BUSHIDO The Saga Begins The Movie The Official Website
Morio Higaonna was born in the city of Naha on the island of Okinawa December 25th, 1938. His initial instruction in the martial arts began by training under the tutelage of his father, a Shorin-ryu stylist. He later began training with a friend, another Shorin-ryu stylist, Tsunetaka Shimabukuro, who taught at the high school Higaonna attended.
It was Shimabukuro Sensei, who himself had trained with the great Bushi Chojun Miyagi for about two years, who introduced the young Morio to the garden dojo of Chojun Miyagi in 1955. Chojun Miyagi had passed away two years earlier and Higaonna began his training in Goju-Ryu under the tutelage of An’ichi Miyagi Sensei, who was the main instructor at the garden dojo after the death of his teacher. The two began a life-long relationship of student and teacher that lasted until the death of An’ichi Sensei.
In 1960 Morio Higaonna moved to Tokyo to attend Takushoku University, graduating with a degree in commerce in 1964. It is also at this time that he began teaching at the Yoyogi Dojo. It wasn’t long before the prowess of this young karate instructor reached practitioners overseas (Higaonna Sensei was described by Donn Draeger as the most dangerous man in Japan in a real fight), and they began travelling to Japan to train with him, making Yoyogi dojo famous and the most attended dojo by foreigners in the world during the 1970's and early 1980's.
In July, 1979 in Poole, England, Higaonna Sensei founded, with the support of many of Chojun Miyagi’s senior students, the International Okinawan Goju-ryu Karate-do Federation (IOGKF) a federation dedicated to spreading the true karate, philosophy, and teachings of Chojun Miyagi Sensei throughout the world. Today the IOGKF has more than 50,000 members in over 45 different countries.
Higaonna Sensei lives in Okinawa where he continues to teach at his famous Higaonna Dojo as well as maintaining an intense travel schedule throughout the year. In addition, every four years he hosts the World Budosai in Okinawa, an international martial arts festival with attendance well over 1000 participants.
Morio Higaonna was graded to 10th Dan in September 2007 but remains a humble man who is a true Master of the Martial Arts.
THE CREW of the Bushido Saga Begins
An international crew is forming together to tell one of the most significant stories of the last 2 centuries.
Welcome to Meet the Crew!
Alanna is a graduate of the University of Colorado (1972). Shortly after graduation she went to work at 20th Century Fox Film Studios, initially working in market research, then as assistant to producers such as Martin Ransahoff (Silver Streak) and Harold Hecht (Cat Balou).
In 1978 she moved to Tokyo where she began her karate training. She joined the Yoyogi Dojo in April of 1979 where she met Sensei Morio Higaonna who was the head instructor there. A year later the two were married.
In August of 1979 the International Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate-do Federation (IOGKF) was founded and Alanna became the Administrative Director for the organization. Her duties included acting as liaison between Higaonna Sensei and the various country chief instructors, organizing IOGKF special events such as international seminars and tournaments, including the first four Miyagi Chojun Festivals (MCF), arranging and maintaining Higaonna Sensei’s schedule and travel plans and organizing group trips such as the one to China in 1993. She created and produced IOGKF newsletters and translated and edited Higaonna Sensei’s technical book series on Okinawan Goju-Ryu kata. Most importantly, she translated and edited the book “History of Karate, Okinawan Goju-Ryu” on which this film series is based. All through her tenure as Administrative Director, Alanna trained with Master Higaonna achieving the rank of 4th dan. She retired from the position of Administrative Director for the IOGKF in 2006.
Alanna’s work on the history book and almost three decades working side by side with Higaonna Sensei, as well as her more than 16 years of training Goju-Ryu Karate gives her a unique and in-depth understanding of the style and its history.
