What is Goju Ryu Karate?

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  2. January 15, 2013 10:08 pm

What is Goju Ryu Karate?

Goju Ryu Karate: The Martial Art of Life

Goju Ryu emphasizes a combination of hard and soft techniques in fighting. As a form of self-defense, this makes the art practical and effective because the student can combine styles to meet the need of the situation rather than be limited to one approach. It is important to note that in Goju Ryu Karate, hard and soft do not refer to the same thing as the terms do in other forms such as Kung Fu and Aikido. In Goju Ryu, hard literally means hard (such as a power kick) and soft means soft (like an opened handed strike).

Contrasting Strikes
The style goes beyond just a combination of strikes. Goju Ryu combines hard and soft to increase effectiveness. A hard strike will be aimed at a soft part of the opponents body while a soft strike will hit somewhere bone hard. The idea is that the contrast will be more effective in dispersing energy and power than striking like to like. In this way, the originating philosophy of the founder of Goju Ryu, Chojun Miyagi, reflects his desire to create a martial form that reflected life by placing discipline, intellect and discernment before the strike. Learning the strikes and combinations of when to use which style is done through mastering the katas of Goju Ryu so the forms become instinctual responses.

Lineage and Modern Times
One of the unique aspects of Goju Ryu Karate is that it is one of the few martial arts that have maintained a direct and clean lineage. Many other martial arts have branched lineages which have allowed for a diversity of style to develop. Diversity in style is not a bad thing, but it does dilute the original form and philosophy of the art. Goju Ryu Masters can trace their lineage in a direct path back to the original master. The advantage to this, besides a purity of form, is that a Goju Ryu student can go anywhere and study with any Master and the techniques and katas will be the same. This is what elevates Goju Ryu Karate to a global martial art. Excellence in its forms will be recognized anywhere.

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