Sensei Roman Saltikov was born on July 11,1968 in Riga, Latvia (former USSR). At the age of 8 he started regular Karate training.

Between 1982 and 1989 teaching karate was illegal in Soviet Union and all tournaments were banned. The communist government had decided that karate philosophy did not fit well with the official communist ideology. Teaching karate could result in a prison sentence (and some people actually did serve time in prison!)  Despite this setback, karate still remained very popular among youth and adults. Classes were being conducted behind “closed doors’’ or under different name (e.g.: fitness, boot camp work outs, later kung fu etc.). Karate competitions were also conducted in big secrecy - karate, as a sport officially did not exist for seven years!

While karate was banned, in his teen years Sensei continued his karate training, but competed in boxing competitions. Sensei practiced in a former military club, which quietly kept the Karate training going. In 1986, at the age of 18 Sensei also started teaching Karate. In 1987 Sensei was conscripted into the Soviet Army and served his two years of mandatory military service. These years had brought lots of new experience and perspectives into Sensei’s life. He spent two years teaching physical conditioning and self-defense to military personnel. After retirement from the military service in 1989 Sensei resumed active Karate teaching and competing as a member of Latvian National karate team.

In 1991 Latvia gained back independence from the Soviet Union. Since then Karate in Latvia started to create its own history.

Sensei Saltikov studied Karate from many masters in Europe and went through some training camps in Okinawa, Japan. His first Goju Ryu teacher was Sensei Hiromi Suzuki (Sweden). Sensei H. Suzuki greatly influenced Sensei Saltikov development as a karate teacher, and taught him the traditions and basics of Okinawan Goju ryu karate. Sensei Suzuki took a big part in helping to develop and promote Goju Ryu karate style in Latvia.

In 1997 Sensei Roman Saltikov became first Latvian Goju Ryu Karate Federation president. During the same period of time he also served at Latvian National Karate Federation board as Vice-president.

In 1998 Sensei Saltikov and his family came to Canada.

In 1999 Sensei started teaching karate in Canada. At the same time Sensei resumed his competitive career in Canada. He instantly became a member of Ontario Provincial Karate Team and a member of Canadian National Karate Team, and remained a member of both teams for many years after.

In 2007-2010 he has served as a Member of Board in Karate Ontario as a Director, Representative of athletes.

In 2010 Sensei has been awarded Karate Ontario Coach of the Year.

In addition to Karate Sensei Saltikov successfully competed in many combat sports, such as wrestling, boxing, kickboxing, full contact wushu, pancration. All those experiences became important “building blocks” of Sensei’s martial arts skills. Nevertheless, after many years of competing and teaching, Sensei has devoted most of his time to Sport Karate kumite, under World Karate Federation rules.

In over 25 years of coaching, Sensei has prepared many national and international level athletes, helped many students to develop the level of their physical fitness, confidence and ability to defend themselves in various real-life situations, and introduced them to the world of sports.

Sensei Roman Saltikov constantly strives to improve his karate teaching methods for the benefits of future and present Karate practitioners.

Roman Saltikov, ChPC
( Chartered Professional Coach)

NCCP Competition Development Certified
Canadian National Team Coach
Ontario Provincial Team Coach
R.S.Karate Team Head Coach


At the end of 19th century Shuri-te and Tomari-te mixed together under the name Shorin ryu , and developed into several slightly different styles. Naha-te was later renamed Goju ryu (hard and soft style).

Naha-te history

Kanryo Higaonna (1853-1915)

Grand master Kanryo Higaonna was born on march 10,1853. In Naha, the capital city of Okinawa. His father worked as merchant sailor between the small islands of Okinawa. From a young age Kanryo Higaonna helped his father with his work and through physical labour he developed a strong body.

Kanryo Higaonna was in his teens when his father suddenly died. Kanryo decided that he wanted to study martial arts and he went to Fuzhow, China (in 1869). In China he studied under Great Master Ryu Ryu Ko. He soon became “uechi deshi” (private disciple) and he remained in China under the severe instruction of his teacher for approximately 13 years. In addition to studying empty handed martial arts he became proficient in weapons techniques and Chinese herbal medicine.

Chojun Miyagi (the founder of Goju ryu) and succesor to Kanryo Higaonna said “My sensei possessed incredible strength, the severity of the training he underwent in China is beyond comprehension. Kanryos sensei had speed and power that were truly superhuman, his hands and feet moved faster then lightening”.

In the year 1881 ,after 13years of study with his teacher he returned to Okinawa and Naha. His martial art became known as Naha-te, (also refered to as “Tode’’ meaning martial arts from China). Kanryo Higaonna taught these martial arts to the people of Okinawa and at the same time continued his own research and practice. In order to teach the youth of Okinawa he developed a teaching method which was specifically designed to develop the mind and body, to improve both physically and spiritually.

The secretive art of Naha-te was opened to all societies in general, October, 1905, when Kanryo Higaonna began teaching in High school.

