MASTERS OF GOJU RYU
In 1877 he began to study under a kung fu master called Ryu Ryu Ko Tokashiki Iken has identified him as Xie Zhongxiang, founder of Whooping Crane Kung Fu. Zhongxiang taught several Okinawan students who went on to become karate legends.Higashionna returned to Okinawa in 1882 and continued in the family business of selling firewood, while teaching a new school of martial arts, distinguished by its integration of gō-no(hard) and jū-no (soft) kempo into one system. Higashionna’s style was known as Naha-te. Gojukai history considers that Chinese Nanpa Shorin-ken was the strain of kung fu that influenced this style.Higaonna Morio noted that in 1905, Higashionna Kanryo sensei taught martial arts in two different ways, according to the type of student: At home, he taught Naha-te as a martial art whose ultimate goal was to be able to kill the opponent; however, at Naha Commercial High School, he taught karate as a form of physical, intellectual and moral education.
Higashionna’s most prominent student was Chojun Miyagi (1888–1953), the son of a wealthy shop owner in Naha, who began training under Higashionna at the age of 14. Miyagi had begun his martial arts training under Ryuko Aragaki at age 11, and it was through Aragaki that he was introduced to Higashionna. Miyagi trained under Higashionna for 15 years, until Higashionna’s death in 1916.
In 1915 Miyagi and a friend Gokenki went to Fuchou in search of Higashionna’s teacher. They stayed for a year and studied under several masters but the old school was gone (BoxerRebellion 1900). Shortly after their return, Higashionna died. Many of Higashionna’s students continued to train with him and he introduced a kata called Tensho which he had adapted from Rokkishu of Fujian White Crane.
Higashionna’s most senior student Juhatsu Kyoda formed a school he called Tōon-ryū (Tōon is another way of pronouncing the Chinese characters of Higashionna’s name, so Tōon-ryū means “Higashionna’s style”), preserving more of Higashionna’s approach to Naha-te.
In 1929 delegates from around Japan were meeting in Kyoto for the All Japan Martial Arts Demonstration. Higashionna asked Miyagi to go as his representative; Miyagi was also unable to attend, and so he in turn asked his top student Jin’an Shinsato to go. While Shinsato was there, one of the other demonstrators asked him the name of the martial art he practiced. At this time, Miyagi had not yet named his style. Not wanting to be embarrassed, Shinsato improvised the name hanko-ryu (“half-hard style”). On his return to Okinawa he reported this incident to Chojun Miyagi, who decided on the name Goju-ryu (“hard soft style”) as a name for his style. Chojun Miyagi took the name from a line of the poem Hakku Kenpo, which roughly means: “The eight laws of the fist,” and describes the eight precepts of the martial arts. This poem was part of the Bubishi, a classical Chinese text on martial arts and medicine. The line in the poem reads: Ho wa Gōjū wa Donto su “the way of inhaling and exhaling is hardness and softness,” or “everything in the universe inhales soft and exhales hard.”
In March 1934, Miyagi wrote Karate-do Gaisetsu (“Outline of Karete-do (Chinese-hand)”), to introduce karate-do and to provide a general explanation of its history, philosophy, and application. This handwritten monograph is one of the few written works composed by Miyagi himself.
Miyagi’s house was destroyed during World War II. In 1950, several of his students began working to build a house and dojo for him in Naha, which they completed in 1951. In 1952, they came up with the idea of creating an organization to promote the growth of Goju-Ryu. This organization was called Goju-Ryu Shinkokai (“Association to Promote Goju-Ryu”). The founding members were Seko Higa, Keiyo Matanbashi, Jinsei Kamiya, and Genkai Nakaima.
There are two years that define the way Goju-ryu has been considered by the Japanese establishment: the first, 1933, is the year Goju-ryu was officially recognized as a budō in Japan by Dai Nippon Butoku Kai, in other words, it was recognized as a modern martial art, or gendai budo. The second year, 1998, is the year the Dai Nippon Butoku kai recognized Goju-ryu Karatedo as an ancient form of martial art (koryu) and as a bujutsu. This recognition as a koryu bujutsu shows a change in how Japanesesociety sees the relationships between Japan, Okinawa and China. Until 1998, only martial arts practiced in mainland Japan by samurai had been accepted as koryu bujutsu.
November 8th, 1898 – April 16th, 1966
Seiko Higa was born in Naha Okinawa on November 8th 1898, and began his training with Kanryo Higaonna at the age of 13. After Sensei Higaonna’s death in 1915, he trained with Chojun Miyagi.
