Historicallly the Okinawans combined Chinese martial arts with the existing local practices to form To-de (China hand), sometimes called Okinawa-Te’.
Three districts , Naha, Shuri and Tomari, give their names to three distinct styles, Shuri-te, Naha-te and Tomari-te .
It's in Naha-te that we find the origins of GoJu ryu. Naha, the past capital of the Ryukyu Kingdom,today of Okinawa, a hub of many and varied cultual exchanges, including martial arts...
The leading exponent of Naha-te training was Kanryo Higaonna Sensei.
Originally a Naha-based student of Seisho Aragaki he was one of many Okinawans who travelled to mainland China and is said to have studied with Wei Shin Zan and Ryu Ryu Ko. We can at least be sure he practised and learnt KungFu...
Higaonna Sensei’s most notable student was Chojun Miyagi Sensei who went on to found and name Goju-ryu Karate. One of Chojun Miyagis' most notable students was Eiichi Miyazato, he established the Jundokan,which is one of the main dojos practicing goju ryu in Okinawa today.
TsuyoiKokoro Dojo is a part of this school. We pay great respect to those that originated the style, gave it a name, practiced trained and researched with a mission to pass it on to future generations to discover and enjoy. So many great practitioners were part of forming this style of karate and training.We are indebted to them and we feel proud to be a small part of its ongoing and ever evolving narrative...
Typically, most modern practice of karate in the west the emphasis has been on training the hard aspects of the style. A dependacy or over-reliance on this ‘external’ or 'go' aspect of the art has developed.
‘External’ or ‘hard’ development of power by means of body strength (ie. building stronger arms and legs for punching grabbing kicking) is important ,but it's often favoured over the 'internal' or softer aspects of goju training.The result can be rigidity.
The ‘internal’ or ‘soft’ in martial arts is common practice in Chinese systems.We shouldn't neglect it.Our goju training puts the focus back on the 'Ju' in order to give integrity to the 'Go'
'I found kungfu excellent so I learned it..'
Chojun Miyagi Sensei
"There has [always] been 'Te' in Okinawa. It has been improved and developed..." Chojun Miyagi Sensei 1936
GoJu Ryu the 'hard-soft style' is one of the main traditional Okinawan styles of karate,it features a combination of hard and soft techniques.
The combination of Okinawan and Southern Chinese martial arts, developed into what we now know as GoJu Ryu,it's a system that characteristically relies on close range fighting techniques.
Put simply 'Go' means hard, whilst 'Ju' means soft. We can think of hard as referering to closed hand techniques like punching,kicking and linear movement and soft refering to circular techniques for blocking (receiving) and controlling the opponent. Diverting incoming energy and using that force or strength against the opponent is a characteristic of the goju style.
Emphasis is given to breathing correctly with deep breathing from the stomach (hara) and the energy nucleus called 'tanden'.