Ernie Molyneux

I think where we tend to miss out, is that the instructors themselves should have their own students pushing them. Your objective as an instructor is to push your students to a higher level, that’s even better than you are. But you shouldn’t be complacent and think, ‘I don’t have to train’. You should make provision for your own training as well.

Ernie Molyneux

Recognised as one of the best Goju–Ryu instructors in the world, Ernie Molyneux has been at the forefront of British Goju-Ryu Karate for many years.

Ernie Molyneux was born in Liverpool on 27 June 1954. Growing up he practised Judo and later started learning boxing.

In 1972 aged 18, Molyneux started training in Goju-Ryu Karate. He trained seven days a week at the dojo of Bob Greenhaigh, located close to the Liverpool docks. Training sessions usually lasted three hours.

Molyneux had seen an advert for Karate classes and had gone to watch a class. He was initially attracted by the sparring he saw.

In 1974 Greenhaigh took several of his students down to Oxford to train with James Rousseau. Rousseau was a 5th Dan in Okinawan Goju–Ryu practitioner from South Africa. He had arrived in the UK with his brother Peter the previous year.

Greenhaigh was very impressed with what he and his students learnt from Rousseau. He incorporated many of Rousseau’s ideas into his own teaching. His students were soon seeing improvements in their Karate.

In 1973 Rousseau established the BGKA (British Goju-Ryu Karate Association). This later became the EGKA (English Goju-Ryu Karate Association) when the Scottish clubs left the association.

Around 1975 Molyneux began competing at local events. He eventually competed at a national and international level, having an impressive competitive career.

In 1977 Bob Greenhaigh closed his Liverpool dojo and moved to Manchester. Molyneux started training with James Rousseau’s Karate group.

Morio Higaonna made a visit to the UK in 1977. Molyneux had an opportunity to train with him. He found it a great experience.

Molyneux was promoted to 1st Dan by James Rousseau in 1978. He was promoted to 2nd Dan in 1980.

In 1979 the IOGKF (International Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate Federation) was established. It was led by Higaonna.

Molyneux was promoted to 3rd Dan in 1982. That year Rousseau also invited him to take over the running of the Bournemouth Karate Academy which had been established by him in 1977.

In 1986 Molyneux was promoted to 4th Dan. It was around this time that he was invited to teach abroad.

Molyneux receive further promotions in 1991, 1997, and 2000 to 5th, 6th, and 7th Dan respectively.

2012 was a big year for Molyneux. He was promoted to 8th, Dan. He and Henrik Larsen were appointed to the position of World Vice-Chief instructors. That year. Tetsuji Nakamura was appointed the new IOGKF World Chief Instructor, succeeding Morio Higaonna. The new IOGKF leadership were advised by Higaonna, Bakkies Laubscher, and Kazuo Terauchi.

In 2013 the EGKA celebrated its 40th Anniversary. A gasshuku was held in Liverpool to celebrate the event. The training was led by Higaonna. He was assisted by Tetsuji Nakamura, Molyneux, Roy Flat, and Paul Nolan. 462 participants from England, Denmark, Spain, Iceland, Scotland, France, and Belgium were in attendance

The IOGKF Country Chief Instructor Gasshuku was held in Okinawa in 2015. Molyneux was in attendance.

Between 29 July to 3rd August 2019, the 8th Okinawa Traditional Karate Gishiki was held in Okinawa. During the event, a demonstration was given by Morio Higaonna. Molyneux also participated in a Master’s Demonstration. Higaonna also presented certificates of appreciation to Bakkies Laubscher, Kazuo Terauchi, Molyneux, Henrik Larsen, and Tetsuo Yamagawa for their contributions towards the development and promotion of Traditional Karate.

Ernie Molyneux is currently the Chief Instructor of the EGKA. He is an IOGKF Vice Chief Instructor and sits on the IOGKF Executive Committee. He is frequently invited to teach courses around the world.

To improve his Karate, Molyneux used to travel to Okinawa at least twice a year to train with other senior grades. However, as of 2022 he frequently travels to Canada.

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