Natsuko Mineghishi began Karate while she was studying for her BSc(Engineering) at University of Western Australia (UWA), in the University Karate Club (UKC) with Sensei Kyoshin Kayo in 1993. Sensei Kayo is from Osaka and he teaches Shobukan style. In 1997, Natsuko moved to Melbourne to study music at University of Melbourne. There was no Shobukan style in Victoria so she needed to find a new style. It was difficult to change style when you were already comfortable with one so her pilgrimage lasted for 12 months to find what she wanted. During this period, she tried many Dojos of different styles. In 1998, she finally settled with the World Shotokan Karate with Sensei John Haitidis in Coburg. Going back to white belt again, she began to train regularly. by the time she became a 1 kyu brown belt, she trained at least 8 hours a week, sometimes 12 hours with Sensei.
Natsuko then moved back to Japan for 10 months and joined Shotokan Karate International. She was so impressed by Sensei Kanazawa’s personal charisma. His impression was big enough for her to even change her country of dwelling! She joined the trainings at the SKI head quarter. In 2002, after 8 years of Karate practice, she finally obtained her long wished black belt in front of Sensei Kanazawa. She then moved to the Netherlands to further study Classical music at the Amsterdam Conservatorium. She joined SKI-Holland and trained with Sensei Biagio Ridolfo for three years there. She also attended many competitions and seminars held within Europe. In 2004, at the European Championship in Ukraine, she came 4th in the Women Individual Kata category.
After completion of her musical studies in the Netherlands, Natsuko moved back to Melbourne in 2006. She asked Sensei Kanazawa if she could compete in the 9th SKI World Championship in Tokyo as a Holland competitor. The selection for the international team in generally done in the previous year, therefore, she was chosen in Holland. Although she had to move the country, Sensei Kanazawa approved her request and she competed as a Dutch athlete in November 2006. As a result, she came 5th of the world in the Women Individual Kata category.
She continued to compete in Australia. As a late starter, it took her many years to understand the key factors to win competitions. In 2012, she finally realised her dream of becoming a world champion and won dual golds in the Sydney SKIF world championship.
Natsuko has attended many seminars or gasshuku (camps). To list a few, she participated trainings with Soke Hirokazu Kanazawa in Japan (almost every year since 1991), France (1992), Holland (2004), Belgium (2003), Australia (2001, 2006) Shihan Masaru Miura – Holland (2003, 2005), Italy (2003), Japan (2006) Sensei Akira Nagai – Germany (2004), Sensei Biagio Ridolfo – Holland and Belgium (many occasions since 2002), Sensei Stephane Castrique – Belgium and Holland (many occasions since 2002). She has also been introduced to Sensei Morio Higaonna from Sensei Kanazawa to gain further knowledge in Karate. She has been regularly visiting Okinawa to discover the roots of Karate since 2009.
Natsuko also takes her Karyukai members to train in Japan every year since she opened her dojo.
Natsuko has made countless numbers of friends through Karate who share the same belief, “Endeavor to grow as a better person through the practice of Karate-Do.”