View all articles by Carl Hruza
Goju ryu karate, the name seems quiet strange, but is a very effective style of Okinawan karate that provides a perfect merge of both hard and soft Chinese martial arts styles. Let me tell you how: for all those people who know a little Japanese language, they must know that in Japanese language "Go" means hard; "ju" means soft and if we will collaborate both the words together it literally means hard-soft karate. This style of karate makes use of a number of hard hitting strikes with the hands and feet, but the style is geared up with softer techniques like blocking, joint locks, grappling, and throws and takedowns like those found in Judo.
Just like any other form of martial art, especially karate, the most important factor is correct breathing that is stressed along with body strengthening and conditioning. This particular form of karate makes use of both circular and linear movements, and has many different katas. As far as the actual street fight is concerned, the fact is that these katas aren't useful in an actual street fight, but the katas allow an instructor pass down techniques and concepts and at the same time the katas give him or her a tool to evaluate the student's progress.
Okinawa's history has periods of both Chinese and Japanese suppressions far as these periods are concerned, the fact is that conventional weapons were banned at that duration of time. Like any repressed culture, the Okinawan natives were able to come out with an entirely different way of fight back and that would lead to the creation of their own martial arts system that made use of both empty handed combat techniques as well as those weapons that were used in the farms!
The famous martial arts weapons that are used by the modern generation of todays' world and that people know today were traditional farm tools first and the fact is that some of those weapons are still used in karate training today. The people of Okinawa and the people of that area that is located between Japan in China didn't come up with the early forms of Karate of their own thinking!
Early martial artists who were from Okinawa were also geared up with many Chinese influences from sailors and merchants who used to come to the island which was part of a lucrative trade route. The wealthy community that was located in the island would also make the trip to mainland China so that they can train with legendary Shaolin monks. Like today, the monastery is ready to reach anyone who is geared up with good character who is willing to learn but the fact is that he should be willing to know all the rules at the same time.