kai Karate, a 6th dan in Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate, a 5th Khan in Muay Thai and is a 4th kyu Kudo Sempai. He also trains in Ryukyu Kobudo under the auspices of the Kinjo families Ryukyu Kobudo Hozonkai.
Damien is highly qualified in the martial arts and associated fields and holds instructor qualifications in Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate, Muay Thai Kickboxing and Docé Pares Eskrima. He is a member of a number of internationally recognised martial arts organisations including the International Ryukyu Karate Research Society of Hanshi Patrick McCarthy (9th dan) and the Okinawa Goju Ryu Kenkyukai of Masaji Taira (9th dan, Hanshi), as well as having been inducted into the Australasian Martial Arts Hall of Fame for services to the Martial Arts in 2005. Damien founded Goki-Kai Karate-Do in 2008 when he started the Southern Cross Martial Arts Centre.
Damien worked in the security industry for 18 years where he was constantly exposed to some of the seedier and more violent characters in our society; an environment where techniques, tactics and training methods had to work! He has been lucky enough to travel the world with his work and has trained extensively in the US and the UK; he has also trained extensively in Okinawa, the birthplace of karate.
Currently Damien is the Gold Coast Shibucho (branch Chief) of the Okinawa Goju Ryu Kenkyukai, and the Chief Instructor of the Gold Coast Kudo Doko Kai and runs classes at the Goki-Kai Karate-Do So Honbu Dojo (Headquarters School).
Through his experience running an internationally recognised Registered Training Organisation (RTO) Damien is considered to be a pioneer and expert in scenario based self-defence training and has been developing and delivering this training within the national training system for almost two decades.
Outside of the martial arts Damien is a qualified firearms instructor trainer having trained extensively in the USA (H&K International Training Division, PPCT, Warrior Science Group, Smith & Wesson Academy) and currently works as a subject matter expert and consultant on training, interpersonal conflict and violence. He holds a Graduate Certificate in Autism Studies; has extensive undergraduate studies in psychology and criminology; a Certificate IV in Training & Assessment; Diploma of Training & Assessment Systems; Diploma of Sport & Recreation; Diploma of Sport (Coaching); Advanced Diploma of Security (Risk Management); Diploma of Security (Access Management); Certificate IV in Fitness; NCAS Level 1 Club Weightlifting/Sport Power Coach accreditation; NCAS Level 1 Strength & Conditioning Coach; and is a Qld Commissioner for Declarations.
Hannah commenced her martial arts training over 25 years ago in Zen Do Kai and Muay Thai. Hannah was awarded the title of Shihan (teacher of teachers) in 2012. Hannah currently holds the rank of 6th degree black belt in Goki-Kai Karate and 5th degree in Goju Ryu Karate, as well as being a 4th Khan Muay Thai trainer and a 4th kyu Sempai (instructor) in Kudo. She is also a qualified Strength & Conditioning Coach (ASCA).
With over 20 years’ experience as an instructor Hannah coordinates all of the Kidz Karate programs, the adult Muay Thai class (where she’s known as Kru Hannah) and is a senior instructor in the Goki-Kai Karate classes. Hannah is also the lead instructor of the SAFE Defence courses and an instructor trainer in the Nationally Recognised Aggressive Behaviour Management courses.
Hannah continues to train regularly in Muay Thai with Ajarn Geordie of Black Dragon Kai, as well as Karate with Damien and with their instructor, Masaji Taira Sensei (9th dan, Hanshi). Hannah is also a Shibucho (branch Chief) of the Okinawa Goju Ryu Kenkyukai, has trained extensively in Okinawa, and regularly attends seminars to increase her knowledge and skills.
Hannah has over 18 years’ experience in dealing with violence whilst working in the security industry. Her ‘other’ qualifications include being an accredited Strength & Conditioning Coach, and holding a Diploma of Management; a Certificate IV in Sport Coaching), a Certificate IV in Operational Safety Training, a Certificate IV in Aggressive Behaviour Management Instructor, a Certificate IV in Security & Risk Management, a Certificate IV in Assessment & Workplace Training, a Certificate IV in Frontline Management, and a Certificate III in Fitness.
John started training in New Zealand in 1994 in Zen Do Kai and he is the Southern Cross Martial Arts Association Brach Chief at the Robina and Merrimac dojo’s where he teaches Junior Dragons, Red Dragons and Goki-Kai Karate. He is also an instructor for the SAFE Defence programs and is a certified security industry restraint & control instructor.
John is a 5th dan Black belt in Karate, was awarded the title of Shihan (teacher of teachers), is a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and a brown belt in Judo and has competed on a national level as a full contact karate athlete.
John continues to work in the security industry where he has recently ‘racked up’ ten years of experience. He is also an accredited weightlifting coach, has a Certificate IV in Assessment & Workplace Training, a Certificate II in Sport & Recreation, a Certificate IV in Sport (Coaching), a Certificate IV in Fitness and a Diploma of Sports Coaching (majoring in martial arts instructing).
James has been training in martial arts for over 15 years, having started when he was 10 years old. James is a 2nd degree black belt in Goki-Kai Karate and is one of our leading Kidz Karate instructors. He is also a qualified Muay Thai instructor holding the rank of 1st Khan Kru.
James is an active full contact karate and Kudo competitor having won Australasian and Queensland full contact karate titles in his teens and his division in the first ever Kudo tournament in Australia in 2013.
James completed two traineeships as a martial arts instructor whilst still at school and went on to manage the bicycle education centre at the Ashmore PCYC before joining the SCMA team full-time for several years. He is now the Branch Chief at the Ashmore PCYC Dojo and working as the out of school care for the PCYC.
James is first aid qualified, a SAFE Defence instructor, an iKi Magic instructor, a PPCT Defensive Tactics instructor, has a Certificate II in Sport (Coaching), a Certificate III in Community Recreation (Instructor), a Certificate IV in Education Support, and a NCAS Level 1 Club Power Coach accreditation with the Queensland Weightlifting Association, a Level 1 Strength & Conditioning Coaching accreditation with the Australian Strength & Conditioning Association and is currently studying his Certificate IV in Training & Assessment.
Sensei Michael Tomlinson – 4th Degree Black Belt
Michael has been training in martial arts for over 20 years. He trained and graded to 2nd dan in Zen Do Kai where he was instructor for 2 years before his dojo amalgamated with the Southern Cross team. Michaels 2nd dan grading was done under the watchful eye of Hanshi Billy Manné.
Over the years Michael has attended seminars presented by Bob Jones & Billy Manné in the Zen Do Kai system. Michael finished training in Zen Do Kai in 2008 and began the journey of training in Okinawan Goju Ryu where he has trained and graded in the Kenkyukai system with Taira Sensei.
Michael has trained under Taira on an annual basis either in Australia or in Okinawa for the past 8 years. Michael was graded to 4th dan by Taira Sensei in 2017.
Michael has also dabbled in Kobudo. In particular the Ryukyu Kobudo under Satoshi Kinjo sensei of the Ryukyu Kobudo Hozonkai; once again training with Kinjo sensei in Australia and Okinawa.
Michael has also attended conferences for martial arts schools and was privileged to watch his long time Instructor, mentor and friend Kaichō Damien be inducted into the martial arts hall of fame. Michael’s dedication to the martial arts has seen his 4 children start and enjoy the martial arts.