Kanryo Higaonna was extremely hard while teaching, but in his everyday life he was a quiet and humble man and was known for a virtuous character. He led a simple life which was completely devoted to the study and practice of the martial arts.

There are many stories about his life and training. The power of his legs was so legendary, that he was often referred to as “Ashi no Higaonna’’ (“legs Higaonna’’) in Okinawa. His virtuous character was widely known and respected, and because of his popularity the people of Naha-te bestowed him with the name, “Obushi Higaonna Tanrei“ which reflected the affection and respect they had for this great man and supreme martial artist .

Kanryo Higaonna’s unparalleled skill in martial art aside His great and distinguished work was in bringing the Chinese martial art forms from China to Okinawa , and spreading these arts among people of Okinawa.

His name is synonymous with Okinawa martial arts and Naha-te, and Kanryo Higaonna’s whole life was devoted to karate .He passed away in December 1915 at the age of 63.


Chojun Miyagi (1888-1953)

Grand Master Chojun Miyagi was born on april 25 , 1888 in an aristocratic family . His family was in import/export business, and owed ships which made regular trips to mainland China , placing them among wealthiest families in the area.

He began training in karate under Kanryo Higaonna at the age 14 in 1902. Like his teacher before him, because of his great talent and fierce determination he progressed very fast. The training was severe beyond belief at times but He practised ever harder with enthusiasm unmatched by any of the other students. Chojun Miyagi became “uchi deshi’’ of Kanryo Higaonna. He studied with his teacher for 14 years before his teachers death in 1915.

Chojun Miyagi worked hard to spread karate throughout Okinawa and mainland Japan, and to earn Naha-te status equal to that of the highly respected Japanese martial art of judo and kendo. To achieve this he traveled frequently to mainland Japan were He was invited to teach karate at Kyoto University. In 1933, karate was registered at Butokai, the center for all martial arts in Japan. This was a milestone for karate as it meant that it was recognized on a level with the highly respected martial arts of Japan.

Chojun Miyagi was responsible for structuring Naha-te ( which he later named Goju ryu) into a systemized discipline which could be taught to society in general. This teaching system, that formulated and enabled karate to be taught in schools for the benefit of the young , and to reach vast numbers of people throughout the world. His private teaching remained strictly in adherence to the principles of his teacher Kanryo Higaonna and his teacher, Ryu Ryu Ko. Chojun Miyagi died on October 8th, 1953 ,of either a heart attack or cerebral haemorrhage at the age of 65 .

The name Goju ryu.


The naming of Goju ryu came about more by accident then design. In 1930 one of Chojun Miyagi’s top students Jin’an Shinzato was attending a martial arts convention in Tokyo. He was asked by numerous martial arts masters as to what school of martial arts he practiced. As Naha-te had no formal name he could not answer this question. Feeling his arts would be looked down upon and given amateur status. He quickly picked Hankry-ryu , which means the way of half hard.


Sensei Miyagi teaching kata seiyunchin


On His return to Okinawa He reported this incident to Chojun Miyagi . He liked Shinzato’s idea and took it one step further. After much consideration Chojun Miyagi decided on the name Goju ryu ( hard and soft school) as the name for his style.

He took His name from a line in the Bubishi ( classical Chinese text on martial arts and other subjects). This line which appears in a poem describing the eight principles of martial arts, reads Ho Goju Donto ( the way of inhaling and exhaling is hardness and softness). The whole poem reads as follow:

1. The mind is one with heaven and earth .

2. The circulatory rhythm of the body is similar to cycle of the sun and moon.

3. The way of inhaling and exhaling is hardness and softness.

4. Act in according with time and change.

5. Techniques will occur in the absence of conscious thought.

6. The feet must advance and retreat ,separate and meet.

7. The eyes do not miss even slightest change.

8. The ears listen well in all directions.


The succession of Goju ryu .

Jin’an Shinzato was very talented, and that’s why Chojun Miyagi had chosen him as successor to Goju ryu school in Okinawa. Shinzato was tragically killed during Second World War. Because of Chojun Miyagi’s sudden death, there is no publicly named successor. Some of His senior students of many years, opened their own dojo and in time build organizations. Some of Chojun Miyagi’s notable students were: Seiko Higa( his oldest student), Miyazato Ei’ichi (founder of the Jundokan dojo),Meitoku Yagi(Founder of the Meibukan dojo, who eventually accepted Miyagi’s gi and obi from Miyagy’s family), Seikichi Toguchi ( founder of the Shorei-kan goju ryu), and Gogen Yamaguchi, who was the founder of the Iternational Karate Goju kai Association and who after training with Miyagi became the representative of Goju ryu in Japan.


Sensei Miyagi and Ei’ichi Miyazato.


Sensei Miyagi and some of His senior students.


Sensei Miyagi teaching kata sanchin.


He also trained other students who went to create their own styles such as Shimabaku Tatsuo (Isshin ryu).

