A Brief History

The Fighting Arts have been around since the beginning of time.  Fighting has always been a human instinct which has remained with us throughout the times.  As time went on it has been technically developed, systemized to form the present Martial Arts, which can be found practically in every culture.  This is what happened to the indigenous Okinawan Life-protection Art known as “Te” (Ti or Di in Okinawan dialect) meaning Hand.

“Te” resembled Okinawan folklore dance and some of its content consisted of Atemi (striking), Tuite (grab hand), and Kyusho-jutsu (vital points art), as well as Nage (throwing). 

The RyuKyu's Islands are a small chain of islands located between Japan and China.  The largest and most famous of these islands is Okinawa.  Because of their strategic location it was a trading center for China and other Asian country.  During those times Okinawa had a good relationship with China and China influences their culture, as well as their Life-protection Art.

Karate was born when there indigenous Art of “Te” (hand) was infused with Chinese Martial Arts and other Asian Arts.  The Chinese forms (kata) were integrated and modified and Karate was born.

Te became regionalized when it roughly divided into three distinct forms, Shuri-Te, Naha-Te and Tomari-Te. (These were towns located around Shuri Castle.)  These weren't names of styles but rather references to distinguish differences in applications, kata and philosophies.  It wasn't until the late 1800's to early 1900's that karate took official names to describe or to differentiate styles.

The Kanji or Chinese ideogram for “Kara” meaning China was used out of respect for the Chinese.  So Kara-te meant China Hand.

After the Meiji Restoration, Okinawa was under the rule of Japan.  The Chinese ideogram for “Kara” meaning China was changed to “Kara, Ku” meaning open/vastness.

Today Karate literally means "Open hand" which refers to the physical means of hand movement and physical characteristics of the hand; which, when combined together represent human nature.  That is to say, that, karate should be a natural movement – for example, just as in walking.  The natural movements in Karate are typical in the old ways of karate.

Karate is often misinterpreted as empty hand.  This is wrong; it’s suggesting that there is no substance, or movement in the hand.

Today there are many styles of karate.  These styles, although related, differ in philosophy, and interpretation of concepts.  Karate is now divided into 3 categories: Modern, Traditional, and Classical.  

At Budo Quest Martial Arts the emphasis is on Classical Karate, meaning uses actual fighting philosophy developed by the warrior class. Classical karate is real karate technique used to stop opponents in actual combat, not the controlled conditions of tournament play.

Historical Time Line

1392
The 36 families from China immigrate to Kume Village in Naha, Okinawa.  Within the settlement Chinese kempo was practiced.

1477
The three separate kingdoms of Okinawa were unified and the ruler King Sho Shin banned the use of all weapons. This acted as a catalyst in the development and refinement of the indigenous self-protection arts of Okinawa.

1609
The Satsuma clan of Japan invaded Okinawa and again implement a weapons ban, this increased the practice of unarmed combat in Okinawa.

1797
Matsumura Bushi (Matsumura family Toudi) was born.

1853
Higaonna Kanryo, founder of Naha-te, was born on March 10th.

1867
At the age of 14, Higaonna Kanryo celebrated katagashira, (passage into
manhood).

1870
Kyan Chotoku Sensei founder of Shobayashi Shorin-Ryu, was born.

1874
Higaonna Kanryo traveled to Foochow China to study Chinese Kempo. He
was 22 years old at the time.

1875
Aragaki Ryuko was born. He was Miyagi Chojun first teacher and also introduced Miyagi Chojun Sensei to Higaonna Kanryo Sensei.

1886
Kyoda Juhatsu founder of Toon-Ryu was born.

1887
Gokenki was born. He was Chinese and owned a tea store in Naha. Gokenki was a Hakutsuru ken (white crane fist) master and a very close friend of Miyagi Chojun Sensei. Go Kenki traveled with Miyagi Sensei to China twice to serve as interpreter in 1915 and 1936. Many believe that Gokenki Sensei taught Miyagi Sensei theory and techniques. He definitely had influence Miyagi Chojun Sensei's Karate; specifically in the development of Tensho kata which sometime call Rokishu. Go Kenki use to teach a kata with the same name.

1888
Miyagi Chojun Sensei, founder of Goju-Ryu, was born on April 25th. Matayoshi Shinko was born, founder of Matayoshi kobudo. Toyama Kanken was born, he studied Naha-te under Higaonna Kanryo and Shuri-te under Itosu Ankoh. He also studied kobujutsu with Oshiro Chodo.

1889
Soken Hohan Sensei (Matsumura Seito) was born. Mabuni Kenwa founder of Shito-Ryu was born.

1890
Higaonna Kanryo Sensei introduces Naha-te.

1896
Oct.2nd, Itokazu Yoshio founder of Itokazukei Goju-Ryu was born.

1897
Taira Shinken (Kobudo) was born.

1898
Higa Seiko Sensei was born, founder of Shodokan Goju-Ryu Dojo and student of Miyagi Chojun Sensei. Chinen Masami was born, founder of Yamani-Ryu bojutsu.

