Ken Tallack, Hanshi, 9th Dan

Kenneth Bruce (Ken) Tallack (born 1955) was first introduced to Martial Arts in the early 1960’s, when as a child he was taken to the YMCA in London, Ontario. His interest in Judo and other Japanese Martial Arts eventually overwhelmed all other areas in his life. It became his hobby, his lifestyle, and his vocation.

From 1967 forward, Hanshi Tallack practiced the Northern Shao-Lin Five Animal style, as taught by the members of the Chong family and the Canadian Karate Kung-Fu Association. Entering his first tournament in 1968, Hanshi Tallack was eventually exposed to a variety of different forms of Martial Arts, and began to study other styles.

In 1972, Hanshi Tallack won the Canadian Karate Championships in Ottawa, and was invited to Sudbury, Ontario, where he began advanced training with the senior Canadian Karate teacher at that time, Robert M. Dalgleish. Sensei Dalgleish taught Goju-Ryu and Shotokan Karate, and trained Hanshi Tallack in both of these styles, awarding him a Shodan of Goju-Ryu in December of 1972.

In 1973, Hanshi Tallack moved back to London, Ontario where he taught at and lived in the Canadian Kung-Fu Studio with other young students, including Dave Durrant, Pat McCarthy, Bruce Currie, Tom Ford and others.

In 1974, Hanshi Tallack moved to Prince Edward Island to attend the University of Prince Edward Island and to teach and practice Martial Arts. Returning to London in 1976, Hanshi Tallack assumed the responsibilities of head instructor at the UWO Kung-Fu Club, until he opened a full-time professional school, the Martial Fitness Centre.

Between 1978 and 1989, the Martial Fitness Centre grew to become the largest and best equipped Martial Arts school in the country, with many students achieving international recognition for their efforts in Karate and Kickboxing.

Between 1979 and 1982, Hanshi Tallack represented Canada at a variety of international Martial Arts competitions, placing first in the Canadian National Butoku Kai Championships three years in a row and second at the Butoku Kai International Championships in 1981, giving him valuable international competitive experience.

At the same time Hanshi Tallack was involved in training participants and promoting Kickboxing events. In 1986 Hanshi Tallack became an official with the Ontario Athletics Commission, K. Hayashi Commissioner.

In 1985, Hanshi Tallack traveled to Japan, where he was accepted as the first Canadian student of Grand Master Yagi Meitoku, who himself inherited the Goju-Ryu Karate style from its founder, Miyagi Chojun.

Later in 1985, Hanshi Tallack introduced the Goju-Ryu Meibukan style to Canada, and by 1995, the style had grown to such an extent that it was being taught in more than 150 schools across the country. Hanshi Tallack was awarded the Fifth Degree Black Belt directly by Yagi Meitoku Sensei in 1987, followed by the Sixth Degree Black Belt, as well as a Masters Grade (Renshi) by the Meibukai Association.

In 1991, Hanshi Tallack was issued the Masters Grade (Renshi) through the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai when, at the invitation of fellow Canadian Pat McCarthy (7th Dan, Kyoshi) he performed in front of Prince Higashi Fushimi in Kyoto, Japan at the annual Butoku Kai festival.

In June of 1994, Hanshi Tallack opened the La Salle Plaza Martial Arts Learning and Fitness Centre on Bath Road here in Kingston.

In May 1998, Hanshi Tallack was approached by the International Division of the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai, when he was asked to stand a term as National Representative of this very prestigious organization. He holds that position to this day.

In October of 1999, Hanshi Tallack was issued the Kyoshi Grade and Sichidan (7th Dan) by the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai.

In 2000, Hanshi Tallack passed the La Salle Plaza Dojo on to some of his students, with Sensei Jason Stratton eventually assuming leadership of that Dojo.

In 2001 Hanshi Tallack produced the First Canadian Butoku-sai (Martial Arts Festival) in Burlington, Ontario with high ranking Black Belts from across North America in attendance.

In 2002, Hanshi Tallack led a group of sixteen youths to an International Butoku Sai in Kyoto. Several students received Black Belt certification while in Japan. Hanshi Tallack received the Korou Sho Mei Sho Award of Dedication from Prince Higashi Fushimi.

In 2004, Hanshi Tallack and his wife Audethy purchased the building at 2777 Princess Street as a Dojo for his Meitoku-ha Goju-Ryu and as a headquarters for the Karate Kids School Lunchtime programs.

16 Canadian youth travelled to Kyoto, Japan in the summer of 2004, with several of them receiving recommendation for Black Belt from the official Board of Masters while they were there.

2006 saw Hanshi Tallack produce the Second Canadian Butoku Sai in Toronto with attendees from seven Canadian provinces, thirty five American states and 12 countries worldwide.

In 2007, a group of 36 Canadian youth and chaperones travelled to Virginia, USA for the First World Martial Arts Festival.

In October 2006, Hanshi received Certification as an Eighth degree Black Belt from the official Martial Arts Governing Body, Dai Nippon Butoku Kai. One year later in 2007, Hanshi Tallack received recognition as Eighth Degree Master of Shao-Lin Kung-Fu from Grand Master David Chong on the fortieth anniversary of Ken Tallack joining the Canadian Karate Kung-Fu Association in March.

In 2008 Hanshi Tallack led 80 Canadians to the 3rd World Butoku Sai in Kyoto, Japan. Kingston residents presented their Martial Arts learning in front of the Board of Masters and members of the Japanese Imperial Family.

2011 saw Hanshi Tallack produce the Third Canadian Butoku Sai in Kingston with a large visiting delegation of Japanese youth attending Canada for the first time. These students participated in a homestay program with Kingston families and a cultural exchange to learn and see the sights of Canada.

Hanshi Tallack retired from the OAC after twenty years’ service in 2012 after working as an official at the first MMA event in Ontario. In April 2012 Hanshi Tallack led a group of Canadians to the 4th world Butoku Sai in Kyoto, Japan. At this Butoku Sai he was presented with the Hanshi title, the first in Canada through the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai. Hanshi Tallack was also presented the President’s Award of Excellence in recognition of his years of dedicated service to the humanitarian missions of Dai Nippon Butoku Kai in Canada.

In 2014 Hanshi Tallack Hosted the 8th Annual Canadian Karate Kung-Fu Association Event in Kingston where he received his 9th Degree Black Sash from Grand Master David Chong and fellow lifelong practitioners Alex Atkinson, John Atkinson, Mike Atkinson, Bob Seneshen, Leo Loucks, and Bob Wilcox.

In 2016, Hanshi Tallack led another group to Kyoto, Japan for the 5th World Butoku Sai, an important event where member of the Japanese Imperial Family, Princess Akiko of Mikasa was in attendance.

2017 saw a momentus accolade as Hanshi Tallack was inducted into the Canadian Black Belt Hall of Fame in Gatineau, Quebec. This induction was alongside many fellow Martial Artists, including Hanshi Alex Atkinson.

2018 was another great year as Hanshi Tallack received another wonderful accomplishment, with his nomination to the Kingston and District Sports Hall of Fame, he is the first member to be added in the field of Martial Arts. The introduction ceremony is held for May 2019.

During the 22nd World Butoku Sai in 2023, Ken Tallack was recognized as Hanshi of Kobudo and promoted to 8th degree black belt in Kobudo. During this time, Ken Tallack was recognized with 5 other practitioners who had received the ‘Hanshi’ title; all individuals from Canada.

Hanshi Tallack also has many publication credits as he has researched and translated some historically important Martial Arts works. Legendary Martial Arts texts such as “To-Te Jitsu” by Gichin Funakoshi, (November 1994, Masters Publication) and wrote a forward to the 1995 edition of “Okinawan Kempo” by Choki Motobu (November 1995, Masters Publication). Hanshi Tallack has also authored the original “Animals of Shao-Lin” (May 1998, MAFC Publication).

  • “A guide to training in Martial Arts” (1983)
  • “Meibukan of Canada Instructors Guide” (1990)
  • “Daily Dojo Operation” (1995)
  • “Notes from the Dojo” (In Progress)
  • “Goju-Ryu Meitoku-ha Kata and Kumite” (In Progress)
  • “Lost Kata of Goju-Ryu” (In Progress)

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Linda Rowland says:

    Congratulations, Ken


  2. Richard says:

    I was lucky to have been a student of Hanshi Tallack and Mike Atkinson (initial beginner class) and Bob Wilcox (periodically) at Martial Fitness Center. Best training of my life and still have those skills today 40 years later bcuz the teaching was so strict and correct. I was 13 yrs old in the Adult class with my older brother. Grateful to have learned from you. Thank you.


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