What is Goju-Ryu Karate?

Goju-Ryu is one of the four original styles of Okinawa karate.  Its founder was Miyagi Chojun who studied Naha-te under Grandmaster Higaonna Kanryo.  

Functionally translated, Goju-Ryu Karate means Hard and Soft Open/Vastness hand style.  The Goju-Ryu style was created from the life-long work of two great Okinawan karate teachers, Higaonna Kanryo (1853-1917) and his student Miyagi Chojun (1888-1953).  Since the style was developed in Okinawa and China, it reflects a blend of techniques ranging from powerful and explosive punches, kick, and joint locking, to more subtle and gentle blocking and evading techniques.

The Naming of Goju-Ryu

In 1930 Shinzato Jin'an senior disciple of Grandmaster Miyagi Chojun gave a demonstration of Kata at the All Nippon Budo Championship which was held to celebrate the commemoration of Emperor Hirohito.  After the tournament a martial artist from Japan asked Shinzato Sensei which Ryu, style of karate he represented.  Baffled, Shinzato Sensei was unable to give the Japanese martial artist an answer.  At that time the Ryukyu Di (Okinawa hand) arts didn't have a name for each style they were only known by their geographical reference.

Upon returning to Okinawa, Shinzato related to Grandmaster Miyagi Chojun the incident. Miyagi Chojun thought about this dilemma for a while. He then decided to give his style a name in order to promote and compete with other schools of Japanese martial arts.

Grandmaster Miyagi Chojun named his art "Goju-Ryu" meaning "Hard and Soft" after a poem of the eight principles of Chinese Kempo which came from the ancient White Crane text the "Bubishi" (Wu Bei Zhi in Chinese).  Miyagi Chojun named his method of TE from the third line of this poem. Miyagi Chojun was the first among his peers not to name a system by the area in which it was practiced, such as Shuri-te, Tomari-te and Naha-te.

In 1933 Miyagi Chojun formally registered his art "Goju-Ryu" at the Dai Nippon Butokukai, a prestigious Japanese martial arts Association.

 

 


1) JINSHI WA TENCHI NI ONAJI.

The mind is one with Heaven and Earth

2) KETSUMYAKU WA NICHIGETSU NI NITARI.

The circulatory rhythm of the body mimicks the cycle of the Sun and the Moon.

3) HO WA GOJU WO DONTO SU.

The way of inhaling and exhaling is hardness and softness.

4) MI WA TOKI NI SHITAGAI HEN NI OZU.

The body is always adapting and changing.

5) TE WA KU NI AI SUNWACHI HAIRU.

True pugilism will occur in the absence of conscious thought.

6) SHINTAI WA HAKARITE RIHO SU.

The feet must advance and retreat, separate and meet.

7) ME WA SHIHO WO MIRU WO YOSU.

 The eyes do not miss even the slightest change.

8) MIMI WA YOKU HAPPO WO KIKU.

The ears are able to listen in all directions.

 

What is Kenshi-kai Goju-Ryu?

Kenshi-Kai Goju Ryu is not a sport; it is a method of life-preservation, training the Mind, Body and Spirit. It can be learned by anyone regardless of age, sex, or weakness. 

In addition to striking, kicking, and so-called blocking, Kenshi-Kai™ Goju Ryu includes many grappling, locking techniques called Tuidi-jutsu, striking techniques are aim at the body's vital points, this is called kyusho-jutsu, and kata (forms) which is the key to unlocking Tuidi and Kyusho-jutsu.

 

Kenshi-kai™ is classical Okinawan Karate. It contains ancient knowledge many feel has been lost or forgotten. It is a life-preservation art that places great emphasis on character and values. The Kenshi-Kai™ Dojo offers authentic classical training. If you have experience in other martial arts schools you will be able to see the difference and appreciate what we have to offer. Students train in a friendly and caring atmosphere. Everyone at the Dojo is treated as an individual and is taught with patience and respect.

Sensei Morales is Chief Instructor of the Kenshi-kai™ in the United States. He is the Founder and Chief Instructor of The United States Okinawan Goju-Ryu Kenshi-Kai ™ Karate-jutsu Kobu-Jutsu Association, an organization dedicated to perpetuating the Teachings of Grandmaster Tetsuhiro Hokama as taught to him by Grandmasters Higa Seiko and Fukuchi Seiko.

What sets the U.S Kenshi-Kai™ apart from other Goju Ryu schools is that we teach a complete system of Karate, with ancient style principles.

