What is Goju-Ryu Karate?
The literal translation of the Japanese term Goju is "hard/soft"
- go meaning hard and ju meaning soft.
Ryu means school, thus Goju-Ryu is the hard/soft school of
Goju-Ryu Karate is one of the four original Okinawan
styles of Karate, and was founded by Chojun Miyagi (1888-1953).
Sensei Miyagi had spent years in China training with the Chinese
masters of White Crane style Kung Fu before returning to Okinawa
to formulate what is now known as Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate Do.
Traditional Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate
has a very pure lineage.
Gojo-Ryu Karate is a traditional martial art that was
handed down from the founder Sensei Chojun Miyagi to his
student Sensei Anichi Miyagi and then to Sensei Morio
Higaonna in an unbroken line, which means the art has
not been diluted or embellished through the generations
like many other martial arts have. Instead, Goju-Ryu
Karate persists as a highly effective fighting system
today. It is not a sport style of Karate but offers its
students a practical method of self defence in any
Characteristics of Goju-Ryu Karate
Goju-Ryu Karate has a great variety of hand and foot techniques
and employs hard and soft techniques with both circular and
linear movements. Particular emphasis is placed on strengthening
the body and mind with supplementary exercises.
The basic idea of the hard and soft style is use a soft blocking
technique to block a hard strike or to deflect the strike rather
than to meet force with force. Likewise, when attacking,
Goju-Ryu employs a hard technique against a soft target and vice
versa. For example, in Okinawan Goju-Ryu a palm heel strike
(using the relatively soft palm heel of the hand) is often used
to strike something hard like the head. Another example for the
hard/soft aspect is a kick (hard) into the groin (soft).