Keith Geyer practised the art of Karate for almost five decades under the guidance of Stan Schmidt Sensei, whom he regards as the most prominent western Shotokan Karate practitioner in the world. He was a man who lead by example and influenced thousands of karateka in a positive way.

Keith has visited and trained in Japan many times in order to improve his skill and knowledge. Much of this time was under the expert guidance of the late Masatoshi Nakayama Shihan.

He spent four months with the Japanese team when they were preparing for a world championship during the “Golden Era’ of JKA. He regards this as one of the most significant times of his karate development. Training in classes that were taught by Senseis Nakayama, Kanazawa, Asai and Abe, and sparring on a daily basis with Senseis Tanaka, Mori and Yahara, in sessions that can only be described as ferocious. His main goal was survival!

Early morning training during this time in Japan was spent at Hoitsugan, Nakayama Sensei’s private dojo. An incredible honour and privilege for Keith, to have been taught by Nakayama Sensei, a direct student of Funakoshi Sensei, and the one selected personally to pass on the art of karate to modern day practitioners.

In September 2000, Keith, together with his brother Derrick, were both graded 7th Dan in Tokyo by a grading panel headed by JKA chief instructor Motokuni Sugiura Shihan. This was a landmark event in the history of the Japanese Karate Association because it was the first time that brothers were simultaneously awarded the senior rank of 7th Dan!

Derrick and Stan Schmidt Sensei, always demonstrated very unique fighting spirits and showed the benefits of strong, regular training. Following their example Keith sets high standards for his students, training them to develop endurance, speed and strength, which are skills and characteristics that can only be acquired through hard, intelligent, balanced and adaptable training.

Keith continually strives to improve his own personal standards and motivates his students to aspire higher, urging them to follow his own appreciation, enthusiasm and dedication to the art of JKA Shotokan karate.
Keith’s lifetime of dedication to the art of karate, and his personal achievements as a karateka, were recognised in February 2015, when he was honoured by being appointed a member of the Japan Karate Association’s
Shihankai panel.

In March of 2023, Keith Geyer was presented with his Hachi-Dan (8th Dan) certificate,
sanctioned by
Ueki Shuseki Shihan and the JKA Shihankai. An honour for his unwavering dedication and relentless
pursuit of excellence in the art of karate, his positive influence and continuous development of JKA
karate around the world.


Lutie van den Berg has been practicing Karate for over 45 years . Lutie’s Shotokan Karate journey took off when his family relocated to Johannesburg where he started training under Johan Roets Sensei.

He joined the Early Birds Instructors Class at the age of 18, where he trained under the expert guidance of Senseis Stan Schmidt, Keith Geyer and Derrick Geyer. Stan Sensei played a major role in shaping Lutie not only as a karateka, but also as a person.

Keith Sensei has always inspired Lutie through honest, hard, intelligent and diligent training . It was Stan and Keith Senseis’ regular visits to Japan that resulted in innovative training and tuition in the South African Early Birds Instructors Class.

Training and sparring on a daily basis with the likes of Keith and Derrick Senseis and peers, Pavlo Protopappa and Johan la Grange was a gruelling experience to say the least. Lutie believes these encounters as well as his visits to Japan, training with Komazawa and Aoyama University students and at Naka Sensei's dojos has greatly contributed to his development as a karateka.

Regular visits by Masahiko Tanaka Sensei also played a great role in Lutie’s understanding and appreciation of the art of Shotokan Karate. He feels honoured to have been mentored by the late Stan Schmidt Sensei, a highly regarded Western Practitioner of Shotokan Karate.

Lutie’s firmly believes that one can achieve whatever one sets one's mind on and his drive to bring out the best in each of his students, has helped to mould his students into excellent karateka who have excelled at both national and international level.

Lutie’s lifelong dedication to the art of Shotokan Karate has culminated in Lutie being graded to the senior rank of 7th dan in July 2011. Lutie continues to strive to develop himself and his students through diligent daily training in the art of karate.


