In March 1973, after 7 years of ballet dancing followed by 2 seasons of rugby, Richard Hiegel, who was then 15 years old, encouraged by his brother Philippe, begins karate in Gournay-sur-Marne, with Guy Fosse, then Youssef Ouazène, students of Jean Caujolle (former student of Ohshima Sensei, and most likely one of the very best practitioners during the early days of karate in France),
1979 : gets his black belt from French Karate Federation (FFK)
1981: joins France Shotokan (FSK), organization of Ohshima Sensei’s black belt students in France, following Jacques Dupré’s teaching in Nogent-sur-Marne, whom he is pupil forever.
1983: obtains Instructor Diploma from French Karate Federation (Diplôme d’Instructeur Fédéral : DIF)
1984: gets the nidan (2nd degree of black belt) by Ohshima Sensei in Vichy,
1988: gets his sandan (3rd degree of black belt) by Ohshima Sensei in Vichy,
State Certificate for Sports Teaching, First Degree (BEES 1er degré) : major Karate
1988 to 1995, member of the FSK competition team
– 1988: New York, 2nd in individual, 1st in team tournament,
– 1990: Harmonny, Los Angeles, 2nd in team tournament,
– 1993: Loeche-les-Bains, Switzerland, 2nd in team tournament,
– 1995: Tel Aviv, Israel, 3rd in team tournament,
1994 to 2006: elected President of France Shotokan, succeeding to Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau
1996 to 2013 leads Regional Special Training for France Shotokan Central Region including Paris area (except the one in 2000 led by Jean-Louis Véran)
1997: gets his yodan (4th degree of black belt) by Ohshima Sensei in Vancouver
2003: organizes with Jean-Louis Morel (FFK side) under Francis Didier’s scrutiny (President of FFK) France Shotokan’s come back into the French Karate Federation :
– 183 FSK members (plus 15 “on the green carpet”) obtain the equivalency of their Shotokan Ohshima Karate black belt degree in the Federation ranking system,
– one DIF (Diplôme d’Instructeur Fédéral = Federal Authorization of Teaching Karate) is awarded to each dojo leader.
2004: gets his godan (5th degree of black belt) by Ohshima Sensei in Mulhouse, during FSK 40th Anniversary (with his very good friend Jean-Louis Véran),
2005: gets his 5th dan (degree of black belt) by FFK in National Institute of Sports (INSEP), Vincennes
Since 2005, nominated as French Karate Federation Expert for Shotokan Ohshima Karate style which has two FFK recognized experts :
Marc Zérhat and Richard Hiegel
2006 to 2011: nominated Vice President of France Shotokan to support new President Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau
Since 2009: nominated General Secretary of “Ligue du Val de Marne de Karaté” (Karate League for Val-de-Marne county, which has become a Departmental Committee since 2017),
2011: gets his 6th dan (degree of black belt) by FFK, INJ (National Institute of Judo), Paris.
Obtains DEJEPS : State Certificate for Sports Teaching : major Karate, (by equivalence of former BEES 1er degré)
2012: nominated by Alain Gabrielli (FSK Shihan = Head of Ohshima Sensei’s French Organization) to lead the annual session for over-fifty-years-old members, which he leads since, except the one in 2014 led by Michel Coutant.
Group has grown from 70 members to more than 85 (90% being black belts), including 20 godans.
2017: upon recommendation by President Georges Maniey, Head of Ligue de Karaté du Val-de-Marne (Karate League of Val-de-Marne county), awarded “Youth and Sports Silver Medal” (delivered by French Minister of Youth and Sports) for his volunteer and associative dedication over the years.
2018: gets his 7th dan (degree of black belt) by FFK, INJ (National Institute of Judo), Paris
2019: becomes President of “Ten-no-Mon” company to manage “La Frillière, Martial Arts Center” in Genillé, Indre et Loire, France