Categories of Goju-Ryu Training:-

There are so many facets of Goju-Ryu training, all can’t be covered on this page. However, to give a better insight into some of the training and techniques involved, please click HERE. This will take you to our Youtube videos. Meanwhile, to get you started please read the sections below, starting with the three K’s. 


Kihon, Kata and Kumite

KIHON: Basics: Blocks,punches,stances,strikes,kicks, footwork and evasion moves.

KATA: Pre-arranged movements executed with emphasis and vigour simulating combat situations. These increase in complexity as the student progresses with their grades. Great emphasis is placed on Kata, they are (with accompanying “bunkai”i.e. techniques) the very backbone of Goju-Ryu. To the casual observer it’s merely someone “waving their arms and legs about”. However, within these movements are the fighting techniques used in Goju-Ryu, you need to know what you’re looking for. Even then things are not what they seem.The movements in themselves, if done with spirit, greatly contribute towards the students fitness.

KUMITE’: Sparring: This can be one attack, one counter/defence technique, an attack with a more complex retaliation which could include a take-down technique or sparring using fists and feet. Then there’s Randori: Half-speed sparring, here students try out their abilities, learning from their partner and trying out techniques in safety. Good for all grades but especially lower grades, it builds up confidence, or deflates egos. Next is Jiyu kumite’: Free-sparring. Here, all that’s been learned and practiced in randori can be executed with more speed and power, but in a controlled manner.There is little”competition style” sparring at Norton Dojo. Instead, emphasis is placed on quick knock/take-down and escape  techniques. Interspersed with all the above are many more varieties of training.


Goju-Ryu for Self Protection.

“The techniques of the kata were never developed to be used against a professional fighter, in an arena or on a battlefield. They were, however, most effective against someone who has no idea of the strategy being used to counter their aggressive behaviour.”                                            ‘Choki Motobu'(19th Cent.Okinawan Karate Master)

Most people believe that karate fighting is a sport, nothing could be further from the true intent of karate combat. The prize could be life itself, not points or trophies. In 19th century Okinawa weapons were banned, therefore the law abiding dare not carry them. As a result of this ban karate developed for civilian self protection.  Indigenous weapon-less arts, certain schools of Chinese Kung-Fu and fighting techniques brought in by Japanese invaders, were amalgamated to form what we now call Karate’. With it’s “softer” evasion /strike redirection methods, coupled with formidable knock/take down techniques, Goju-Ryu is noted for its close quarter fighting. These can be used when grabbed from behind, a strangle hold from the front/behind, a lapel grab and many other situations. The intention of Goju-Ryu combat is not to have a “match bout” in the street, but for any confrontation to be over quickly and to enable you to escape. There are also groundwork techniques that can be used,these techniques are not sophisticated. However, Goju-Ryu isn’t a sport, and the object, if taken to the ground, is to regain one’s feet a.s.a.p. using any and all means possible to achieve that end.


For me,these lines from Shakespeare’s King Henry V sum up Goju-Ryu.

In peace, there’s nothing more becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:

But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the Tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood
Disguise fair nature with hard favour’d rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect.

Wm. Shakespeare (King Henry V)

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