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hector gomez
9th July 2003, 15:48
Hi Everyone,

I know there are some knowledgable practicioners of Goju that visit this forum.I am hoping that some of you can help me out with a little goju history & lineage.

Back in 1990 I was invited to visit Japan and stay as a guest in the house of Shojiro Jibiki.I made the trip with a very good friend of mines that has been involved in goju most of his life.

My understanding is that Kancho Jibiki trained with Yamaguchi as a youngster and then continued his studies with his main instructors Kanki Izumigawa and Sosui Ichikiwa via the Seiko Higa lineage.


Unfortunatley kancho Jibiki past away two years ago(RIP)and his eldest son is now the head of the kenshokai goju-ryu organization in Japan.


Being a previous shotokan practicioner myself and having little knowledge of goju when I visited his house my curiosity for any info on Kanki Izumigawa or Sosui Ichikawa would be very much apreciated.


I know for a fact thru web searches that they(Izumigawa & Ishikawa) were students of Seiko Higa but that is about it.Kancho Jibiki eldest son is now here in Miami on vacation.We ventured out to south beach on monday night and had a great time.

I owe him and his parents tremendously for the genuine hospitality that they offered us on our intitial trip.


Hope you guys can help with any info on Izumigawa or Ichikawa.

Thanks

Hector gomez

CEB
9th July 2003, 17:18
I am very much interested in the Karate of Seiko Higa. Higa was a fellow student of Higashionna along with Miyagi and Kiyoda. When Higashionna died Higa became Miyagi's student. Higa was Miyagi's senior student when Miyagi passed away. He was 55 I think. Yagi was 41 I believe. Miyazato was probably in his late 20's and Iha would have probably been in his early 20's. I'm at the office so don't anyone quote me or blast me if I am wrong because I don't have any of my notebooks or source materials here. To me the importance of Higa's karate is that he was senior enough to have learned the system and he took a job on Saipan and left Okinawa in 1937. He later returned but never really studied directly on Miyagi after the war. Miyagi Sendai continually change the Goju Ryu system until he died. To see Higa's karate is an opportunity to get an idea of what Goju looked like before WWII and it definitely has a different flavor. But none of this is what you asked about is it. Sorry.

I don't think I can help much. I don't know a whole lot about Izumigawa and I am not familiar with Ichikawa, except for the fact that he was a senior student of Izumikawa. Izumikawa Kanki taught a man named Jack Coleman and when Mr. Coleman came home he found the organization that became the the GKK. That is the organization I belong to. I train with a lot of people but the GKK is my home, always has been and always will. But the Izumikawa line of Goju is a prime example of when I tell people that Japanese Goju just denotes a place and not a style. There are several flavors of Goju that made it to the Mainland.

There is a man from Brazil who was a student of Akamine Sensei who was also a student of Izumikawa and he is very much in to the history of Goju Ryu. He may be able to help you a lot. I don't think english is his primary language but I have read many articles of his that were written in English. I believe he does know English. Just in case do you know Portugese?


Seated L to R
Higa Seiko, Izumikawa Kanki, Jukuchi Seiko
Standing L to R
Matayoshi Shinpo, Taira Tetsuhide, Kina Seiko

hector gomez
9th July 2003, 19:07
Mr.Boyd

As you know my knowledge of Goju is very limited,but I do love the history & lineage of any art.Prior to 1990 my only contact with goju was with the American(sansei)goju version or the goju-kai(Yamaguchi)versions of the art.

I noticed that the katas of Kancho Jibiki were unlike those of goju-kai or American goju in that they seemed to my naked eye(maybe my lack of understanding is why)more fluid or let's say less rigid.

Now,I don't know if this is a Japanese flavor influence or an Izumigawa-Ishikawa-Higa influence but goju seemed more streamlined like the shotokan that I had done in the past.This is one of the things I am trying to find out about.


Granted I don't know If I am making any sense here but like I say my understanding of goju is shallow and it's really the history & lineage that fascinates me sometimes.

Hector Gomez

kenshorin
9th July 2003, 19:21
Originally posted by CEB
To see Higa's karate is an opportunity to get an idea of what Goju looked like before WWII and it definitely has a different flavor.



Originally posted by hector gomez

I noticed that the katas of Kancho Jibiki were unlike those of goju-kai or American goju in that they seemed to my naked eye(maybe my lack of understanding is why)more fluid or let's say less rigid.


Mr Boyd,

My curiosity is piqued, also being a lineage buff. Is the "fluidity" that Hector speaks about part of the different flavor you mentioned, and anything beyond that? The only Goju I am really familiar with is that which I have seen Teruo Chinen perform, although I have seen a few Goju-kai people as well, and would be interested in the differences.

