CELEBRATING 40 YEARS OF THE HOMBU DOJO
The history of the Hombu Dojo at 2 Mount Street, Mowbray dates back to 1981 when Peter Brandon Hanshi started negotiating with a Mr Chaffda, the owner of a shop across the road from the Dojo, to purchase a Hindu temple which was one of the oldest temples in South Africa.
Having acquired the land, the Hindu community collected enough money to build this temple, a Hindu Temple, completing its construction in 1902 (making the building 120 years old). The first Swami arrived by boat around 1902 to visit Cape Town from India and to bless the temple. As far as we know, this was the first of its kind in South Africa.
Over time, the temple’s existence came under threat due to the Group Areas Act. The South African government threatened to close the temple and the neighbouring property to the temple where the priest lived. The Hindu community were given time to sell the property and move to another area, however, the Hindu community was unhappy about this saying they would rather destroy the entire property.
The problems experienced with the property brought about by the Group Areas Act prompted Peter Brandon Hanshi to begin negotiations to purchase the temple. Through conversation, the Hindu community learnt about Hanshi’s background and his involvement in the black community. They listened to him, got to know his principles and his thoughts about apartheid and through that, agreed to sell the temple to him.
The temple together with the small house next door was transferred into the Brandon family’s name in 1981. At the time, Goju Kai had limited funds so the Brandon family, together with friends and students cleaned up the floor and painted the inside of the building.
In June 1982, Hanshi, having recently returned from Japan together with Frank Shihan and Craig Shihan, who were 10 and 9 years old respectively at the time, started training his senior and junior students at the new Dojo.
In 1986, the All-Africa Goju Kai head office opened at the Hombu Dojo and later the house next door was used as an office for All-Africa Goju Kai.
Challenging the system
During this time, Goju Kai, which has always had a non-secular and non-racial policy, conflicted with the apartheid regime at the time. The Mowbray Dojo experienced a lot of hard times with very little money and a lot of harassment from the police.
Hanshi recalls how the police used to come looking for Sensei Patrick Plum, one of his top competitors from Nyanga. The police would climb on top of the garage, lie down and try to look through the frosted windows to see if any non-whites were in the Dojo. The police knew that Sensei Patrick Plum was inside and would look everywhere for him however, Hanshi would help him escape via the trap door into the roof. The police did not know that the house next door was connected to the temple, so it was possible to go through the one small passage into the roof of the house. Hanshi himself was arrested on two occasions at the Dojo and was sent to the Mowbray Police Station where he was kept for 3 days the first time, and for 4 days on the second occasion.
Late Sensei Patrick Plum as a 1st Dan from Nyanga at the time.
The Brandon Family
Peter Brandon Hanshi is one of very few Westerners that have been able to create a bloodline and legacy that is the same as our Japanese karate founders. Peter Brandon Hanshi is the President of All Africa Karate-Do Goju Kai and Vice President of International Karate-Do Goju Kai Association.
Right: Peter Brandon Hanshi pictured with our founder
Gogen Yamaguchi Kaiso in 41 years ago.
He has been grooming his son Frank Brandon Shihan to take over his
position on the African continent and has been his direct teacher for
46 years. Forty years ago, Hanshi graded under Gogen Yamaguchi and
Saiko Shihan and, on the same day, his son Frank Shihan graded to black
In Japan in 2022, forty years later, Frank Shihan graded under Saiko Shihan
and his father to 7th Dan with Frank Shihan’s eldest son, Benjamin (12 years old), grading under the same panel to black belt Shodan. Frank Shihan’s younger son Sebastian (9 years old) is a purple belt.
Both of Hanshi’s grandchildren have been taught the importance of continuing to love and grow the Goju Kai family in Africa with the same principles and passion as their father and grandfather.
Peter Brandon Hanshi is a grandfather to 5 Brandon Boys.
Brandon Family bloodline
Peter Brandon Hanshi 8th Dan
Frank Brandon Shihan 7th Dan
Benjamin Brandon shodan black belt
Sebastian Brandon purple belt
Exactly 40 years ago Hanshi graded under Gogen Yamaguchi and Saiko Shihan on the very same day as his son graded to Black belt Shodan and 40 years to the year later Frank Shihan graded under Saiko Shihan and his father to 7th dan with his son that graded under the same panel to Black belt Shodan.