The International Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate-Do Federation (IOGKF) was established in July 1979 by Morio Higaonna Sensei. The IOGKF was established for the purpose of protecting and preserving traditional Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate-Do as an intangible cultural treasure in its original form as passed on by Goju-Ryu founder Chojun Miyagi, and spreading this art throughout the nations of the world. Most importantly, the IOGKF was being formed with the support and backing of Ken Miyagi (fourth son of Goju-Ryu founder Chojun Miyagi), An’ichi Miyagi (successor to Chojun Miyagi) and senior students of the late Chojun Miyagi: Seiko Kina, Seijin Nakamoto, Kiei Tomoyose, Shunshin Furugen, Jitsuei Yogi, and Shuichi Aragaki.
Since its foundation, the teachings of Morio Higaonna Sensei has been spread around the world, and the IOGKF now has over 50 affiliated countries worldwide. Every year gasshuku (training seminars) are held in various countries to ensure the transmission of correct technique and to promote friendship and exchange between members.
IOGKF is one of few karate organizations that the Japanese Government recognizes as a true Japanese traditional martial arts organization. IOGKF is a proud member of the Nihon Kobudo Kyokai (Japan Traditional Martial Arts Association).
In September 2007, Higaonna Sensei received 10th dan (the highest rank in karate) as well as a special certificate signed by Miyagi An’ichi Sensei (successor of Goju-Ryu) and Aragaki Shuichi Sensei (direct students of Chojun Miyagi Sensei) that recognizes him as a successor in the direct line descended from Miyagi Chojun Sensei.
The IOGKF today is as dedicated to its original purpose as it was in 1979. The IOGKF represents the philosophy of Goju-Ryu founder “Bushi” Chojun Miyagi, and with this in mind Higaonna Sensei reminds us that it is important to dedicate ourselves to the further improvement and development of Goju-Ryu karate through diligent training so that we may come to understand the very essence of our art.
In 2012 at the world Budosai, Sensei Tetsuji Nakamura was appointed by Sensei Morio Higaonna to the position of world chief instructor. Sensei Nakamura has spent his time since then traveling all over the world instructing other in Okinawan Goju Ryu as it has been passed down to him by Sensei Higaonna. Sensei Higaonna continues to teach out of his home Dojo in Okinawa and frequently has guests from all over the world.
IOGKF Supreme Master (Saiko Shihan)
Morio Higaonna (Jūdan, Japan)
IOGKF Chief Instructor (Shuseki Shihan)
Tetsuji Nakamura (Nanadan, Canada)
IOGKF Vice Chief Instructor (Fuku Shuseki Shihan)
Ernie Molyneux (Hachidan, England)
Henrik Larsen (Nanadan, Denmark)
IOGKF USA Chief Instructor
Andy Franz (Godan, USA)
IOGKF USA Regional Coordinators
North East Region: Heather Frost
West Coast Region: Rodney Hu
South East Region: Robert Bolton