The History of Karate: Okinawan Goju-Ryu

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9780946062362: The History of Karate: Okinawan Goju-Ryu
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The result of decades of research into the history of Goju-ryu, "The History of Karate" is based on information Morio Higaonna gathered while training as a young student at the Garden Dojo of Chojun Miyagi, on hundreds of hours of interviews he conducted with senior Okinawan karateka, students, friends and relatives of both Chojun Miyagi and Kanryo Higaonna, and on personal research he carried out in China.

The book is of high quality and well illustrated. It is a treasure house of facts concerning the early history of Okinawan karate, descriptions of the early training and, best of all, it describes Chojun Miyagi’s ethical ideals, teaching methods and way of life, providing a valuable source of knowledge and understanding to guide the present day karateka.

This book should be on the shelf of every serious student of karate, and it should be read often.

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About the Author:

Morio Higaonna was born on December 25, 1938 in Naha, Okinawa and grew up just around the corner from the house of the famous Chojun Miyagi. He began his karate training in 1953, at the age of 14, under the tutelage of his father, a Shorin Ryu stylist. At the age of 15 he began training with a friend, Tsunetaka Shimabukuro, another Shorin Ryu stylist. In 1955 Shimabukuro, who also trained Goju-Ryu at the garden dojo of Chojun Miyagi, encouraged the young Higaonna to study this powerful style and, with an introduction to the garden dojo, Higaonna was accepted as a student. He relates, “When I first joined I remember thinking that An'ichi Miyagi was the head of the garden dojo since he was the one who did all the teaching. This impression was furthered by Koshin Iha, who was in charge of collecting the training fees. I'll never forget him pointing to An’ichi Sensei and saying, ‘An’ichi-san is the most knowledgeable person here. Go and learn from him’”.

Chojun Sensei’s widow, Makato, was still living at this time. Usually the first to arrive, Higaonna would do various chores to get the area ready for the evening’s practice. He would finish these chores well before the other students would arrive and Makato would sometimes call him over to chat. Of all the things they spoke about, Higaonna vividly remembers two things Mrs. Miyagi told him: 1)For those who practice martial arts, smoking is the worst thing for the body, so you must never smoke; and 2)You should learn from An’ichi Miyagi. Higaonna took her words to heart in both cases.

Higaonna also taught karate at his high school karate club, completely filling his days with his passion.

In 1960 Higaonna moved to Tokyo to attend Takushoku University. His passion for karate continued to drive him and during his free time he would visit various dojos around the Tokyo area. One dojo owner (Aragaki) in the Yoyogi district of Tokyo invited Higaonna to teach there, even though it was a Shorin Ryu dojo. It wasn’t long before Yoyogi Dojo converted to Goju-Ryu. Higaonna's reputation and popularity grew, reaching to the four corners of the globe. Within a few years he had developed such a large following that the need for a formal organization became apparent. At the urging of his followers, and with the support of many of Chojun Miyagi's senior students, in 1979 Higaonna formed the International Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate-Do Federation (IOGKF) with the purpose to preserve, protect and disseminate the true teachings of Chojun Miyagi and Okinawan Goju-Ryu.

The Technical Headquarters for the IOGKF is in Okinawa at the HIGAONNA DOJO, where Sensei Higaonna teaches. However, with tens of thousands of members worldwide, Sensei Higaonna travels extensively throughout each year teaching seminars and gasshukus (karate camps). Even with his hectic schedule, he himself trains several hours every day, for he feels that one should never cease learning and expanding one’s own knowledge — and he encourages his instructors to do the same.

In addition to teaching and conducting seminars throughout the world, Sensei Higaonna has produced scores of technical books and videos to aid serious students in their training and development.

In 1997 the acclaimed Nihon Kobudo Kyokai, whose primary mission is to protect and preserve traditional martial arts, inducted Morio Higaonna into their ranks and recognized him as the SOLE representative for Okinawan Goju-Ryu karate in the world.

Sensei Higaonna continues to devote his life to the research, training and the dissemination of Okinawan Goju-Ryu.


"A treasure... of facts concerning the early history of... karate, it contains wonderful descriptions of the early training in Okinawa." -- Journal of Asian Martial Arts, November 1999

"The History of Karate" is considered the definitive work on the subject!" -- Dragon Times, Vol. 19

"This book is the closest thing available in English to the primary source for the early period of Okinawan karate." -- Journal of Asian Martial Arts, November 1999

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Morio Higaonna
Published by Dragon Books 1998-05 (1998)
ISBN 10: 0946062366 ISBN 13: 9780946062362
Used Paperback Quantity Available: 1
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Book Description Dragon Books 1998-05, 1998. Paperback. Condition: Good. illustrated edition. 0946062366. Seller Inventory # 577059

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