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Thread: Yamaguchi's Goju vs Miyagi's Goju

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    Default Yamaguchi's Goju vs Miyagi's Goju

    There were three epochs mentioned with three masters respectively in their evolution in the history of Goju-Ryu school. First was the time when the school was known only as Naha Te of Kanryo Higaonna during 1870s of which time the islanders were forced to surrender their nationality as Japanese. Second was when the school was named Goju-Ryu by the group headed by Chojun Miyagi during 1930s of which time Japan engaged in the Wrold War II. The third and final time period was when the national structure of Goju-Ryu organization was established in mainland Japan by Gogen Yamaguchi during the post war period. The organization has been called Karate-Do Goju-Kai since that time.

    This is an excerpt from the Goju-kai site. Can someone help educate me as to the eventual differences in the practice of Japanese and Okinawan Goju once Yamaguchi developed a foothold in Japan? And Does Urban's Goju-USA closely resemble Yamaguchi's Goju? Thanks in advance for any help.

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    As a start

    Yamuguchi Goju Kai does not use Hojo Undo.
    Yamaguchi Goju Kai has 12 extra training Kata called taikyoku 1-12
    Yamaguch Gogen learned some kata from Miyagi and got the rest from Yagi.
    Jim Cotter

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    Mr. Torres,

    In regards to the "three epochs" you refer to: My understanding is that the term "Naha Te" refers to the martial arts being studied in/around Naha City, during a particular period in history. The art being taught by Kanryo Higaonna was just one "flavor" of Naha Te. Having said that, one could certainly make a distinction between what was being taught by Kanryo Higaonna and the art Miyagi Chojun would name Goju Ryu. And you could clearly make an argument that one evolved into the other. However, I personally see Gogen Yamaguchi's martial art as a divergence from, rather than an evolution of, Miyagi Chojun's Goju Ryu.

    As far as educating you on the differences between "Okinawan Goju" and "Yamaguchi's Goju," it is important to note that there are significant differences even among the schools of "Okinawan Goju." And these differences run deeper than one's understanding/interpretation of history. As with any martial art, to have any hope of understanding Goju Ryu you'll have to see & feel it for yourself. You simply cannot understand the differences by reading about them.

    You may find the websites www.jundokan.jp and www.chuckmerriman.com helpful.

    Respecfully,
    Dale Horton
    "It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat." T.R.

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    Maybe this will help?
    Larry Kientz
    “When you train you have to devote yourself to karate do… You must not only learn body movements but also research and study the art itself.” - Choshin Chibana

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    I understand what you are writing but orthodox styles have characteristics, philosophies and fundamental curriculum that separate it from other mainstream systems.

    Speaking specifically about Miyagi's Goju and Yamaguchi's Goju as introduced and taught at their hombo dojos, who did they differ in curriculum. That would include kata list, belt requirements, kumite training and overall philosophy. I realize this is a lot of question but maybe there is a comparative resource out there in the internet universe.

    "As with any martial art, to have any hope of understanding Goju Ryu you'll have to see & feel it for yourself. You simply cannot understand the differences by reading about them."

    I agree if your goal is to become proficent at an art and understand the principles that make it unique. However, there is an historical aspect to the evolution of any art and I would simpley like to know how Yamaguchi "changed" the art when it was introduced on the Japanese mainland.

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    Mr. Torres,

    I appreciate your curiosty. Certainly some of the differences between Chojun Miyagi's Goju-ryu and Gogen Yamaguchi's Goju-ryu can be attributed to differences between the Japanese and Okinawan cultures and even to the personalities of the men themselves. And clearly there are differences in training methods (i.e., the presence/absence of hojo undo, methods of kumite training, differences in the patterns of kata). These are certainly all valid points for discussion, but to me they are academic. In my opinion, the most significant differences are deeper than that and cannot be understood without having been felt.

    You may find Chuck Merriman to be valuable source of information. He is a serious, knowledgable karate-man and was a student of both Peter Urban and Eiichi Miyazato. His contact information is on the website I posted above.

