Goju-ryu karate

Instructor: Sensei Dong Tran, 7th Dan, Kyoshi

Focus of Training

"Goju-ryu" means "Hard-soft style" in Japanese. But rather than referring to alternating "hard" and "soft" techniques, its name embraces the union of opposites, creating a harmonious whole. The study of Goju-ryu karate involves internal breathwork, explosive strikes, and soft parries. It's the study of efficient body movement, breath control, and in-close self-defense. This is traditional Goju-ryu as taught on Okinawa, specifically the Goju-ryu International Karate Kobudo Federation, in the lineage of Seko Higa. Training focuses on kata (forms) and their applications; it does not foster tournament competition, nor sports sparring.


History and Lineage

Goju-ryu karate traces its lineage back in an unbroken line and exists today as an unembellished, authentic practice. Kanryo Higaonna (1852-1916) studied from a Chinese master in Fuzhou, Fukien Province in Southern China nicknamed Ru Ru Ko. When he returned to Naha, Okinawa, he taught three disciples: Kyoda Juhatsu (1887-1968), Chojun Miyagi (1888-1953), and Seko Higa (1898-1966). Juhatsu went on to formulate To'on-ryu; Seko Higa became Miyagi's assistant when Higaonna passed away.

History and Lineage

Seko Higa was one of only a few who was authorized to open a dojo while Miyagi was still alive. His lineage is the one we follow at the Asian Arts Center: it's referred to in Goju-ryu circles as "Pre-War Goju" or "Soft Goju", in contrast to other lineages that appeared after Miyagi passed away in 1953.


Seko Higa established his organization, the Goju-ryu International Karate Kobudo Federation in anticipation of its expansion throughout the world. The Federation has a unique internal corporate structure with high dan board members being elected to various functions (President, Vice-president, Secretary, Treasurer, etc...) which ensures its stability and the preservation of its traditions over the years.


The 5th generation President was Kurashita Eiki hanshi, 10th dan, who had trained with both Seko Higa and his son, Sekichi (1927-1999); Kurashita hanshi is Tran kyoshi's teacher. The 6th generation current President is Gushiken Zensei hanshi, 9th dan, and the Vice-president is Ishiki Yukitoshi kyoshi, 8th dan.


Kurashita hanshi and Gushiken Zensei hanshi