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KANRYO HIGASHIONNA

Chojun Miyagi's teacher

Higashionna was born in 1853, in Okinawa. He was small, but his skill and hard training more than made up for his size.

He started the serious study of the martial arts when he was about sixteen years old. He learned Chinese kempo and became well known in Naha. He was fascinated by the Chinese fighting arts and began looking for an opportunity to travel to China. In November 1874, he finally had a chance to go to China with a group of merchants. His teacher in China was a Kenpo master by the name of Liu Liukung (Ryu Ryuko in Japanese). He spent fifteen years in China and when he finally returned to Okinawa, he was thirty-seven years old. In spite of his many years of training in the Chinese martial arts, he did not want to teach upon his return. In any case, upon his return from China he developed the Naha-Te style of Okinawan Karate. This would eventually serve as the bases for Miyagi's Goju Ryu. Higashionna's teaching combined soft yielding movements with hard forceful movements. He also emphasized the Sanchin kata and white crane movements in his teaching. Eventually he was convinced to open a dojo by those people who had heard of his reputation in China, he would teach his martial arts only to the most serious students. He taught his martial arts in the most traditional manner to those who would learn, not to those who wanted to be taught. thus Higashionna was credited with bringing martial arts to Okinawa.

Many would be students came to Higashionna and many were sent on their way. However, one boy by the name of Chojun Miyagi did not only stay but was eventually to succeed his teacher and become the founder of Goju-Ryu in Karate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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