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Masters of Goju-Ryu Karate-do
Kanryo Higaonna Sensei
March 3, 1853 - Born at Nishimura of Naha City, Okinawa

1877 - Studied Chinese martial art in Fujian province, China at the age of 23.

1888 - Went back to Okinawa. Started instruction of a systemised Naha-te called To-te (Chinese Hand) at the request of his students.

1917 - Passed away of illness at the age of 63.

 


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Chojun Miyagi Sensei

Grandmaster Chojun Miyagi was born on April 25, 1888. He began training in karate under Kanryo Higaonna at the age of 14, in 1902. Like his teacher before him, because of his great natural talent and fierce determination, he progressed very rapidly. The training was severe beyond belief at times but he practiced ever harder with an enthusiasm unmatched by any of the other students. Chojun Miyagi became "uchi deshi" (private disciple) of Kanryo Higaonna. He studied with his teacher for 14 years before his teachers death in 1915.

Chojun Miyagi dedicated his whole life to karate. He was responsible for structuring Naha-te (which he later named "Goju-Ryu") into a systemized discipline which could be taught to society in general. This teaching system which he formulated enabled karate to be taught in schools for the benefit of the young, and to reach vast numbers of people throughout the world. However, his private teaching at his home remained strictly in adherence to the principles of his teacher, Kanryo Higaonna, and his teacher before him, Ryu Ryu Ko.


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Gogen Yamaguchi Hanshi

January 20th, 1909 - Born to parents Mr. Tokutaro Yamaguchi and Mrs. Yoshimatsu Yaguchi and named Jitsumi Yamaguchi in Miyakonojo Shonai near Kagoshima City in the Miyazaki Prefecture, Kyushi - Japan. The third son of ten siblings.

In 1929 Gogen Yamaguchi was introduced to Chojun Miyagi. This meeting proved to have a profound affect upon Yamaguchi's outlook on karate. Previously he had only considered the hard aspect of "Goju" but after his meeting with Master Miyagi he was determined to train himself spiritually as well as physically. Master Miyagi thought highly of Yamaguchi who seemed to have mastered the hard aspect of Goju so well and gave him the nickname Gogen, meaning `Rough'.

In the 1930's, Karatedo men practiced only kata (formal movements) and yakusoku kumite (prearranged sparring) and were unable to have matches between each other since they did not hold back their techniques. It was during this period that Yamaguchi created the first stages towards what is known as jyu kumite (free fighting) and established rules to decide the winner of a match.

In the early 1930’s Mr. Yamaguchi sketched out what would become the legendary signature Gojuryu fist. It is modeled after the right hand fist of Chojun Miyagi.

In 1950, he founded the national organization of All Japan Karate-Do Goju-Kai in Tokyo, Japan.

He was recognized as one of the greatest Karate masters in Japan. He was the founder of what might be called modern Karate, an advanced stage which illustrates both a technical and social elevation of the art of Karate. From a technical point of view, he had unified all Karate exercise by employing an extremly well organized method.

In the general development of Karate, Gogen had contributed several distinguished services. First, he formed a group of Asian martial instructors. He then succeeded in bringing seventy Asian instructors to Japan and traveled throughout the country, holding exchange martial arts demonstreations. After the Pacific war, he succeeded in unifing all Karate schools into one union. As a result, the All Japan Karate Federation was established in 1964.


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Shuji Tazaki Hanshi

Born in Tokyo, Hanshi Shuji Tasaki was one of the Head Shihan in the early years of the All Japan Karatedo Goju-Kai Yamaguchi-ha.

1933 - January 20th - Born in Tokyo Japan.
1950 - Begins Karatedo training in High School.
1951 - Joins the Yamaguchi's Asakusa 'All Japan Karatedo Gojukai' Gojuryu Dojo.
1952 - Grades to Shodan in Yamaguchi Gojukai Gojuryu Karatedo.
1954 - Grades to Nidan in Yamaguchi Gojukai Gojuryu Karatedo.
1957 - Grades to Sandan in Yamaguchi Gojukai Gojuryu Karatedo.
1958 - Begins teaching under Gogen Yamaguchi.
1961 - Grades 4th Dan and Jokyo Renshi license issued by Yamaguchi Gojukai.
1964 - Shihan license issued by Yamaguchi Gojukai.
1965 - Grades to 5th Dan in Yamaguchi Gojukai Gojuryu Karatedo.
1966 - Shihan Kyoshi license issued by Yamaguchi Gojukai.
1970 - Grades to 6th Dan JKF Gojukai.
1972 - Founds Seiwakai [JKF Gojukai] Gojuryu Karatedo.
1974 - Continues teaching Gojuryu Karatedo at his Dojo in Oshiage Tokyo, Japan.
1974 - Appointed JKF National Instructor.
1975 - Grades to 7th Dan, JKF Gojukai.
1986 - Acquired the grade JKF Gojukai 8th Dan.
1986 - Acquires the Shihan license of Hanshi.