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Greathouse Michael Sensei
Eric Higaonna was born on November 4th 1981 in Naha, Okinawa to Morio and Alanna Higaonna. His journey in the martial arts started at the age of 7 in Okinawan Goju Ryu at his father’s San Marcos dojo in southern California. After suffering from the condition of Pancreatitis at the age of 14, Eric took a hiatus from the art of Goju Ryu and continued on in his pursuit of the sport of collegiate wrestling until the age of 21. During his time wrestling he learned from the tutelage of Coaches Mark Nelson, Billy Pilot, Joe Ismay, and Lenny Zelesky. At the age of 21 Eric decided to return to Okinawa to assist in Goju Ryu affairs and study Okinawan Karate once more and began training at the IOGKF Okinawan Honbu dojo where he studied under his father, Anichi Miyagi Sensei, Masakazu Kuramoto Sensei, and Katsuya Yamashiro Sensei. In 2006 Eric moved to Tokyo to help promote Okinawan karate and to train under notable Japanese mixed martial instructor Naoki Sakurada. During this time he continued his cross training in differing styles by training under Shotokan instructor Mikio Yahara Sensei, and Goju Ryu instructor Kazuo Terauchi. After the period of roughly one year Eric moved from Japan to Canada to train under notable Goju Ryu instructor Tetsuji Nakamura to further develop his Goju Ryu training methods and continued training in grappling and mixed martial arts under the tutelage of Hamilton, Ontario instructor Jeff Joslin. In late 2009 Eric returned to the United States where he completed his Bachelor’s Degree in Communication with a Business Emphasis in hopes of one day applying his acquired knowledge to help teach and spread the training methods of the martial arts wordwide.
Eric Higaonna is a firm believer in the preservation of traditional martial arts and maintaining integrity to help preserve the future course of Goju Ryu Karate through adherence of what has been taught since the beginnings of the art form as best as possible. Taking this mindset into careful regard, Eric also pursues the course of creating friendship and unity among many different martial artists across the world over many different styles and disciplines.
Christopher "Chris" Jank was born May 3, 1995 to Andrew and Rebekah Jank, in Fairfax Virginia. At a fairly young age he became interested in music and composition. He began to learn how to play several instruments, and now plays in many styles. He has interned with Elyon Media as an Audio Engineering Intern. Chris is now an accomplished Musician, Recording Artist, Composer, Lyricist, and Audio Engineer, as well as an Audio Director at Elyon Media.
Jehu Ayala COO Graphic Designer, Producer, App Programer, Director, Musician, Editor, Writer, Video Game Designer, and Animator. He Graduated from Sanford Brown ( School of Design) in 2014. He interned with Elyon Media as a Graphic Designer, and has accomplished many short film, web series, and produce comics.
President and Producer/Director with Elyon Media Group LLC. Missionary and philanthropist, entrepreneur and educator. Troy has travelled to 18 countries assisting and organizing humanitarian aid projects and educational programs for youth and university students. Now resides in San Antonio, TX. Troy has produced, directed, edited and composed for feature film, television, commercials, promotional creatives and conferences videos. His goals as a director are to bring to the film screen movies that highlight figures of history that have had a legendary impact on cultures around the world as well as produce and direct films for the youth demographic that promote a positive and culture changing ideas.
Myrna Petersen is a writer/director who co-produces with other independent creative artists. She has a knack of uncovering hidden gold nugget, true stories and presenting them in the language of the common man. As a visionary, Myrna can foster creative ideas into various forms of media presentations, and has the ability to direct and manage productions.
Myrna has written content for web and magazine articles; authored, translated and published books; written screenplays and launched a stage musical. She has extensive communication and administrative experience in the business, medical, government and non-profit fields.
In the music world, Myrna is an accomplished flutist, pianist, piano tuner and a composer.
Cinematographer and Senior Editor at Elyon Media. Jacob has travelled the United States, Israel, and Okinawa. He is an established freelance photographer.
U.S. Army Veteran with over 30 years of martial arts experience. Began my training in American Karate with Roger Hurd Sensei as well as Tae Kwon Do and Combat Jujutsu. Real passion lies with Traditional Karate-Do. Trained in Shorei Kan under Diego Mesias Sensei in which he holds a 4th Dan. Currently with with IOGKF-USA holding a 2nd Dan in Goju Ryu. Telling the story of Goju Ryu in film has been a dream since he started training with Sensei Mesias. "As I black belt, you must give back to the art" is what he would say. So making this movie is Sensei Greathouse way of giving back and spreading Goju Ryu around the world by way of film with the help of Elyon Media, his friends and the IOGKF, his dream is becoming a reality.
I am married and have 3 sons and 2 grandsons. I have been a Cardiovascular Tech in the medical field for 23 years. Project Manager for this movie project. I am proud to be working with Higaonna Sensei, Alanna Higaonna and Sensei Greathouse on this project.