History of Meibukan Gojyu Karate

The history of Gojyu-Ryu begins in the mid eighteen hundreds with Kanryo Higaonna. Kanryo Higaonna traveled to China to study kempo and returned to Okinawa to integrate it into the Okinawan art of Naha-te.

The founder of the Gojyu Ryu karate, Miyagi Chojun Sensei, was a student of Kanryo Higaonna Sensei. At the age of 14, Miyagi Chojun Sensei met Kanryo Higaonna Sensei. They spent thirteen years together until Kanryo Higaonna Sensei passed away in 1916.

In addition to his personal training and development of Naha-te, Miyagi Chojun Sensei spent a great deal of his time promoting the art. In 1921, he performed a demonstration of Naha-te in Okinawa for the visiting Prince Hirohito, Emperor of Japan, and in 1925 for Prince Chichibu. Miyagi Chojun Sensei had already envisioned the development of Naha-te not only in Japan but also around the world. It became increasingly important to organize and unify Okinawan karate as a cultural treasure to be passed on to future generations. In 1926, Miyagi Chojun Sensei established the Karate Research Association in Wakas-Cho.

Miyagi Chojun Sensei chose to name the style that he was promoting. It became known as Gojyu Ryu Karate, meaning hard and soft, taken from the precepts of traditional Chinese Kenpo. He was the first among different schools of karate to name his art and in 1933 his art of Gojyu Ryu was formally registered at the Butoku-kai, Japanese Martial Arts Association.

Miyagi Chojun Sensei chose the name Gojyu Ryu from the Eight Precepts of traditional Chinese Kenpo found in the document Bubishi. The precepts are:

Chojun Miyagi's Last Wrintings

  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.

These eight precepts are the essence of the martial arts and are the elements one strives to achieve in training Gojyu Ryu Karate-do.