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SENSEI GORAN

Early days

Sensei Goran was born in 1975 in Zagreb. The first encounter with martial arts was, of course, through movies. Fascinated by the beauty of the movement and the mystique of the old masters, he became interested in martial arts. Since he enjoys self-teaching, Goran got a small booklet, "Karate" (Masutatsu Oyama), "Karate" (Žarko Modritć) and "Karate ABC - Teki 1 and Enpi Kata" (Ilija Jorga) and tried to learn movements from the books. But he could quite understand exactly how the movements should look like. Persistent as he is, he procured additional literature (Kung Fu, Ninjitsu, Jeet Kune Do, etc.) and tried again to learn self-defense techniques from books and grasp the meaning of martial arts. The result of this "bookish" approach left him with the feeling that something was not quite right. After a book failure and at the age of 13, he joined the Tae Kwon Do club "Sava" and began to practice the sport's WTF version. The same year (1988) the WTF Tae Kwon Do was demonstrated for the first time at the Seoul Olympics.
By persistently practicing and being committed, Goran got his chance at the former Yugoslavia championship and successfully won a bronze medal in his category. While practicing Taekwondo, Goran came into possession of a small blue booklet with the words "Yoga and Sport" (Selvarajan Yesudian and Elizabeth Haich).

 
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INSIGHT

The book left him in awe. He read it several times and practiced Yoga regularly every day as instructed in the booklet. At that moment, a key realization occured in Goran's mind - a combination of sports (at that time Taekwondo) and Yoga is the best possible combination. By practicing Pranayama and Yoga regularly before a Taekwondo training, he realized that his training sessions were getting easier, that he could do a lot more than before, and that he generally felt good. Only fifteen years later, when he found Kempo, he realized that he had reinvented the wheel in his youth. In the early 1990s, he stopped practicing Taekwondo because he was no longer interested in the skill, but the real reason was probably early adolescence. Martial arts and self-defense art were suppressed entirely for the next ten years and shadowed by some more "important" things in life at the time.

 
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FIRST ENCOUNTER

On the other hand, Yoga was able to hold his interest until the second year of college with one limited set of exercises he practiced every morning - Pranayama and Sirshasana (headstand). With the cessation of morning Yoga practice, the first imbalance occurred - excess weight.

In the fall of 2001, his friends gave him an ultimatum - even though he was not interested, he had to go with them to watch a demonstration of some previously unknown martial art Kempo or they would be mortally offended. After the demonstration of Kempo, the comments were twofold, some saying that Kempo was a brutal killer skill, and others that it was somehow "soft" and impersonal.


Without knowing what he was getting himself into, he started practicing Kemp at the Bijeli Lotos school. During the first year or two, he was quite uninvested. He would attend sessions sporadically. He achieved results sporadically as well. Even though the training was difficult and the results were not visible, he continued to practice Kempo. It is probably because of the long-forgotten "knowledge" from his youth about the combination of martial arts and meditation, sports, and Yoga. This combination and a bit of the Kempo mystique awakened that boyish ecstasy in him and gave him the strength to endure and not give up.

 
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SWEAT - MEDITATE - SWEAT

His first Kempo teacher was Sensei Josip. It was then that he learned what "body culture" meant. With Sensei Josip, Kempo was practiced frequently and fiercely, and the emphasis was on strength, endurance and zeal. Sometimes he could not get up the following morning from the severe muscle aches that only made the whole organism's chronic weakness more evident. Sensei Josip taught him the basic Kempo techniques in great detail. On his Kempo route, Sensei Saša helped him in various ways, especially in the water aspect of Kempo through Pingan Ni Kata and through always interesting and technically pure free fights (Kumite). Sensei Dubravko helped him increase his general condition and at one of his summer training, for the first time, he at least guessed what "Ki" or "Chi" was. Sensei Jana and Jasna helped him fix the distorted form and break down the incorrectly learned movements and techniques. In short, they made him re-learn something he had hitherto thought he had learned correctly.


After that, although present all the time, intensive guidance on his Kempo journey was taken by headteacher O'Sensei Darko who, in addition to various advanced techniques and Kate, passed on the spiritual aspect of Kempo teachings through countless seminars and lectures. During his Kempo journey, Goran realized that his first attempts to learn martial arts from books alone were very naive. However, the importance of books and literature has not diminished because it is only after many years of practice that literature filled the gaps in his Kempo practice. The extensive literature made available to him within the White Lotus School significantly contributed to his correct understanding of Kempo and the comprehensiveness of Kempo as a martial art and way of life.


 
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TEACHER

During 2007, Goran (then still a brown belt) felt that only two "real" training sessions were not enough for further advancement. With the help of a few Kempo practitioners at the time, he successfully organized an additional double session on Saturdays in the Architectural technical school in Novi Zagreb.


In May 2008, Goran applied for Shodan - black belt. The exam was held on Velebit in the small town of Jadovno surrounded by black clouds that got stuck on the slopes of the mountain. While the rain was pouring over the extremely slippery terrain full of mud, the board of Teachers of the Bijeli Lotos school (O'Sensei Darko, Sensei Saša and Sensei Dubravko) tested Goran and declared him a teacher.

 

DOJO

In the fall of 2009, Sensei Goran opened his Dojo in Novi Zagreb. The Dojo with a few persistent Kempo students operated there for about a year. At the end of 2010, Sensei Goran's Dojo moved to Gornji Grad in Zagreb. The Dojo in the Gornji Grad is very lively, and Sensei Goran holds training sessions three times a week. The atmosphere in the Dojo is very positive. The training sessions are challenging and demanding. The feeling after a difficult training is indescribable. In the Dojo in Gornji Grad, Sensei Goran holds a series of introductory, two-month-long Kempo courses. During the courses, participants are systematically and carefully introduced to the world of Kempo and some remain in that world and progress along the Kempo path. In December 2012, Sensei Goran successfully earned Ni Dan (Day 2 black belt). From the opening of his Dojo until today, Sensei Goran regularly practices Kempo and Kempo Yoga during regular training sessions, Kempo seminars and at home and tries to use Kempo as a vehicle and a tool to improve the quality of his own life.

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