Founder of Goju-Ryu Karate

Grandmaster Chojun Miyagi was born on April 25, 1888 in an aristocratic family. His family was in the import/export business and owned two ships which made regular trips to mainland China, placing them among the wealthiest families in the area.

He began training in karate under Kanyro Higaonna 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 practiced even harder with an enthusiasm unmatched by any of the other students. Chojun Miyagi became "uchi deshi" (private disciple) of Kanyro Higaonna. He studied with his teacher for 14 years before his teacher's death in 1915.

In 1915 he journeyed to Fuzhou, China, the city where his teacher had studied martial arts, to further his research. This was one of the three trips he made to China.

On his return to Okinawa he began to teach martial arts at his home in Naha. Later, he also taught at the Okinawa Prefecture, and the Naha Commercial High. He worked hard to spread karate throughout Okinawa and mainland Japan to earn Naha-te, a status equal to that of the highly respected Japanese martial arts of Judo and Kendo. To achieve this, he traveled frequently to mainland Japan where he was invited to teach karate at Kyoto University and Ritsumei Kan University. In 1933 karate was registered at the Butoku Kai, the centre for all martial arts in Japan. This was a milestone for karate as it means that it was recognised on a level with the highly respected martial arts of Japan.

Chojun Miyagi delicated his whole life to Karate. He was responsible for structuring Naha-te (which he later named Goju-Ryu) into a systematized discipline which could be taught to society in general. This teaching system that he formulated enabled karate to be taught in schools for the benefit of the young, and to reach vast numbers of people throughout the world.

His disciples include the following:

Higa Seko, Shinzato Jin'an, Madanbashi Keiyo, Tamaki Yusei, Sakiyama Tatsunori, Kina Seiko, Yagi Meitoku, Miyazato Ei'ichi, Najo Kiji, Tamaki Bushun, Tasaki Kogyu, Nakaima Genkai, Furusen Shunshin, Tomoyose Kiei, Miyazato Eiko, Yagi Kamaree, Yogi Jitsuei, Yamaguchi Gogen, Uehara Yukinori, Iha Koshin, Aragaki Shuichi.

Click here to find out the origin of the name: "Goju Ryu"