General Dojo rules and protocol

General Dojo rules and protocol

Respect

As senior karate ka, the Sensei and yudansha (black belts) must be shown respect and be called by their respective titles by all junior grades.

Cooperation

Aid your own progress by always cooperating with your instructor. Extend this cooperation to your fellow students by helping them generously and offering advice if you spot errors in technique or manners, while also accepting their advice and assistance in a positive manner- be careful not to be a know-it-all.

Learning

  • Listen to your instructor while he is correcting your faults.
  • Never interrupt the instructor while he is explaining
  • Never walk  in between  the  instructor  and  another  student  while  he  is  explaining  something  or talking to the other
  • Only ask as a last resort – first establish whether you are supposed to know the answer to the question and could possibly be wasting other students’

Courtesy

Always be courteous and friendly towards the instructor and your fellow students.

Sitting

Always sit cross-legged in the Dojo while your instructor is explaining something and you have to sit down.

Bowing

This serves as a way of greeting and showing respect to the Dojo, the instructor  and the fellow students. Bow whenever moving onto or off the floor.

Meditation

Classes begin and end with a short meditation in seiza (formal seated position). The goal is to relax and clear the mind to improve reflexes and to review and absorb your training. It has no religious connotation and could be compared to sitting in a quiet spot next to the sea to revitalise your mind.

Punctuality

Always arrive on time for class. If, due to circumstances beyond your control you are late, excuse yourself as you enter the Dojo.

Neatness

Always train with a clean gi and see that your body is clean as well (especially if you have worked in the garden before class). See that your nails and toenails are kept short and clean and always remove all jewellery before class.

  • Male students wear not-shirt underneath the gi.
  • Female students wear either a plain white or black t-shirt or leotard underneath the gi.
  • All students are to tidy their hair in such a manner that it looks neat and is no threat to the member’s
  • Long hair should be tied back with an elastic or ribbon.
  • No religious or cultural jewellery is worn.

 

Personal hygiene

Consider your fellow students by taking care of body odour, dirty hands, nails and halitosis.

Apparatus

Always treat the apparatus in the Dojo with respect and replace it neatly after use.

Smoking

No smoking is allowed near the Dojo at any time

New To Karate ?

Are you new to Karate ? Here are some basic details Dojo etiquette and things you need to know.

 

Official training attire

The IOGKF regulation is simple on this issue: only a plain, white karate gi is worn, with the IOGKF Kenkon logo on the left breast.

  • No jewellery or religious insignia of any nature should be worn during training sessions, tournaments, gradings or any event of formal training. Medic Alert bracelets and neck chains are removed and worn on the belt at the back of the body or inside, underneath the gi, where it cannot cause injury to a second party.
  • Nothing is worn underneath the gi top (eg. t-shirts or sweaters). Training is in a karate gi- the gi top is cooler than a t-shirt in warm conditions.
  • Women may only wear a plain white or black t-shirt or leotard of a non see-through nature, tucked into their pants, underneath their gi tops, as the tops are removed for haishughata training.

No provincial, national or regional logos are worn on the gi together with the IOGKF logo.

Before the class starts

The Sensei is on the floor already:

  1. Stop at the door or edge of the Dojo floor, facing the picture of Miyagi Chojun Sensei and bow- no sound.
  2. Face the Sensei: bow, saying loudly, “Onegaishimasu”. Face the most senior person on the floor (rank yon dan and higher): bow, saying loudly, “Onegaishimasu”. Walk onto the floor and greet all other fellow students.
  3. Help to clean the Dojo floor.
  4. Stop whatever you are doing, tum to face the Sensei, bow, saying loudly, “Onegaishimasu. Good evening, Sensei.” (or good afternoon or good morning).

The Sensei enters the Dojo or floor:

Sensei replies, “Good evening” (or good afternoon or good morning).

  1. Continue with what you were doing.

Note: This is also the correct way to greet Sempai when they come onto the floor.

