Goju-ryu (“hard-soft style”) karate was founded in Okinawa by Chojun Miyagi (1888-1953). Sensei Miyagi (left) studied with the legendary martial artist Kanryo Higaonna, who learned Chinese kempo in Fuzhou. After Higaonna’s death, Sensei Miyagi went to China himself to further study the traditional techniques. Miyagi developed novel methods for training strength and endurance, and also developed new kata (sets of techniques practiced by oneself) designed to gradually introduce new students to the style.
Goju-ryu is noted for balancing go (hard) and ju (soft) techniques. It is also well-known for its breathing techniques (based on chi gong methods) and methods for conditioning the body. The foundation of the style is learning how to coordinate mind, body and spirit.