Thanks in advance.

Joseph Svinth
10th July 2003, 02:48
Check Honolulu Goju Ryu -- the late Tomu Arakawa was of the Izumigawa lineage, and his students still teach there. Charles Goodin would be the one to ask for introductions. Patrick McCarthy was looking for Izumigawa info awhile back, so he might be worth pm'ing to ask for leads.

As I recall, compared to Yamaguchi-style Goju Kai, Mr. Arakawa's kata were virtually identical, but with the center at least a foot lower. To achieve this, a wider sanchin was required. (Mr. Arakawa's sanchin was about a foot wider than a Yamaguchi-style Goju Kai stance, and about 6" wider than the equivalent Chinen stance.) There is also very definite Yin/Yang (heel/toe) stepping during movement. Think R. Crumb's "Keep On Truckin'" man, and you've got the idea.

hector gomez
10th July 2003, 15:08
Thank you all for your insights,this is one of the sites that I found to have a similar goju lineage thru Higa/Izumikawa/Ichikawa.

I have narrowed in on Master Sosui Ichikawa since kancho Jibiki mostly trained with him after Izumigawa passed away in 67.Master Ichikawa picture is in the lineage chart of this seiki-kan goju-ryu
organization in South Africa.www.goju.co.za/


Hector gomez

CEB
10th July 2003, 15:56
Originally posted by hector gomez
Mr.Boyd

As you know my knowledge of Goju is very limited,but I do love the history & lineage of any art.Prior to 1990 my only contact with goju was with the American(sansei)goju version or the goju-kai(Yamaguchi)versions of the art.

I noticed that the katas of Kancho Jibiki were unlike those of goju-kai or American goju in that they seemed to my naked eye(maybe my lack of understanding is why)more fluid or let's say less rigid.
....

Hector Gomez

My name is not Mister just Ed. Mr. Boyd is my Dad's name. I'm not that old, I am only a kid Mr. Gomez. :)

I know what you are saying but I don't know if it is a fair assumption or not. I think a lot of it depends on the level or ability or the practitioner. I don't know much about the USA Goju things but there are Goju Kai people from Japan that move very fluid. Some people are just really stiff and it takes a long time to overcome that , if they ever do. I believe there were changes to the Goju Kai syllabus in the US that did not come from Yamaguchi Gogen, thus he got blamed for a lot of changes that he did not make. Sort I don't believe Gichen Funakoshi is responsibile for everything he gets blamed/credited for. A lot of this came from San Fransisco I have been told. I don't know if Goju Kai in the USA is still doing this or not but in Saifa there is a low cross legged posture right before the last neko ashi dachi. The story I have been told is that the Americans were not dropping there butts low enough in the cat stance for Yamaguchi Gosei's liking so he added this move to force people to drop their butts. This move just doesn't fit in at all with any of the bunkai that I know. It just makes for good exercise as far I can tell. But the additional transitional positions add to the rigidity effect I think.

Also realize that the Goju in the USA sort of imploded on itself at a point when I don't think the dojos were ready to be out on their own so in many cases there were the case of the blind leading the blind (as always,IMO. There has also been a movement in the last 20 years for the ranking members of both Yamaguchi and Uchiage Goju Kai factions to affiliate with Okinawian teachers and go back and pick up what they may not have learned previously. Meibukan and Jundokan have been very helpful in these efforts. The organization in the US had pretty much dismantled and all the cowboy dojos that got left behind never benefited from these on going exchanges. I think Japanese and Okinawian Goju are not seperate animals when you analyze the kata. The main difference between Goju Kai and its Okinawian counter part is in the teaching methodology. The Okinawian methods are great but if you have a large class of novices and you want to get them to what we would consider strong 5th kyu level the most efficient way to do that is through the Yamaguchi teaching methodology. It is easier to do push ups than to mess with 50 sets Chiishi. :)

We start everybody like it was still a Goju Kai dojo, a lot of calensthenics, standing basics, moving basics, taikiyoku exercises, and we work Sanchin as a moving exercise up and down the floor. If people make it 4th kyu or so then their training changes and they start to learn what I consider Goju proper. We have a big kids program that we segregate from the adult training that keeps everything a float from a financial standpoint. Adult program used to be huge 20 years ago but I guess fashions change. It isn't just us. Our dojo isn't active in sport competitions but, I officiate at USKK tournaments and the competitions these days consists of alot of old fart black belts and a lot of little children. Very few adult kyu students these days.

