Chojun Miyagi Sensei

this bronze sculpture of Chojun Miyagi Sensei @Jundokan , this imposing bust is quite famous amongst karateka the world over and is often a featured photo from students' visits to the Jundokan Okinawa, it can be seen from the dojo entrance

Hojo Undo

Some of these Chi Ishi are the original from Chojun Miyagi Senseis' historic 'garden dojo' now used regulary @Jundokan Okinawa


This is the lightest of the 3 Makiwara boards in the dojo a popular training tool @Jundokan Okinawa

"There has [always] been 'Te' in Okinawa. It has been improved and developed..." Chojun Miyagi Sensei 1936

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Jundokan Okinawa goju ryu @tsuyoikokoro dojo Leeds UK

Here the teachers who have given so generously their time knowledge wisdom, and a belief in me and my journey with the TsuyoiKokoro Dojo. Together@Jundokan with Gima Sensei and Kinjo Sensei

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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'.

Training tools such as the 'Makiwara' are used to develop the correct way to strike. Other equipment based 'hojo undo' training assist with muscle coordination and posture.

'I found kungfu excellent so I learned it..' Chojun Miyagi Sensei

If we recognise that most modern practice of karate in the west has emphasized  the hard aspects of the style,a dependancy or over-reliance on this ‘external’ or 'go' aspect of the art has  naturally developed.

‘External’ or ‘hard’  development of power by means of body strength (ie. building stronger arms and legs for punching grabbing kicking) is important yes, but it's often favoured over the 'internal' or softer aspects of goju training.The result can be rigidity; an inability to allow a certain amount of free flowing, soft, natural, relaxed movement patterns.The ‘internal’ or ‘soft’ in martial arts is common practice in Chinese systems.We shouldn't neglect it.

It's fair to say that we pay particular attention to the internal 'soft power' in our goju training @Tsuyoikokoro Dojo . Focus on this 'Ju'  in order to balance out the oftentimes natural dominance of the 'Go'. The key word is balance.

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 , researched and developed with a mission to pass this style  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 feel proud  to be a small part of its ongoing and ever evolving  narrative...