CHOJUN MIYAGI- THE FOUNDER OF GOJU RYU
In the late 1800's, and enthusiastic youngster by the name of Chojun Miyagi, born of the noble class on the island of Okinawa, began to study this unique, empty hand combat. His mentor, a family friend, recommended a well known instructor in their region. This instructor would inspire Miyagi to venture to mainland China to further explore various martial arts methods in a quest for advanced studies. This search led Miyagi to the hard school of Shaolin Chuan and the soft school of Pakua Chan. His experience during this short period in China proved invaluable.
Upon returning to Okinawa, Miyagi commenced teaching a martial arts system that has proven to be successful. Its success was recognised by the education department and local authorities as a tool that provided locals with a new form of cultural activity and physical education.
Master Miyagi founded the Goju style of karate. Goju Ryu, also known as the 'hard and soft' style, was named in 1930 following a demonstration by one of Master Miyagi's students at a Japanese martial arts festival. In 1931, Miyagi Sensei ventured into Japan with his Goju Ryu. He disseminated the Karate of Okinawa through universities, in the process claiming national popularity. His most committed student was Gogen Yamaguchi of the Retsumeikan University, Kyoto.
The Japanese martial arts fraternity, Butokukai, formally accepted the registration of the Goju Ryu as a practice of karate in 1933.
Miyagi Sensei is said to have been the first karate teacher to propagate the art to the western world.