My introduction to martial arts came from an early age when my father taught judō. However my inclination was towards karate and so for my tenth birthday I was gifted lessons at a local dojo. I’ve never stopped.
At the age of eighteen I took myself to Japan in order to continue studying at the honbu (headquarter) dojo of Hirokazu Kanazawa, a world renowned karate master of the Shotokan style. Whilst there I became the private student of Shigeru Sawada who served as the senior coach for the Japanese karate team. Through his introductions I met other teachers of both karate and kendo.
Upon my return to the UK I completed a two year course in Shiatsu Therapy which has enabled me to professionally treat individual’s suffering from back pain, insomnia and stress related illness. Numerous martial artists have sought my services to recover from damaged knees and other complaints attributed to the overzealous training methods of their karate.
In 2008 I lived and trained for a while in France with author and martial artist Mark Bishop who has been a valuable mentor over the years.
Since 2011 I have studied directly with Higa Kiyohiko, 10th dan and Head of the Bugeikan dojo in Shuri, Okinawa. Today I am considered his senior private student and faithfully preserve the syllabus’ of two archaic styles namely the karate of Bushi Tachimura and Hanashiro Chomo. Additionally I study Yamane-ryu bojutsu and various weaponry forms of Ryukyuan Bujutstu including swords, spear, glaive and bow.
By virtue of his own heritage and martial prowess Mr Higa is the menkyo-kaiden (certificate of succession) holder to these three traditions as illustrated in the simplified lineage chart below.
Hailing from over five generations of noted martial arts experts on his father’s side, and a direct descendent of the last high priestess of the Ryukyu Kingdom, Higa sensei represents a living bridge between the old and new ways of Okinawan martial arts and spiritual practises. A retired professor of mathematics, he lives in Gibo, Shuri and is a highly regarded member of the local community. In his spare time he practises calligraphy, painting and singing.