International Goju Kai

Goju Kai Karate is an authentic Okinawan traditional martial art based on close in defensive and offensive techniques. The literal translation of ‘go ju’ is ‘hard soft.’ Goju Kai is characterised by an efficient economy of strength, which combines circular motion blocking techniques and quick, powerful attacks.

Goju techniques favour good relaxed technique and timing over raw strength. In this way, a person who is significantly lesser in strength can defuse a much larger and stronger opponent. This quality, along with many others, combines to make Goju Kai Karate a system of self-defence without equal.

Coffs Harbour Goju Kai is officially a part of the International Gojukai Karatedo Association. This is an international association found in over seventy different countries across Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America, and Oceania. The Goju style was founded by Master Chojun Miyagi (1888-1953). IKGA is currently under the leadership of Saiko Shihan Goshi Yamaguchi, who travels regularly to each of these regions to teach the highest level of Goju Kai to instructors and members. Members from any school which teaches IKGA Karate, including Coffs Harbour Goju Kai, are welcome to train at the Hombu dojo (Headquarters) in Japan.

Coffs Harbour Goju Kai continues passing down these traditions. The aim is not only to improve strength and techniques but also to improve the will power and spirit.

Saiko Shihan Goshi Yamaguchi teaching at Woolgoolga

The characteristics of Goju Kai can be divided into four main categories:

 1. Breathing Techniques (“Ibuki”): To consciously control breathing to unite the mind and body, activate the internal organs and to reach a state of total awareness.

 2. The principle “Go” and “Ju”: The techniques of Goju-Kai are based on the infinite combinations of “Go” (strength) and “Ju” (softness). One can use the circular movements of “Ju” to counter the “Go” attacks and swiftly fight back with “Go”. When blocking, “the body is soft and inhaling”; when striking, the body is “hard and exhaling”. This applies not just to karate, but to life in general. Only hardness or only softness will not enable one to deal effectively with life.

 3. “Jiyu Kumite” (Free Fight / Combat) suited to close range combat: The “Kumite” (the practice in free style combat) of Goju Kai is suited to close range combat using the “Nekoashi-Dachi” (The Cat Stance) for unrestricted movement and successive multiple attacks.

 4. The philosophy of “Buji” (absence of conflict or peace): The philosophy behind Goju Kai is demonstrated in Master Chojun Miyagi’s words “Not to be hit / attacked or hit / attack, the absence of conflict is the essence”.