2009 - Awarded JKF Gojukai 9th Dan

2011- Passed away of illness 30 January 2011

Actively served as Gojukai Deputy Chief of Board of Directors, a Central Examiner and a Manager of Kanto Region.Chief instructor President Goju-Ryu Karate-Do Seiwa-Kai

Yamaguchi sensei was his first and only teacher.


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Seiichi Fujiwara Hanshi

Fujiwara Hanshi

Seiichi Fujiwara Hanshi is originally from Yokote City.

He began practicing Karate at the age 17 years old when he entered Chiba Commercial College. Before that he was an athlete of track and field. Knowing that there was a Karate program at the University he joined thinking "learning grapple skills [Martial Arts] as he would like to become strong". With his companions who enter [the program] together as many as 80. The majority [of the program] were lost in the harsh practice. Three months later there were only 10 people left. But with practice being harsh, he improved. Fujiwara was fixated onhis interest in Karate. .

8th Dan Hanshi, All Japan Karate do Federation Gojukai

• Chief Instructor/ President- Gojuryu Karatedo Seiwakai International Association

• Overseas Director – All Japan Karate do Federation Gojukai (JKF Gojukai)

• Chairperson & Senior Member of the Overseas Committee - JKF Gojukai

• Executive Director of the JKF Gojukai

• Japan Karatedo Federation Gojukai: 8th Dan

• Seiwkai Gojuryu Karatedo; 8th Dan

• Former - National Champion Kata and Kumite

• Director and Coach of Akita Karatedo Federation Gojukai

• Coach - University Karate Program

At the time of his graduations from University, he joined the construction company at of Chiba Prefecture which his Karate Sempai had managed at the same time. 2 1/2 years he worked there, until Gojukai Honbu [headquarters] called on him for inauguration as the coach of the University Karate Program. At that time Fujiwara was ranked 3rd Dan. Around that time that Fujiwara's parents home [family] moved to Omagari City from Yokote City and began a Ryokan [Japanese style hotel] business. His parents said "we would like to have you help with the Ryokan", so he returned to Omagar City in the Fall of '73. Although helping at the hotel, Karate was not forgotten.

In October of the following year,he opened a Karatedo [Seiwakai] in Wakatake-cho and began coaching. Presently his Kohai [juniors / pupils] from that time have now grown up and expanded the dojo to 7 branches, including Akita-shi, Yokote-shi, Kamioka-cho and Nakasen-cho. Presently Fujiwara is exclusively in charge of the City wide High School Karate program which he coaches at the city gymnasium [Budokan] and at the Wakatake-cho Dojo. At the same time he focuses on coaching overseas.

Fujiwara attained 7th Dan in 1995, but even if one passes the examination, one must receive a nomination from headquarters [Honbu] in order to rise to 8th Dan. In Fujiwara's case, the 11 years he spent instructing overseas was highly appraised work by Honbu. One condition of attaining 8th Dan is that you must have been ranked 7th Dan for at least 7 years combined experience. Fujiwara passed with just one attempt. Honbu said that this broke a more than ten year record. Among the 15 applicants, Fujiwara was one of 2 people who passed the exam to become eligible. Until this time there have been only 2 people in their 50's who have made it to 8th Dan in Gojuryu Karatedo. Moreover, there have been only 20 people, including Fujiwara, in all of Japan to become 8th Dan. Last year, his 7th Dan ranking was acknowledged by the Japan Karatedo Federation.

Fujiwara's pupils and peers explain "an 8th Dan in Karatedo is like a God! as they prepared for Fujiwara's rank celebration party. On the evening of October 29th, Fujiwara had just come back from instructing in England, Slovakia and Australia. He travels overseas, many times a year to instruct, primarily in Europe, USA, South Africa and Australia.

He stated “I become uneasy if I don't put on my do-gi and move my body" . With his gentle smile and his soft way of speaking, he gave no hint of being the majestic one who is praised as a "God" of Karate. Fujiwara, instructing overseas "There are more than 7,500 Gojukai members overseas”

(Goju Ryu Karate Do begins and ends with respect)

Fujiwara says "the children in Japan say they would like to learn Karate" including Elementary School students, "so not to be defeated in a fight" and they join because they want to become strong. .


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