Here is something that has lead to a lot of rigidness in Goju in the US IMO. Just one a Ed's unfounded theories. There is a tendency for American students to want to break things down in detail. One time a green belt asked Yamakura Sensei how exactly does the first step in Saifa travel. The Student wanted a break down in the movement. Sensei said 'It just goes!' He told us when you break movements down you create new moves and that would take away the principle the kata Saifa is based on. There is a group of Goju people in Indiana that have totally broken down the movements in Saifa to a point that it is no longer functional IMO. People have said this was done for tournament show purposes but, I think maybe one day someone may have asked 'Sensei how does the first step in Saifa go? and the teacher may have thought well this foot goes here and......' and new moves were created.

I think Goju is much more fluid than Shotokan. I can't see the purpose of the Shotokan kata but I don't know Shotokan, I know only a little Goju. I figure some Shotokan guy probably thinks the same thing about our small upright stances and circular uke techniques. When in Rome I guess do as the Romans do.

This is all just my opinion I am no expert in anything and my views don't represent anything either. I'm on vacation today but this post is still to long, sorry.

CEB
10th July 2003, 16:18
Originally posted by kenshorin


Mr Boyd,

My curiosity is piqued, also being a lineage buff. Is the "fluidity" that Hector speaks about part of the different flavor you mentioned, and anything beyond that? The only Goju I am really familiar with is that which I have seen Teruo Chinen perform, although I have seen a few Goju-kai people as well, and would be interested in the differences.

Thanks in advance.

No. I'm talking about the actual techniques found in the kata. There is no 'standard' Goju Ryu. Like the guy that wants to learn or re-learn Goju Ryu off video tape in the other thread. I don't know what to tell someone like that. I mean does he want to learn forms that are close to what he learned from his ex-teacher? If so the tribe affiliation of his ex-teacher would have a lot to do with what study materials he purchases. Only in the WKF is there such a thing as a standard kata. There are wrong ones but there are many right ones.

Chinen Sensei was a student of Miyazato Sensei and I consider that recent Goju. What kata have you learned form Chinen Sensei? If you want to discuss comparatives that would be a place to start.

Russ monitors these forums but he post very little here. I don't know if he would chime in on this or not. He is the only guy on e-budo I know that has actually trained at the Shodokan. Most of my exposure to the Higa lines come through former students of Jack Coleman and aformer student of Toguchi and the Kodokan (Goju not Judo).

Have a good week.

hector gomez
10th July 2003, 17:08
Eddie writes:I think goju is much more fluid than shotokan.I can't see the purpose of shotokan katas but I don't know shotokan.I only know a little goju.

Hector writes:When I originaly started training in shotokan as a youngster all I could ever see,eat,sleep was shotokan almost like a blind allegiance.I remember thinking back then that this was the best thing since sliced bread,nobody back then could convince me that there was anything better.

Today I can honestly tell you that fluidity is in the eye of the beholder.What is beautiful or fluid to some might look rigid and stiff to others.Take boxing for example,too some people it might look rigid or stiff but to others there is no better form of fluidity than an elite boxer practicing his craft.


I believe that I am way out of my league in this thread as I will be the first to admit that I do not presently train in any karate-do.My curiosity on this goju lineage was thru this great family that extended their warm welcome into their home back 13 years ago.

I guess fluidity is the wrong word used to differentiate between the goju art and the shotokan art both would seem to have some sort of fluidness.I guess,I just noticed some sort of ressemblenced in that particular goju sect that reminded me of my original shotokan style.


Maybe it was the cadence,timing or speed at which the katas were performed that were different from the goju katas that I was accostomed to seeing.

Eddie,also what's with this,I only know a "little goju thing"

Who are you trying to kid!


Hector Gomez



:look: :look:

Bustillo, A.
10th July 2003, 17:50
Originally posted by CEB


My name is not Mister Ed.

I think Goju is much more fluid than Shotokan. I can't see the purpose of the Shotokan kata but I don't know Shotokan, I know only a little Goju.



A good Shotokan instructor will show you the purpose, meaning, bunkai, and so on, of their style.

Re. fluidity. Taking the shotokan perspective, by comparison they don't spend so much time in tense positons and stances.

