Jasmine Stanovich - Nidan
The I.O.G.K.F. was founded in 1979 during a meeting in Poole, England. It was attended by Sensei Morio Higaonna with the support of the fourth son of Goju Ryu founder Chojun Miyagi as well as several senior students of Kanryo Higaonna (no relation to Higaonna Sensei). Its purpose is to preserve the art of Goju Ryu in its purest, traditional form, and to pass it on for generations to come. Currently, there are over 15,000 member dojos. The organization thrives today with over 75 countries around the world represented.
The founder, Morio Higaonna recently passed on the role of Chief Instructor to Sensei Tetsuji Nakamura, who has studied for years under the personal guidance of Higaonna Sensei. Both travel the globe teaching Gasshukus to tens of thousands of students each year, and improving the skills of dojo heads and instructors.
As a student of Tampa Family Martial Arts, you will be required to affiliate with the organization. This will register your rank and allow you to participate in IOGKF gasshukus and events.
I founded Tampa Family Martial Arts in February 2003 because I wanted to form a dojo that taught traditional Okinawan Goju Ryu karate. To those of you who may not know, there are many schools out there that teach what I call "hybrid" martial arts. By that I mean that the original style has been modified, adjusted, and tweaked to conform to various cultures and lifestyles. What you end up with is a shadow of what once was.
This dojo is affiliated with the IOGKF (International Okinawan Goju ryu Karate Federation). The hoshin of the organization is "to preserve Okinawan Goju Ryu karate as an intagible cultural treasure." We teach the art as it was passed down from one generation to the next, with a direct lineage to the founder of Goju Ryu, Chojun Miyagi. We do not alter....we do not compromise.
For those of you who are new to this and are considering training and study of the martial arts, remember to think about the investment of time and energy you are going to commit. It takes years. It is not a destination, but a journey. Make sure that, along with your commitment, the school you are about to join is not a "factory". Tampa Family Martial Arts is a small school. I personally have a full time career outside of this school, and I formed it because of my passion of the art, not to make money. I love teaching, but more than that, I love learning. I made a commitment to my students that I would continually improve my skills and abilities by attending regular seminars, or Gasshukus, to enhance my own skills and bring what I learn back to the dojo. I make this promise to anyone considering our school: you will receive some of the best training for traditional Okinawan Goju Ryu karate found anywhere. I personally take pride in watching my students develop and grow both as karateka and as individuals. I also have that desire to develop and grow myself, and I put that passion into every single class.
My assistant instructor, Jasmine Stanovich, started with us as a kid in 2004 and has been with us ever since. She has graded to the rank of Nidan (2nd degree black belt) both times grading in front of the now World Chief Instructor of the IOGKF, Sensei Tesuji Nakamura. All black belts are required to grade in front of a panel that does not include their instructor in order to give gradings objectivity and credibility.
Sensei Bob Bolton, Yondan
I.O.G.K.F. Certified Fourth Degree Black Belt
Taylor MacDougall - Shodan
Tyler MacDougall - Shodan