Picton Martial Arts
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.


Karate do:
– empty             te– 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.


Miyagi Chojun 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.

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