Curriculum Vitae - Hanshi Denis St John Thomson


Gerard Denis St John Thomson was born on 11th of July in Pietermaritzburg.

His schooling took place in Cape Town, Windhoek and finally Grey College in Bloemfontein where he matriculated. At school Denis participated in rugby, cricket and hockey. He excelled as a drummer in the school band and the Caledonian Pipe Band. In 1961 he gained a silver medal at the Highland Pipe Band Gathering in Johannesburg.

In 1962 he completed his military training at the 10th Field Regiment in Potchefstroom and was adjudged the best No. 3 Gunner on Special manouevres at Tempe Army Base.

1963 - Joined Karate-Do

1965 - Underwent Special Instructor training under 5th degree black belt Hiroshi Shirai and 7th degree black belt Taiji Kase (both Japan Karate Association)

1965 - Awarded 1st Degree black belt in Shotokan Karate

1965 - Started Karate-Do in all branches of the Defence Force in the Western Province: Army, Navy And Airforce

1966 - Qualified as a therapeutic masseur

1967 - Awarded 2nd degree black belt in Goju Ryu Karate

1969 - Attended Special Instructor training in Tokyo, Japan under Shihan Morio Higaonna (7th Dan Goju Ryu Karate)

1969 - Underwent special training in Okinawan Weapons: Nunchaku, Bo and Sai

1969 - Opened branch of Karate-Do in Claremont

1970 - Promoted to chief instructor of Karate-Do

1972 - Particpated in demonstration of weapons to Portuguese military police (Lisbon)

1972 - Underwent Intensive Instructor Training course under Shihan Morio Higaonna (7th Dan Goju Ryu Karate) and was awarded 4th degree black belt

1973 - Chosen as coach, referee and selector for Western Province All Styles

1974 - Trained All Styles Air Force Team

1974 - Attended Advanced Instuctor course in Tokyo, Japan and Naha, Okinawa, including weapons training.

1974 - Attended World Goju Ryu Congress in Okinawa

1976 - Awarded 5th degree black belt in Karate-Do

1976 - Trained British instructors in Liverpool and held special training for All Styles

1976 - Trained Israeli instructors in Petach Tiqva

1977 - Trained officers and PT Instructors - six week course in close combat at Youngsfield, including nunchaku and knife training.

1977 - Special training course for trainees at Youngsfield and Ysterplaat, Cape Town, one of the few civilian instructors to do so

1977 - Trained Karate-Do Rhodesian (now Zimbabwe) Instructors and was chief referee at Rhodesian Championships

1977 - Attended and trained at Special SWAT exercises at Stilbaai

1978 - Attended and trained at Special SWAT exercises at Stilbaai

1979 - Arranged the first ever Traditional Okinawan Weapons Festival (SA)

1979 - Participated in Special VIP Body Guard course

1979 - Trained Special VIP Body Guard and Police group for the Boputhatswana government

1979 - Trained various security companies in close combat

1980 - Graded 6th Dan and attained Shihan ranking

1980 - Trained Special VIP Body Guard and Police group for the Kwa Zulu government

1981 - Awarded Springbok colours. Particiapted in International Gashuku in Israel, Switzerland and Britain

1981 - Conducted all styles training course in Liverpool

1982 - Promoted to Head of Karate-Do South Africa

1983 - Conducted International Gashuku in Israel

1983 - Participated and taught at the International Gashuku in Switzerland

1983 - Conducted special course for Karate-Do British instructors and students. Also conducted courses for all styles in Liverpool

1984 - Qualified as Shiatsu practioner

1985 - Invited to Israel to conduct International Gashuku

1985 - Researched Tai Chi and Chinese weaponry in Taiwan and Hong Kong

1985 - Awarded the title of Renshi for reseach into traditional Okinawan weapons.

1986 - Promoted to Chief Instructor of Karate-Do International

1986 - Invited to Israel to conduct Karate-Do Israeli Gashuku
Conducted first ever All Styles weapons seminar in Israel
Conducted courses in Shiatsu for students and instructors of Karate-Do Israel

1986 - Conducted All Styles weapons seminar in Zurich, Switzerland

Conducted special training for students and instructors of Karate-Do in Switzerland

1988 - Conducted special training in Israel and Switzerland

1989 - Conducted International Gashuku in Switzerland and special courses in Israel

1990 - Established Kushido Karate-Do in Camberley, United Kingdom

1991 - Conducted training in Melbourne, Australia

Participated in Tai Chi course in Hawaii under Chris Luth

1999 - Assisted at International Gashuku at Cave Hill Creek, Australia (10th anniversary of Kushido Australia)

2001 - Assisted at International Gashuku in Stanssted, Switzerland (15th anniversary of Kushido Switzerland)

2003 - Hosted 40th Anniversary International Gashuku in Stellenbosch, South Africa, where 8 countries were represented

2004 Inducted into the Martial Arts Hall of Fame

2005 Organized the first International Weapons Gashuku in Cape Town

2006 Attended the 20th Anniversary International Gashuku of Switzerland, taking Senior Kata training

2008 Hosted the Kushido Karate Do 45th anniversary Gashuku