Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Gojuryu and Gojukai

What are the differences between Gojukai and Gojuryu?  On the surface there are many, mostly stylistic, but in truth they are essentially the same.  Because of the system of personal teaching common in Japanese traditional arts, lineage is often complex to discern. Gojuryu (literally "hard-soft style") refers to the karate developed in Okinawa by Miyagi Chojun under and after the tutelage of Higaonna Kanryo.  This style employs many traditional tools and techniques known as hojo undo (補助運動), or supplementary conditioning exercises, that distinguish it from most other styles of karate.

Yamaguchi Gogen
Miyagi Chojun's disciples included Miyazato Eiichi, Miyagi An'ichi and Yogi Jitsumei, and their students in turn included the likes of Aragaki Ryosei, Higaonna Morio and Yamaguchi Gogen. Although all are practitioners of the Gojuryu style of karate, Yamaguchi Gogen and his family established Gojukai (literally "hard-soft group") as an association in mainland Japan and introduced karate tournaments as a sport, a concept that for many years was anathema in Okinawa. As Wiki states: 
After graduating Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto in 1934, Gōgen designed and introduced Jiyū-kumite, known today as sport and tournament fighting. In 1935 he officially formed the All Japan Karate-dō Gōjū-kai Karate-dō Association (which later split into the JKF Gojukai and the J.K.G.A.)

Yamaguchi Gogen did much to popularize karate and cut a very distinctive figure, wearing traditional Japanese attire and his hair long. Some of his students are still active in karate, and several have taught seminars at the Gojuryu Karatedo Yoyogi Ryushinkan Dojo in the past, including such luminaries as Shuji Tasaki and Motomasa Mayama.

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