Rob Murdoch Awarded ISKA Lifetime Achievement Award

Rob Murdoch Awarded ISKA Lifetime Achievement Award

From the Desk of ISKA President

Cory Schafer

How do I  begin a tribute to an individual who I am certain would prefer that nothing at all be said?  In this case, I am compelled to ignore his personal preference.

The most vigorously emphasized point in ISKA’s official’s training programs is, “It’s the beginning of the end of your life in our sport, when you make it about YOU!”.    Rob Murdoch’s two-and-a-half-decade example stands as the embodiment of this principle.  He has NEVER made it about him.  For 25 years he has demonstrated commitment and devotion to the tenant principles of ISKA; It’s about the fighters.  It’s about the sport.

A more colorful individual you could hardly meet.  Rob’s martial arts background is impressive to say the least beginning with Judo/Self Defense in 1948, Boxing 1949-1960, Budo Kan Karate 1961-63, Kyokushinkai Karate 1972-74, TaeKownso in 1980 and Coy le Fut Kung Fue in 1985.  His core system, Heng Kuai was founded in 1975.  He joined in 1980 and became head coach in 1985 and entered his students for the first time in “full-contact” open competitions.  During this time, Rob was also an elite Roller Games (Derby) competitor  beginning in the mid 1960’s.  He captained and coached the first Australian championship teams and went on to do the same for a USA All-Star team and then was drafted to run a training school in Japan.

To say that Rob Murdoch is an icon of Australian Kickboxing would be an understatement. Surprisingly, In his own words, “I never had the intention of becoming a trainer or a leader.  I just continued to move in the direction of how I could best serve the athletes and the sport”   He overcame an environment of corruption and exploitation and helped set the stage for Australian kickboxing industry that would create positive opportunities for countless athletes and promoters.

The following are three of my favorite Rob Murdoch quotes (taken from an IK Article)

In your opinion, what’s the worst thing a fighter can do in or out of the ring?

Be untruthful to themselves.

What makes a champ?

You could write a book on that, but when it all boils down, in my opinion, an unending passion for the sport.

What advice do you have for up and coming fighters?

Be regular at training and don’t be impatient, AND never stop learning.


Now in his eighth decade of a life worth living he still enjoys early morning training in the gym daily after playing with his two mastiffs.  He also finds time to ride his street Bob Harley.  Planning the menu for the dinner meal for he and his lovely wife Josephine is a priority.  After the gym closes in the evening Rob does the cooking (over a shared glass of wine) followed by either a game of pool or enjoying a movie together.

Rob’s lifestyle and participation in our sport can be summed up best by the following,

“Only those who have learned the power of sincere and selfless contribution experience life’s deepest joy; true fulfillment”.

With gratitude and warm wishes, ISKA recognizes Rob Murdoch with our Lifetime Achievement Award and as Director Emeritus.


The operation of ISKA Australia National Ring Sports division will continue under the leadership of Jeff Bullock who has been manning the helm down-under since 2018.  All sanctioning requests and/or inquiries concerning officials certification and event representation should be directed exclusively to his office.  Rob continues to express his full confidence in Jeff and Jeff is certainly grateful for Rob’s continued advise and mentorship.