Morio Higaonna Sensei
Morio Higaonna Sensei is one of the last, undoubtedly, eminent Okinawan karate masters. He is a holder of the 10th dan of Okinawa Goju Ryu Karate-do. Morio Higaonna is the author of several popular books on karate: “Traditional Karate-do: Okinawa Goju Ryu” (1985) and “The history of Karate: Okinawan Goju Ryu “ (2001). A famous scholar and practitioner of martial arts Donn Draeger once said about him: “This is the most dangerous man in Japan in a real fight”.
Higaonna Sensei was in Okinawa born on Christmas day in 1938. As a young boy he trained with his father in another style of Karate and was immediately taken in by what he saw and learnt. Soon after he began training with a school friend, Tsunetaka Shimabukuro Sensei, in his front garden. Shimabukuro told Higaonna Sensei of the immense power of Goju-ryu and that he should join the garden dojo of Miyagi Chojun Bushi.
So at the age of 16, and with the appropriate introductions arranged, the young Higaonna presented himself at the garden dojo of Miyagi Bushi to train. Miyagi Bushi had since passed away but one of the seniors told Higaonna Sensei Anichi Miyagi is the most knowledgeable, go and learn from him.
This began a life long relationship between Higaonna Sensei and his teacher, Master Anichi Miyagi. Anichi Sensei is a direct disciple of Miyagi Bushi and spent extensive time training with the latter in private at his home in the legendary garden dojo.
When his mentor, Anichi Senseis, work took him over seas, Higaonna Sensei decided too, to see more of the world. He attended Tokyos Takushoku university and opened the legendary Yoyogi dojo.
Yoyogi would become one of the most famous and most attended dojo's by foreigners in the world during the 1970's and early 1980's. Higaonna Sensei began extremely well known and earned the description as the most dangerous man in Japan in a real fight.
In July, 1979 in Poole, England, Higaonna Sensei founded, with the permission of many of Chojun Sensei's senior students, the International Okinawan Goju-ryu Karate-do Federation (IOGKF) a federation dedicated to spreading the true Karate, philosophy, and teachings of Miyagi Chojun Sensei throughout the world. Today the IOGKF has over 50,000 members in over 45 different countries.
Higaonna Sensei now lives back in Okinawa where he has since established the famous Higaonna Dojo and has credit for turning out such fine instructors such as Sensei's Bakkies Laubscher, Kazuo Terauchi, George Andrews, Ernie Molyneux Nakamura Tetsuji, just to name a few.
He travels Internationally regularly to conduct seminars around the world and with the aid of some of his most senior and dedicated students. His is as humble as any human could be and is a true Master of the Martial Arts. He was graded to 10th Dan in September 2007 by his Masters, Master Anichi Miyagi and Master Shuichi Aragaki - both direct decendents of Miyagi Chojun Sensei, the founder of Goju-ryu Karate.
Tetsuji Nakamura Sensei
Tetsuji Nakamura Sensei. 7th dan of Okinawa Goju Ryu Karate-do and 2nd dan of Judo. Chief instructor and administrative director of the International Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate-do Federation. He has been training in Goju Ryu under the guidance of Morio Higaonna Sensei for over 30 years. Sensei Tetsuji Nakamura has won 3 World Championships in kumite and in kata. In1997 he moved to Canada as a technical advisor for IOGKF Canada. He was soon appointed as the Chief Instructor for IOGKF Canada and North America as well as the Administrative Director for the International Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate-do Federation, the office he held till 2012, when Grandmaster and founder of IOGKF Morio Higaonna Sensei recommended him for the post of the World Chief instructor for the IOGKF. Nakamura Sensei holds a law degree and teacher's license for philosophy, politics, and economics from Kagawa University, Japan.
Masakazu Kuramoto Sensei
Kuramoto Sensei (6th dan) is an uchi-deshi (inside student, live-in apprentice) of Morio Higaonna Sensei. Since 2003 Kuramoto Sensei is a senior instructor at Honbu Dojo in Okinawa. It is Masakazu Kuramoto who in the absence of Higaonna Sensei conducts trainings in this legendary place. He is a marvelous master who embraces the principles of the traditional karate revering the martial art, which he has been studying under the guidance of Morio Higaonna Sensei over a long period of time. He possesses an impeccable, canonical technique. Kuramoto Sensei is a very modest, unfathomably amiable and kind person, a real karateka.