Jeff commenced his karate career with the Japan Karate Association (JKA) in July 1978 at the Orange Grove Dojo under the late Stan Schmidt Sensei. He recalls it as a very intimidating experience, walking into the top dojo in South Africa and seeing all the strong fighters training. Yet despite his initial trepidation, Jeff was hooked and a lifelong love of karate was born.

Jeff has achieved international recognition as a karateka representing South Africa in 1993 and 1997 at the Maccabiah in Israel, and after immigrating in 1998, representing Australia in 2001 and 2005 at the Maccabiah games.
He has also held senior positions as an official, and was the manager of the South African JKA Senior team that participated in the 1994 Shoto Cup held in Philadelphia.

Jeff established the Jeffsan Karate Centre in Sydney in 2000, and became a founder member of the Shotokan Karate Coalition when it was formed in 2004 under Keith Geyer Sensei.
The Jeffsan Karate Centre has grown to more than 100 students of all ages, all of whom are now affiliated to Japan Karate Association (JKA) under the JKA-SKC banner.

A significant achievement of the Jeffsan Karate Centre was the selection of two students to represent Australia at the World Karate Federation (WKF) international competition.

Jeff’s personal philosophy is to be the best he can be, by seeking continuous improvement and always striving to surpass the highest standards of performance.
His focus is always “we and us” rather than “I and me”.

Jeff was graded to 7th dan by the Japan Karate Association in 2016.


Karin began her karate career in South Africa under top instructors Senseis Stan Schmidt, Keith Geyer and Dries la Grange during the 80’s and 90’s.

Karin (6th dan) has been training karate for 38 years and has taught and coached karate for over 20 years. She has developed and mentored many top karateka over the years.

Karin had great success in competing at international level in both the Shoto Cup and WKF Tournaments. Her competition career spans from 1992 to 2006 and some notable achievements were a gold medal at the 6th World Games (WKF) in the under 60 kg Kumite category, and a Bronze medal in individual kata at the 6th World Shoto Cup, in Paris.

Karin is an experienced karate instructor formerly based in Durban, South Africa, where she ran her own successful dojo for 20 years. Karin's extensive career as an international competitor, is a great asset to teaching and mentoring students to achieve in their respective areas of karate.
She is now hailing from Perth, Australia, where she enjoys teaching and training together with Grazjyna Prinsloo at Stirling Karate.


In 1975 at 21 years old, Rob entered the late Stan Schmidt Sensei's Orange Grove dojo in Johannesburg, South Africa filled with enthusiasm and apprehension. The budo spirit was palpable and the karateka, especially the black belts, were strong and proud.

It was there Rob recalls coming into contact with instructors whose influence shaped his path, especially the Germiston based Geyer brothers, Derrick and Keith.

The passion and fearlessness of these seniors paved a pathway that has become a lifelong road of learning, commitment, elation and sometimes frustration describes Rob, as the art imitates life.

It was in this environment Rob's kumite skills where honed and survival demanded. It is also where he found his favourite techniques; kizami zuki, ushiro geri and ashibarai (Stan Sensei's favourites at the time).

Rob has learned over time that true kumite is in the performance of our treasured kata and kihon, essential for practising delivery of the basic techniques accurately and powerfully.

Over the years Rob has been fortunate to train under many of JKA’s most well-known names of the “Golden Era” including the late Senseis Nakayama, Miazaki, Kase and Enoeda whose Marshall street dojo in Soho was his karate home for 12 months.

Rob is continuosly experimenting with how body torque can multiply the effectiveness and power of a technique when correctly applied with a combination of relaxation and tension.

He aims to strive for improvement for as long as he can step onto the dojo floor. Rob was graded to 6th dan by the Japan Karate Association in 2013.

JKA-SKC Honbu Dojo "Early Birds" Class

JKA SKC Honbu Dojo "Early Birds" Class