1900
Miyagi Chojun Sensei begins training with Aragaki Ryuko.

1901
Higaonna Kanryo Sensei began teaching Naha-te in his house in Nishishinmachi, in secrecy. Shinzato Jinan was born at Kume village in Naha Okinawa.

1902
Karate was introduce into the school's curriculum under the guidance of Yabu Kentsu Sensei. This would change the indigenous Okinawan self-protection arts. Miyagi Chojun Sensei began training with Higaonna Kanryo Sensei. Miyagi Sensei was accepted as a student after having been introduce to Higaonna by Aragaki Ryuko Sensei.

1905
September, Higaonna Kanryo Sensei began teaching formally at the Naha Commercial High School.

1907
Nagamine Shoshin Sensei, founder of Matsubayashi Shorin-Ryu, was born on July 15th.

1908
Takamine Choboku was born on March 24th. Takamine Sensei was student of Higa Seiko Sensei.

1909
January 20th Yamaguchi Gogen is born in Kagoshima City Japan. He was introduce to Miyagi Chojun Sensei by Jitsuei Yogi. Yamaguchi Sensei is the founder of the Japan Goju-kai. It is throught Yamaguchi Sensei that Goju-ryu became world known.

1912
Yagi Meitoku Sensei was born on March 6th. in Kume-machi a district in Naha, Okinawa. He is the founder Meibukan Goju-Ryu.

1915
May 1915 Miyagi Chojun Sensei and GoKenki journeyed to Foochow province in China in search of Ryu Ryu Ko, and for research. All the information that Miyagi Sensei gathered was lost during WW II. Shorty after the Miyagi Sensei and Gokenki returned Higaonna Kanryo dies (on December 23rd). Miyagi Chojun paid for the funeral. Miyagi Chojun became successor of Naha-te. Miyazato Eiko Sensei was born, founder of Gokenkan Goju-Ryu.

1917
Toguchi Seikichi Sensei was born on May 20th. in Naha City, Okinawa. Toguchi Sensei was a student of Higa Seiko Sensei and also Study with Miyagi
Chojun Sensei. Toguchi Sensei is the founder of Shoreikan Goju-Ryu.

1919
Fukuchi Seiko was born, he was a student of Higa Seiko Sensei.

1918
Miyahira Katsuya (Shorin-ryu) was born.

1921
Miyagi Chojun Sensei demonstrate Naha-te to Prince Hirohito, who stopped at Okinawa after his European tour. Matayoshi Shinpo Sensei, was born.

1922
Miyazato Eiichi Sensei, founder of Jundokan Goju-Ryu, was born July 5th. Miyazato Sensei was Miyagi Chojun favorite and assist Miyagi Sensei at the garden Dojo up until the founder's death. Miyagi's family gave Miyazato Sensei all of Miyagi Chojun's kiguhojo undo. Miyagi An'ichi (no relation), Higaonna Morio, Chinen Teruo and Uehara Ko all trained at Miyazato's Jundokan Dojo.
They all obtained their Dan grading from Miyazato Sensei. Miyazato Sensei is also a well respected Judo champion. Tada Seigo Sensei was born in Kyoto, Japan. One of Yamaguchi Sensei's senior students. Tada Sensei went on to form the Seigokan organization, which became the largest Goju-Ryu association in Japan.

1926
Miyagi Chojun Sensei formed the Toudi (karate, China hand) kenkyu club to research and ensure the preservation of the indigenous Okinawa self-protection arts. The co-founders were Hanashiro Chomo, Motobu Choyo and Mabuni Kenwa.

1927
February 10th. Higa Seikichi was born on February 10th. He was one of Higa Seiko's senior student.

1930
Miyagi Chojun Sensei received an invitation to demonstrate at the all Nippon Budo demonstration to be held on May 5, 1930. Miyagi Sensei sent his senior student Shinzato Jinan Sensei instead. Shinzato performed kata Sanchin and Seisan. It was there that they asked what was the name of his style Shinzato replied "Naha-te". Upon his return, Shinzato Jinan Sensei explained to Miyagi Sensei what had happen. Miyagi Chojun names his style Goju-Ryu. Name taken from the book the Bubishi.

1932
Toguchi Seikichi joined Higa Seiko Dojo.

1933
Goju-Ryu was offically registered with the Dai Nippon Butokukai as a ryu (style). This event recognized Karate as an offical art. Anthony Mirakian is born on November 12th. Sensei Mirakian is a senior student of Yagi Meitoku Sensei and was the first person to bring Okinawa Goju-Ryu to the United States. According to Yogi Jitsuei Sensei this was the year that he introduce Yamaguchi Gogen Sensei to Miyagi Chojun Sensei. Yamaguchi Sensei declare that it was 1931.

