What is Goju Ryu Karate?
Goju Ryu – “hard and soft style” in Japanese - is a complete, traditional martial art that can be practiced at any age. Born and developed in Okinawa, the Goju Ryu system incorporates almost every aspect of martial arts training. Close circular blocks, joint manipulations, and low kicks characterize the style. Goju Ryu is excellent for those seeking self-defense and solid physical conditioning. Goju Ryu karate is one of the only traditional martial arts styles that can be traced back to its origin. It was originally called “Naha-Te” (referring to the Okinawan port city), before the various martial arts styles emerging in Okinawa were given formal names. Around 1931 the name Goju Ryu was bestowed by the style’s formal founder, the legendary Miyagi Chojun.
Chojun Sensei studied under Higaonna Kanryo Sensei, who had spent 14 years of his life studying martial arts in southern China, which he then brought back with him to Okinawa. From Kanryo Sensei’s teachings and wisdom, Chojun Sensei developed the formal Goju Ryu system, including a complete set of warm up exercises, a systemized order in which to learn all of the existing kata (forms), as well creating as two new kata. Chojun Sensei dedicated his whole life to Goju Ryu karate. Upon his death he passed the knowledge and spirit of Goju Ryu on to his closest student Miyagi An'Ichi Sensei. An'Ichi Sensei was taught the Goju Ryu system in its entirety, and up until his passing last April 27, 2009, had continued to train and teach in Okinawa. His most senior student and the world chief instructor of Goju Ryu is the renowned martial arts master Morio Higaonna, 9th Dan Hanshi. Higaonna Sensei is known throughout the world as the leading authority on Goju Ryu, and is respected not only for his amazing skill and power but also for his humility and humble demeanor. Higaonna Sensei heads one of the largest karate organizations in the world, the I.O.G.K.F, of which the San Francisco Goju Ryu Karate Center is extremely proud to be a part of.