Goju is a Traditional Martial Art (Okinawan/Japanese) based on close in offense and defense. It utilizes logic and economy of strength maneuvers, which combine circular motion blocking techniques and quick & powerful counter attacks delivered in rapid succession.
Developed out of ‘Naha-te’, an ancient form of Chinese Kempo, Goju Ryu’s popularity spread greatly through the Ryuku Islands of Japan due to the success of Kanryo Higaonna (1853-1915). Higaonna opened a Naha dojo in Okinawa using eight forms of Martial Arts brought from China. His best student, Chojun Miyagi (1888-1953), later founded ‘Goju-ryu’ in 1930, which means, hard-soft way.
A great associate of Miyagi, and for the most part, a predecessor of Chojun Miyagi’s teachings was ‘Gogen Yamaguchi’.
In 1935, Gogen Yamaguchi founded the “All Japan Goju-Kai Karate-Do Association”, which originated ‘jiyu-kumite’ (or free sparring, the basis for ‘shia kumite’, or sport karate). This organization finally united its base headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, in 1950, and has remained steadfast to this day.
In 1967 Sensei Urban published his first book; The Karate Dojo, this made him the first karate-ka to author a nationally recognized book on martial arts with the first paperback edition in 1991. His second book, The Karate Sensei was published in 1984. These books are still available today. Sensei Urban opened his famous Chinatown Dojo in 1967, the Little Tokyo Dojo on Wooster Street in New York City. This made the Japanese art of karate open to the American public.
In the early 1970s, Sensei Urban returned to Japan to ask Gogen Yamaguchi for permission to establish in America a karate system separate from Japan’s. Yamaguchi refused, saying the rules of Bushido stated that no white man could achieve Nirvana. Urban, dissatisfied with the decision, retorted that these same rules stated that Japan could never lose a war. This statement offended the Sensei Yamaguchi. Realizing this and not meaning any disrespect, Sensei Urban prepared to follow samurai custom and cut off his pinky finger in apology to his sensei. Yamaguchi’s oldest son stopped him from doing this; however, the damage was done. Seeing this as a turning point, Urban returned to America and incorporated himself as the founder of American Goju.
USA GoJu is eclectic synthesis of the education, training, and experience of Sensei Peter Urban, the traditions of Yamaguchi GoJu, the fighting spirit of Oyama and the philosophy of Sensei Richard Kim, combined with the personality of the founder of USA GoJu, Peter Urban, to give us what we have today.
There are three primary influences of our style. Chogun Miyagi, the Founder of Goju-Ryu Karate. He was born in Okinawa in 1888 and started training at the age of nine. In 1937 he received the first doctorate degree ever awarded in Karate.
Gogen Yamaguchi - the Founder of the first GoJu Karate School in Japan. He was one of Sensei Miyagi’s senior students in Japan. In 1951 he was promoted to Grand Master and the rank of 10th Dan.
O Sensei Peter G Urban PhD is the founder and Grand patriarch of the American Goju system of karate. Urban Gojudo and USA Goju, He was born on August 14, 1934 Jersey City, New Jersey. While in the US Navy in the early 1950's Grand Master Urban studied with Master Richard Kim, Master Gogen Yamaguchi and Master Masatatsu Oyama. He opened a few Dojo's in NY and NJ. He wrote one of the most popular books about Karate, "The kararate Dojo".
Although his style of USA GoJu/Urban GoJu is closely related to that of Yamaguchi’s Japanese GoJu Ryu, Sensei Urban infused several styles of Karate together to form USA GoJu Karate. He is the 10th Dan Grand Patriarch of all USA GoJu systems. He is the father of the American GoJu Karate in America.
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