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Get to know Sensei Fritz

Updated: Jan 8

Sensei Fritz Venzke is a third degree black belt in Goju-ryu karate and has been training in karate for twenty years. He is a former national champion in South Africa and Australia and is a former world champion (2010 IOGKF World Friendship Tournament). He also has a background in Olympic wrestling and thus teaches karate as a combination of striking, grappling and throwing.


His teaching style is energetic, open and informative. He emphasizes physical fitness and the realistic application of karate for self-protection. Sensei Fritz is passionate about the values inherent in karate and loves teaching children of all ages and seeing the patience, focus and manners learned change their lives! Karate is not just for children though. In the teen and adult class his focus turns to how karate can improve decision-making abilities, maturity and quality of life. He regularly travels all over Australia to train with top instructors.


When were you born and where did you grow up? Where did your karate journey begin and where has it taken you?


I was born and raised in WIndhoek, Namibia (a large country in the south-west of Africa). I began training in karate when I was about six years old and started at a Goju-ryu school when I was eight (1998). I stayed in the same school and trained under the same instructor until I left for university in South Africa in 2008, where I continued my training. During these years I was fortunate to train regularly with some of the best and well-respected instructors in the world.


In 2018, my wife and I moved to the Sunshine Coast and I started Suncoast Traditional Karate at the beginning of 2019.

Karate has been a constant guiding force in my life and I think it is fair to say that I would not be who I am today if it weren't for the hard training, but also the values and traditions taught to me by my senseis. Karate has taken me to some great places, instructors, training camps and tournaments, but more importantly, karate has gone with me everywhere I went, informing my decision making, my manners and my values.


Why Goju-ryu karate-do?


Karate was developed over centuries to be an effective civilian self-protection system, not a sport or a vehicle for cinema. Goju, the way we practice it in our organization, remains true to the roots of karate by focusing on these time-tested principles of protection. For avoiding, and if left no choice handling a threatening and violent confrontation, Goju distinguishes itself by leaning into basic, close-range, unassuming but devastating skills.


Goju is translated as "hard-soft" - it is a system that blends direct, linear techniques with flowing, circular ones. But "hard-soft" also summarizes the mindset we aim to cultivate every day: to be "hard" (courageous, steadfast and bold) when necessary and "soft" (kind, forgiving and generous) when appropriate.


These two paths, one of effective self-protection and the other of deep character development, are why I love Goju-ryu karate-do.


Favourite movie, band and meal?


It changes all the time, but at the moment:

Harakiri (1962);

The War on Drugs;

Anything my dad BBQ's over the fire.


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