Traditional & Authentic Martial Arts for the whole family
Kanryo Higaonna (1853 - 1915)
In the 19th century, Higaonna Sensei, an
accomplished master of the Okinawan martial art "Te", travelled to
Fuzhou in China, and mastered Southern Chinese boxing under the tutelage of Ryu
Ryu Ko. He then returned to his home city of Naha in Okinawa to teach his new,
combined system of martial arts.
Chojun Miyagi (1888 – 1953)
After the death of Higaonna Sensei his top
student, Chojun Miyagi, continued to teach the system and refined it into a
format better suited to the Okinawan physique and culture. It was Miyagi Sensei
who eventually named this system "Goju Ryu" – a term meant to
describe the hard and soft elements of the style.
Ei’ichi Miyazato (1922 – 1998)
Ei’ichi Miyazato Sensei trained in Goju Ryu
Karate under Chojun Miyagi for the longest of all the seniors, from 1938 until
his passing in 1953. At the request of his peers, the responsibility for
teaching Goju Ryu was then passed to Ei’ichi Miyazato.
Ronald Michio Yamanaka (1949 – )
Yamanaka Sensei began his training in the early
1960s under the instruction of Sigung Chong Oi Mun. Always seeking knowledge,
Yamanaka Sensei has spent his life dedicated to studying the martial arts and
it was through this pursuit that he met and studied Goju Ryu under Ei’ichi
Miyazato.Yamanaka Sensei was appointed
Miyazato Sensei’s personal representative in Canada, having been awarded the
title Shibucho – head of family.
Okinawa Goju Ryu Karate Do
Karate(noun) – a
Japanese method of self-defence in which a person strikes sensitive areas on an
attacker’s body with the hands, elbows, knees, feet, head, etc.
do: kara –
hand do – the way of.
Karate is much more
than this. The way of the empty hand is exactly that, it is a way of
striving to achieve perfection and balance.
Through the use of
a disciplined system of movements and techniques we are aspiring to improve
ourselves as human beings – both physically and mentally. Karate is much
like any other sport or art form in its purest sense; it is a method of finding
the inner harmony that exists in all of us.
The end goal is not
what is of importance to the karateka (the karate students), it is the journey
and the effort to get there that matters most.
The tiny island of
Okinawa, located in the East China Sea, was the birthplace of Karate. In
the 11th century, the people of Okinawa developed their own fighting
ability from the influence of Chinese Martial Arts and other Asian fighting
systems. While the origins of all Martial Arts dates back many centuries,
the style we know as Goju-Ryu was formalized in the last century.
Sensei (1888-1953), the student of Higaonna Kanryo Sensei (1853-1915), named
Goju-Ryu in 1931. The parts of the name can be broken down as GO– Hard, JU
– Soft, RYU – Style. The name thus reflects the nature of the style in
that it has both hard and soft elements.
Chojun Sensei was born in the Higashi Machi district of Naha
City on April 4, 1888. At the age of 14, he began to train directly under the
supervision of Naha Te founder Higaonna Sensei. At that time Higaonna Sensei
had already travelled to Fuzhou and studied Chinese Kenpo and was teaching the
young men of Naha.
When he was 20 years old (1908), Chojun Sensei joined the
6th infantry division. He served for 2 years leaving the military in 1910.
Around 1914 he took an ailing Kanryo Sensei into his house until his death the
following year. In the same year Chojun Sensei travelled to Fuzhou, China where
he observed the world of Chinese Kenpo.
In 1918 Chojun Sensei began instructing at the schools
beginning with the Naha Jinjou Higher Elementary School and expanded his Karate
teaching role to include the Teacher's College, Naha Commercial High School,
and the Police Training Academy. In 1927, he held a Karate Seminar at the
University of Kyoto and followed this up with seminars to spread Karate at
Kansai University, Ritsumeikan University, and Hawaii.
When one of his top students, Jinan Shinzato Sensei took
part in the All Japan Budo Commemorative Demonstration, Miyagi Sensei was asked
what style he practised. Based on the hard and soft breathing in the style he
named the style Goju Ryu. With that the first karate style in Japan was born.