Manny Saavedra, Kaicho
Manny Saavedra is the founder of World Sansei. Sensei Saavedra trained with Peter G. Urban Sensei the pioneer of Goju-Ryu into the United States. An alumni of Crosby Street, Summit Ave, 85 Street, Williams Street. He grew up in New York and was fortunate to have moved to Union City, New Jersey. Union City was Master Peter Urban's home town. His brother Alex was one of the first black belts under Shihan Edward Verycken one of Master Urbans first black belts. Sensei Saavedra studied Hung Gar with Sifu Mario Perez from the William Chung School. He later studied for a few years with his brother Alex Saavedra who introduced him to Sensei Urban at an event at the Manhattan Center in New York City. That meeting was the beginning of his Goju-Ryu career. He opened his first Dojo in Corona, Queens, New York City, and his second Dojo in West New York, New Jersey with his Dojo brother Sensei Kevin Nordlader. In 1979, Saavedra Sensei formed the International Sansei Goju-Ryu Karate and Kobudo Organization to develop and propagate the art. He organized and researched the ideas that later in the decade became the cornerstone World Sansei. During his travels, Saavedra Sensei chartered numerous branches in other states and other countries. And, through his guidance he continued to expand into various universities, including Western Carolina University and Florida International University, respectively.
In addition, he has been a university professor, organizing a complete martial arts credit program at Florida International University. 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. For many years, his program at Florida International University was the largest Karate program of its kind in the United States.
Since 1979, his organization has expanded to Venezuela, Chile, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Ecuador, Chile, Mexico, England, Spain, Brazil, Germany, Argentina, India, South Africa, and the United States, respectively. In 2005, feeling a need to reconnect with the most traditional aspects his art, 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.
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. Authored Mind-Body-Spirit Principles and Precepts, World Sansei Value of an Ideal, Karate Philosophy the Spiritual approach, World Sansei Teaching Methods, World Sansei Goju-Ryu Karate A comprehensive Study (Fourth Edition).
In 2010 he created The Martial Arts Chronicle Times an interview conversational -forum based, program centered on legends and key personalities of the martial arts. The Martial Chronicle Times engaged the best thinkers, writers, instructors, athletes, historians, business leaders, promoters and other news-makers in one-on-one interviews and round-table discussions. The individuals answered a variety of questions including: historical events, martial arts philosophy, individual accomplishments, and a variety of martial arts related topics. A project of that magnitude has never been done before. He had the privilege of interviewing and chronicling many outstanding Martial Artist like Sensei, Morio Hiagaonna, Sensei, Charley Bonet, Sensei, Wilfredo Roldan, Sensei, Herbie Thomson, Sensei, Artie Aviles, Sensei, Luis Fernandez, Sensei, John Giordano, Sensei, Nick Adler, Sensei, Daniel Masayoshi Ardila, Otaki, Sensei and many more.
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 program for behaviorally disturbed and socially maladjusted young people through the Smith Center Mental Health of Broward County. This program, titled: Peaceful Champions, is the first of its kind, incorporating Goju-Ryu Karate principles for behavioral change.
Saavedra Sensei is a member of the Global Martial Arts Federation, Canton, China. Sensei Saavedra has had the privilege of training with some amazing instructors, Perez, Saavedra, and Urban. During the years of his tenure at Florida International University he was introduced to Shojiro Jibiki, with him he learned the true meaning of humility. Sensei Saavedra is a founding member in good standing and executive board member of the World Traditional Karate do Union and the World Traditional Martial arts Consortium. His Hombu is located in Miami-Dade County, Florida, United States.