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 formation, the teachings of Morio Higaonna Sensei have been spread around the world, and the IOGKF now has more than 50 affiliated countries worldwide. Every year gasshuku (training seminars) are held in various countries to ensure the transmission of correct techniques and to promote friendship and exchange between members.
The IOGKF is one of the few karate organizations that the Japanese Government recognizes as a true Japanese traditional martial arts organization. The 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, both of whom are direct students of Chojun Miyagi Sensei. This recognizes him as a successor in the direct line descended from Miyagi Chojun Sensei.
Today the IOGKF 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-Ryukarate through diligent training, so that we may come to understand the very essence of our art.
Higaonna Sensei is the Chief Instructor for IOGKF International.
Alanna Higaonna was the administrative director
from the beginning of the organization until 2006.
Tetsuji Nakamura was appointed to the administrative
director after Alanna Higaonna retired. 2008, Bakkies Laubscher Sensei, Kazuo Terauchi Sensei and Takeshi Kamimura Sensei are the Technical Advisors. Katsuya Yamashiro Sensei was appointed as Chairman of IOGKF International and Tetsuji Nakamura Sensei was appointed the Vice-Chief Instructor of IOGKF International.
The IOGKF Administrative Honbu (Headquarters) is in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. The Technical Honbu for the IOGKF is in Naha, Okinawa, Japan where Higaonna Sensei currently teaches.