BBMA Gosford - History


Liz completed her nursing and midwifery training after finishing school but did not find personal satisfaction in that field. After several years at university studying everything from Descartes to dao, from sports science to statistics, Liz left uni to pursue a career that had been staring her in the face for years – full time martial arts.

Liz started karate in 1980 in Sydney with Richard Bradford’s Goshin Ryu Karate. After obtaining 2nd degree black belt Liz moved on to train with Shotokan Karate International with Sensei Frank Novak in Sydney and later with Budokan Karate under Richard Chew and James Chong

In 1997 Liz, a 4th dan, left Budokan with a clear vision of where she wanted to go in her martial arts career. She closed down 15 martial arts classes across the Central Coast that she operated out of school halls and opened her first full time school under the name Black Belt Karate Studios. This was 250 sq mts with 100 students that came from the closed schools.


4 years and 3 different locations later with the help of her partner Lliam and 3 staff the Wyoming school reached 500 students.

In 2006 BBMA opened its second school and 6 months later the 3rd school opened. In 2010 BBMA has a student population of nearly 600 students which includes an active number of 60 black belt ranked students – a rare thing in Australian martial arts schools where the norm is to stop training after reaching black belt.

Liz is also a Rock and Water advanced trainer. Rock and Water is a life skills program, based on sound principles of martial arts, specifically designed to help boys develop into fine young men. Liz travels extensively throughout Australia presenting this program to school teachers and associated professions for the University of Newcastle.


Liz was one of those martial arts competition junkies who lived to compete, she estimates over her career to have had about 300 fights and to have performed as many kata in the competiton arena.

After only 2yrs of training Liz was selected in the NSW Karate Federation state team. This began 10 years of competition focus for Liz, which included:


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Some kind words from our
students and parents
You have all done a great job. You truly believe in what you teach and it shows. I recommend BBMA to all I know. It is great to see kids, adults some with disabilities have a go. I like your discipline in punctuality and cleanliness of the school. Also how you communicate so well to parents about all the happenings at the school. I am still astounded at how your staff remember everyone’s name.
It has been a week since Alice experienced her Black Belt grading. It was a very inspirational weekend and I was very proud of our school in producing such a fine bunch of students. While I did get to thank you on the day for all the assistance given to Alice (Obviously I am enormously proud of my daughter) I did want to make a special note about Sensei Liz Williams. I have been very lucky to receive a good deal of my instruction from Sensei Liz. Her abilities and confidence as an instructor have been great to watch grow and strengthen over the past year I find her instruction very insightful, certainly of enormous benefit - she is a wonderful asset to the studio.
Father and Black Belt student
Whether for your children or yourself, I would recommend BBMA Karate. As a parent who took up a special family offer, I have refreshed my ideas of what I can and should do at my age. Taking Karate and physically doing things I did not think I could do and learning new things, I feel I have expanded my options in life by challenging my view of what I should do at my age.
I like my children ( 6 and 8 years) love coming to class at BBMA. I wish I had gone to karate when I was their age. It is great seeing them use the skills they have learnt to tackle life in a cool, calm and collected way.
Mr W
My sons started Karate at Liz Mahler’s Black Belt Martial Arts only 2 months ago, and I am so impressed. As an early childhood teacher I am critical of all things for children, however I cannot fault their program. By having BBMA in their lives, I feel more certain that they will develop the skills they need to be valuable members of society. I look forward to many more years at BBMA.
Black Belt Martial Arts has changed my life. Not only has it helped me physically, but the benefits have been clear in my school work, my family and my friends.
17 year old student
My son was at the bottom of every class at school. He is a bright 13 year old boy who before training at BBMA had huge problems with self control, lack of concentration and distracting behaviour in the classroom. Since training with BBMA he has improved in all areas, he has gone from 103rd in his year to 74th in two terms and he topped two subjects last term. Teachers have been sending us emails describing how impressed they are with his progress. I absolutely put the improvements down to the centering and communication lessons he is receiving through his martial arts training at BBMA. A big thanks to all the instructors!
My son has gained self-confidence, self-discipline and personal achievement whilst exercising and having fun. He has learnt self-respect and self-control and he wears his Black Belt with pride. It also gives me the opportunity to train alongside my son, giving us more time together in an activity we can share.
It has been my pleasure to watch the enjoyment and sense of pride and personal achievement that my son has derived from participating in the Black Belt Martial Arts program. The program has provided many young people in the Gosford area with a sense of purpose in their life. I have watched these young people build strong friendships while developing their physical fitness, self-confidence and self-discipline. They have developed personal qualities that will well equip them for the future.
Black Belt Martial Arts offers a well structured, progressive and motivating program which is extremely “child friendly”. It has a good mixture of fun and martial arts with an incentive program that has provided the ideal learning environment for my children.
My eldest daughter likes being active and Black Belt Martial Arts is a great outlet for that. She has made many friends (children and adults of all ages). She learns self-defence skills and enjoys herself immensely. It has also enhanced her concentration in other areas of her life, including school. My two younger daughters have also gained self-defence skills, awareness and confidence, and they have lots of fun in the process.
It’s well worth the 40-km round trip to Wyoming to have our five children (ranging in age from 14 to 7) involved at Black Belt Martial Arts. It has allowed our children to participate in a physical training program that is effective, goal oriented and enjoyable. The instructors have a special ability to mix just the right amount of fun into the program to keep the smaller children interested, while gradually introducing discipline and structure.
Three years ago I enrolled my daughter in Black Belt Martial Arts mainly for self-defence. This same young girl is about to earn her Black Belt and, at the age of 11, is very actively involved in the Leadership Team. She has acquired an enormous amount of self-esteem, confidence and interaction skills as well as life skills in self-defence. My 6 year old daughter trains and I have currently achieved my Brown Belt and a high degree of fitness and satisfaction. As a family unit we enjoy this special time as we are actively involved in encouraging and supporting each other whilst participating in a very friendly environment. I feel very grateful indeed.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank you and your staff for the fantastic work that you are doing at Black Belt Martials Arts, especially with my two children. They are enthusiastic about going and really enjoy what they do. The exercise, routine and discipline have improved not only their coordination and flexibility, but more importantly confidence in themselves and what they do. I’m sure this message would be echoed by all parents whose children attend classes under your guidance, as it is clearly evident on the faces of the children I see in the classes.
I went into the Wyoming dojo yesterday for 5.30 kickboxing class for Deniz - it is such wonderful location and all staff were fantastic (Liz, Martin, Sam and Alice). Sensei Sam took kickboxing and Deniz loved it.