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higaonna sensei

Higaonna Sensei

Higaonna Sensei, also known as Morio Higaonna, is a renowned master of traditional Okinawan karate with a career spanning over five decades. His influence in the world of martial arts is undeniable, making him one of the most respected figures in the industry. Let’s delve into the life, teachings, and impact of Higaonna Sensei on the practice of karate.

Early Life and Training

Born on March 25, 1938, in Naha, Okinawa, Japan, Higaonna Sensei started his journey in karate at a young age under the tutelage of the legendary Chojun Miyagi, the founder of Goju-ryu karate. His dedication to training was unwavering, spending countless hours perfecting his techniques and immersing himself in the principles of traditional Okinawan karate.

  • Higaonna Sensei’s early exposure to karate under Miyagi’s guidance laid the foundation for his future success in the martial arts world.
  • His commitment to training from a young age showcases his passion and determination to excel in the art of karate.
  • The influence of Miyagi Sensei on Higaonna’s development as a martial artist is profound and reflected in his teaching style and approach.

Teaching and Influence

In 1979, Higaonna Sensei founded the International Okinawan Goju-ryu Karate-do Federation (IOGKF) to propagate the teachings of Goju-ryu karate globally. Through this organization, he has conducted seminars, workshops, and demonstrations in various countries, including Japan, the United States, Australia, and Europe, to share his knowledge and expertise.

  • The establishment of the IOGKF by Higaonna Sensei signifies his commitment to preserving and spreading the art of Goju-ryu karate.
  • His emphasis on traditional values like discipline, respect, and humility in his teachings fosters a holistic approach to karate practice.
  • The global reach of Higaonna Sensei’s workshops and seminars has made a significant impact on the international karate community, inspiring practitioners worldwide.

Philosophy and Principles

At the core of Higaonna Sensei’s teachings are the fundamental principles of Goju-ryu karate, highlighting the harmony between hard and soft techniques and the development of inner strength and resilience. He stresses the importance of proper breathing, posture, and mental focus in achieving mastery in the art of karate.

  • The concept of hojo undo, or supplementary training, plays a crucial role in Higaonna Sensei’s philosophy, integrating exercises like sanchin kata and makiwara training.
  • Regular practice of hojo undo exercises is essential for building a strong foundation in karate and enhancing physical attributes such as strength, stamina, and flexibility.
  • Higaonna Sensei’s emphasis on the mental aspects of karate, in addition to physical training, sets a standard for holistic martial arts practice.

Legacy and Impact

Higaonna Sensei’s tireless dedication to preserving the traditions of Okinawan karate has left an indelible mark on the martial arts community. His teachings have inspired countless students to strive for excellence in their practice while upholding values of respect, integrity, and perseverance.

  • As a recipient of numerous awards and honors, including the title of Hanshi from the Okinawa Prefecture Karate-do Federation, Higaonna Sensei’s impact on the industry is widely recognized.
  • His role as a mentor and role model to karate practitioners worldwide exemplifies his commitment to passing on the knowledge and values of traditional Okinawan karate.
  • The ongoing legacy of Higaonna Sensei continues to motivate and influence generations of karateka, ensuring that his contributions to the martial arts world endure for years to come.


  1. ### When and where was Higaonna Sensei born?

Higaonna Sensei was born on March 25, 1938, in Naha, Okinawa, Japan.

  1. ### Who was Higaonna Sensei’s instructor in karate?

Higaonna Sensei studied under the legendary Chojun Miyagi, the founder of Goju-ryu karate.

  1. ### What organization did Higaonna Sensei establish in 1979?

Higaonna Sensei established the International Okinawan Goju-ryu Karate-do Federation (IOGKF) in 1979.

  1. ### What are some core principles of Goju-ryu karate emphasized by Higaonna Sensei?

Higaonna Sensei emphasizes the balance between hard and soft techniques, proper breathing, posture, and mental focus in achieving mastery of the art. He also emphasizes supplementary training exercises like sanchin kata and makiwara training for strength, stamina, and flexibility.