G6 08 Brian Robert Sullivan

Brian Robert Sullivan is a great great grandson of Timothy Sullivan through his great grandfather Samuel Grose Sullivan, his grandfather Ernest Sullivan and his father Brian Harold Sullivan.




Brian Robert Sullivan, or as he prefers to be known Robert Sullivan, was born in Adelaide in 1947, the first child of Brian Harold Sullivan and his wife Edith (Betty) (nee Lee).


Brian and his young family decided to move from Adelaide in the early 1950s, leaving the tight Sullivan community. However in moving to Gosford to be closer to Betty’s mother, they found themselves in a stronghold of another branch of the Sullivan family, and Brian, a builder, was able to find work with Charlie Metzke’s company.


Young Robert spent most of his early life growing up in Gosford., New South Wales. In 1964 at the age of 17, as a young police cadet, he became fascinated with karate which led him to begin training in the Japanese style of Goju-Kai.


Although still listed in the 1970 Electoral Roll as a police constable, his deepening interest in karate led to training in Japan, and he also spent time in Malaysia and the USA learning and then teaching karate.


In 1971 he returned home to Australia from America in December to marry Donna Wall, also from the NSW mid-north coast,and begin his family. Over the next 13 years Robert gained experience working and starting a number of businesses, but he eventually found himself turning his focus back to his passion for teaching karate.



 In 1984, with 20 years’ experience behind him, he started the Go-Kan-Ryu karate school (GKR) in Adelaide. At the time, karate in Australia was still very much in its infancy, and Sullivan's original intention was to share the benefits of his experiences with just a couple of hundred students. However, after success at the South Australian Karate Federation's Annual Tournaments in 1986, 87 and 88, Robert decided to expand GKR into additional Australian territories. His original aim was to build a small karate club, but he soon realised that teaching karate was something that would become his life-long vocation.


In 1995, GKR was exported to the United Kingdom, where the style continued to grow at an unprecedented rate, and in 2001, it was taken to the United States, a country with a strong karate tradition of its own.


By August 2005, GKR karate boasted over 50,000 members, making it one of the largest traditional karate styles in the world. Its turnover exceeded $30 million. Currently there are over 70 clubs in Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Houston Texas.

 Today Robert Lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife Donna. They have four children, Matt, Laura, Lee and Toni.