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Goju Ryu Karate

The Name Goju ryu

The naming of Goju-Ryu came about more by accident than design. In 1930, one of Chojun Miyagi's top students, Jin'an Shinzato was attending a Martial Arts convention in Tokyo. He was asked by numerous martial arts masters as to what school of martial arts he practiced. As Naha-te had no formal name he could not answer this question. Feeling his art would be looked down upon and given amateur status, he quickly picked Hankry-ryu, which means the Way of Half Hard. On his return to Okinawa he reported this incident to Chojun Miyagi. He liked Shinzato’s idea and took it one step further. After much consideration, Chojun Miyagi decided on the name 'Goju-Ryu' (hard and soft school) as a name for his style. He took this name from a line in the Bubishi (a classical Chinese text on martial arts and other subjects). This line, which appears in a poem describing the eight precepts of the martial arts, reads "Ho Goju Donto" (the way of inhaling and exhaling is hardness and softness). The whole poem reads as follows:

  1. The mind is one with heaven and earth.
  2. The circulatory rhythm of the body is similar to the cycle of the sun and the moon.
  3. The way of inhaling and exhaling is hardness and softness.
  4. Act in accordance with time and change.
  5. Techniques will occur in the absence of conscious thought.
  6. The feet must advance and retreat, separate and meet.
  7. The eyes do not miss even the slightest change.
  8. The ears listen well in all directions.
  9. The Succession of Goju-Ryu

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Shihan Humphrey Skosana's Kuyu kai Karate South Africa teaches the traditional Goju-ryu karate of Osamu Hirano (Saiko Shihan) of Japan.