1934
Miyagi Chojun Sensei lectures and teaches karate in Hawaii. Also write the "Outline of karate-Do".

1935
Feburary, Miyagi Sensei returns from Hawaii. Miyagi Chojun Sensei give a demonstration in mainland Japan, with Jitsuei Sensei as his assistant. The Toudi (karate) Kenkyukai (research club) was formed on December 21st. Sensei John Roseberry, founder of Shorei-Shobukan Goju-Ryu, was born on March 8th. Yamaguchi Gogen founded the All Japan Goju-kai association. Peter Urban founder of USA Goju is born on August 14th. Yamaguchi Gosei is born on January 15th. in Kyoto.

1936

The 1936 Meeting: Tou-di Becomes Karate

A pivotal event in the evolution of Karate happened on October 26, 1936 during a meeting of some of the most prominent Tou-di teachers at the time. In attendance at this meeting were Choshin Chibana, Shimpan Gusukuma, Chomo Hanashiro, Choki Motobu, Chotoku Kyan, Chojun Miyagi and Juhatsu Kyoda. In addition to these leaders in Tou-di being present there were also members from the prefectural police department, the Japanese military and the prefectural physical education board. During this meeting it was discussed that the term 'Tou-di' was not appropriate for Japanese mainland practitioners since the Chinese ideogram 'Tou', for 'China', did not conform to Japan's growing sense of nationalism. In its place Japanese mainland practitioners were using the hiragana term 'Kara' which means “Open, Vast”. The term 'kara' had been used before but it had never replaced the more popular Okinawan term, Tou-di. After much discussion by the meeting members it was agreed that "Kara" should be considered as a replacement for "Tou".

 

1938
Shinjo Masanobu, founder of Shobukan Goju-Ryu is born. Shinjo Sensei was the chief instructor of Toguchi Seikichi Sensei's Shoreikan Dojo. Higaonna Morio, founder of IOGKF is born on December 25th.

1941
Chinen Teruo Sensei was born.

1944
Hokama Tetushiro, a student of Higa Seiko Sensei and Fukuchi Seiko Sensei
was born.

1945
In April Shinzato Jinan dies during the battle of Okinawa.

1946
Robert A. Trias opens the first American Dojo in Arizona and becomes known as "Father of American Karate".

1953
Miyagi Chojun dies on October 8th at the age of 65.

1955
Toguchi Sensei opened first Shoreikan Dojo in Koza City Okinawa.

1957
Miyazato Eiichi established Jundokan Dojo.

1959
Peter Urban introduces Japanese Goju-Ryu to the United States.

1960
Anthony Mirakian brings Meibukan Goju-Ryu to the United States. He is now 9th Dan, Meibukan's highest ranking non-Asian.

1961
Hokama Sensei begins training with Higa Seiko Sensei at Naha Commercial High School.

1963
Yagi Meitoku receives from Miyagi family Miyagi Chojun Sensei's gi and belt. However this Gi and belt was purchased as a gift for Miyagi Sensei by Miyazato Eiichi. Miyazato bought it while in Japan, when he went to compete in Judo.

1966
Higa Seiko dies. Peter Urban founds USA Goju. Hokama Tetsuhiro continue his training with Fukuchi Seiko Sensei.

1968
Sensei Mike Mancuso (presently an 8th Dan) brings Jundokan Goju-Ryu to the United States.

1969
Chinen Teruo Sensei a student of Miyazato Eiichi Sensei (Jundokan Goju-ryu) introduces Okinawa Goju-Ryu to Spokane, Washington.

1970
Taira Shinken Sensei (Ryukyu Kobudo) dies.

1979
Higaonna Morio Sensei leaves Miyazato Eiichi Sensei and forms the International Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate-Do Federation.
 
1982
Soken Hohan dies.
 
1983
Shinjo Sensei leaves Toguchi Sensei and Shoreikan organization and formed the Shobukan Dojo. Sensei Roseberry parts from the Shoreikan and forms the Shorei-Shobukan in honor of Toguchi and Shinjo sensei.

1983
Grandmaster Rick Moneymaker and Grandmaster Tom Muncy start researching Pressure Points based on Traditional Chinese Medicine.

1987
The first Karate museum in the World is established by Hokama Tetsuhiro Sensei on January 11th. in Okinawa.

1989
Yamaguchi Gogen dies on May 20th.

1993
Shinjo Masanobu Sensei dies on October 15th.

1995
Grandmaster Rick Moneymaker and Grandmaster Tom Muncy founded the Dragon Society International.

1997
Okinawa Prefecture Ministry of Education and prefectural officals open Butokuden in Naha City. Opening ceremonies seat officals in front of Karate masters. Nagamine Shoshin Sensei, dies November 2nd.

1998
Toguchi Seikichi dies on August 31st. at the age of 81.

1999
December 11th. At 2:03 pm Miyazato Eiichi Hanshi dies. A great loss to the Karate World.
 
2003
Yagi Meitoku Hanshi 10th Dan  Meibukan Goju-ryu (March 6, 1912 - February 7th, 2003) Passed away.
2009 Taika Seiyu Oyata promoted Hanshi Tetsuhiro Hokama to 10th Dan.