Grand Master Higaonna Kanryo Sensei (1853 - 1915)

Higaonna Kanryo Sensei was born on March 10, 1853, in Naha, the capital city of Okinawa. His father, Kanyo, worked as a merchant sailing between the small islands of Okinawa trading everyday goods. From a young age Higaonna Kanryo helped his father in this work and through the hard physical labour that was involved he developed a strong body.

Higaonna Kanryo was still in his teens when his father died suddenly. Kanryo decided he wanted to
study the
martial arts and set his heart on travelling to Fuzhou, China for this purpose. He arrived in Fuzhou in the year 1869, he was 16.

Once in Fuzhou he studied Southern Chinese Martial Arts under the Great master, Ryu Ryu Ko. He soon became 'uchi deshi' (private disciple) and he remained in China under the severe instruction of his teacher for approximately 13 years. In addition to studying empty handed martial arts he also became accomplished in weapons techniques and Chinese Herbal medicine.

Master Ryu Ryu Ko esteemed his pupil highly and sanctioned his mastery of these arts - an honour which is accorded extremely rarely. Such was Higaonna Kanryo's skill in the martial arts that his fame became widespread throughout Fuzhou.

In the year 1881 Higaonna Kanryo returned to Okinawa. There he taught these martial arts, which became known as Naha-te, to the young people of Okinawa.