Manny A. Saavedra is founder and Kaicho of the World Sansei Koryu Goju-Ryu Karatedo Organization—World Sansei. Saavedra Sensei trained with Peter G. Urban Sensei, receiving master-level, advanced black belt degrees from said instructor. In the mid 1970’s, Saavedra Sensei formed the International Sansei Goju-Ryu Karate and Kobudo Organization to develop and propagate the art.
Saavedra Sensei opened his first dojo in Corona Queens, New York. In the mid 1970's, he moved to South Florida propagating the ideas that, later in the decade, became the cornerstone of the International Sansei Goju-Ryu Karate do Organization. While traveling back and forth between Miami and New York, Saavedra Sensei chartered numerous branches in other states. the Organization expanded to various university programs, including Western Carolina University and Florida International University, respectively.
In addition, he has taught university credit-classes in both Florida and New York. He served as President and Founder of the Inter-Collegiate Karate Association. Saavedra Sensei has also introduced Karate courses for credit at five major American universities, including both the physical aspects and the historical roots of Goju-Ryu Karate-do. For many years, his program at Florida International University was the largest Karate program of its kind in the United States with over 700 students per semester.
Since 1979, his organization has expanded to Venezuela, Chile, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Chile, Mexico, Spain, Brazil, Germany, India, South Africa, and the United States, respectively. In 2005, feeling a need to reconnect with the most traditional aspects of Goju-Ryu Karate-do, he sought a new direction for his organization. Throughout this transformation, Saavedra Sensei sought to apply the accurate, traditional aspects of Goju-Ryu. Although this transformation process was lengthy, it was nevertheless necessary to ensure the propagation of his organizational philosophy, culminating in the formation of World Sansei Koryu Goju-Ryu Karate-do Organization.
Saavedra Sensei is extremely well-versed in multiple interpretations of the art, including neo-classical and traditional aspects of Goju-Ryu. He is a researcher, former college professor, author, and a life-long student of Goju-Ryu Karate. Saavedra Sensei co-authored-38 lessons for Living: Hard and Gentle Insights to Experience Personal Growth in 2007.
Saavedra Sensei has developed many innovative teaching ideas for mentally and physically challenged students, and has expanded his methods and research for the benefit of the average person. In the summer of 2005, Saavedra Sensei initiated a karate-do program for behaviorally disturbed and socially maladjusted young people through Smith Center Mental Health of Broward County. This program titled: Peaceful Champions, is the first of its kind, incorporating Goju-Ryu Karate-Do principles for behavior change. In addition, Saavedra Sensei has developed many hidden techniques in Kata for the purpose of self-defense. And, he has been instrumental in the development of many other karate-do organizations. He is the executive producer of the Martial Arts Chronicle Times an interview conversational forum based program centered on key personalities of the martial arts.
Saavedra Sensei is a member of the Global Martial Arts Federation, Canton, China. Presently, he is a member in good standing and executive board member of the World Traditional Karate-do Union. His Hombu is located in the Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States.
For the last 40 years Manny Saavedra has been working for the betterment of the Karate-do; he is an innovator, a man of vision, and probably most content when he was contributing to others. Karate-do has been the greatest influence in Manny Saavedra throughout his life. He has found it to be a wonderful way to impact people lives teaching those skills that help them live a meaningful life. His greatest desire has always to exemplify the belief that "Karate-do offers something for everyone". With this mindset, he has strived to seek the best ways to serve his students and the organization. Manny Saavedra has a strong inner commitment to improve the lives of others, particularly the members of the organization. His deep concern has led him to organize various communities’ events as well as conduct seminars and workshops in the area of life skills, goal setting and career development. He has a knack for getting people from disparate backgrounds together. He is a superb organizer, doing with an ease and grace things that would daunt most people. He could quickly identify what is going on with people or groups or organizations; then he would quickly see what could be done to improve things—and he would offer his help.
Throughout his life he has used his karate teachings in area of interest he had, including: social work and his committed interest in youth; in teaching Karate and the contributions he made to the lives of many thousands of children and young people; in transactional analysis and his contribution to people’s freedom, aliveness, happiness, and effectiveness; in his work as a teacher, counselor, mentor, and consultant. He represented the United States in International events.
He appropriately received a great deal of formal recognition both for who he was as a person and for his many contributions.