Welcome to the online home of James Sumarac and the Wu Lin Retreat.
James Sumarac has been a consummate teacher and practitioner of Martial and Healing Arts for 40 years.
He took his first steps on the path of Martial Arts in 1970, firstly studying Judo and Jyu Jitsu.
In 1974 traveled to Japan, became an uchi deshi (live in student) for one year under the late master Gogen Yamaguchi, and received his First Dan Black Belt.
A chance meeting with Master Tadahiko Ohtsuka, one of the most brilliant karate masters of our time, soon became his teacher and mentor and fortuitously changed his life forever. This relationship has spanned the lifetime of James's professional career. Under the guidance and tutelage of Master Tadahiko Ohtsuka he trained in the Goju Kensha system and additionally developed a passion for the Nei Chia (Internal Syles of Chinese Gong Fu) and continues to study under Chen Yun Ching (son of Chen Pan Ling ) in Taiwan.
Now a 7th Dan and Chief Instructor of Goju Ryu Kakurin Kan International, he has continued to research, study and teach Martial and Healing Arts, writing several texts, producing many videos and teaching thousands of students in Australia and overseas countries.
His unique teaching style combines experience with humor, practical and detailed knowledge, creating a comfortable, professional and caring environment for people of all levels of expertise.
In 1998 he was awarded by his peers in the Industry, Karate Instructor of the Year in the Blitz Martial Arts Magazine Hall of Fame awards. He has made in excess of 20 trips to Japan, China and Taiwan in search of more knowledge and understanding in the Martial and Healing Arts,
In 1984, with the prompting of Master Ohtsuka and his passion for the Internal Arts, led him to study and practice massage, acupuncture, moxabustion, herbal and Qi Gong therapy. This reinforced his personal belief that the Martial and Healing Arts are complimentary parts of a holistic approach to life, illustrating the old adage that "one who learns to harm, should first learn how to heal."
Over the past twenty years these Martial and Healing Arts skills have enabled James to develop a revolutionary program specifically tailored for physically challenging situations. Using his program James conducts and mentors at mainstream schools and specialist settings. This program instructs teaching staff and parents on gentle and safe, but effective strategies in handling situations where students/clients present behaviours of concern.
He also conducts a unique series of seminars in the corporate sector, covering stress management, conflict resolution and personal development with clients both large and small, including Mobil Oil, Coles Myer and Department of Education and Training, Virgin Blue Airlines.
James lives at Wu Lin Retreat at Lancefield in Central Victoria on a country property at the base of the Cobaw Forest. Wu Lin Retreat is a purpose built Martial and Healing Arts Centre, made from mud brick and recycled materials from China. Classes are conducted weekly in Goju Ryu Karate-do, Chinese Internal Kung Fu and specialized professional development seminars are held for schools and companies.
At the Retreat James and his wife Shou Mei operate a busy clinic where they consult as practitioners of Traditional Chinese medicine. Clients travel from all over the state and abroad to seek their guidance and knowledge on a healthier and more balanced lifestyle.
His commitment to such a busy schedule is testimony to the love and dedication he has to his chosen life and the depth of commitment he has to improving the quality of not only his life, but of all those with whom he comes in contact with.