Class starts

  1. Sensei or Senior says, “Shugo!” You line up in rows of equal numbers- 2, 4, 6, 8 etc.  Senior on right, facing forward, class faces forward, Sensei facing forward.
  2. Senior student says, “Kiotzke!” Class comes to attention with hands open next to the side.
  3. Senior says, “Seiza.” You wait for the Sensei to go down in seiza. You wait for your seniors to go down in seiza.

You put your left leg back, go down on the left knee, which is touching your right heel, then put your right leg backward, knees together, then sit down on your legs.

  1. Senior says, “Moku zo.” You relax your body completely, breathing in and out slowly.
  2. Senior says, “Moku zo yame.” You face forward.
  3. Senior says, “Sitomen ni rei.” You bow to the front- no sound.
  4. Sensei turns around, facing the class.  Senior says, “Sensei ni rei.”  You bow to the  Sensei while  loudly saying,

“Onegaishimasu.”

  1. Wait for the Sensei to get up and the Senior to say “Kiritsu!” Wait for the senior ranks to get up. Get up swiftly.

Class is finished

  1. The Sensei announces the class is fished by saying, “Owarimasu. Soremade.”
  2. Senior student says, “Shugo!” (line up)
  3. Senior says, “Kiotzkri!” (you come to attention) “Seiza.” (you go into the formal sitting position)
  4. Senior says, “Moku zo.” After more or less two (2) minutes, he says, “Moku zu yame.”
  5. Senior says, “Shornen ni rei.” You bow to the front- no sound.
  6. Sensei turns around facing the class. Senior says, “Sensei ni rei.” You bow to the Sensei while loudly saying, “Arigato gozaimashita”
  7. Senior says, “Ottegai ni.” You tum and face the person immediately next to you, still in seiza.
  8. Senior says, “Ottegai ni rei.” You bow to the person, loudly saying, “Arigato gozaimasu.”
  9. Senior says, “Sempai ni.” All persons who are part of the highest ranked group in the Dojo (higher than San dan) turn around to face the class. Senior student says, “Sempai ni rei.”  You bow to the seniors and  say “Arigato

gozaimasu.”

  1. Senior says, “Shugo!” You tum towards the front again and wait for the Sensei to get up, then the seniors and then you get up.
  2. You help to clean the floor.

 

Class has started and you are late

  1. Stop in the door or on the edge of the training area and say, “Onegaishimasu.”
  2. Step up to the side of the Dojo, go to the front, face the Sensei or person doing the junbi  undo, bow and say, “Onegaishimasu.”
  3. Go to the left (facing forward) rear comer of the Dojo. Do seiza, moku zo, moku zo yame, Sensei ni rei while saying, “Onegaishimasu.”
  4. Warm yourself up as quickly as possible, step into the line at the most junior position and start training.
  5. Inform your Sensei before the class that you have to leave for an important reason.
  6. At the time of departure, step to the side of the Dojo in the front, face the Sensei, bow, saying “Sitsureishimasu.”

You have to leave early

  1. Inform your Sensei before the class that you have to leave for an important reason.
  2. At the time of departure, step to the side of the Dojo in the front, face the Sensei, bow, saying “Sitsureishimasu.”
  3. Go to the left rear comer of the Dojo and do seiza etc.

 

Definitions every student should knowc

 

  • Sensei                                     Karate teacher with minimum rank of San dan
  • Sempai                                    Most senior group of students in the Dojo
  • Shihan                                     Role model (appointed by the IOGKF Chief Instructor)
  • Senior                                      Any student or instructor with a superior dan rank to your own is to be addressed as Sensei or Sempai
  • Kohei                                       Junior rank
  • Onegaishimasu                       Please teach I help me
  • Shomen                                   Front wall of the Dojo where photographs of the Founder (if deceased) are displayed
  • Sitsureishimasu                      Please pardon me (when leaving the Dojo)
  • Kiotzke                                    Attention (Stand to …)
  • Seiza                                       Formal sitting position
  • Shugo                                      Face the front of the Dojo
  • Rei                                           Bow (greet)
  • Kiritsu                                      Get up I Stand up
  • Arigato gozaimasu                 Thank you very much

