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About Goju-Ryu Karate

The Japanese Kara means empty and te means hand. Therefore, karate translates as ‘empty hand’, the art of self defense without a weapon.

Through the IOGKF you will learn a dynamic and powerful martial art. You will learn how, through correct breathing, coordination of your own body and concentration, tremendous power can be achieved. You will gain mastery over your body which will help you in self defence situations in your everyday life.

However, karate is much more than just the physical aspect. It is a complete discipline involving kokoro, the heart or spirit, and karate the physical body. Through the training of the body, we can discipline the mind and temper the spirit. The most important purpose of karate is to develop balance within ourselves so that we may express our true nature and become better human beings.

There are many students of karate, all which can trace their origins back to the island of Okinawa, Japan. However, originally there existed only three styles, each of which was named after the city in which is evolved. These are: Tomari-te, Shuri-te and Naha-te. The Tomari-te and Shuri-te styles were unified to form one school known as Shorin Ryu while Naha-te remained to its true form and became known as Goju Ryu.

According to oriental philosophy, to achieve harmony and order in the world, everything must express a balanced nature. So there is night and day, fire and water and so on.

The founder of our style, Grandmaster Chojun Miyagi chose the name Goju Ryu based on precepts from the Chinese martial arts. Go means hard or resilient; Ju means soft or yielding. Therefore Goju Ryu translates as the hard-soft school. This refers specifically to both the technical characteristics of our style and to its underlying philosophy.

Karate teaches us strength, courage and self-control.

We become strong by training both our minds and our bodies. If we are respectful to our parents and pay attention to our teachers, our minds will grow and become strong.

We become courageous by being kind to other people and respecting one another’s differences. We can also become more courageous by admitting our mistakes – even when we are afraid to do so.

True warriors or ‘karate-ka’ never allow themselves to be provoked into violence. We must always try our very best to walk away from a fight. By keeping our karate training for ourselves, we learn self-control.

The International Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate-Do Federation (IOGKF) was established in July 1979 by Morio Higaonna Sensei. The IOGKF was established for the purpose of protecting and preserving traditional Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate-Do as an intangible cultural treasure in its original form as passed on by Goju Ryu founder Chojun Miyagi, and spreading this art throughout the nations of the world. Most importantly, the IOGKF was being formed with the support and backing of Ken Miyagi (fourth son of Goju Ryu founder Chojun Miyagi), An’ichi Miyagi (successor to Chojun Miyagi) and senior students of the late Chojun Miyagi: Seiko Kina, Seijin Nakamoto, Kiei Tomoyose, Shunshin Furugen, Jitsuei Yogi, and Shuichi Aragaki.

Since its formation, the teachings of Morio Higaonna Sensei have been spread around the world, and the IOGKF now has more than 50 affiliated countries worldwide. Every year gasshuku (training seminars) are held in various countries to ensure the transmission of correct techniques and to promote friendship and exchange between members.

The IOGKF is one of the few karate organizations that the Japanese Government recognizes as a true Japanese traditional martial arts organization. The IOGKF is a proud member of the Nihon Kobudo Kyokai (Japan Traditional Martial Arts Association).

In September 2007, Higaonna Sensei received 10th dan (the highest rank in karate) as well as a special certificate signed by Miyagi An’ichi Sensei (successor of Goju Ryu) and Aragaki Shuichi Sensei, both of whom are direct students of Chojun Miyagi Sensei. This recognizes him as a successor in the direct line descended from Miyagi Chojun Sensei.

Today the IOGKF is as dedicated to its original purpose as it was in 1979. The IOGKF represents the philosophy of Goju Ryu founder “Bushi” Chojun Miyagi, and with this in mind, Higaonna Sensei reminds us that it is important to dedicate ourselves to the further improvement and development of Goju Ryu karate through diligent training, so that we may come to understand the very essence of our art.

Higaonna Sensei is the Supreme Master of IOGKF. Tetsuji Nakamura Sensei is the Chief Instructor for IOGKF International. Bakkies Laubscher Sensei and Kazuo Terauchi Sensei are the Technical Advisors. The IOGKF Executive Committee consists of Sensei Ernie Molyneux, Sensei Henrik Larsen and Nakamura Sensei.

The IOGKF Administrative Honbu (Headquarters) is in Oakville, Ontario, Canada. The Technical Honbu for the IOGKF is in Naha, Okinawa, Japan where Higaonna Sensei currently teaches.

Self Defence

At Goju-Ryu Karate Milton Keynes, we take self defence seriously. You will learn how to defend yourself in a realistic and safe environment.

Goju-ryu karate differs from sports karate in its practicality as a self-defence system. These aspects of karate are often overlooked but Goju-ryu karate, referred to as the “original MMA”, is an all-encompassing system from elements of ancient Chinese, Japanese martial arts to more modern jyu-kumite (freestyle fighting), grappling, locks and escape techniques.

A common misconception is that karate is more sport oriented and not as effective as MMA or Krav Maga as a self-defense system. Goju-ryu karate teaches not only kata (form) and ipon-kumite (sport sparring) but also practical applications. Many of which will feel familiar to security personnel, military forces and law enforcement.

Karate doesn’t teach violence, on the contrary, it teaches us to be a better person, to develop an inner confidence and avoid violence. Violent people often prey on the vulnerable. The inner confidence that karate gives you will instinctively deter violent people. And if in the worst case, you are attacked, Goju-ryu karate teaches you “real-world” simple and effective self-defence applications.