• Our Curriculum

  • Okinawan Karate - Goju-ryu

    Gōjū-ryū (剛柔流 - "hard-soft school") is one that may be recognizable to many if only by the name of its founder. Miyagi Chojun studied both on Okinawa and in China.

    The styles name is drawn from the poem Kenpo Hakku, which roughly means: "The eight laws of the fist." part of the Bubishi, a classical Chinese text on martial arts. The line in the poem reads: Ho wa Gōjū wo tondo su "the way of inhaling and exhaling is hardness and softness," or "everything in the universe inhales soft and exhales hard." 

    The Ryusyokai school lineage draws from one of Miyagi senior students, Yagi Meitoku. Yagi Sensei, founder of the Meibukan school of Gōjū, was one of the leading practitioners of Goju on the island. Yagi's most senior student, Senaha Shigetoshi (Hanshi, Kudan), founded the Ryusyokai in 1999. The hombu (home) dojo in Tomigusuku, Okinawa is very active.

    Ryusyokai, like many Gōjū schools, does not teach or espouse free-fighting. This is not because of the fallacy that the techniques are too "dangerous;" rather, the practice is discouraged as it detracts from the proper goal and function of classical karate. Some instructors also believe that "jiyu kumte" can lead to bad training habits.

    Gōjū-ryū has 12 core kata in its standard curriculum:
    Sanchin    Gekisai dai ichi     Gekisai dai ni     Saifa    Shisochin     Sanseru     Seisan     Seiyunchin     Seipai  Kururunfa     Suparinpe     Tensho

    Kata practised formally in the dojo include:
    Jo chu ge     Chu keri ge     Keri keri keri     Ko chu keri ge

    Kata practised informally include:
    Naihanchi sho     Pinan shodan     Pinan nidan     Pinan yondan     Passai     Wankan

    Training drills include:
    Kihon undo (basic techniques)
    Hojo undo (conditioning techniques)
    Ude tanren (forearm training)
    Kakie uke (pushing hand blocking)
    Futari geiko (two person drills)
    Bunkai (application training)

    Famous Goju ryu practitioners include:
    Michael Jai White
    - Dolph Lundgren
    - Richard Norton

  • Ryukyu Kobudo

    Ryukyu kōbudō (沖縄古武道) is the indigenous weapons system of Okinawa. The history of the weapons arts were romanticized as peasant farmers using agricultural weapons.

    However, the actual history of the arts is more related to the upper and middle class than the lower classes of the island. Some weapons and kata have origins within different regions of the Ryukyu chain. Preservation of the old weapon arts was at times difficult, especially following the Second World War.

    One senior martial artist, Taira Shinken, helped preserve and disseminate the weapons arts on the island. Taira taught these weapons and their kata to many senior karate instructors and their students who still carry on his martial legacy. 

    One of Taira's senior students was Akamine Eisuke, who was to succeed as the head of the Ryukyu Kobudo school after Taira's death in 1970. Like Taira, Akamine emphasized the practice of kobudo waza (techniques) as a supplement to learning the kata in the belief that understanding the kihon (basics) would help in the proper practice and execution of kata.

    Tamayose Hidemi (Hanshi Judan), one of Akamine's main students, chose to honour his teacher and his practice by forming the Tesshinkan following Akamine's death in 1999. From the hombu dojo in Nanjo, Okinawa, Tamayose Sensei continues to teach eight of the original weapons within the Ryukyu Kobudo system.