Marc C (member)
I’m a black belt who has practiced in many dojos, in 5 different arts, on several different continents over the past 30 years and I can honestly say that I’ve never met a more competent and well-rounded martial artist, or a better instructor than Chris. If you’re lucky enough to be in Adelaide then I can’t recommend Sobukan strongly enough. The atmosphere is friendly and the art is of the highest calibre. I’ve never seen another club like it.
Nate B (parent)
Sensei Chris manages to maintain an excellent balance of fun & discipline in his children’s classes. Thanks largely to his new friend & mentor, I’ve seen amazing improvements in our child, at home, at school & in the dojo. His attention span & discipline is increased (his school teacher is quite happy!), his social skills are also improving, but best of all is the huge smile that splits his face when he gets on the mats.
As an experienced martial artist, I can also testify to effectiveness & refinement of Sensei Chris’ technique. I do not hesitate in recommending Sobukan to anyone seeking high quality instruction in Japanese martial arts.
Dr Jacynta B (member)
The last classes at Sobukan martial arts 総武館 before my instructor leaves for Brazil for 3 years have come and gone. It’s a tough thing for me to say goodbye to, but they were good classes to end on.
I’m glad we got to finish with 11 rounds of Kudo sparring. I can think of no better send off than some swift punches, firm kicks, effective takedowns and brutal clinch strikes. I took some great shots, delivered a few of my own and left feeling like, all things considered, it was the best way to end an era.
This club has been an important part of my life for the past couple of years. It’s been a passion I’ve dedicated myself to and stuck with despite adversity. I’ve learnt and achieved so much in the time I’ve trained here.
I’ve said before it’s not hard to thrive in a club like this and it’s so true. Chris Sensei has been an excellent, patient, passionate teacher. He’s given me endless amounts of useful advice to shape my fighting, encouraged me to compete, pushed me to train to the best of my abilities, mentored me through 2 kudo competition fights, and offered support when I needed it for growth. I’m so grateful for his teaching, advice and friendship.
One of the great things to come out of this dojo is the development of a strong community. I’ve been lucky to train with a group of such dedicated, welcoming students and have made some great friendships. Whether it’s climbing Mt Lofty, outside the dojo training sessions, a simple meal at the pub, being the brunt of wrist lock demonstrations (much to Jo’s delight), drilling techniques, or trying to beat each other up (in controlled conditions of course!), we’ve had some great times both in and outside of the dojo.
My life has definitely become healthier, happier and safer thanks to training at Sobukan. I plan to continue my martial arts journey during this closure (including future Sobukan study groups/training sessions) and look forward to recommencing classes at Sobukan on Chris Sensei’s return, hopefully a stronger and more developed martial artist than when he left.
Thank you Chris Sensei for making a place I feel at home at. All the best to you and your family for the years ahead.
Matt M (member)
Last night was my last class at Sobukan for at least a few years. I am definitely one of the newer members to this little martial arts community but that should speak volumes for why I am going to miss these classes so much. To be a part of something for such a short period of time and feel as attached and blessed as I do says so much about what we all shared thanks to Chris Gillies and the Sobukan family. Thank you to everyone who has made my time so far, as enjoyable and fun as it has been, I can’t wait for 2.0!
Kate P (parent)
5 stars. Excellent instructor. Has a fantastic way with students of all ages. Very well structured and supportive lessons/ sessions. Thoroughly recommend!
Gary S (peer)
5 stars. Great, effective and technical training from a qualified and very technical instructor.
For both beginner and more advanced, if you are serious about learning a realistic and effective fighting system that still maintains traditional values, this is the place to be!
Jon V D (member)
5 stars. Great training facility hosted by a competent and professional instructor.
Jason G (peer)
In the martial arts, just as in life, you only meet but a few people who leave an impression on us. Sensei Chris Gillies of the Sobukan 総武館 dojo is one such person. I have only met a handful of instructors as adept in the martial arts as Chris, and without hesitation would recommend him to anyone seeking to learn from a high-quality instructor, for themselves or their child.
Due to his outstanding physical skills, overwhelming knowledge base and humble lack of ego, Chris has earned Black Belts Dan ranks across multiple styles including Pangamot, Ju-Jutsu, Karate and others. He has trained for many years in Japan and is an excellent example of applying Do (the Way) from martial arts to life. It is all of these attributes which makes Chris the ideal person to guide you on your martial arts journey.
Dinah K (peer)
During my travels through Australia I had the honour and pleasure to train for some months under the guidance of Sensei Chris Gillies at the Sobukan. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank Sensei Chris for each class, for all his help and efforts to develop myself.
Sensei Chris is a remarkable martial artist with deep knowledge and skills. His patience and serenity as a teacher helped me a lot to learn the lessons on hand. I can recommend Sensei Chris’ classes to children and adults, to beginners and experienced martial artists. There is a challenge for everyone and a helping hand to overcome it. Here is your opportunity to train under one of the best martial arts teachers I have ever met. Feel good, have fun and be safe at Sobukan.
Andrew J (member and parent)
Although I find his taste in music to be lacking, his memory poor and his sense of humour mediocre at best, I cannot fault Chris Gillies as a martial instructor and mentor. I have only been training with him for a few months but have absolutely loved every minute of it.
I haven’t been as fit as I am now since I was in high school. Chris has been able to get the best out of me and his other students. I look at all his higher belts and see a lot of people who will make great instructors in the future.
Unfortunately, last night was the last lesson for about 3 years (due to Sensei gaining a well-deserved work opportunity). After many sparring classes Chris asks us to identify something positive and something that we need to work on. The only positive I have been able to identify in all this is that I won’t have to listen to that blood Genghis Khan song anymore.
Thanks very much for everything Sensei.