Saturday, 24 May 2014

Upcoming Events

The events schedule for Gojuryu Karatedo Yoyogi Ryushinkan Dojo for the coming months includes:

June 1:                     Japan Masters Karatedo Tokyo Qualifiers (All Japan and                                                         Kanto Regionals)
July 13:                     Japan Masters Kanto Qualifiers Tournament (in Uraysu)
July 26-27:                Goju-Kai All-Japan Karatedo Championships (in Sendai)
September 20-22:      Japan Masters Karatedo Tournament (Saitama Prefectural Budokan)
October 26:               Shibuya Ward Autumn Tournament (Shibuya Ward Sports Center)
November 30:            21st Tokyo Senior Open Karatedo Tournament
                                (Shinjuku Cosmic Center) 

For more details (in Japanese), please check the Dojo website.

Friday, 23 May 2014

Gojuryu Karatedo Yoyogi Ryushinkan Dojo History

1956: Dojo Founder Aragaki Ryuujou (新垣 隆丞) establishes the Okinawa Karatedo Training
         Club on the 18th of December in Yoyogi, Tokyo

1967: Founder Aragaki Ryuujou passes away
1967: Okinawa Gojuryu Karatedo instructor Higaonna Morio is appointed chief instructor at
         the Dojo (Currently Higaonna-Sensei is chief instructor of the IOGKF)
1981: Aragaki Seirou (新垣 晴朗) is appointed Kancho, or the Head of the Dojo. 
1986: The name of the Dojo is officially changed to "Gojuryu Karatedo Yoyogi Ryushinkan"

This is rough translation of the history page on the Gojuryu Karatedo Yoyogi Ryushinkan website.

Friday, 16 May 2014

1975 Gojuryu Tournament in South Africa

Here is a link to a video of the Triangular Gojuryu Karate Tournament in 1975 held in South Africa.  The event featured demonstrations and matches between Japan, England and South Africa. Japan was led my Morio Higaonna Sensei (back row, far left in the photo), then chief instructor of the dojo, while current head of Gojuryu Karatedo Yoyogi Ryushinkan, Aragaki Kancho (front row, far left in the photo), also represented Japan.   Aragaki Kancho features in the the video from 3:33 to 4:00 and again towards the end.

Watching Aragaki Kancho compete in this environment, I am reminded of a quote from Miyamoto Musashi's classic "The Book of Five Rings," translated by William Scott Wilson:

"Speed in the martial arts is not the true Way. Concerning speed, we say that something is fast or slow depending on whether it misses the rhythm of things. If someone is skilled in this Way, he does not appear to be fast...of course, being slow is also wrong. Here too, a skillful person may appear slow but he is never off the beat.  No matter what a well trained person does, he never appears hurried."

Friday, 9 May 2014


The Gojuryu Karatedo Yoyogi Ryushinkan Dojo is equipped with a kongoken, a metal bar formed into an extended oval that is used to condition the arms and legs, and strengthen the wrists and core.  

It is also used to develop a powerful and explosive thrust of the hips, especially when dropping from hachijidachi into shikodachi while lifting the tool above one's head, and then pulling back up into the hachijidachi stance.

The kongoken differs from other equipment used in the hojo undō  training of traditional Okinawan karate, as it was imported not from China but from Hawaii.  Chojun Miyagi, the founder of Okinawan Gojuryu, visited the islands in 1934 and observed the local wrestlers working with an enormous, heavy iron ring.  He was so impressed by its use that he brought it back to Japan in early 1935, and introduced it into the hojo undō repertoire of his students. 

As with all the lifting tools in the hojo undō, including the chiishi, ishi sashi, and nigiri game, constant use of the kongoken will also greatly strengthen the practitioner's grip.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Shibuya Tournament Results

The Gojuryu Karatedo Yoyogi Ryushinkan Dojo was closed on Monday for a national holiday. The previous week, however, Dojo members participated in the 2014 Shibuya Ward Spring Karate Tournament, which was held on Tuesday, April 29.

The Gojuryu Karatedo Yoyogi Ryushinkan Dojo dominated the kata competition in the men's masters category, with Miyasato-san, Inokai-san and Hayakawa-san taking first, second and third place respectively.

In the women's senior category, Takahashi-san won her first tournament.

The results clearly demonstrate the very high level of kata being taught at the Dojo.