In March 1973, after 7 years of ballet dancing followed by 2 seasons of rugby, Richard Hiegel, who was 15 years old, encouraged by his brother Philippe, starts practicing 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)
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 to 1995, member of the FSK competition team
– 1988: New York, 2nd in individual (winner Erroll Bennett, SKA), 1st in team tournament (before Bronx Team from Errol Bennett),
– 1990: Harmonny, Los Angeles, 2nd in team tournament, (winner SKA team)
– 1993: Loeche-les-Bains, Switzerland, 2nd in team tournament,
– 1995: Tel Aviv, Israel, 3rd in team tournament,
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), highest black belt ranking ever delivered by Ohshima Sensei (same as Gishin Funakoshi Sensei ever did).
2005: gets his 5th dan (degree of black belt) by FFK in National Institute of Sports (INSEP), Vincennes
2006 to 2011: nominated Vice President of France Shotokan to support new President Stéphane Audoin-Rouzeau
Since 2009: nominated as 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,
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 10 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, which he has founded.