The karate community in Roodepoort recently experienced a historic event as Goju Ryu Karate Centre and our sibling dojo, Palm Court Karate, had the distinct honour of hosting Hanshi Masanari Kikugawa. The event, held at both dojos as well Hoërskool Randburg, brought together over 330 dedicated students, including an impressive assembly of more than 100 black belts. We were also honoured to host the Kattans as well, who are 8th dans and the highest ranked OGKK practitioners on the continent.
Hanshi Masanari Kikugawa, a living legend in the world of martial arts, holds the esteemed title of INTANGIBLE CULTURAL TREASURE, bestowed upon him by the government of Okinawa. This recognition reflects a lifetime of unwavering dedication and practice of Okinawan Goju Ryu, making him the most knowledgeable grand master in this revered style of karate on a global scale.
Kikugawa Sensei, a 10th dan black belt and the esteemed Technical Director of the Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate-do Kyokai (OGKK), travelled from his home in Naha, Okinawa to Johannesburg, providing a rare and invaluable opportunity for local practitioners to learn from a true master. Participants had the privilege of not only meeting Kikugawa Sensei, but also engaging in training sessions under his expert guidance.
The event showcased the vibrancy and strength of the martial arts community in Roodepoort, with enthusiasts travelling from as far as Qatar to attend. The presence of over 100 black belts underscored the depth of expertise that converged for this special occasion. Such visits from distinguished grandmasters in Japan are exceedingly rare, making this event a standout moment in the local martial arts calendar. The impact of Kikugawa Sensei's teachings will undoubtedly resonate within the community, further elevating the standards of Goju Ryu Karate in Gauteng.