Sensei Ralph Batty started training in Okinawan Goju-ryu in 1983 at the age of 12 under the tutelage of Sensei Chuck Merriman. Sensei Ralph made the rank of shodan at the age of 16 and opened his first dojo, which was based in Mystic, CT, at the age of 19. Although he had his own dojo, he continued to teach and train at Chuck Merriman Karate International (CMKI). Sensei Ralph trained at the CMKI dojo for 13 years.
In 1990 Sensei had the opportunity to compete at an international event hosted by Sensei Ozawa in Las Vegas. Sensei was on a team with Sensei Andre Tippett (a phenomenal Uechi Ryu stylist and NFL Hall of Fame legend) and Sensei Chad Merriman. The team went on to place third out of the 26 other teams that participated. In addition to participating in such a difficult competition, he had the opportunity to meet Higaonna Morio Sensei, the founder of IOGKF (International Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate-do Federation). This was a turning point in Sensei’s career, as it led to a lifelong affiliation with the IOGKF. After joining IOGKF, Sensei Ralph continued to train and compete with his team. During this time they were Northeast Regional AAU Team Champions for 4 consecutive years. Sensei Ralph’s personal accomplishments included gold medals in individual kata and kumite. In 1993 Ralph traveled to China with Higaonna Sensei for 2 weeks for a cultural exchange and additional training. In 1994 he and his team won the AAU National Team Championship. Later that year, he competed with the IOGKF USA Kumite Team and received another gold medal with a team win over IOGKF Denmark.
In 1995 CMKI decided to leave the IOGKF and Sensei Ralph found himself contemplating his future in karate do. Later that year, after travelling and training with Higaonna Sensei, he left the school he called home for 13 years to open his own dojo – Connecticut Goju Kan. In addition to being part of the IOGKF, Connecticut Goju Kan has a very tight affiliation with the IOGKF Northeast Region (under Sensei Chris DeWet) and IOGKF USA (under Sensei Gene Villa). The dojo continues to grow and has been thriving for the past 20 years. Sensei Ralph currently holds the rank of yondan (4th degree black belt) in the IOGKF. Sensei takes pride in all of his classes – he specializes in youth, adaptive classes, and senior (55 and older) and has a tight knit adult core of senpai who help to make his dojo a success.