Goju Ryu is originally from the the island of Okinawa, which is located between Japan and China. Goju Ryu is a mix of a traditional Okinawa based style of fighting Naha-te and the more well-known Chinese Kung-Fu. Higaonna Kanryo Sensei is the founder of Goju Ryu. To create this martial he made his way to China where he studied Kempo extensively for over a decade. His time in Fuzhou, China,was well spent as when he returned to his native Okinawa he brought what he had learnt with him. Miyagi Chojun then followed in Higaonna’s footsteps and changed the name from Kempo to Goju Ryu as we refer to it today. This new name is drawn fromthe martial arts text Bubishi. The passage that this name is drawn from reads “Ho Goju Donto”which literally translates as “the way of breathing is hardness and softness”. Goju, means hard and Ju means soft. As the name suggests this art focuses on the balancing of power and grace as it incorporates hard and fast attacks with slow circular movements that demonstrate the chi development.

The rigorous training program that Goju Ryu students must undertake is very tough but the benefits of the hard work needed are mammoth. Grace is a Goju Ryu student and has been training with Calasanz for over thirty years.She considers herself a Goju Ryu enthusiast.

“We place great emphasis on developing good, solid basic techniques.” Grace says. “Very often, we inherit students from other systems who learned hundreds of combinations but are unable to execute a strong horse stance or throw a decent punch. What we do is drill the basics and then introduce our students to the bunkai or the practical application of the movements in the Goju Ryu katas,” says Grace.