CEB
10th July 2003, 18:12
Sometimes there are movements in Okinawian Goju Ryu forms that can make some of the kata look a little sloppy or a term I'e heard used by Sensei is muddy. It can cause it not to have that clean sharp appearance that looks good to the eye. One good example of this sort of thing is the beginning of a form we call Seipai. There is a kensetsu waza in the beginning of the form. The move is where your hands are clasped and you bring you right elbow up and your left elbow points down. I think I'm too tired to describe it but if you've seen the form you should know what I'm talking about. The important point I want to make is if you work the technique you must 'roll' your shoulders (they don't stay level) and your right elbow needs to point up and be above your own shoulder. Some teachers teach the kata so it looks that way when you do it. Some don't. Chinen Sensei is one of those guy that teaches this move in Seipai to look like it is really done. Other good teachers don't. That doesn't mean they don't know their bunkai. Last year I got busted in Tulsa by Sensei doing Seipai the muddy way. Sensei said 'No Ed, make a nice presentation. The bunkai is still there we just don't show it to people. The Ryu is full of things like this. This is why you can't learn kata without doing yaksoku kumite. Kata is learned through kumite. (IMO!) This is also why I think you can't learn karate sitting on a couch watchin a movie, IMO!).

Something else that may appear to slop things up is how a lot of power generation is done by rising and sinking. The head doesn't stay level in the forms. I don't think Shotokan does this so much. We stress power from straight linear force, rotational force (i.e. hips) and rising and falling force. Shotokan is big time into the first two but I don't know about the last one. I don't know Shotokan. My brother is Shotokan and he can hit like a freight train so they are doing some right. If I get my hands on him I can take if he don't tear my head first with the damn punch of his.

CEB
10th July 2003, 18:15
Originally posted by Bustillo, A.

....

Re. fluidity. Taking the shotokan perspective, by comparison they don't spend so much time in tense positons and stances.

That's True Willbur.
http://www.timvp.com/mred.jpg

CEB
10th July 2003, 19:13
Here is the source I had in mind when I tried to pulled chronological ages out of what's left of my brain. Miyazato's Final Interview by Kent Moyer Sensei.

Who were the senior students of Chojun Miyagi?
Throughout the history of Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate it is well documented who were Chojun Miyagi's top students at the time of his death in 1953. There have been many articles in magazines and books about Goju-Ryu Karate history from students of Chojun Miyagi's students and other top masters. In 1953 the following names are loud and clear to all of us who were senior students of Miyagi Sensei. They were Seiko Higa (age 55)-1898-1966, Meitoku Yagi (age 41), Eiichi Miyazato (age 30)-1921-1999, Koshin Iha (age 28)-1925, Seikichi Toguchi (age 37)-1917-1999. It is important to understand how old they were at the time of Miyagi Sensei's death. This will help you to understand who were senior and their relationship with Chojun Miyagi. ...

kenshorin
10th July 2003, 22:03
Originally posted by CEB


No. I'm talking about the actual techniques found in the kata. There is no 'standard' Goju Ryu.

Yes, I realize there is no 'standard' Goju Ryu, I never said there was, I am not sure where that quote came from, I said that the only Goju I am familiar with is what I have seen Chinen perform and the few Goju Kai students I have met at seminars, and both have distinct differences, not that either is right or wrong or whatever...

As for the differences, I have learned Tensho and Gekisai Ichi from Chinen Sensei, but I would not consider myself being adept enough at either to really be able to speak of differences. I'm more of a Shorin guy myself. As Hector said, I jumped into a thread with some passing interest for general knowledge purposes. It is something I will keep my eye open for however, as it sounds quite interesting; the whole "getting an idea of what Goju looked like pre-WWII" thing caught my attention, since knowing what any Okinawan style may have looked like "back in the day" can give insight into the one which is my primary study, if that makes any sense... :)

Thanks again

hobbitbob
15th July 2003, 17:31
I too have noticed the "smootheness" issue in Japanese vs. Okinawan Goju, but I'm not sure where the differences came from. Admitedly, my background is squarely in the Shuri-te tradition (Wado, Shoto,and now Seibukan). My exposure is more through instructors who taught us Goju forms they had learned at seminars.Interestingly enough, I have learned Seipai from two sources, one from an instructor who trained with a JKF Goju Kai group, and one from an instructor who studied with Morio Higoanna. There are significant fifferences in the "presentation" of the kata. The IOGKF version seems to roll the hips and shoulders more than the JKF version. Also, the JKF version uses phrasing that is more in tune with Shotokan or Wado phrasing. Having had my curiosity piqued I bought the Goju Technical series by Higoanna (Tsunami), and the series of Kata videos offered by JKF-Goju-Kai, and there is indeed a pronounced difference. Is this perhaps the influence of the Kendo trained university clubs in the 1930s being represented in the Japanese Goju kata? I prsonally think that this is the case, but I have been wrong before. :D
I have also seen another version of Okinawan Goju on the horrible Discovery Channel "Top Ten Martial Arts" show (also known as the Junko Kai Showcase!), where the Goju instructor, whose name escapes me, performs Suparinpei almost like a Shorin-Ryu Kata, very fast and explosive. Is this more in tune with the "original" Higaonna teaching?

hobbitbob
15th July 2003, 23:59
addendum: The other Okinawan Goju person whom I refer to is Hokama Tetsuhiro.