Seiko Higa was a very educated man and was employed as an elementary school teacher. He resigned after one year and then went on to have a lengthy career as a policeman. After ten years as a policeman Higa resigned and dedicated himself to Karate.. In 1931, he left the force and opened his own dojo in Naha, Okinawa. From 1937 to 1939 he taught in Saipan in the South Pacific. After World War II, he opened a new dojo in Itoman-cho and taught at a high school Karatedo club, Ryukyu University and the Naha prison. In a document published in 1952,
in an Okinawan newspaper Miyagi listed the senior’s members of his group and their titles and only Seiko Higa was listed as “Headmaster”.
After the death of Chojun Miyagi, Higa stepped in as Chojun Miyagi’s temporary successor. These responsibilities that would soon after pass to Miyazato Eiichi, Meitoku Yagi heading his Meibu-Kan, who would later receive the Menkyo-Kaiden. Many of Miyagi Chijun’s students went their own way to establish dojo and organizations. heading the Jundo-Kan and
In May of 1956 At Shoshin Nagamine’s dojo (founder of Matsubayashi Ryu) nineteen Karatedo teachers got together and established the Okinawa Karatedo Federation, Higa became Vice-chairman and four years later he became Chairman. In 1960 Higa opened a dojo in the Yogi district of Naha naming it the Shodokan and created the International Karatedo and Kobudo Federation. The Shodokan dojo was a very popular place among zealous Karatedo practitioner and the great Matayoshi Shinpo taught Kobudo there.
Choboku Takamine took over as president of the IKKF after Seiko Higa’s death in 1966 and his son, Seikichi Higa, became head instructor at the Shodokan.
Kanki Izumikawa and Teruo Hayashi are among his top students.
Others that find their lineage through Higa include Seikichi Toguchi (Shoreikan), Seiko Fukuchi (Senbukan), Tetsuhiro Hokama (Kenshinkai), from mainland Japan Kanki Izumikawa (Seito Gojuryu, Sengukan), Seikichi Higa (Higa’s son) and Choboku Takamine. After Seiko Higa, Choboku Takamine became president of International Karatedo Kobudo Federation, and Seikichi Higa became Chief instructor of the Shodokan dojo.
Higa believed that true purpose of Karatedo is to serve the public and promote friendship throughout the World.
Hanshi Yoshio Kuba 10. dan
Okinawa Goju-Ryu Karate-Do Gand Master
Yoshio Kuba is a 10th Dan black belt and is the head of the Kenpokai in Okinawa, Japan. He was a direct student of Seikichi Toguchi Sensei, who was a student of Chojun Miyagi Sensei and Seiko Higa Sensei. Kuba Sensei epitomizes the understanding of Goju and his understand of its concepts and application is legendary but off and on the dojo floor. He run a full time acupuncturist practice in Okinawa and is head of the Acupuncture Association in Japan.
The following is his achievements:
1. Started Judo at age of 9.
2. Learned Kempo at age 14.
3. Entered Karate path at age of 15.
4. Became an apprentice of Mr. Seikichi Toguchi of Goju Ryu at age 17.
5. Became a director of Goju Ryu Shoreikan at age 27.
6. Became a Master of Goju Ryu Shoreikan at age 34.
POSTS Held or Holding
1. Chariman of Okinawa Perfecture Acupuncture Association.
2. Director of Okinawa City Karate‐Do Federation
3. Standing Director of Okinawa Perfecture Karate‐Do Union
4. Vice Chairman of Okinawa City Youth Sports Association
5. Chairman and General Master of Okinawa Karate‐Do Association
6. Director of Goju‐Ryu Karate Kenpo Kenbu Kan
7. President of Authentic Goju Ryu Karate‐Do & Kobudo Federation Kenbu Kai
the original Traditional Okinawa Martial Arts.
1. Masters degree in Pharmacy
2. Qualified Acupunturist
Shihan Takeji Ogawa
Shihan Takeji Ogawa was born on 24 November in 1942 in Chiba. He started doing karate at the age of 7. However, he has been training seriously since he was 16.
He arrived in Austria in 1970 to promote Japanese karate. He got married there and had three children. He became the coach of the national team and the HSU-Linz Association in 1973. He has been working as the trainer of the Steyer-Goju-Kai Association founded by Ortwin Breinbauer and Gerhard Oelle since 1974. He has more than 30-year long coaching experience at this club. In addition he regularly held training sessions in BBSV Sports Club and for the provincial team.
He spends most of the year abroad. He teaches and helps Goju-Ryu Karate practitioners. From 1985 to 1992 he was the coach of the national team in Austria. Under his leadership Austrian karate caught up to the international rank top.
Shihan Takeji Ogawa is the founder of Goju-Ryu in Austria and Slovakia. Even these days he regularly teaches Goju-Ryu karate practitioners from countries like Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Croatia, Russia, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. He is the head-instructor of the International Goju-Ryu Karate-Do Sakura-Kai established for his honour.