 

Kata No Namae (names of Kata)

Fukyu Kata

 

Fu means "universal", "wide(ly)" kyu means "reach out", "exert", "exercise", "cause" As a compound, it can mean "dissemination"; reading the kanji separately, it can mean "universal exercise." Therefore, Fukyu kata can be understood to mean "universal exercise kata for wide dissemination"

 

Gekisai

 

Geki means "beat", "attack", "defeat", "destroy", "conquer" sai means "smash", "break", "crush", As a verb compound, Gekisai suru ("suru" is the verb "to do") means to "defeat (the enemy); reading the kanji separately, it can mean "destroy and break", or any other permutation of the above definitions. Therefore, "Gekisai kata" can be understood to mean "kata to defeat, destroy, conquer the enemy by breaking, smashing, and crushing."

 

Kihon Kata

 

Ki means "fundamental" or "foundation", hon means "book" or "text" As a compound; Kihon means "foundation; basis; standard". The following kata is the fundamental text of Goju-Ryu.

 

Sanchin

 

San means three, chin means "war", "battle", "match" Sanchin essentially means "three battles" - also, "chin" is not a standard Japanese pronunciation of the kanji (that would be tatakau, "to hit") but a more Chinese influenced pronunciation.

 

Kaishu Kata

 

Kai means open, shu means hand as a compound, kaishu means open handed. The following list is of openhanded kata.

 

Saifa

 

Sai is the same as in Gekisai - "smash", "break", "crush", fa means "rend", "rip", "tear", "break", "destroy", "defeat", "frustrate" There is no standard reading for Saifa as a compound; thus its meaning may be derived from a combination of the above definitions - for example, it may be understood to mean "smash and destroy" or "break and rip."

 

Seiyunchin

 

Sei means "system", "law", "rule" un means pull", "tug", "jerk", chin is the same as in sanchin, "war", "battle", "match" There is no standard reading for Seiyunchin as a compound; thus its meaning may be derived from a combination of the above definitions - for example, "a system of battle by pulling", suggesting a fighting method centering around grabbing and yanking.

 

Sanseiru

 

San means three, sei means ten, ru means six te means hand as a compound, sanseiru means 36. Te means hand, or method. Thus, Sanseiru can be read as 36 methods, or 36 techniques.

 

Seipai

 

Sei means ten pai means eight te means hand As a compound, Seipai means 18. Te means hand, or method. Thus, sanseiru can be read as 18 methods, or 18 techniques.

 

Shisochin

 

Shi means four, so means "yonder", "facing", chin is the same as in Sanchin, "war", "battle", "match" As a compound, "shiso" means "facing the four directions", a concept similar to the "four corners of the earth," or all directions. Thus, shisochin can be understood to mean, "a battle in all directions."

 

Seisan

 

Sei means 10, san means 3, te means hand As a compound, Seisan means 13. Te means hand, or method. Thus, Seisan can be read as 13 methods, or 13 techniques.

 

Kururunfa

 

ku means "long" or "continued" ru means "stop" run means "suddenly", "immediately", "in a hurry" fa means the same as in Saifa - "rend", "rip", "tear", "break", "destroy", "defeat", "frustrate" There is no standard reading for Kururunfa as a compound; thus its meaning may be derived from a combination of the above definitions - for example, "continued sudden stop and
break". Compare with Seiyunchin, "a kata for yanking and pulling.

 

Suparinpai

 

Su means one, pa means hundred, ren means zero, nothing, cipher, fall pai means eight
te means hand There is no standard meaning for Suparenpai as a compound. Usually the name is read to mean 108, but the presence of the character ren complicates this. Interestingly, this character was the "zero" of the Japanese Zero fighter plane in WWII, indicating some connection with combat not indicated in standard dictionaries.

 

Heishu Kata

 

Hei means closed shu means hand As a compound, Heishu means close handed. The following list is of close handed kata.

 

Tensho

 

Ten means "revolve", "turn around", "change" sho means "manipulate", "rule",
"administer", "conduct", "palm of hand" There is no standard reading for Tensho as a compound; thus its meaning may be derived from a combination of the above definitions – for example, "revolving palm of the hand".

 

 Note: 

The kata Sanseiru, Seipai, Seisan and Suparenpai include "te" as the final character. It is not spoken but exists as a reminder of the Chinese origin of the kata names which were numbers originally symbolizing certain Buddhist concepts.

This info was take from an upcoming book on Goju-Ryu by Sensei Morales.