Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Origin of Goju-Ryu Karate

Current capital city Naha in Okinawa was a principal port city. It was Shuri where the king presided and was old capital city before a US military base occupied the island.

There were three epochs mentioned with three masters respectively in their evolution in the history of Goju-Ryu school. First was the time when the school was known only as Naha Te of Kanryo Higaonna during 1870s of which time the islanders were forced to surrender their nationality as Japanese. Second was when the school was named Goju-Ryu by the group headed by Chojun Miyagi during 1930s of which time Japan engaged in the Wrold War II. The third and final time period was when the national structure of Goju-Ryu organization was established in mainland Japan by Gogen Yamaguchi during the post war period. The organization has been called Karate-Do Goju-Kai since that time.

Go, or 剛 means "hard" and Ju, or 柔 means soft, thus idiom Goju, or 剛柔 suggest any variation of hard and soft aspect in that school. As for a historical point of view a major body of system was imported from Fukien Province in China. That system called itself one half hard and one soft style in Chinese. The system also called Fukien Crain Chuan, 福建鶴拳 which was branched school from Five Ancestor Chuan 五祖拳.

Kanryo Higaonna, 東恩納 寛量 (1852-1915) may be the earliest master who can be traced back in the history and who founded a background of Goju-Ryu system. The system was called Naha-Te. Prior to Higaonna, there was another master named Seiso Aragaki, 新垣世宗 (1840-1920) recognized as a Naha-Te master. He was known as a master introduced kata Seisan.


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