Some Background on Goju-Ryu

The history alone of the Okinawa martial arts style known as Goju-ryu is fascinating. When you get further into the matter of this brand of self-defense, you’re going to discover several reasons that aptly explain why Goju-ryu is so utilized and well-respected.

The name itself means “hard-soft” style. This refers to the fact that the practice utilizes closed-hand techniques (which would make up the “hard” portion of the style), as well as open-hand techniques that are combined with circular movements (this would make up the “soft” portion of the style).

In terms of the history of this martial arts style, things get a little muddled at the very beginning. The modern history of this iconic approach to self-defense is fascinating, and fairly easy to draw from. The actual origins of this practice go all the way back to the fourteen century, and are therefore a little difficult to trace to the present with complete accuracy.

Nonetheless, the history of Goju-ryu is well worth studying. It’s not an essential component to mastering the soft and hard hand techniques and circular movements that define this style. However, it still provides a wealth of fascination.

Goju-ryu History And Background
In terms of the history of Goju-ryu, it is perhaps best to go with what is known for certain. We know for certain that Chojun Miyagi referred to the style he had created as Goju-ryu in 1930. We know that Miyagi was trained by Kanryo Higashionna (known as Higaonna Kanryo in Okinawan), who deftly combined Chinese martial arts with the Okinawan self-defense techniques. Miyagi clearly took advantage of the extraordinary knowledge Higashionna provided, using it to develop his own techniques.

With Goju-ryu, the emphasis is indeed on self-defense. However, there is a little more to it than that. This style is known as a stand-up style, with many believing that one of the main secrets to this art involves using available angles to deflect attacks, rather than simply trying to meet the opponent in a battle of strength. It is also interesting to note that Goju-ryu involves techniques that frequently prefer a soft blow to a hard area, or a hard blow to a soft area. There is also a great deal of emphasis within the Goju-ryu style on breathing.

A takedown or throw can be found within the Goju-ryu style quite frequently, as can the use of weapons.

The Bottom Line
In the end, defend and subdue are the two major elements to be found with this particular style.