History of Goju Ryu Karate

The art of Naha-te, founded by Kanryo Higaonna Sensei, forms the basis of Goju Ryu Karate. Kanryo Higaonna Sensei was born in 1853 and was part of the lower gentry. He longed to study in China the art of Chinese Kempo, however, was lacking in financial means until he was introduced to the owner of a ship. Fortunately, the owner granted him passage and Kanryo Higaonna Sensei soon arrived at the port city of Foochow, the only city in China engaged in trade with Okinawa at that time. Eventually, he was introduced to Master Ryu Ryuko. Kanryo Higaonna Sensei spent sixteen years in Foochow, China, studying under Master Ryu Ryuko and become like a son to him. He also became well known throughout the region as a great martial artist. Upon his return to Okinawa, Kanryo Higaonna Sensei paid his respects to the owner of the ship, Yoshimura, and began teaching his sons the art he had learned. As the word spread of his great skill, he soon also taught members of the royal family. Later he opened his own dojo. Kanryo Higaonna Sensei was especially known for his incredible speed, strength and power and his art became known as Naha-dee (te).

The actual founder of the Goju Ryu karate was Miyagi Chojun Sensei, a personal disciple of Kanryo Higaonna Sensei. At the age of 14, Miyagi Chojun Sensei met Kanryo higaonna Sensei and together they devoted their lives to the improvement and advancement of the art of Naha-te. They spent thirteen years together until Kanryo Higaonna Sensei passed away in 1916. Miyagi Chojun Sensei?s family was part of the gentry. They owned two trading ships that imported medicine from China for both the government and private individuals. The same year Kanryo Higaonna Sensei died, Miyagi Chojun Sensei left for China to discover the roots of Naha-te in the city of Foochow. Unfortunately, all had fled during the revolutionary war and he returned to Okinawa. Miyagi Chojun Sensei was a man of strong will and excelled in his studies. He trained daily, often with nature in harsh elements, and practiced various exercises to develop his senses. He created several katas and sometimes would receive instructions from his dreams.

In addition to his personal training and development of Naha-te, Miyagi Chojun Sensei spent a great deal of his time promoting the art. In 1921, he performed a demonstration of Naha-te in Okinawa for the visiting Prince Hirohito, Emperor of Japan, and in 1925 for Prince Chichibu. Miyagi Chojun Sensei had already envisioned the development of Naha-te not only in Japan but also around the world. It became increasingly important to organize and unify Okinawan karate as a cultural treasure to be passed on to future generations. In 1926, Miyagi Chojun Sensei established the Karate Research Club in Wakas-Cho. Four instructors, Miyagi Chojun, Hanashiro, Motobu and Mabuni, taught alternately some preliminary exercises and supplemental exercises. Afterwards, Miyagi Chojun Sensei gave talks to the students about mankind, daily life, and the samurai code of ethics in order to improve their moral development as well. In 1927, Kano Jigoro Sensei, founder of Judo, saw a demonstration of a kata by Miyagi Chojun Sensei and was impressed by the advanced technique and sophistication of Naha-te. Kano Sensei?s influence allowed Miyagi Chojun Sensei to perform Okinawan karate at leading Japanese Budo tournaments sponsored by the government. In 1930, Miyagi Chojun Sensei performed at the Butoku-kai Tournament and at the Sainei Budo Tournament in 1932.

As its exposure increased, many became interested in Miyagi Chojun Sensei’s art. One of Miyagi Chojun Sense’s senior disciples, Shinzato Sensei, gave a performance of kata at a Japanese martial arts tournament. Afterwards, a master asked the name of his school. Shinzato Sensei had no answer for him, returned to Okinawa and told Miyagi Chojun Sensei about his encounter. In order to promote his art as well as cooperate with other schools of Japanese martial arts, Miyagi Chojun Sensei decided it was necessary to name his art. It became known as “Goju Ryu” Karate, meaning “hard and soft” taken from the precepts of traditional Chinese Kempo (see below). He was the first among different schools of karate to name his art and in 1933 his art of Goju Ryu was formally registered at the Butoku-kai, Japanese Martial Arts Association.

During the 1930’s, Miyagi Chojun Sensei actively developed and promoted karate-do in Japan and throughout the world. For example, in 1934, a Hawaiian newspaper company invited him to Hawaii in order to introduce and populate karate in Hawaii. In 1936, Miyagi Chojun Sensei spent two months in Shanghai, China, for further study of Chinese martial arts. In 1937, he was awarded a commendation by the Butoku-kai for his kata. Miyagi Chojun Sensei developed Goju Ryu by analyzing and employing scientific methods of exercise. In 1940, he created katas “Gekisai Dai ichi” and “Gekisai Dai ni” with the purpose of popularizing karate and improving the physical education of young people. He also created “Tensho” kata emphasizing the softness of the art whereas “Sanchin” kata emphasizes the hardness.

A tragic period ensued in the 1940’s as a result of World War II and Miyagi Chojun Sensei stopped teaching. During this period he lost a son and a senior student while enduring the devastations of war and poverty. After the war, Okinawan karate spread rapidly throughout mainland Japan. Miyagi Chojun Sensei taught karate in Kansai, Japan, for a short time. In 1946, however, he started teaching karate at the Okinawan Police Academy as well as in the backyard of his home in Tsuboya where his son still lives today.

From the beginning, Miyagi Chujun Sensei recognized karate as a valuable social treasure of Okinawa. He devoted his entire life to the study, development and transmission of Okinawan karate for the sake of future generations and is truly known as the founder of Goju Ryu karate-do. During his lifetime, Miyagi Chojun Sensei was known and respected by everyone not only in Okinawa but also respected throughout the world as one of karate?s greatest authorities.

Miyagi Chojun Sensei chose the name “Goju Ryu” from the “Eight Precepts” of traditional Chinese Kempo found in the document “Bubishi?” and are as follows:

  1. The mind is one with heaven and earth.
  2. The circulatory rhythm of the body is similar to the cycle of the sun and the moon.
  3. The way of inhaling and exhaling is hardness and softness.
  4. Act in accordance with time and change.
  5. Techniques will occur in the absence of conscious thought.
  6. The feet must advance and retreat, separate and meet.
  7. The eyes do not miss even the slightest change.
  8. The ears listen well in all directions.

These eight precepts are the essence of the martial arts and are the elements one strives to achieve in training Goju Ryu Karate-do. Such training shall serve to lead humankind to rediscover our natural instincts and capabilities.

The International Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate-Do Federation (IOGKF) was established in July 1979 by Morio Higaonna Sensei.  The IOGKF was established for the purpose of protecting and preserving traditional Okinawan Goju-Ryu Karate-Do as an intangible cultural treasure in its original form as passed on by Goju-Ryu founder Chojun Miyagi, and spreading this art throughout the nations of the world.  Most importantly, the IOGKF was being formed with the support and backing of Ken Miyagi (fourth son of Goju-Ryu founder Chojun Miyagi), An’ichi Miyagi (successor to Chojun Miyagi) and senior students of the late Chojun Miyagi: Seiko Kina, Seijin Nakamoto, Kiei Tomoyose, Shunshin Furugen, Jitsuei Yogi, and Shuichi Aragaki.

Since its foundation, the teachings of Morio Higaonna Sensei has been spread around the world, and the IOGKF now has over 50 affiliated countries worldwide. Every year gasshuku (training seminars) are held in various countries to ensure the transmission of correct technique and to promote friendship and exchange between members.

IOGKF is one of few karate organizations that the Japanese Government recognizes as a true Japanese traditional martial arts organization.  IOGKF is a proud member of the Nihon Kobudo Kyokai (Japan Traditional Martial Arts Association).

In September 2007, Higaonna Sensei received 10th dan (the highest rank in karate) as well as a special certificate signed by Miyagi An’ichi Sensei (successor of Goju-Ryu) and Aragaki Shuichi Sensei (direct students of Chojun Miyagi Sensei) that recognizes him as a successor in the direct line descended from Miyagi Chojun Sensei.

The IOGKF today is as dedicated to its original purpose as it was in 1979.  The IOGKF represents the philosophy of Goju-Ryu founder “Bushi” Chojun Miyagi, and with this in mind Higaonna Sensei reminds us that it is important to dedicate ourselves to the further improvement and development of Goju-Ryu karate through diligent training so that we may come to understand the very essence of our art.

The Administrative Director for the IOGKF is Tetsuji Nakamura, who is also a chief instructor of IOGKF Canada. The IOGKF Administrative Headquarters (Administrative Honbu) is in Ontario, Canada, where Tetsuji Nakamura resides. The Technical Headquarters (Technical Honbu) for the IOGKF, however, remains in Okinawa, and Higaonna Sensei himself teaches classes, when he is not teaching gasshukus in other countries.

Karate Terminology

Numbers

Ichi – One
Ni – Two
San – Three
Shi – Four
Go – Five
Roku – Six
Shichi – Seven
Hachi – Eight
Ku – Nine
Ju – Ten

A training session´s opening ceremony

Shugo – Line up (phonetically ‘shho-go’)
Ki o tsuke – Stand to attention (phonetically ‘kee-ut-skay’)
Seiza – Kneel (phonetically ‘say-zah’)
Mokuso – Meditate (phonetically ‘mok-so’)
Mokuso yame – Finish meditating
Shomen ni – Face the front of the dojo (phonetically ‘sho-men nee’)
Rei – Bow (phonetically ‘ray’)
Sensei ni – Face your teacher
Rei – Bow and say aloud Onegaishimasu meaning please teach me (phonetically ‘on-ee-guy-shim-ass’)
Shomen ni – Face the front of the dojo
Kiritsu – Stand up (phonetically ‘kee-ree-tsoo’)

A training session´s closing ceremony

Shugo – Line up
Ki o tsuke – Stand to attention
Seiza – Kneel
Mokuso – Meditate
Mokuso yame – Finish meditating
Shomen ni – Face the front of the dojo
Rei – Bow
Sensei ni – Face your teacher
Rei – Bow and say aloud “Arigato Gozaimashita” meaning thank you (phonetically ‘ary-gato goz-aye-mahsh-tah’)
Otagai ni – Face your partner
Rei – Bow and say aloud “Arigato Gozaimashita”
Shomen ni – Face the front of the dojo
Kiritsu – Stand up and bow.

Punches (tsuki or zuki)

Jodan tsuki – Punch to the face
Chudan tsuki – Punch to the chest
Gedan tsuki – Punch to the groin
Age tsuki – Rising punch
Choku tsuki – Straight punch
Furi tsuki – Circular punch
Gyaku tsuki – Reverse punch
Kizame tsuki – Jab Punch
Oi tsuki – Lunge punch
Seiken tsuki – Forefist punch
Ura tsuki – Close range punch

Blocks (Uke)

Jodan uke – Upper level block
Age uke – Rising block
Chudan uke – Middle level block
Gedan harai-uke – Lower level sweep
Jodan uke – Upper level block
Hiji uke – Elbow block
Hiki uke – Pulling/grasping block
Hiza uke – Knee block
Ko uke – Wrist block
Shotei barai – Palm heel sweep
Shotei uke – Palm heel block
Soto uke – Forearm block (block from outside moving inward to the centre line of the body)
Sukui uke – Scooping block
Tora guchi uke – Tiger mouth block

Strikes (Uchi)

Uraken uchi – Back fist strike
Empi uchi – Elbow strike (hiji)
Haito uchi – Ridge hand strike
Hiraken uchi – Fore knuckle fist strike
Ko uchi – Wrist strike
Nukite uchi – Spear hand strike
Shuto uchi – Knife-edge hand strike
Sokuto uchi – Knife-edge foot strike
Teisho uchi – Palm heel strike (sometimes called shotei uchi)
Tetsui uchi – Bottom fist strike

Kicking (Geri)

Mae geri – Front kick
Mawashi geri – Roundhouse kick
Yoko geri – Side kick
Ushiro geri – Back kick
Hiza geri – Knee kick
Kensetsu geri – Stamping kick, joint kick
Mae ashi geri – Front leg kick
Tobi geri – Jumping kick

Stances (dachi)

Hachiji dachi – Natural stance
Han zenkutsu dachi – Half forward stance
Heiko dachi – Parallel stance
Heisoku dachi – Formal attention stance, feet together
Kokutsu dachi – Back stance
Musubi dachi – Formal attention stance, feet turned out
Neko ashi dachi – Cat stance
Reinoji dachi – tick stance
Sagiashi dachi – Crane leg stance
Sanchin dachi – Hour glass stance
Sesan dachi – Side facing straddle stance
Shiko dachi – Box stance
Zenkutsu dachi – Forward leg stance

Sparring

Kumite – sparring
Ippon kumite – one step sparring (block and counter)
San dan gi – Basic three step sparring
Randori kumite – Slow and soft free style sparring with emphasis on technique
Yakusoku kumite – Prearranged sparring
Iri kumite Hard – fast but controlled continuous free style sparring
Go kumite – Full contact sparring

Training Equipment

Chi ishi – Lever weighted stone
Ishi sashi – Stone padlocks
Kongo ken – Iron ring
Makiwara – Striking board
Nigiri game – Gripping jars
Tan – Barbells

General Terms

Goju-Ryu Karate Do – Hard/Soft style, empty handed way
Dojo – Training place
Honbu dojo – Head dojo of an organisation
Dojo kun – Dojo rules
Gasshuku – Special karate training camp
Hojo undo – Supplementary exercises
Gi – Karate Uniform
Obi – belt
Kenkon – The symbol of the IOGKF – Literally ‘Heaven and Earth’
Ki o tsuke -Attention (phonetically ‘kee-ut-ski’)
Hai – Yes
Hajime – Begin
Yame – Stop
Yoi –
Ready
Zanshin –
Awareness
Rei – Bow
Migi – Right
Hidari – Left
Yoko – Side
Jodan – Upper level
Chudan – Middle level
Gedan – Lower level
Mae – Front
Mawatte – Turn around
Suri ashi – Sliding step
Kaishugata – ‘Open fist’ kata (Gekisai, Saifa, etc.)
Heishugata – ‘Closed Fist’ kata (Sanchin and Tensho)
Bunkai – Study of kata applications and techniques
Junbi undo – Warm up exercises
Kamae – Combative posture
Kamae te – Assume stance
Ashi barai – Foot sweep
Kiai -Focusing shout
Kihon – Basic techniques
Koshi – Ball of the foot (or Josokutei)
Muchimi – Heavy, sticky action
Otagai – Training partner
Randori – Free sparring, relaxed sparring
Sandan gi – Three level sparring
Seiken – Fore fist
Seiza – Formal sitting position (kneeling on your haunches, feet crossed)
Semete – Attacking partner
Shime – Sanchin testing
Shomen – The front
Shugo – Line up
Soto – Outwards
Tai sabaki – Moving the body to avoid contact
Tanden – The body´s power centre
Ude tanren – Forearm conditioning
Uraken – Back fist

IOGKF Katas

Gekisai Dai Ichi

To destroy introduction number oneThis kata was created by Miyagi Sensei in 1940 out of his desire to popularise Goju Ryu within the high school system in Okinawa. It is interesting to note that this kata finishes with a step forwards. Japan was at war at the time of this katas creation and according to Higaonna Sensei’s book The History of Karate-Do, Miyagi Sensei included the forward step as an analogy to the country moving forward.

