Chojun Miyagi

Miyagi Kensei

(1888-1953)

Chojun Miyagi Kensei was born in Naha, Okinawa, on April 25 1888. He began his study of karate-do around the age of 10. During his early teens he began a very demanding training regime under the instruction of Master Kanryo Higashionna.

After Master Higashionna's death, Miyagi Kensei travelled to the Fukien Province in China and studied the hard and external forms of Shaolin along with the softer internal forms of Pa Kua. To these systems of Chinese Boxing he added his native Naha-te and thus created a new system, now known as Goju-ryu.

It was not until around 1929 that Miyagi first coined the term Goju-ryu. The name, meaning hard/ soft style, was taken directly from the ancient Chinese text on martial arts known as the Bubishi,

"Everything in the universe breathes out (hard) and in (soft)..."

After furthering his knowledge in China for some years, Miyagi Kensei returned to Okinawa and opened a dojo. In addition to his running his karate dojo for many years, Miyagi was also a school teacher and introduced the study of karate into the school curriculum, the police force and many other areas within the community.

Miyagi's reputation as a karate practitioner was enormous, he was a humble man who was often called upon to teach and give demonstrations of his skills. One of his greatest achievements was the systematic organisation of karate. He developed kata Sanchin (Three Battles), and created kata Tensho (Revolving Palms). These kata provide the essential building blocks to the Goju-ryu karate-do.

Miyagi Kensei died on Okinawa on October 8, 1953.

Reference:

De Jong, Ingo,(1989). Goju Kai Karate-do Hard and Soft in Harmony - Volume 1. Sweden, Jakobsbergs Tryckeri AB.

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