Karate History

A tiny island by the name of OKINAWA, located in the East China Sea, was the birthplace of KARATE. In the 11th century, the people of Okinawa developed their own fighting ability from the influence of Chinese Martial Arts and other Asian fighting systems.

While the origins of Goju Ryu and all Martial Arts dates back many centuries, the style that we know as Goju Ryu was only formalized in this century. The Style Goju Ryu was named in 1931 by Miyagi Chojun Sensei, the student of Higaonna Kanryo Sensei. The parts in the name Goju Ryu can be broken down as such: GO - Hard, JU - Soft, RYU - The Way. The name Goju Ryu reflects the nature of the style which has both hard and soft elements.

Higanonna Kanryo

Born in Naha, Okinawa in 1853. He began training in the art of Chinese kempo at age sixteen. In 1874 he travelled to Foochow, China where he trained in Shorinji kempo under Master Ryu Ryukyu. Fifteen years later, Higaonna returned to Okinawa where he devoted the rest of his life to the development of Naha-te.

Chojun Miyagi

Chojun Miyagi began training under Ryuko Aragaki at age eleven. It was through Aragaki that, at age fourteen, Miyagi met Kanryo Higaonna and began training with him. Miyagi trained with Higaonna for fifteen years, and upon his death in 1916, Miyagi assumed leadership of Naha-te. Miyagi changed the name of the style to Goju Ryu and is credited with the creation of the katas Geki Sai Dai Ichi, Geki Sai Dai Ni and Tensho.

Eiichi Miyazato

Born in Naha. In 1938, Miyazato became a student of Chojun Miyagi, the founder of goju-ryu, and remained a loyal disciple of his until Miyagi's death in 1953. Eiichi Miyazato Hanshi took over as the head of Goju Ryu after the death of Miyagi Chojun Sensei and ran the organization until his death on December 10, 1999. Miyazato Hanshi is responsible for construction of the Jundokan Dojo in Naha, Okinawa and creation of the World Jundokan Association. He held the position of chariman in the World Jundokan Association up until the time of his death.

For many years the all-Japan Police Judo champion, Eiichi Miyazato Sensei trained in Goju Ryu Karate under Chojun Miyagi for the longest of all the seniors, from 1938 until his death 1953. At the request of his peers, the responsibility for teaching Goju Ryu was then passed to Eiichi Miyazato. In 1957 he founded the Jundokan dojo in Asato, Naha City. In 1972 he retired from the Police force, built a new dojo and devoted the rest of his life to teaching Karate Do. Students of Sensei Miyazato included Nanko Minei, Keikichi Nakasone, Tetsunosuke Yasuda, Teruo Chinen and Morio Higaonna.

Iha Koshin

Upon the death of Miyazato Sensei, Iha Koshin Hanshi (10th degree) took the position of chairman of the World Jundokan Association, assisted by vice-chairmen Yoshio Hichiya Sensei, Tetsunosuke Yasuda Sensei, and Nanko Minei Sensei.

Yasuda Tetsunosuke

In April 2004, Iha Sensei retired from active teaching. Yoshihiro Miyazato Sensei was appointed as Chairman of the Association with Tetsunosuke Yasuda Sensei, 10th Dan, Hanshi as Chief of Shihan.