Just after Al Goessman began practicing in 1979, Mr. Ohshima traveled to the Kamloops dojo to lead practice. Al was impressed. The respect and the dedication shown by all the members led him to realize that this karate group was something special. And so, in 1980, Al attended his first special training at Camp Elphinstone, and was part of a small but intense group consisting of only 40 people, many of whom were high level seniors from California as well as Canada. Since that time, Al has had the opportunity to practice with many of these seniors, through his willingness to travel not just to Vancouver, but to the Seattle area and to California.
Al has been an important leader in Canada West for many years. In addition to assisting Rob Powers with leadership of the dojo and the senior practice in Kamloops, Al has been co-leading Special Trainings since 1996. In 1997 at the Canada Shotokan 25th Anniversary, Al became a yodan. In 2006 at Unity: SKA's 50th Anniversary, Al became a godan.
Another important part of Al's practice is his son Kurt, who began practicing at the age of 11, and is now a nidan. The opportunity to train with his son in such a close knit community has been a very important influence not just upon Al's karate practice, but upon his life.