Hanshi Dr. Barry Packham
Director for Australasia
Dr. Barry Packham has a Ph.D. degree in information systems and most recently was President, The Americas of a large company listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and Executive Chairman of a Billion dollar turn-over privately owned global business. He has studied karate now for 48 years, having commenced in 1965. He began by studying Shotokan karate with visiting American karate-ka Donn Draeger, and later Australian based USKA Shotokan stylist Wayne Williamson and Ballarat Karate Club Founder Barry Govan, reaching 3rd Dan. In 1970 he commenced the study of Okinawan styles of Shito Ryu and Shorin Ryu Matsumura Seito (Orthodox) with American ex-serviceman Theodore Lange, progressing to the respective ranks of 2nd Dan and 3rdDan.
In 1973 he visited Okinawa with colleague Brian Pilbeam. Both became students of Grand Master Soken Hohan and his designated successor Senior Master Kise Fusei. Packham was graded to 4th Dan and Pilbeam to 1st Dan by them. Packham returned to visit Okinawa and Indochina on a number of occasions during the 1970s, furthering his studies with masters Soken and Kise, being privileged on occasion to train at O-Sensei Soken’s home dojo and dine in their homes on these visits. Following the passing of Grand Master Soken, Packham continued his allegiance to successor Grand Master Kise, visiting Okinawa regularly through to the present, and on occasion bringing with him some of his senior students (Rod Hilton, John Crebbin and Graeme Howard) and commissioning Wayne Reddrop to represent him there on a number of occasions, on one of which Wayne had Jack Lyons, Lachie Howard and Vaughan King accompany him.
Packham reached the rank of 9th Dan (Kudan) Karate and 8th Dan (Hachidan) Kobudo in 2009 during the most recent visit of Hanshi Kise to Australia.
Through these connections, Shorin Ryu Matsumura Seito (Orthodox) has prospered in Australia, with of this writing
36 people reaching Black Belt levels, most of whom are still active today. The style in Australia operates as it always has as a non-profit club and is headquartered in the provincial city of Ballarat, with a branch dojo at the near-by town of Daylesford in the State of Victoria.
The Club has its own well equipped, dedicated full time Dojo, at which Kyoshi Wayne Reddrop, 7th Dan (Nanadan) Karate, 7th Dan Kobudo, is Chief Instructor; Graeme Howard, 5th Dan is Director of the very successful and long running children’s program; and Barry Govan 4th Dan (the Founder of the Ballarat Karate Club) and founding member Gary Robinson 4th Dan lead the over-50s Shin Shi No Kai, the self-defence and the unarmed combat programs. The Shin Shi No Kai program commenced in 2002, and is very popular with its oldest active member at 75 years of age.
The headquarters Dojo in Australia has been visited five times by Grand Master Kise and in 2009 Kaicho visited for the first time – the Club always looks forward to their next visit. Overseas visitors are always warmly welcomed, so keep us in mind if you ever make it down under.
In 1988 Packham authored a limited edition 200 page hard cover history of Shorin Ryu Matsumura Seito (Orthodox) in Australia.
You can email Hanshi Packham at: