Robert “Bob” Marshall Dalgleish was born on Nov 28/41 in Thunder Bay, Ontario. In 1958 he moved to Toronto with his mother. In the early 1960’s, he began training in Chito Ryu under Masami Tsuruoka,. The curriculum of the school placed a heavy emphasis on form and basics. This school marked the starting pint of the journey of studying and teaching martial arts throughout the continent.
While studying under Masami Tsuruoka , Sensei Dalgleish would travel to New York to train in Goju Ryu under Grandmaster Peter Urban.
In the mid 1960’s, Sensei Dalgleish spent two years in the Royal Canadian Navy. While in the navy he would travel to California to train with Gosei Yamaguchi in Japanese Goju.
After leaving the Navy, Sensei Dalgleish returned to Toronto and instructed at several of the local martial art schools. He rained and taught at David Chong’s Canadian Karate/Kung Fu club and at Benny Allen’s Eastern Karate Club.
The life of traveling, training and teaching appealed to Sensei Dalgleish. Throughout his many ventures, he traveled to New York, across the Middle U.S. and to California. On one trip, Sensei Dalgleish trained in Goju Ryu under Chuck Merriman.
Sensei Dalgleish trained under Rober Trias in Shuri Ryu Karate while in Phoenix, Arizona and another trip allowed him the opportunity to train with Dr. Daniel K. Pai in White Dragon (Pai Lum) Kung Fu. Both these gentlemen would end up visiting Canada at Sensei Dalgleish’s invitation.
In California, Sensei Dalgleish trained in Shorinji Karate and Kobudo under Richard Kim and in Shotokan under Hidetaka Nishiyama.
After returning to Canada from his many trips, Sensei Dalgleish would openly shared his knowledge at the karate schools in Toronto and at Benny Allen’s Easter Karate satellite school in Hamilton.
In 1970, Sensei Dalgleish accepted a position as a draftsman at INCO. Sensei Dalgleish and his wife Ruth moved to Sudbury and opened the Sudbury Goju Kai Karate Dojo. The school would move several times as enrollment increased finally settling at a building on Regent Street. The Dojo was at the front of the building and the Dalgleishs lived in the back with Sensei Bob’s father Slim.
Sensei Dalgleish’s core teaching was Japanese Goju Ryu Karate and Okinawan weapons. He referred to his system as Canadian Goju Ryu since he was Canadian and was the Goju representative for Canada. The curriculum at the school was broad and the workouts intense. Along with basics and forms, the students were taught grabbing techniques, board breaking, jujutsu, sticky hand and resuscitation techniques. Various types of sparring drills such as one, two and three step sparring, circle sparring, gauntlet or special reflex sparring and blindfold sparring were used to enhance the students fighting techniques.
While maintaining the operation of his school, Sensei Dalgleish began traveling to karate tournaments. His students would consistently win at the tournaments and Sensei Dalgleish was in demand as a referee and martial arts demonstrator. Sensei Dalgleish was a real crowd pleaser and remembered for his board breaking demonstrations. One break he was remembered for was a fingertip strike through four one-inch pine boards.
It was during this time in Sudbury that Sensei Dalgleish would create a true Canadian kata – “The Way of the Wolverine”. Sensei Dalgleish was proud to be a Canadian and this was his way of giving something back to the martial arts that was Canadian. The kata is a mixture of Shotokan, Goju Ryu, Chito Ryu, Shaolin Gung Fu and Wing Chun. His kata is still practiced today throughout most of Canada. This kata was his masterpiece and something he will always be remembered by.
In the mid 1970’s despite the high enrolment, financial and personal problems cause the Sudbury Goju Kai Karate Dojo to close. Sensei Dalgleish moved back to Toronto.
Over the next few years, Sensei Dalgleish continued to travel and teach. For a short period he stayed with Pat McCarthy. Later on he would train and teach at Ken Hayashi’s Karate school. He continued to teach seminars and perform demonstration throughout the city of Toronto. He called London home for a short while, teaching and helping a student open a karate school.
The weekend of July 6, 1978, Sensei Dalgleish was scheduled to teach a seminar in Timmins, Ontario but suddenly cancelled it because he felt that he needed to visit his mother in Thunder Bay. Sensei Dalgleish died from heart failure during this visit. He was buried in his karate uniform and belt.