    I wish you luck with your research.

    Regards,
    Dale Horton
    "It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat." T.R.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dale Horton
    And clearly there are differences in training methods (i.e., the presence/absence of hojo undo, methods of kumite training, differences in the patterns of kata).
    Mr. Horton,

    Which kata are different between Goju Kai and Jundokan's kata?

    Rob

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Alvelais
    Which kata are different between Goju Kai and Jundokan's kata?
    Mr. Alvelais,

    Thank you for your question. In re-reading my previous post, I realized that I "mis-spoke." What I'd intended to communicate was that there are differences in techniques, not pattern. For example, while the general pattern in the kata Saifa is similar between Goju Kai and Jundokan, there are significant differences in the manner in which techniques are executed. My apologies for the mis-statement.

    Regards,
    Dale Horton
    "It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy course; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat." T.R.

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    What are these differences?

    Just curious.
    Ed Boyd

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    Default Differences

    Hi Denis,

    I come from a Goju Kai background and when my Sensei and i have visited our friends at Okinawan Goju ryu schools we see some differences. The lack of hojo undo in our way of training is one. Im not sure if it's accros the board but some places have a more one on one training way where everyone is scattered around the hall rather than moving in formation up and down the hall as we do.
    In Goju Kai there is much emphasis on the 'cat stance' favoured by Gogen Yamaguchi. One thing that we seem to do differently to the mainstream Goju Kai is that we don't do much sparring and if we do it is semi contact free sparring not point sparring (i noticed this when i visited the main Goju Kai dojo in Japan and saw Sensei Goshi Yamaguchi teach). So u see there are differences even within a particular version of Goju Ryu.
    Other than that there are some extra katas introduced by Yamaguchi Sensei as well as slight variations in executions of moves in kata and bunkai (explanation of kata).

    Hope that helps.

    Regards,

    Marko Miletic
    Katsu!


    The moon has no intent to cast
    Its shadow anywhere, nor does
    The pond design to lodge the moon.

    Ito Ittosai

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    The excerpt from the Goju-kai site is wrong. Yamaguchi's goju ryu is not the last period of goju ryu evolution! It is just a mainland Japan offspring of Miyagi's goju ryu. Even in Okinawa, at least five direct disciples of Miyagi Chojun (and one of them was also a student of Higashionna Kanryo) have taught goju ryu, and they have had many disciples.

    In alphabetical order:
    - Higa Seiko (Shodokan): He was one of Higashionna Kanryo's student. Miyagi Chojun authorized him to open an independent dojo and teach goju ryu.
    - Miyagi Ani'ichi: He taught Higaonna Morio sensei (IOGKF).
    - Miyazato Eiichi (Jundokan): He was also first class judoka.
    - Toguchi Seikichi (Shoreikan): He studied also under Higa Seiko.
    - Yagi Meitoku (Meibukan): In 1952, Miyagi authorized him to open a dojo.

    Jitsuei Yogi and Meitoku Yagi were teachers of Gogen Yamaguchi, according to http://www.portaskarate.org/gojuhist.html

    Quote Originally Posted by Denis Torres View Post
    There were three epochs mentioned with three masters respectively in their evolution in the history of Goju-Ryu school. First was the time when the school was known only as Naha Te of Kanryo Higaonna during 1870s of which time the islanders were forced to surrender their nationality as Japanese. Second was when the school was named Goju-Ryu by the group headed by Chojun Miyagi during 1930s of which time Japan engaged in the Wrold War II. The third and final time period was when the national structure of Goju-Ryu organization was established in mainland Japan by Gogen Yamaguchi during the post war period. The organization has been called Karate-Do Goju-Kai since that time.

    This is an excerpt from the Goju-kai site. Can someone help educate me as to the eventual differences in the practice of Japanese and Okinawan Goju once Yamaguchi developed a foothold in Japan? And Does Urban's Goju-USA closely resemble Yamaguchi's Goju? Thanks in advance for any help.

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