Master Chojun Miyagi Sensei

Okinawa Goju Ryu Karate was founded by Master Chojun Miyagi (1888 - 1953). He was born on 24 April, 1888 in Naha, the capital city of Okinawa, the largest island in the Ryu Kyu chain.

Miyagi Sensei was originally a personal student of Okinawan Karate Master and founder of Naha-te, Kanryo Higaonna (1853 - 1916), and developed Goju Ryu Karate after intensive study in both Okinawan and Chinese Martial Arts.

Miyagi Chojun Sensei began training in Karate under Higaonna Kanryo Sensei at the age of 14, in 1902. Like his teacher before him, because of his great natural talent and fierce determination, he progressed very rapidly. The training was severe beyond belief at times but he practised even harder with an enthusism unmatched by any of the other students. Miyagi Chojun became 'uchi deshi' (private disciple) of Higaonna Kanryo Sensei. He studied with his teacher for 14 years before his teacher's death in 1915.

Miyagi Chojun Sensei, as successor to Naha-te pushed himself to the limits of endurance in his desire to emulate the extraordinary skill of his teacher. To this end, that same year (1915) he journeyed to Fuzhou, China, the city where his teacher had studied the martial arts, to further his research. This was one of 3 trips he made to China during his lifetime.

On returning to Okinawa he began to teach the martial arts at his home in Naha. Later, he also began to teach at the Okinawan Prefecture Police Training Centre, at the Okinawan Master's Training College, and at the Naha Commercial High School (where his teacher had once taught).

Miyagi Chojun Sensei worked hard to spread Karate throughout Okinawa and mainland Japan, and to earn Naha-te a status equal to that of the highly respected Japanese martial arts of Judo and Kendo. To achieve this he travelled freqently to mainland Japan where he was invited to teach Karate at Kyoto University, Kansai University and Ritsumei Kan University. In 1933 Karate was registered at the Butokukai, the centre for all martial arts in mainland Japan.

Miyagi Chojun Sesnei dedicated his whole life to karate. He was responsible for structuring Naha-te (which he later named' Goju Ryu') into
a systemized disciple which could be taught to society in general.

The naming of Goju Ryu came about more by accident than design.
1930, Miyagi Chojun Sensei's top student Shinzato Jin'an while in Tokyo was asked by numerous martial artists as to what school of martial arts he practised. As Naha-te had no formal name, he could not answer that question.On returning to Okinawa he reported this incident to Miyagi Chojun Sensei. After much consideration, Miyagi Chojun Sensei decided on Goju Ryu (hard and soft school), as the name for his style.