GojuMaster
16th July 2003, 19:25
Ed,

I'll bite... ;)


Originally posted by CEB



Russ monitors these forums but he post very little here. I don't know if he would chime in on this or not. He is the only guy on e-budo I know that has actually trained at the Shodokan. Most of my exposure to the Higa lines come through former students of Jack Coleman and aformer student of Toguchi and the Kodokan (Goju not Judo).

Have a good week.

With the disclaimer that I am NOT an expert in the Shodokan Goju, I would say that the Goju I trained in while I was there reminded me most of the Shoreikan methods, for (IMO) obvious reasons. However, as there are always exceptions...Kiyuna Choyu most certainly reminded me of Higaonna Sensei in his manner of movement and power generation.

I only wish I had gone 10 years ago when Takamine Choboku could still walk. I've heard great things about his karate.

The biggest difference I saw was their version of the kata Sanseiru, which is fairly different from all the other Goju lineages I've seen, including the Higa -> Izumikawa -> Ichikawa (?) version.

Best Regards,

Gene Williams
17th July 2003, 00:04
Mister Ed, In that t.v. show, did you know karate then and, if you did, how come you never just kicked that stupid Wilbur through the barn wall? Also, is doing kata on four legs much different from doing it on two? Also, if me and the SFA guys come up, will you let us ride you? We will bring sugar cubes. Thanks, Gene

stencil
17th July 2003, 21:07
Originally posted by Kenzo
[B]Kow Loon (Kayo) Ong does old style goju ryu (higa) uninfluenced by north american karate.

He learned in the Shorei-Kan system, which is the Toguchi curriculum.

CEB
17th July 2003, 22:17
No don't. Please.

Bryson Keenan
20th July 2003, 15:23
No. Please do...

Kayo WAS with Shoreikan, no?

BTW, someone had an Izumigawa question earlier in the posts... (?)

I had the good fortune to train and grade in Japan back in '90 under the late (yes, he was alive at the time...!) Harada Hyotaro, student of Izumigawa Kanki. After his death, Harada's organisation was taken over by a guy who gets his kata from the Higaonna tapes, so be very careful about the 'lineage' of some. It is not always as it seems and you just wont get what you are looking for...

Suffice to say, I am no longer a member of that organisation...


Slainte,

Bryson Keenan
Jakarta, Indonesia

CEB
20th July 2003, 15:54
Yes most people know this. You hangout on the yahoo list so you know this also. You may also realize the discussion if reopened will evolve into a political discussion of why he and many of the top US practitioners left that organization. This will serve no good purpose. All it does is stir up crap. There are mudansha students of the some of the principle parties involved in this old history on this forum. This will not benefit their karate in any way.

stencil
21st July 2003, 16:58
*Sigh* It doesn't need to get political, but it always seems to for some silly reason. The only question was whether or not Kayo studied Shorei-Kan in the Toguchi lineage, not why someone left the organization. Chill out and step away from the politics.

BULLDOG
22nd July 2003, 12:09
Help!

This is a perfect forum to ask you GOJU folks some question I have had for a while.

What is Peter Urban’s history in GOJU?
What is American GOJU –or- how does it compare – the differences to other GOJU?
Are there any creditable GOJU Dojo’s in SW Florida [from Tampa thru Cape Coral]?

In South NJ we had one American Goju School that was run by Ric Passettia Sensei. I trained in Shotokan and we respected the reputation of this dojo for they where great at kumite.

Just want to expand my knowledge base.

Thank you

BULLDOG
Sarasota, Florida

Steve Williams
23rd July 2003, 22:15
BULLDOG

Last chance..... you have been asked before, but you still refuse (or are not reading correctly?)

Please sign your posts with your full name

If it is not now clear enough, then I am sorry, but you will find that any posts that are not signed from now are liable to be edited/deleted.

dsomers
24th July 2003, 17:42
Bulldog ,

Please contact me privately at okigojunofl@hotmail.com , I live in tampa , I could help you out , or lead to somone else that might be closer to you .

David Somers
www.angelfire.com/fl5/okinawagojuryu