Sensei Parker began his martial arts training as a high school student training Kodokan Judo in 1984 with Sensei Al Schmidt at the Central YMCA in Columbus, GA. After enlisting in the USAF in 1990, Mr. Parker was stationed at Osan A.B. Republic of Korea, where he continued to training Judo at the base gym, followed by an assignment in Kadena Air Base Okinawa-Japan in 1991, and began training in Okinawa Goshukan-Ryu Karate at the Hamagawa Dojo with the founder: HanshiTakamiyagi Hiroshi. Sensei Parker separated from Active Duty in February 1994, acquired a visa from the government of Japan, and remained in Okinawa to continue training with Takamiyagi Hanshi at the Hamagawa Dojo. In March 1995, Sensei Parker was promoted to shodan/blackbelt, and began assisting with the teaching of the children’s class at the honbu dojo in Sunabe-Chatan, Okinawa.
Sensei Parker returned to the USA in September 1996; he was honorably discharged from the USAF Reserve in 1998, and opened the Columbus Dojo in March 1999. Mr. Parker has the distinction of being the first American promoted to Blackbelt by the founder of Okinawa Goshukan-Ryu Karate, as well as being the first American authorized to teach and open a Branch Dojo outside of Okinawa. Sensei Parker still travels to Okinawa to train with Master Takamiyagi, and was appointed the US Director/Shibu-Cho in 2003.
Some of his accomplishments include but are not limited to:
- US Director for Okinawa Goshukan-Ryu Karate: 2003-present
- President of the International Okinawa Goshukan-Ryu Karate Association (IOGKA) the governing body for all Okinawa Goshukan-Ryu students and teachers in the United States of America.
- Fluent in Japanese and English, and is actively involved in the local International community.
- Instructs local law enforcement officers, US Army CID, Federal officers, and members of the US Army Rangers and Special Forces.
- Okinawa Goshukan-Ryu style advisor for the UMAA/ Zen Sekai Bujutsu Kyokai
- Inducted into the 2009 UMAA Martial Arts International Hall of Fame as Regional Instructor of the Year.
- Member of the UMAA Renshi Board.
Sensei Garry Parker currently holds:
Sandan (3rd degree Black Belt) Okinawa Goshukan Ryu Karate
He frequently conducts seminars on his rare style of Okinawan Karate.