IOGKF: The next Generation

The 2012 World Budosai will be an event that will go down in the history books not only for its successes, but for it being the mark of the second generation on IOGKF International. Learn more about our new Chief and Vice Chief instructors who are now responsible for leading us into the future...

It was a small part of Higaonna Sensei speech, spoken without a fuss and with the humility we have come to associate with our Master after nearly 40 years of IOGKF International.

“On a personal note, I will be stepping down from my position as chief instructor of IOGKF. I will be watching the organisation as an advisor hereafter. It is important for the development of Okinawa Goju-ryu to trust the next generation and pass the responsibility on to them. I believe it is time.

I would like to ask for everyone’s support, understanding and cooperation.”

       Master Morio Higaonna: July 15th, 2012

The duty of IOGKF World Chief Instructor has now passed to Sensei Tetsuji Nakamura (7th Dan Okinawan Goju-ryu). He will be supported by Vice Chief Instructors, Sensei Ernie Molyneux (8th Dan Okinawan Goju-ryu) from England and Sensei Henrik Larsen (7th Dan Okinawan Goju-ryu) from Denmark. Together they form an executive committee who will be responsible for making sure the International Federation functions properly and ensure that Okinawan Goju-ryu thrives into the future.

Before taking a look at both our World & Vice Chief Instructors, Nakamura Sensei released the following address following his promotion:


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It is a great honour to be appointed as the Chief Instructor of IOGKF.  At the same time, I feel the great responsibility that comes with being chosen as a leader for my generation. 

The IOGKF was established in 1979 by Morio Higaonna Sensei to preserve the traditional Goju-Ryu which was handed down from the founder, Chojun Miyagi Sensei.  Higaonna Sensei and many senior IOGKF instructors such as Sensei Bakkies Laubscher, Kazuo Terauchi Sensei, the late Sensei Leon Pantanowitz and more, have worked hard to build the IOGKF we have now. 

I believe that the IOGKF is the best karate organization in the world.  We are not the biggest, but we have a very high quality of Karate as our main focus is the quality, not quantity.  Also, we have a great relationship among our members.  It is Higaonna Sensei’s humanity that created such a wonderful relationship and atmosphere among our members, a fine balance and mixture of family atmosphere and respect.

Higaonna Sensei commented in his greeting at the World Budosai, “It is important for the development of Okinawa Goju-ryu to trust in the next generation and pass the responsibility on to them.  I believe this is the time”. 

I am still young and still have a lot to learn as a Karate-ka as well as a person.  However, I am not alone.  Sensei Ernie Molyneux and Sensei Henrik Larsen are with me as Vice Chief Instructors.  I have Sensei Bakkies Laubscher and Kazuo Terauchi Sensei as technical advisors.  I have many fine instructors in my generation that I can call friends, brothers and sisters.  Together, I believe that we can carry on the legacy to the next generation.

I commit myself to spend my whole life to preserve traditional Goju-ryu and to do my best to further develop the IOGKF.  I would humbly like to ask for your support.

       Sensei Tetsuji Nakamura

July, 2012

Profiles on our new Chief & Vice Chief Instructors:


Tetsuji Nakamura was born in 1965, in Osaka, Japan.  He trained in Judo for six years (junior high and high school), and holds a ni dan rank.  He started karate training when he was 15 in the Japanese Goju style.  After graduating from university in 1989, he moved to Okinawa to train under Aragaki Shuichi Sensei (student of founder Miyagi Chojun Sensei).  Through Aragaki Sensei, he was introduced to Higaonna Morio Sensei and joined Higaonna Dojo and the IOGKF.  In 1991, he won 1st place in irikumi-go (middle weight) and 2nd place in kata at the first IOGKF world championships, and was invited by Higaonna Sensei to USA to become an assistant instructor at IOGKF world headquarters, Institute of Traditional Karate.  In 1994, he won 1st place both in irikumi-ju (middle weight) and kata at the second IOGKF world championships.  In 1995, he moved to Tokyo, Japan to help Higaonna Sensei establish IOGKF Japan headquarters, Ryubukan.  In 1997, he moved to Toronto, Canada.  In 2003, he was appointed as an IOGKF administrative director and IOGKF Canada chief instructor.  In 2008, he was appointed as an IOGKF Vice Chief Instructor. He has since travelled the world spreading IOGKF and also accompanied Higaonna Sensei on research trips to China. In 2012, he was promoted to World Chief Instructor and holds the responsibility for continuing Goju-ryu on to the next generation.

Nakamura Sensei received many messages of support from IOGKF members at this below link:


Sensei Ernie took his Shodan in 1978 and his 8th Dan in 2012, with an impressive list of National and International championship titles to his name. As the senior instructor of IOGKF International, his enthusiasm and commitment to the federation is respected and appreciated by all those that have the privilege to train with him. As the EGKA Chief Instructor for England and now Joint Vice Chief Instructor for the IOGKF, Sensei Ernie continues to enjoy working on an International platform to preserve and promote Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate for future generations. Sensei Ernie also has an impressive instruction tool know as the Goju-ryu Academy – a website detailing all aspects of Okinawa Goju-ryu and self defence.To learn more about Sensei Ernie Molyneux visit: or to sample his Goju-ryu academy site visit:


Sensei Henrik Larsen is currently ranked Seventh Dan in IOGKF and has been chief instructor of IOGKF Denmark since 1986. In 1994 he was appointed to sit on the IOGKF international executive committee council, making him their longest-serving member. Sensei Henrik Larsen has taught in over 13 different countries and is firmly known as a senior instructor on the IOGKF Gasshuku circuit. Also in 1994 he received his Shihan certificate which was presented to him by Higaonna Sensei. Higaonna Dojo in Naha, Okinawa, was where Sensei Henrik Larsen graded and passed his Seventh Dan in November 2006. In 2010 he played host to one of the biggest IOGKF events in history, with over 1000 people attending the Denmark European Gasshuku. In 2012 at the World Budosai he was promoted to Vice Chief Instructor of the IOGKF by Higaonna Sensei. Sensei Henrik, along with Sensei Ernie Molyneux, will be part of the core support of our new World Chief instructor. For more information on Sensei Henrik Larsen visit:

For events with Nakamura Sensei and IOGKF Chief Instructors please visit the following link:

To contact IOGKF, please email our new Administrative director, Sensei Adrienne Langgartner: