Naha-Te is the name of the particular type of Okinawan martial art that developed in the port town of Naha,
the modern day capital of Okinawa. The martial art that indigenously developed in Okinawa was called Te
("Hands"), and the continuous Chinese influences that incorporated Chinese Boxing (Chuan-Fa, nowadays
known as Chinese boxing) were eventually reflected by naming the Okinawan martial arts Tang-ti "Chinese Hand".
Credited for the early development of Naha-Te is Kanryo Higaonna (1853-1915). Kanryo Higaonna students
include Chojun Miyagi (1888-1953), the founder of Goju-ryu. Taken from the Bubishi meaning hard and soft
and Kenwa Mabuni (1889-1952), the founder of Shito-ryu. Shito-ryu truly has no translation, but the first
two ideograms from his teacher Itosu = SH, and Higaonna = ITO. The founder of Goju-ryu was Chojun Miyagi
(1888-1953). He became a disciple of Kanryo Higaonna (1853-1915), the founder of the Naha-te style, when
he was 14. He endured harsh ascetic practices and in 1915 went to Fujian Province in China to perfect his skills
in the martial arts. He also undertook a lot of research on noted Chinese warriors. As a result, he was able to
take over and organize karate techniques and the principles of the martial arts that he had been taught. He
consolidated modern karate do, incorporating effective elements of both athletics and the martial arts in addition
to the principles of reason and science.
Chojun Miyagi's most promising disciple, Jinan Shinzato, gave a demonstration at the 'All Japan Martial Arts
Tournament Offering Congratulations on the Emperor's Accession' held in Meiji Jingu Shrine in 1929. Afterwards
he was asked what school of karate he belonged to. When he returned home, he told master Miyagi about this
and Miyagi decided to choose the name Goju-ryu (the hard-soft style), inspired by one of the 'Eight Precepts'
of Kempo, written in the Bubishi, and meaning 'The way embraces both hard and soft, both inhalation and exhalation.
The main characteristic of Goju-ryu is the 'respiration method' accompanied by vocal exclamations, emphasizing 'inhaling
and exhaling' and 'bringing force in and sending force out'.
The Kata of Goju-ryu are broadly divided into: Sanchin (basics), Kaishu-gata (open hand forms), and Heishu-gata
(closed hand forms). The traditional Kata passed down from Kanryo Higaonna to the present include: Sanchin, Saifa,
Seienchin, Shisochin, Sanseiru, Seipai, Kururunfa, Seisan, and Suparinpei (or Pecchurin). In addition to such traditional
Kata, Goju-ryu has added Kokumin Fukyugata, a series of Kata created by Chojun Miyagi for the nationwide popularization
of the school Gekisai I, Gekisai II and Tensho-which complete the Kata of Goju-ryu for Tanren.
Updated: Friday, 10 September 2010