Higaonna Morio Sensei

Higaonna Morio Sensei – TOGKF Chief Instructor Autobiography

I was 17 years old and a high school student when I was instructed by Miyagi An’ichi Sensei. After the warmup exercises, the main focus was on kata practice. Miyagi An’ichi Sensei always told me the following after the training. Higaonna-kun, do not change the kata because 'kata' is Okinawan culture. At the end of the training, he would repeat over and over again, Higaonna-kun, (ケーランキョーヤ)* never change the kata.

It is said that the founder Miyagi Chojun Sensei would speak directly to Miyagi An’ichi Sensei about karate, the situation in Okinawa at that time, and about world affairs. Miyagi Chojun Sensei predicted that buildings with 10 and 20 floors would-be built-in Okinawa. At that time Miyagi An’ichi Sensei did not believe what Miyagi Chojun Sensei was saying. This was just after World War II, but even before the war, the tallest building (in Okinawa) was only four floors and so An’ichi Miyagi Sensei could not imagine that such a tall building would be built. Later, as predicted by Miyagi Chojun Sensei, buildings as high as 10 or 20 floors were built. An’ichi Miyagi Sensei thought, Miyagi Chojun sensei has an eye to the future, and he was looking at the future of Okinawa, Miyagi Chojun Sensei demonstrated Seisan kata Shimahni (Seisan) 2 or 3 times and say after which he said , With Seisan kata Umayo, Ansilsundoya. He explained the movements of Seisan kata. Umayo, Muchimini Jukutokkach Myani Ansani Gu Chu Juku Chike. (Here, grab hard and thrust hard right away) The movement of the last part of Seisan was explained by Sensei Miyagi Chojun as follows. Umayo, Bhakasani, Chujukukya next, Ma, Uchiyani, Chujukuchiyani, then Traguchi (Toraguchi) to Muchimisanishoya. (Here, kick hard, then pause, then thrust very hard, then pause and whip the tiger mouth.) After the explanation, Sensei Chojun Miyagi demonstrated in front of Miyagi An’ichi Sensei. An’ichi Miyagi Sensei was so moved by Miyagi Chojun Sensei’s movements of Seisan kata that he was left speechless. At a time when I was being instructed by Miyagi An’ichi Sensei on Seisan kata, he told me that he had been very touched by Miyagi Chojun Sensei’s movements, Higaonna kun, Miyagi Chojun Sensei’s movements at that time were so wonderful that I couldn’t say a word.

When I was receiving instruction on Seisan kata by An’ichi Miyagi Sensei, I remember standing motionless such was the wonderful effect on my heart of the movements of Seisan kata of Sensei An’ichi Miyagi. Miyagi An’ ichi Sensei hand movements left me with an awakening that cannot be experienced with words or letters and that they were exquisite and a fine art.

I understood well what Miyagi An’ichi Sensei always said, Katas are Okinawan culture, so never change the kata. I sincerely thanked him and vowed to practice amp;quot;kata thoroughly and return the favour.

I am grateful to my parents for giving birth to me, and I am grateful to my brothers. I would like to thank Miyagi An’ichi Sensei for teaching me Okinawa Goju-ryu Karate-do. I would like to express my gratitude to the Senior instructors and students of the Okinawa Honbu dojo, as well as the karate practitioners of the world who have studied and practiced Okinawa Goju-ryu. Next, we will nurture senior instructors and students to be successors of traditional Karate-Do.

Higonna Kanryo Sensei explained and taught Miyagi Chojun sensei, Miyagi Chojun Sensei explained to Miyagi An’ichi Sensei, and Miyagi An’ichi Sensei explained and instructed me, Morio Higaonna, in Uchinaaguchi (Okinawan language). The movement of traditional kata can only be expressed in Uchinaaguchi (Okinawan language). The movement is said to be wordless. It is truly an artistic movement. I myself have done one kata 100 times. In particular, I like Suparinpei kata, so it took me about 6 hours and 5 minutes to practice 108 times. After that, I continued to practice. The late Sogen Sakiyama of Kozenji Zendo, who was instructed by Miyagi Chojun Sensei, once instructed me, Practice kata thoroughly, and then practice until your body moves unconsciously. I realized that kata are not real unless they are practiced until the body moves unconsciously.

Higaonna Morio
November 23, 2022