Our volunteer Instructors
Sensei Luis Tapia
New York City Senior Instructor
About The Instructor - Sensei Luis Tapia's passion for Goju Ryu Karate began in NYC on the upper west side. He started training at the age of 10, at Sensei Gerald Orange's dojo, which at the time was in an abandoned building on the corner of 91st and Amsterdam Ave. Sensei Gerald Orange, was a student of Goju USA founder, Sensei Peter Urban. Sensei Tapia trained there for a very short time, before he started with Sensei Walter Tigner. Sensei Walter Tigner was one of Sensei Orange's top students. It was with Sensei Walter Tigner, that a true love for Goju Ryu Karate was born. However, it wasn't until 1992 that he found the IOGKF, the original and traditional system of Goju Ryu Karate as taught in Okinawa. Seeing the difference between the Americanized version and the traditional Okinawan system, he realized the limitations of the the non Okinawan version. It was night and day! Okinawan Goju Ryu would become his lifelong study.
Sensei Luis Tapia has trained with the highest ranking Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate instructors from around the world, and has trained and tested in Okinawa, Japan under Master Morio Higaonna himself. Sensei Luis Tapia is currently the only Accredited Instructor in NYC in the IOGKF, under Master Morio Higaonna, third successor of the original system as taught by Grand Master Chojun Miyagi, Founder of Goju Ryu. He dedicates his time volunteering to teach and help underprivileged families.
Sensei Lorena Verdun
Sempai Stephen McKay
Sempai Raul Almonte
Lorena Verdun started her Goju Ryu training in Venezuela in 1991 under Sensei Shunji Sudo. Sensei Sudo is the IOGKF Venezuelan chief instructor. She also holds rank in other karate systems and is a Nidan (Second degree Black Belt) in Ryukunkai Kobudo (Weapons). She is a student of NYC Goju Ryu and a volunteer instructor.
Stephen McKay started his training in Goju Ryu in the 1980s. He currently holds the ranks of Nidan in Goju Ryu, Nidan in Shorin Ryu, and is also experienced in Kobudo. (Traditional Weapons) He has been a student of NYC Goju Ryu since 2013, and is one of our volunteer instructors.
Raul Almonte started his Goju Ryu training in the Dominican Republic in 1978. He was a student of Sensei Tameyoshi Sakamoto.
He has been an IOGKF member, and student of NYC Goju Ryu since 2012 and is one of our volunteer instructors.