50 years in pursuit-Sensei Bakkies celebrates! 

Sensei Bakkies Laubscher celebrates half a century of continuous Karate training this year and a special commemoration Gasshuku is being held in South Africa in 2014! Check out the rare photos of Sensei Bakkies in the IOGKF International Magazine and also the links for the event below

September 2013 marked the 50 years milestone of non-stop Karate Do practice for the  Chief  Instructor of South Africa, Sensei Bakkies Laubscher.

To commemorate this milestone, an International three day Gasshuku with his teacher and mentor for 47 of those years, Sensei Morio Higaonna, will be held in his hometown of Stellenbosch on 1, 2 and 3 May 2014 – kicking off with a Welcome Party on 30th April 2014.  The Gasshuku will include separate training sessions for members of all grades including juniors of all ages, similar to the 2010 'Ubuntu' event.  This will be an opportunity for all IOGKF members to experience the best tuition in Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate by the current top teachers worldwide.   Make sure you do not miss this opportunity!

His career briefly: Sensei Bakkies started off in the Kyokushin style, end of 1963, then changed to Shotokan (JKA) mid 1964 and became a Black Belt in July1965, at the time, possibly the youngest senior (adult) Black Belt worldwide in JKA.   To put this in perspective, in the same year he won the Cape Province Grand Champion title (best in Kata and Fighting) in the open senior division - there were no weight categories!

At the end of 1966 he changed to Goju Ryu when it was introduced in South Africa and has followed his teacher and mentor, Higaonna Morio Sensei ever since.  He is currently Higaonna Sensei's most senior student worldwide and has taught Goju Ryu in 25 countries to date!

He considers himself blessed in the sense that he always had exceptional teachers throughout his career in all three disciplines, for example, Sensei’s Kase and Shirai in JKA,  with of course the ultimate being Sensei Higaonna Morio - his personal mentor and teacher for the past 47 years.  His philosophy remains that it is not the style of Karate, but the Teacher that will ensure progress.

 He considers friendships amongst sincere Karate Ka as another blessing.  No matter what style or school, good Karate Ka always respect each other.

Sensei Bakkies Laubscher Suparimpei Bunkai Demo


Sensei Bakkies Laubscher Sesan Bunkai Demo



Sensei Bakkies represented the South African All Styles Karate team in two World Championships.  In 1972 in Paris, France, he advanced to the quarter finals in the individual fighting division - there was no kata division at this tournament and no weight or age categories - just one big open Kumite division. In the 1975 World Championships in Long Beach, USA, he only took part in the team event, the South African team losing narrowly to England, the eventual World Champions, with the English team featuring well known Karate Ka such as Terry O'Neill, Tickey Donovan and Brian Fitkin. 


After his sporting career he decided that Karate was a Martial Art and that the way sport karate was headed, together with commercial exploitation, would lead to the  disapearance of lethal fighting skills, traditional 'mind forging' training intensity, intrinsic values and personal development.  Traditional Karate was the only true pursuit to preserve the essence of the Art!


For the sake of short term objectives for juniors and young people, he devised the current tournament system used by IOGKFSA to preserve interest and motivation in younger members until such time as a student reaches 'Karate maturity' and realizes the real nature of the Art lies in one's own ability and growth as a person and not in achievements.  'Not what you have achieved, but what you have become!'


 During his journey, he has met and befriended some of the famous names in the Martial Arts, one who made a lasting impression being the leading western authority on Budo, the late Don Dreager.

Full details of this event, which will be a reunion of  Karate Ka, past and present, training together in pursuit of the 'always evading' excellence, open to invited persons from other styles, is available on Facebook page Bakkies 50” (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bakkies-50/40179724954?ref=hl) and  website page www.50th.bakkieslaubscher.com. 


You can also register by doing the following:

1.      Go to Homepage on website - http://www.bakkieslaubscher.com

2.      Click on the 'Bakkies 50' logo, Homepage, top left hand corner, which will take you to the page 'bakkies 50th' http://bakkieslaubscher.com/events/50th

3.      Click on 'registration' http://bakkieslaubscher.com/events/50th/register

OR-    Click directly on  http://bakkieslaubscher.com/events/50th/register

Please note that “Early Bird” Registration is now up and running!  Take advantage of this opportunity to register and pay for the Gasshuku and “Early Bird” prices ASAP!