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The IOGKF (International Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate-do Federation) is an organization that was created by Sensei Morio Higaonna in 1979, and today includes dojos from over 70 countries. It was created to ensure the preservation of traditional Okinawan Goju-Ryu. The RB Karate Center has been a proud member of the IOGKF since the dojo was first established in 1997.
All members of the organization follow the same teaching structure and curriculum, as established by Sensei Morio Higaonna. To ensure that everyone adheres to the same standards and follows the standard teaching structure, Sensei Higaonna and Sensei Nakamura spend most of their time traveling around the world to different countries, holding training seminars for karate practitioners and instructors. Each year our instructors attend several of these training seminars to reinforce correct technique and proper training methods.
The crest we wear on our gi (uniform) top is the symbol of the IOGKF and visually symbolizes the principle of “goju” (hard & soft). In the Japanese language, the interplay between Heaven and Earth is described as kenkon. “Ken” indicates heaven, while “kon” refers to Earth. In the crest, Heaven is portrayed as the rounded shape on the outside, while Earth is the square. Not only does Heaven relate to softness and Earth to hardness, but this also symbolizes the vastness of Heaven and Earth. As a result, the crest expresses the harmony between hardness and softness found in nature.
Within the crest, no emphasis is placed upon Chojun Miyagi Sensei (the founder of Goju-Ryu), as the idea stems from an international perspective. However, because the concept of Goju-Ryu originated with Chojun Miyagi, it is necessary to explain that the square symbol within the circle was originally the family crest of Miyagi Sensei.
For more information on the IOGKF and the dojos around the world, please visit their website at http://www.iogkf.com/.