Sensei Gerard Felipe 3rd Dan
President of JKA Australia 2020-2021
Head Instructor of JKA Geelong & Fmr. Assistant Instructor of JKA Greater Melbourne
Gerard is originally born in the Philippines and is a proud traditional custodian of the Northern Mountains of the Cordilleran Region, commonly known as an "Igorot". He has been living in Australia for over 10 years and began his self-defence journey at the tender age of 11 years old, where he continued to train for over 5 years under the tutelage of Mr. Bruce Hyland 7th Dan, who was the Head Coach (and in his later years, Senior Mentor Coach) of Victoria’s State Karate Team (Karate Victoria) and formerly served as a Senior National Coach for Australia's National Karate Team (Australian Karate Federation).
During that time, Gerard at only 13 years old competed in his first ever major tournament at the 2012 Australian National Karate Championships held in Melbourne where he earned the title of Australian National Grand Champion having garnished 2 Gold Medals and 1 Silver Medal across three different categories for the very first time. In addition to training at his local club at the time, Gerard also trained simultaneously for over 2 years under the instruction of Mr. John Haitidis 7th Dan, who is currently the Vice Head Coach of Victoria’s State Karate Team (Karate Victoria) and was a former Senior National Coach for Australia’s National Karate Team (Australian Karate Federation).
He then sought to further his studies, and thanks to the help and hospitality of Mrs. Toni Coates 4th Dan he became a registered member of the Japan Karate Association (JKA), the world's largest and most prestigious karate non-profit organization certified by Cabinet Office, Government of Japan. Gerard’s last mentor was Mr. Takaatsu Nishimura 7th Dan who was the inaugural Chief Instructor of the Japan Karate Association (JKA) of Australia and Technical Director of the Japan Karate Association (JKA) Asia Oceania Region. Sadly, he passed away on October 11, 2021.
Gerard trained under his direct supervision and instruction on a weekly basis in furthering his study in the art of traditional Shotokan karate. Gerard currently holds a 3rd Dan (black belt) Diploma approved by the Japan Karate Association Headquarters in Tokyo, as a result of being strictly examined by his mentor in February 2020. Gerard is not only a teacher, but continues to be a life-long learner in the Art of Shotokan Karate.
Apart from Karate, Gerard is also an award winning speaker and a strong advocate for young people. At the age of 17 years old, he was historically elected as the first Chairman of the Victorian Student Representative Council (VicSRC) Executive, the peak body representing high school aged students from across the State of Victoria. Prior to his election, Gerard co-authored the proposal to have 'mandatory student representation on School Councils with full voting rights' at the 2015 Victorian SRC Congress that was successfully made into a Victorian Ministerial Order in 2018. Following his service with the VicSRC Executive from 2016 to 2017, Gerard was again historically elected as the first Youth Mayor of Frankston City Council serving from 2018-2019. He was then appointed by his mentor as the youngest President of the Japan Karate Association (JKA) of Australia Inc. the following year. In 2022, Gerard graduated with the Bachelor of Arts in Criminology & Political Science (Politics) at Monash University and was accepted to commence post-graduate studies in Juris Doctor (Law) at Deakin University.
Qualifications & Experience:
JKA Class D Instructor & Judge
Working with Children Check
Senior First Aid (Level 2)
AIS Community Coaching General Principles Certificate
Australia Karate Team (JKA; formerly AKF)
Victoria Karate Team (JKA; formerly KV)
9x JKA & AKF Australian National Karate Champion
4x AKF Australian National Karate Open Medalist
16x AKF & KV Victorian State Karate Medalist
2nd place Oceania Karate Championships 2014 (Suva, Fiji)
3rd place US Karate Open 2014 (Las Vegas, Nevada)
5th place JKA World Junior Karate Championships 2014 (Tokyo, Japan)
5th place JKA World Junior Karate Championships 2017 (Limerick, Ireland)
5th place JKA Asia Oceania Karate Championships 2019 (Bangkok, Thailand)
Instructed Fijian Police, Corrections & Military Forces 2019 (Suva, Fiji)
Guest Instructor, Japanese Cultural Day Christian College 2022 (Surf Coast Campus)