Gekisai Dai Ni

To destroy introduction number twoThis kata was created at the same time as Gekisai Dai Ichi. It introduces open hand techniques and Neko Ashi movements, an important feature of many advanced Goju Ryu kata.

Saifa

To destroy by pounding pulverising
Saifa utilises tai-sabaki (body shifting) and many escape techniques.

Seiyunchin

Grasping, pulling, unbalancing
Seiyunchin is unusual in that it does not employ any kicking techniques. It contains several escape techniques.

Shisochin

To destroy in four directions
This kata is said to have been the favourite of Miyagi Sensei in his later years. The kata employs joint locking and close quarter fighting techniques.

Sanseru

36 Hands or movements
Sanseru employs many entry, joint attacks and defences against kicking attacks.

Sepai

18 Hands or movements
Sepai uses many movements that require co-ordination between the hips and hands. It contains many varied techniques.

Kururunfa

Holding on long and striking suddenly
Kururunfa employs a great deal of Neko Ashi movements and in-fighting techniques.

Sesan

13 Hands or movements
Sesan contains many unusual techniques and demonstrates the difference between Go (Hard) and Ju (Soft) A different version is practised in Shotokan (Hangetsu) and in Wado Ryu (Seishan). Sesan was the favourite kata of Shinzato Jin’an Sensei.

Suparimpei

108 Hands or movements
The most advanced and intricate kata of the Goju Ryu system. Sometimes known by an old name of Pitchurrin.

Sanchin – 3 Battles / conflicts

The name Sanchin or 3 battles refers to the conflict between mind, body and spirit during the practice of this kata.
There are two versions of Sanchin, Higaonna Kanyro Sanchin and the version developed by Miyagi Sensei.

Tensho

Rotating palms – Miyagi Sensei developed this kata from his research in Fuzhou, southern China during the period 1917 to 1921.

Dojo Kun

Dojo Kun

The mind and body are one and should be developed as one. The serious martial artist should strive to develop both. Appreciations of one’s own abilities and shortcomings, as well as appreciation for other people’s abilities and shortcomings are characteristics of a mature person

For this purpose a simplified set of ethics (or corporate personal objectives) has been formulated, varying slightly from ryu to ryu and Dojo to Dojo. It must be emphasised that there are absolutely no religious connotations or implications in the Dojo kun ­ it could be compared to the niches or logos used by schools or clubs to identify their mission (such as ‘Semper Fide/is’,  ‘Altyd Vorentoe’ or ‘Per Aspera Ad Astra’).

The Dojo kun used by IOGKFA is adapted from the original set used by the IOGKF.

The name ‘Goju’ has more implications than merely hard/soft. It was derived from the context of the third of the eight poems that described the martial arts in the book Bubishi: ho(wa) go ju donto(su) – ‘the way of inhaling and exhaling is hardness and softness’ or ‘inhaling represents  softness while exhaling characterises hardness’. Another explanation can be found in the words nai go gai ju, which, directly translated, means: ‘firm within, frail without’.

The physical implications are obvious  when  our techniques  are witnessed-  soft-looking movements  that have devastating effects when executed correctly.

The mental implications are that of an outer appearance and manners of a complete gentleman or lady, while inside a strong tenacious, endeavouring, ‘never give up’ fighting spirit is fostered.

We strive to

  • Improve our own character
  • Act unselfishly
  • Refrain from violent and uncontrolled behaviour
  • Develop a spirit of endeavour and perseverance
  • Seek the true ways of life or living through hard training and sacrificing of self-interests (egotistical behaviour)

New to Karate ? What will you need to learn ?

Following every training session you, as a class, will have to learn the 6 following lines.

  • Respect others

  • Be courageous

  • Train your mind and body

  • Practice daily and protect traditional karate

  • Strive to reach the essence of Goju-Ryu

  • Never give up