International Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate-Do Federation - History

The International Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate-Do Federation was established in July, 1979, during the meeting held at the first international gasshuku, in Poole, England with Morio Higannoa Sensei as its Chairman and World Chief Instructor. For a long time the number of international students training under Higannoa Sensei had been growing rapidly. At the founding meeting there were 18 countries represented. 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 Nikamoto, Kiei Tomoyose, Shunshin Furugen, Jitsuei Yogi, and Shuichi Aragaki.


The International Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate-Do Federation 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.



At the founding meeting it was proposed that within each country, associations would be formed to strengthen the Federation as a whole. Every year gasshuku (training camps) would be held in member countries to ensure transmission of correct technique and to promote friendship and exchange between members. In this way the federation could be strengthened, tradition preserved and Goju-Ryu Karate spread throughout the world. Benefits would be felt by all members as they developed technically through practicing together.


Since its beginning in 1979 and IOGKF has been growing rapidly. At the time of writing there are 35 countries worldwide with new members joining all the time.


The IOGKF is today 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 future improvement and development of Goju-Ryu Karate through diligent training so that we may come to understand the very essences of our art.


IOGKF International is led by World Chief Instructor, Sensei Tetsuji Nakamura (8th DAN) with its headquarters located at the Shudokan Karate and Family Fitness Centre, Burlington, Ontario, Canada.