Sensei John S. O'Hara, 9th Dan, Hanshi, Okinawan Goju Ryu passed away yesterday, January 7, 2014 (born in 1934). Sensei O'Hara was the Founder of the Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate Kenkyu Kai (1999), an organization he created to preserve, research, and promote traditional Okinawan Goju Ryu.
Sensei O'Hara taught thousands of people Goju Ryu Karate in Bakersfield, California, between 1966 and 2014. His two primary teachers were Sensei Gosei Yamaguchi of the Japanese Goju - Kai and Sensei Morio Higaonna of the IOGKF. Sensei O'Hara was the Central California Chief Instructor and Administrator of the An'ichi Miyagi Retirement Fund while in the IOGKF. Sensei O'Hara also wrote the testing criteria for Sanchin kata. You can read several of Sensei's articles on this site.
Sensei O'Hara was in the military from 1956 to 1958. He was an alternate for the 1960 Olympic Power Lifting Team. He was a high school teacher for 28 years in Bakersfield where he also created an accredited Karate Program for students. Sensei loved riding motorcycles and driving sports cars.
Sensei is survived by his wife Catherine, their three children, five grandchildren, and thousands of students. His dojo, Goju Ryu Karate Do of Bakersfield will continue teaching karate and will be led by Sensei Robison, 5th Dan. The Organization Sensei Founded, the Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate Kenkyu Kai will continue under Sensei Steve Wilson, 7th Dan.
PLEASE leave a comment, condolences, or pay your respect to our beloved teacher. Students, former students, friends, and associates are all welcome to share.
Rest in Peace Sensei, we love you!
SERVICES: Friday, February 6, 2015, at 2:00 p.m. at the Bakersfield National Cemetery, located at 30338 East Bear Mountain Boulevard, Arvin, CA 93203.
Sensei's family is requesting donations to his Memorial Fund to assist his wife Catherine with expenses in lieu of flowers. Thank you for your consideration. Those who desire to make a donation may do so at this link: