Tooting Karate Club’s Lineage

Karate is much more than mere fighting. It has etiquette and philosophy and has incorporated both ancient oriental studies such as energy points (or Kyusho) and modern scientific understandings of physical movement, medicine and anatomy. Such a big system cannot be learned from books and at Tooting Karate Club we are very proud to have a direct lineage back to the founder of Goju Ryu Karate, Master Chojun Miyagi. Our line is as follows:

  1. Sensei Chojun Miyagi
  2. Sensei An’ichi Miyagi
  3. Shihan Morio Higaonna
  4. Sensei George Andrews
  5. Sensei Ernie Molyneux
  6. Sensei Linda Marchant

Master Chojun Miyagi

Master Chojun Miyagi (who lived from 1888 to 1953) studied under Master Kanryo Higaonna. A man of incredible talent and determination, he formulated Goju Ryu Karate from the Naha-te martial arts systems that preceded karate.

Master Chojun Miyagi

Master Chojun Miyagi

It was Master Chojun Miyagi that not only created Goju Ryu Karate, but that saw it’s spread from Okinawa to Japan – the Japanese had previously dismissed Okinawan martial arts as something to be looked down upon. Without Master Miyagi’s efforts to preserve the Okinawan martial arts, we would not be practicing Karate in it’s richness and depth as we now do today. Much more is to be said for this great master’s contribution to martial arts; for more information please follow these links:

Sensei An’ichi Miyagi

Master Chojun Miyagi passed his style onto Sensei An’ichi Miyagi and upon Master Chojun Miyagi’s passing in 1953, Sensei An’ichi Miyagi was appointed as instructor at the late Master Miyagi’s dojo. Sensei An’ichi had previously been selected by Chojun Miyagi Sensei as his successor, due in part to his diligence and enthusiasm for training.

Sensei An'ichi Miyagi

Sensei An’ichi Miyagi

Chojun Miyagi Sensei treated him as if his own son, spending countless hours right up until his passing ensuring that An’ichi developed correct technique and understanding in order to pass it to future generations.

An’ichi Miyagi Sensei passed away on 28 April 2009. He will be sorely missed but his legacy contnues with his student, Higaonna Sensei as well as through IOGKF.

Shihan Morio Higaonna

Shihan Morio Higaonna began training at Master Miyagi’s dojo around this time. His love for karate was to flourish into a passion there and Chojun Miyagi’s widow, Makato, told him that he should learn from An’ichi Miyagi as the latter was most close to her husband and learned from him Goju-Ryu in great detail. Shihan Morio Higaonna did just that, training diligently until Sensei An’ichi Miyagi took a job aboard an oil tanker. Work was not easily come by in Okinawa at this time an Sensei An’ichi Miyagi still had the responsibility of looking after his family. Shihan Morio Higaonna took this as an opportunity to broaden his horizons too and took a place at Takushoku University in Tokyo.

Sensei Morio Higaonna

Sensei Morio Higaonna

It was here in Tokyo that Shihan Higaonna began teaching at a karate club in the Yoyogi district. During 20 years of teaching there he built a reputation that would spread internationally and people from around the world traveled to train with this superb fighter.

With the support of both Chojun Miyagi’s family and many of Chojun Miyagi’s senior students, Shihan Higaonna formed the International Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate-do Federation (or IOGKF) in 1979. Today, IOGKF has over 50,000 affiliated students in 45 countries around the world. Shihan Morio Higaonna received his 10th dan certificate from his teacher, Sensei An’ichi Miyagi on September 5th, 2007. Higaonna Shihan also received a special certificate signed by Aragaki Shuichi Sensei and Miyagi An’ichi Sensei (both direct students of founder of Goju Ryu Karate, Chojun Miyagi Sensei) that recognizes him as a student in the direct line descended from Miyagi Chojun Sensei. Miyagi An ichi Sensei and Aragaki Shuichi Sensei both felt that recognizing Morio Higaonna Shihan as part of the Goju-Ryu lineage is important for the future of Goju-Ryu being passed on to future generations.

Sensei George Andrews

One of the international students that began training in Goju Ryu Karate was from London. Sensei George Andrews had been training in Karate since 1967, and first began instruction directly from Shihan Higaonna in 1977. He formed the Okinawan Traditional Goju Ryu Karate-do Association (OTGKA) in 2002 to preserve and propagate the teachings of Shihan Higaonna in the UK.

Sensei George Andrews with Shihan Higaonna and Sensei Marchant at a Gasshuku in Sheffield in 1997

Sensei George Andrews with Shihan Higaonna and Sensei Marchant at a Gasshuku in Sheffield in 1997

Today, with over 40 years of training behind him, he is one of the most experienced and respected karate students in England, holds a 8th Dan grade presented by Shihan Higaonna and, in addition to running The Institute of Traditional Karate-do in Elephant & Castle, London, regularly teaches around the UK, Europe and further overseas.

Sensei Ernie Molyneux

Sensei Ernie Molyneux, 8th dan IOGKF is the Chief Instructor of EGKA as well as being joint IOGKF VIce Chief Instructor along with Sensei Henrik Larsen, 7th dan .He is also on the Executive Committee of IOGKF.

Sensei Ernie Molyneux

Sensei Ernie Molyneux

Sensei Linda Marchant

Sensei Linda Marchant, the founder and chief instructor of Tooting Karate Club.

Sensei Linda Marchant at the Cyberbudo Budosai, Bisham Abbey, 2007

Sensei Linda Marchant at the Cyberbudo Budosai, Bisham Abbey, 2007

Sensei Linda has been training in martial arts since age 10 when she began training in Judo. She’s since gone on to hold the rank of 7th Dan black belt and has won numerous competitions at national and international level, as well as many other accolades in other sporting fields. Sensei Linda is a regular on the teaching circuit around the world.

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