Renshi Robert Tallack has studied Martial Arts all of his life. He was born into a family of Martial Arts professionals. Rob’s mother, Sharon Berman, is a 5th Degree Black Belt, and his father, Hanshi Ken Tallack, a 9th Degree Black Belt is one of Canada’s leading experts.
Born in 1979, Rob performed his first Kata (Takyoku Gedan) in a public demonstration September, 1982. He was 3 years old at the time. In 1985, he began to study Goju-Ryu Meibukan under his father Ken Tallack, when Ken introduced that style of Karate to Canada.
In 1990, they moved as a family to Hokkaido Japan, where Rob entered Kamiashibetsu Shogakko, as well as Hokkaido Butokukan where he studied Wado Ryu, Kendo and Judo.
In 1991, they moved to Naha City, Okinawa where they took an apartment next to the Meibukan Hombu Dojo in Kume.
Rob began daily morning training sessions with Dai Sensei Yagi Meitoku, a 10th Degree Black Belt, and evening sessions three nights per week with Meitatsu Sensei.
Rob learned the Hombu version of Goju-Ryu as taught by Dai Sensei Yagi Meitoku. Dai Sensei would spend a little time each day in the Dojo with Rob, correcting his Kata, sharing stories, and directing Rob’s training.
Rob was probably the only Westerner ever to learn directly from Dai Sensei in the Japanese language, as by this time Rob was as fluent as any native twelve year old. When other visitors would attend, Dai Sensei regularly would use Rob as his translator. Dai Sensei would often have Rob move all of his potted plants from one side of the building to the other on one day and on the next day from the 4th floor to the 3rd floor, only to have him start all over again.
In early 1992, Dai Sensei recommended Rob to the Kodokan Kobudo Dojo of Matayoshi Shimpo Sensei. For the next year, Rob would split his time between the two Dojo and his schoolwork.
Rob is now the leading authority for Matayoshi Kobudo in Canada.
His daily schedule went something like this: at 8:30 a.m. he would get out of bed and at 9:00 a.m. Sanchin training began in the Meibukan Hombu Dojo (his training partner was usually Yamaguchi Masahiro.) Dai Sensei would attend at his convenience. At 11:00 a.m. he would eat lunch and do Canadian schoolwork. At 4:00 p.m. he would have a chance to relax.
On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings, Rob would go to Meitatsu Sensei’s classes from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, Rob would go to Matayoshi Sensei’s Dojo where he was taught by Yamashiro Sensei, Gakiya Sensei and of course Matayoshi Sensei. On Sundays, Rob studied Daito-Ryu Aiki Jujutsu.
Rob returned to Canada in March of 1993, at which time he re-entered the Canadian School system.
The Tallack family opened their Dojo in Belmont, Ontario in September 1993 where Rob taught Kobudo and assisted with Goju-Ryu instruction.
In June of 1994 Rob and his father moved to Kingston to open the LaSalle Plaza Martial Arts Learning and Fitness Centre. They also worked as Senior Instructors for the Academy of Martial Arts at 851 Princess Street with their students Chris and April Hurst.
In 1995, Rob helped to raise $6,000.00 for the Earthquake Relief Fund for the victims of the Kobe disaster. He did this by breaking 100 boards as fast as he could. His time was 100 boards in 21.1 seconds. Bill Fournier, an orange belt level student, was one of the hundreds of witnesses to this amazing feat.
In that same year, Rob received his Shodan at a grading before a board of masters where he performed Kata, Bunkai, Kobudo, Iaido, and Jujutsu techniques, without repetition, for 6 solid hours.
In 1996, Rob attended some events where he acted as translator for some Okinawan teachers such as his Kobudo Mentor Gakiya Sensei and Karate-do Hanshi Hokama Tetsuhiro.
In 1997, Rob went back to Okinawa for two months of training with Matayoshi Sensei at his home. Rob received his Shodan Grade from Matayoshi Sensei at this time. Rob also became a student of Sawara Jujutsu during that visit.
In 1999 Rob returned to Okinawa for more training.
Rob was one of the last people to receive a grading from Matayoshi Sensei prior to his passing, and he ranked Rob as Nidan in August 1999.
In the summer of 1999, Rob also fought in his first “No Holds Barred” fight as part of the Kakedameshi event at the Naha City Budokan. At the age of 19, Rob was one of the youngest professional fighters in Canada. He returned to Canada, where he continued to fight in the “No Holds Barred” arena, eventually compiling a professional fighting record of 2 wins and 2 losses by decision.
In August of 2001, Rob went to the Okinawa World Karate Championships in Atlanta, Georgia. Robert took First Place in the Men’s 18 to 24 year old Goju- Ryu Kata division, as well as First Place in the Men’s 18 to 24 Year Old Kobudo Sai Division.
Rob returned to University in Kingston in 2001, at which time he founded the “Rob Tallack’s Karate Kids Program”. He continued to concentrate on his education, and in 2004, Rob received his University Degree in Health Studies from Queen’s University.
Rob was the Head Instructor of the Queen’s University Recreational Karate Club from 2001 to 2004.
On August 28, 2004, Rob set a new world record when he broke 106 boards in 16.88 seconds, breaking his own previously set record.
On July 30, 2011 Rob was recognized as 6th Dan by Hanshi Hamada the International representative of Dai Nippon Butoku Kai. Robert is no longer involved in the day to day business of Tallack Martial Arts.
Robert is now CEO of a health product company located in Toronto. He is also Founder-Chairman of The Karate Kids Foundation whose aim is to provide free fitness and character building programs to dis-advantaged youth across North America.