Chojun Miyagi passed away on October 8th , 1953. Leaving a great legacy behind. He predicted that that during the 20th century karate world spread throughout the world .Today we can see that this prediction has been realized, karate is not only practiced in Japan, but can be found throughout the world. Karate can no longer be referred to as a solely Okinawan or Japanese martial art it now knew no boundaries , it was an art for all nations around the world.

The History of Karate is full of uncertainty and mythology. In this  article we will introduce one of common versions it at Okinawa (birthplace of Karate.)

Based on mans’ instinct of self-defence, different fighting arts were developed in most cultures in Central Asia, Egypt and Turkey.

The principles of the Asian martial arts are believed to have spread from Turkey to India where they were further developed to arts-’’kalaripayt’’.The History of Karate can be taken back to India, perhaps two thousands years before Christian Era. Indiawas birthplace of bare-handed martial arts called Vajramushtthi. Evidence seems to indicate that it was practised by the Warrior Class of that time and which can be compared to the medieval knights of Europe.


It is said the third child of King Sugandha of Southern India was a member of the Warrior Caste. He received his religious training from the Dhyna of Master Prajnatara. Under the masters guidance the boy grew into a very wise man and advanced in the way of the Dhyana or Budhist practice and was given the name Buddhadharma.

After his masters death, Buddhadharma traveled to China, were he taught. His life was centered around the Shaolin Temple and monastery located in Hunan Province. Tradition states that upon seeing the emaciated condition of the monks, Buddhadharma instructed them in physical exercise, to condition their bodies as well as their minds. The exercise was called ’’eighteen hands of Lo-Han’’ .The exercise also included breathing ; he knew that this physical activity helped to prepare body internally. Eventually the monks began to study the animals and form exercises that resembled their ways of fighting ( later was known as Chuan-Fa- the art of the fist ). The motives to practise was art, physical conditioning, and finally, self-defence.

During the Sui period (589-618) bandits began to raid monastery for the purpose of food and anything value.

At this time the monks ,in order to protect their lives and monastery , utilized their Chuan-Fa art and defeated the bandits. Reputation of the Shaolin fighting monks spread ,and many came to study the art along with Buddhism .

During 14 the century Chuan-Fa was introduced to Okinawa( the island between Japan and Taiwan) .It won popularity as an art of self-defence under the name’’ Tote ‘’(Chinese hand). At Okinawa the native fighting art ’’ Te’’ was practiced long before the introduction of Chinese Chuan-Fa. It is believed that blend of those two arts, by the Okinawa’s , developed into the martial art known today as karate.


Japan invaded Okinawa in 1609 they reinstated the ban on weapons (first declared by King Sho Shin in 1477) .The Japanese also banned the practise of martial arts . Consequently , the okinawans continued with martial arts in secrecy.

During the next three centuries the martial arts developed its own character and is called “Okinawa Te “. It is split into three main styles:

Shuri-te influenced by the hard techniques of Kempo (Chuan-Fa) and characterized by an offensive attitude.

Naha-te influenced by softer techniques of Kempo including breath control and “Ki” . It was characterized by a more defensive attitude with grappling , throws and locking techniques.

Tomari-te influenced by both hard and soft techniques.

Members of Okinawan upper classes were sent to China regularly to study various political and practical disciplines. The incorporation of Chinese Wu Shu into Okinawan martial arts occurred partly because of these exchanges and partly because of growing legal restrictions on the use of weaponry. Traditional karate kata bear a strong resemblance to the forms found in Fijian martial arts such; White Crane, Five Ancestors. Many Okinawan weapons such as the sai, tonfa, and nunchaku may have originated in and around Southeast Asia.

In 1872 Japan annexed the Okinawan island group.

In beginning of 1900s karate was introduced to the Okinawa Prefectures School system. During this time period famous Okinawa masters influenced spread of karate in Japan.


The modernization and systematization of karate in Japan also included adoption of the white uniform-karategi-and coloured belt ranks. Both of these innovations were originated and popularized by Jigiro Kano, the founder of judo.

In 1922 The Ministry of Education invited Gishin Funakoshi to Tokyo, to give a karate demonstration .

In 1924 Keio University established the first university karate club in Japan and by 1932 major Japanese universities had karate club. In these era escalating Japanese militarism . The name was changed from “Chinese Hand” to “Empty Hand” -both are pronounced “karate”

After Second World War ,Okinawa became an important U.S. military site and karate became popular among servicemen stationed there.

The martial arts movies of 60-70s increased its popularity ,karate schools began appearing across the world, catering to those with casual interest as well as those seeking a deeper study of the arts.

Today karate is practised for self-perfection, for cultural reasons, for self-defence and as sport. In last International Olympic Committee voting , karate did not receive the necessary two-thirds majority vote to become Olympic sport. By some estimates there are around 50 millions karate practitioners worldwide.

Go to top