Kuro Obi Martial Arts Dojo
Kuro Obi dojo is a full time kyokushin karate dojo that opened its doors in March 2011. It is the successor to Sensei Shah's part-time Newtown Kyokushin Karate club that had been in operation for over 15 years. In late 2009, he decided that it was time to take his karate teaching to a new level, retired from his day job as IT admin at the University of New South Wales, and started looking around for a full time dojo location. Eventually, one was found in Petersham, not far from Newtown, and Kuro Obi Martial Arts came to be.
Kuro Obi means "Black Belt". Nothing more, nothing less. As a dojo name, it professes no high-flying ideals or lofty philosophies. The owner of a Kyokushin black belt knows what it means.
In Kyokushin karate, attaining a black belt can be one of the significant high points in the list of personal achievements. Along the way to achieving it, with the hard training and determination required, you should acquire and develop all those ideals that one ascribes to the martial arts. The skills, philosophies, and determination that you acquire can then be applied to other aspects of your life too.
A Kyokushin black belt stands on its own and is generally respected worldwide.
Sensei Shaharin Yussof
Sensei Shah got his first taste of Kyokushin at the age of 14 while he was living in Iran, where his father was posted as a diplomat. The family later moved to Singapore, where he again started training Kyokushin under Shihan Peter Chong. In 1991, at the age of 31, he started yet again, for the third time, and finally got his black belt almost 25 years after he first started, and he has been training in Kyokushin karate continuously ever since. He started teaching Kyokushin karate in 1995, when he started teaching at Newtown North Public School while still a brown belt. He is now the chief instructor for Kuro Obi Martial Arts, and personally teaches most of the classes.
He currently has a 4th dan black belt. He has been training continuously since 1991 under 6th Dan Shihan Doug Turnbull, who runs the Tempe/Marrickville Dojo.
Included among Sensei Shah's achievements and qualifications are:
- 4th place 1993 NSW AKKA Full Contact Championships
- 2001 Attending the First Ever IFK Black Belt Camp in Switzerland
- 2004 Attending the 2nd IFK Black Belt Camp in Switzerland
- 2006 Coach and judge at the 1st IFK World Junior Championships in Switzerland
- 2011 Judge and Referee at the 3rd IFK World Junior Championships in the UK
- Accredited IFK Clicker Referee and Full Contact Judge
- IFKKA Contact, Clicker, and kata referee and judge
- IFKKA Secretary for more than 10 years
- IFKKA Tournament Coordinator for more than 10 years
- Australian Country Representative for the IFK
- Level A International Referee for the World Martial Arts Championships.
- International Tournament Director for World Martial Arts Championships.
Senpai Ben has been training with Sensei Shah since he was 12 years old. He was Sensei's first black belt graduate and helps with teaching in class when it gets too big or the grade distribution is too wide. He received his second Dan in March 2013.
He has competed extensively in tournaments, including a number of full contact events, is a qualified non-contact referee and judge in the IFKKA, and a level B International referee and judge with the Australian Martial Arts Championships.
You might want to have a look at a short pictorial biography of him from when he started training to when he got his black belt.