Ho Goju Donto – The Essence of Goju Ryu Karate


Ho Goju Donto – The Essence of Goju Ryu. “The way of inhaling and exhaling is hardness and softness.”  The passage from the Bubishi that inspired Chojun Miyagi Sensei to name his style of karate “Goju Ryu.”

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Karate Dojo Scrolls – Ho goju donto.

“On May 5th, 1930, the All Japan Martial Arts demonstration was held at the Meiji Shrine in Tokyo to celebrate Crown Prince Hirohito’s succession to the throne. Chojun Miyagi received an invitation to perform a demonstration at this event, but sent instead his top student, Jin’an Shinzato.  After Shinzato performed Sanchin and Season katas, one of the other demonstrators asked the name of his style.”

Shinzato did not know how to answer and so consulted Chojun Miyagi Sensei on his return to Okinawa from the Japanese mainland. Realizing how important it was to have his style recognized, he made his choice of a name.

‘Within the text of the Bubishi there are eight Kenpo Haku (martial arts poems). A line from one of these poems reads: ‘Ho go ju donto’ (the way of inhaling and exhaling is hardness and softness). Given the nature of Miyagi’s style, a style containing hard and soft techniques with the emphasis on breathing, Goju seemed to be an ideal name

Morio Higaonna, The History of Karate Goju Ryu. (Dragon Associates Inc. Westlake Village CA. 1996) p68.

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Weight0.25 lbs
Dimensions17 × 11 × 2 in