法剛柔呑吐 Hō Gōjū donto, “The way of inhaling and exhaling is hardness and softness”.
This is the third phrase of Kenpo Hakku 拳法八句 , “Eight Poems of Boxing”, contained in the manuscript document called Bubishi in Japanese, which inspired Chōjun Miyagi when, in 1930, he chose a name for his style, Gōjū-ryū.
And, in 1933, karate (tōdī) was recognized as a form of budō by the Dai Nippon Butokukai, “Society of Martial Virtues of Great-Japan”, recorded as “Gōjū-ryū Karate (Tōdī)“.
This recognition was obtained also thanks to the effort of Chōjun Miyagi in demonstration of his art in front of members of the Japanese Imperial family and during the festival of martial virtues (butokusai).
Like in 1921 in front of the then Crown Prince Hirohito.
“His Highness entered the estate of Marquis Sho and granted audience to the Marquis, his family and former retainers. He then visited the old castle. In the open space before it, he was welcomed by the school children, and there he witnessed the athletic exercises of the middle schools, who exhibited the art of self protection known as karate, resembling boxing“
(Futura/Sawada (1925): The crown prince’s European tour, p. 17).
And in the year 1935 during Butokusai, the annual demonstrations organized by Butokukai. Chōjun Miyagi performed Sanchin, Sesan and yakusoku kumite, with Jitsu’ei Yogi as his partner, which remembered:
“In 1934 I became a student at the Ritsumeikan University. In the following year I acted as a partner Miyagi Chōjun Sensei during the Butokusai. At that time there was the highly respected Jūdōka of the Butokukai named Isogai Hajime (1871-1947). I was studying together with his son at the Faculty of Laws at the time. He said to me, ‘Mr. Yogi, my father has praised your teacher very much. He must be really a first-class Budōka and personality’.”
So, it is a great honor that Morio Higaonna Sensei, following the footsteps of the founder of Gōjū-ryū, demonstrate Suparinpei kata for Japanese Emperor and his majesty Empress at the new Karate-Kaikan (April 29, 2018).
And, once again, it is an honor that Morio Higaonna Sensei and Tetsuji Nakamura Sensei demonstrated their art at 41st Kobudo demonstration in Nippon Budokan of Tokyo. The IOGKF, proud member of the Nihon Kobudo Kyokai (Japan Traditional Martial Arts Association), is one of the few karate organizations that the Japanese Government recognizes as a true Japanese traditional martial arts organization.
And this is the description of the art of Gōjū-ryū reported by the Nihon Kobudo Kyokai.
Okinawa Gōjū-ryū Bujutsu school was founded around 1930 by Chōjun Miyagi (1888–1953). It is a Bujutsu style close to Karate, which mixes hard and soft techniques, as its name states. Gō, which means hard, refers to closed hand techniques or straight linear attacks, while jū, which means soft, refers to open hand techniques and circular movements.
© 2018, Roberto Ugolini