Paolo Spongia was born in Rome, Italy, on October 4, 1962.
He began his practice of Goju-Ryu Karate-Do at the age of 13 in the School of Master Canonico under the technical direction of Master Alberto Evangelista who, after he studied in Japan at the school of Master Gogen Yamaguchi has been the first to introduce Japanese Goju-Ryu in Italy.
Paolo Spongia competed under the various organizations that organized Karate in Italy : Fik, Fikteda,Fikda,Fitak.
He has made competitive experiences also in the Kick Boxing tournaments, trained by his friend (former Goju Karateka and pioneer of Kick Boxing in Italy) Daniele Malori and by the world champion Giorgio Perreca.
The top of his Kick Boxing experience is reached in Bergamo in 1988 where he fought and won against the italian champion of light heavy weights.
This event signed the end of his competitive experience.
Since from young age Paolo Spongia always have considered his competitive experience as an useful moment of test of some mental and physical skills but he never considered competition like the primary target of his practice, that he perceived just like a boy to open much larger horizons.
This permitted to Master Spongia to build a large technical base, neglected by those who pointed just to the competitive result, that today make of him a complete and skilled teacher and lead him to the meet with Okinawan Goju-Ryu.
His walk on the Way of Karate-Do, took him in contact with Masters like: Minobu Miki (Hayashi-ha Shito-Ryu), Yamamoto Ghonnoyoe (Goju-Ryu IKO), Kohei Yamada (Mabuni-ha Shito-ryu)…
Paolo Spongia has been executive member of Federazione Italiana Lotta Pesi Judo Karate ( Italian federation Wkf) with the task of youth practice coordinator and to teach to Instructors and Masters the methodologies promoting the educational aspects of Karate-Do.
In this field he has also the qualify of Instructor Coni Centri Giovanili.
On 1986, he founded the Tora Kan Dojo, nowadays Honbu Dojo IOGKF Italy.
His strenous reserch for the pure traditional form of Goju-Ryu Karate-Do, lead him to the meet with the School of great Master Morio Higaonna meeting Master Shunji Sudo Tanaka.
He experienced an authentic enlightenment, aware to have met the authentic Okinawan Goju-Ryu he adhered to the International Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate-Do Federation, worldwide spread organization guided by Master Morio Higaonna.
Under the unestimable guide of Sensei Higaonna and Sensei Sudo, and training under the guidance of the greatest senior instructors IOGKF: Shuichi Aragaki Sensei (student of founder Chojun Miyagi Sensei), An’Ichi Miyagi Sensei (student of founder Chojun Miyagi Sensei), Jiuichi Kokubo Sensei, Terauchi Kazuo Sensei, Bakkies Laubsher Sensei,Pantanovitz Leon Sensei, Molyneux Ernie Sensei, Andrews George Sensei… improves his technical skills referring to the original teaching of Master Chojun Miyagi founder of Goju-Ryu.
Already Black Belt 4° Dan (Yondan) Filpjk/W.K.F. from many years, Paolo Spongia enter in IOGKF with the degree of Sandan (3d dan), after he substained an hard private grading from Higaonna Sensei in Tora Kan Dojo.
During the XIV European Gasshuku of Moscow on July 1996 Master Higaonna gave officially task to Master Spongia to represent IOGKF in Italy like Chief Instructor.
Whit this purpose is born the International Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate-Do Federation Italia that through seminars and stages conducted by Higaonna Sensei, by Spongia Sensei, and by the most representative senior students of Higaonna Sensei, allows the italian practitioners of Goju-Ryu to deepen their knowledge of Okinawan Goju-Ryu.
On August 26 1998 in the Budokan of Naha, Okinawa (Japan), Paolo Spongia passed the hard grading session IOGKF to 4° Dan (Yondan), being examinated by Higaonna Sensei and Shuichi Aragaki Sensei (direct student of founder Bushi Chojun Miyagi).
Untill young age Paolo Spongia has been very interested and attracted by the philosophical and religious background of Martial Arts, in particular by Zen.
Guided by this intuitive research, he met authentic Zen embodied in Master Fausto Taiten Guareschi , disciple of the great Master Taisen Deshimaru, and first european to receive the Shiho, the transmission of Soto Zen, in Japan, from Narita Shuyu Roshi under the guidance of who he took on his Zen education at the death of Deshimaru Roshi.
Guareschi Roshi founded the Zen Soto Temple Fudenji on the hills near salsomaggiore where he lives and teachs and where Sensei Spongia goes often to join Sesshins and practice under the guidance of his teacher.
Zen practice become the foundation of the life and Karate-Do practice of Sensei Spongia following the teachings of Master Guareschi.
Zen practice entered in Tora Kan Dojo that have been recognized like Zen Dojo from the Zen Soto Italian Institute Shobozan Fudenji.
On August 18 1999 in Fudenji Monastery Paolo Spongia received from his Teacher, rev. F.Taiten Guareschi, the lay ordination (Zaike Tokudo). On August 18 2002 received the Zen Monk ordination (Shukke Tokudo) with the Dharma name Taigo.
Every year Spongia Sensei organize in Fudenji the Ken Zen Ichinyo Gasshuku.
Sensei Spongia conducted 2 editions of Ken Zen Ichinyo Gasshuku in Holland.
On Novembre 15 2002, in Okinawa, in Higaonna Dojo passed the grading to Godan (5 Dan) examinated by An’ichi Miyagi Sensei, Morio Higaonna Sensei, Bakkies Laubscher Sensei and Pantanovitz Leon Sensei.
Sensei Spongia conduct Seminars and Gasshuku in Italy and foreign countries, give lectures and wrote several articles published by magazines like: ‘Samurai’ ‘Arti d’Oriente’ ‘Quaderni d’Oriente’ ‘International Newsletter IOGKF’ ‘Zen Notiziario’…
Sensei Spongia is married and has two children.