Sport Karate competition in Australia started to generate momentum as a sport during the mid 1980's. This momentum seen several major event promoters come together to form a tournament circuit. As time progressed this group sort recognition and sanctioning from the International Sport Karate Association (ISKA). This recognition was granted during the 1990's as ISKA exploded world wide quickly becoming the dominant Martial Arts and Combat Sports sanctioning authority globally.

The tournament circuit continued to operate in Australia under the ISKA brand until 2015, at which time formal structure was brought into play with the International Sports Karate Association Australia Incorporated being formed as a registered Australian Body under Fair trade NSW. The aim of this new organisation was to become the peak body for sports martial arts competition in Australia.

At the 2019 International Sports Karate Association Australia Incorporated annual general meeting a special resolution was passed to take the organisation to the next level and restructure into National Sport Karate Australia Ltd. An entity limited by guarantee under the Corporations Act (2001). Again the focus being acting as the peak body for sports martial arts competition in Australia.

This new entity better aligned with the expectations of major sporting bodies in Australia and while still primarily sanctioned by the ISKA it allowed for opportunities to be explored with additional sanctioning authorities to ensure all Martial Arts types held at out competitions are appropriately represented.

Meet the team

Board of Directors

NSKA Ltd is currently lead strategically by a board comprised of 7 roles elected by its members, and 1 appointed manager -

Mr Paul Zadro Chairman, Non Executive Director & ISKA International Representative

Paul started Martial Arts training in the early 70’s, running his first martial arts tournament during the 80’s. He was key to the initial establishment of ISKA in Australia in 1995 after the decision to reorganise ISKA Australia was made in 2014 he became a caretaker until the first AGM of the new ISKA was held in 2016 at which point he was nominated as a Non-Executive Director and also Chairman. He currently acts as the International Representative for Australia to ISKA globally. Paul runs one of the largest and most successful professional martial arts schools in Australia with multiple locations across Western Sydney.

Mr Jonathan Gleeson Executive General Manager & Managing Director

Jonathan has close to 30 years experience in the Martial Arts and has been involved with the administration and operation of ISKA since 2000. He holds a Masters in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Information Technology Degree. Professionally he leads the Operations for one of Australia’s largest telecommunication providers, He is been a Director of several tech industry entities. He was appointed to the position of Managing Director in 2013 and has since established the organisation as an incorporated sporting body operating across Australia which has seen major shifts in the operations including the establishment of events in several states, a complete uplift in marketing, an improved financial state as well as the addition of several large corporate sponsorship deals.

Mr Kip Stavrou Executive Director & Head Referee

Kip has studied in various styles of martial arts over the years. Professionally Kip is a calibration manager dealing with precision scientific equipment. As Non-Executive Director Kip was appointed to the board at the 2016 AGM. He has however been involved with the organisation since the early 90’s, Currently he additionally serves as the Head Referee for Sports Karate and as a result also Chairs the Sport Karate rules sub-committee and oversees the referee training and accreditation programs.

Mr William Wakefield Non Executive Director

Bill, has spent his life travelling and studying martial arts around the world. With his many years of knowledge he pioneered the introduction of martial arts into schools and the community of the Gold Coast in Queensland. He currently operates a successful full time martial arts school in the Gold Coast and has several times been recognised by the Queensland state government as sportsman of the year for his contributions to martial arts as a sport in the state. He was appointed as a Non-Executive Director at the 2016 AGM.

Mr Ian Pollet Non Executive Director

Mr Graham Macdonnell Non Executive Director

Ms Jen Marsham Non Executive Director

Jen was elected to the board at the 2018 AGM. She run’s a successful Martial Arts school in Geelong Victoria and is an active ISKA promoter hosting the Geelong Classic annually. She is keen to see a growth of sports Martial Arts with a particular focus on her home state of Victoria.

Ms Kristy Kirkwood Non Executive Director

Kristy was elected to the board at the 2019 AGM. She run’s a successful Martial Arts school in the south western Sydney region and actively co promotes the ISKA Australian National Championship.

Past Directors

  • Kip Stavrou 2016 – 2019, 2019 –
  • Paul Zadro 2016 – 2019, 2019 –
  • Vincent Busuttil 2016 – 2017
  • John Tooby 2016 – 2020
  • Ali Cetindag 2016 – 2020

Executive Team

The Executive Team is responsible for the operations of ISKA, essentially ensuring the strategic direction set by the board is turned into a reality.

Jonathan Gleeson Executive General Manager & Managing Director
Katherine Emerton Head of Policy and Compliance
Alex Kirkwood Head of Brand, Marketing and Communications
Kip Stavrou Head Referee

Sport Karate Rules Advisory Subcommittee

The Sport Karate Rules Advisory Sub-committee (SKRA) is responsible for the establishment, maintenance, enforcement and arbitration of the ISKA sport karate rules.

  • Kip Stavrou – Committee Chair
  • Jonathan Gleeson
  • Ross Jackson
  • Ali Cetindag


Our Arbitrators are responsible for resolution of issue as a result of violations of rules at our events, One of the following people will be designated Arbitrator at each event and will address all issues, complaints etc that may occur. Additional they are also the event safety officer.

  • Kip Stavrou
  • Jonathan Gleeson
  • Kristy Kirkwood
  • Ross Jackson
  • Ali Cetindag
  • Geoff French
  • Ray Gardiner
  • Dave Phipps


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Promoters are the individuals behind the organisation of our events. Without them none of the events are possible, Our event promoters are –

Jonathan Gleeson & Kristy Kirkwood – Australian National Championship, Victorian Championship, Battle of Canberra, Melbourne Open
Paul Zadro – NSW Open, CCP
Ian Pollet – NSW Western Open (Bathurst NSW)
Ali Cetindag – Sydney City Open
Bill Wakefield – Gold Coast Cup, Queensland Championship
Graham Macdonnell – WA Open
Jen Marsham – Victorian Open, Geelong Classic
Ross Jackson – NSW Winter Open
Peter Kirkwood – Valley Open (Hunter Valley NSW)
Jeff French – Kingaroy Open
Paul Hart – Toowoomba Open
Ray Gardiner – Morayfield Open
Bill Young, Natalie Young & Kip Stavrou– Central Coast Open


Life Members
- Robert Murdoch
- Kip Stavrou

Organisation Members (2022)
- Sydney Karate Club
- IMC Australia
- Ultimate Defence Academy
- Australian Mixed Martial Arts Sports Association
- Combined Martial Arts Academy
- DMG Studio
- Igor MMA Academy
- Invincible Worldwide
- Karate 4 Kids / South Burnett Karate Association Inc.
- Kirkwoods Institute of Karate
- Pollets Martial Arts
- Uechi Ryu Karate Do
- Warren Hickey's Precision Martial Arts
- World Martial Arts Alliance
- Karate One
- Trifu Dojo
- YFC Gym
- Heng Kuai Newcastle Pty Ltd

Individual Members (2022)
- Stan Stark

Become a Member

Become an National Sport Karate Australia Ltd. Member today!
We have two classes of membership -

1. Individual Members - Martial artists who want to get more involved with the industry, Stay up to date on all the latest changes and have your voice heard clearly by our leadership. $10 annual membership fee.

2. Club/Organisation Members - This level is for those clubs who are actively competing at our events. This membership level will give you the inside story on all things happening in our industry, as well as give you full voting rights on changes to our competitions. Not to mention you will gain access to the industries best insurance package to protect your students. As well as free spectator passes to our events as a coach. Annual club level membership fee is $100