• Brief History of Goju-Ryu Karate

  • Chojun Miyagi

    Miyagi Chogun Sensei is the founder of Goju Ryu Karate Do. He was born April 28th, 1888 to a wealthy Okinawan family. He began his Karate training under Aragaki Ryuko Sensei in 1900, at the age of 12. In 1902, when Miyagi Sensei was 14 years old, Aragaki Sensei introduced him to Higashionna Kanryo Sensei, master of Naha Te. Higashionna Sensei accepted him as a student, and the two trained together until the death of Higashionna Sensei in 1915. From here, Miyagi Sensei travelled to China to increase his knowledge of the martial arts. He studied the principles and philosophies of many Chinese styles in order to increase his knowledge and understanding. Eventually he formulated his own style of Karate which combined the hard external fighting styles with the soft internal styles into a close range, highly efficient method of self defense. The brutal efficiency of the style was designed strictly for health andself defense, and not for sport. In 1929, Miyagi Sensei named his style Gojyu-Ryu Karate-Do, meaning hard and soft style. This name was taken from one of his favourite poems, the Kempo Hakku, or the eight laws of the fist. "HO WA GOJYU WO TONDO SU." "The way of inhaling and exhaling is both hardness and softness." Miyagi Sensei died on October 8th, 1953. After his death, his teachings were carried on by Dai Sensei Meitoku Yagi and three other senior students of his.

    Karate is an ancient discipline designed to teach its followers not only how to defend themselves, but also how to improve your character and increase your awareness of the world around you.

    Many people take Karate for different reasons. Some people are interested in increasing their personal ability, others are interested in self defense, while others are interested in an exciting way to get fit and to stay in shape. Karate offers all of this, plus more. Often, new Karate students begin their training with only basic expectations, and are shocked to find out just how far reaching the benefits of the martial arts can be. Like any worthwhile activity, the more you put into your training, the more you will get out of it.

    Contrary to popular belief, Karate is not a fighting sport. In fact, it is an art of self defense. The objective of Karate is not to learn how to fight, but to learn how not to fight. In the event of a fight, the objective is not to learn how to win, but to learn how not to lose. As the master Dai Sensei Meitoku Yagi said:

    "Do not put your main purpose in mastering Karate technique itself. You should study the way of life through Karate. This is our goal."