This national body has been operating in New Zealand for many years and in that time has undergone many changes in structure. Following is a brief history of the last thirty years.
In 1968 Mr John Jarvis returned to New Zealand from studying martial arts in Tokyo Japan and began the task of bringing existing clubs together to form a single national body. The result was the Rembuden institute of martial arts. This organisation was the foundation of the current IOGKFNZ. Rembuden was for many years the largest martial arts organisation in New Zealand John Jarvis holding the rank of 5th Dan and the title country chairman/chief instructor.
In 1976 Mr Jarvis resigned and after a period of training with no international affiliation Jarvis Sensei was introduced to Higaonna Sensei through Don Draeger, a retired American officer who lived and trained in post war Japan and went on to become one of the world’s leading authorities on classical Japanese martial arts. Jarvis travelled to Japan to train with Higaonna Sensei in the hope of affiliating his national organisation. Jarvis’s visit was a success and many New Zealanders were introduced to Okinawan Goju Ryu for the first time. Higaonna Sensei visited New Zealand soon after in march 1978.
The following year, in Poole, England, at the first international training Gasshaku the I.O.G.K.F was formed.
It was twenty years ago this year, (1998), since Higaonna Sensei first visited New Zealand and Australia. Higaonna Sensei was in New Zealand this year to celebrate the occasion with training Gasshaku.
Jarvis Sensei retired from active participation in Karate in 1987 and it was at this time that the name New Zealand Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate Association was adopted with Dennis May as chief instructor.
In 1995 the New Zealand organisation was restructured and the new name of International Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate Do Federation New Zealand was approved at a meeting of national instructors.
The new structure is based on the Martial arts model but with a technical panel of the four most senior grades, and a democratic system as opposed to the autocratic single chief instructor acting as country chief. Incorporated is a management committee and area representatives responsible for geographic regions.
The current technical committee members were all students of Sensei John Jarvis, at various stages, and present at Higaonnas first visit to NZ in 1978.
The technical committee is committed to strengthening Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate and continuing a thirty year tradition of Budo in NZ.