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Author Topic: Why I love Goju Ryu  (Read 23001 times)

Fraser

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Why I love Goju Ryu
« on: September 22, 2006, 12:58:14 AM »

I converted to Goju Ryu after deciding that what I was doing wasn't making me any fitter, and it wasn't really ever going to become functional for me as self defence.

I started at the OKA as I'd wanted to improve my overall fitness as I'm asthmatic, I wasn't really interested in the Karate there, having been put off by the stiffness of Shotokan and the sporty one-hit then run away way it's taught. I hadn't realised a different karate style could be SO different however, and after only a month or so of watching some of the lessons my doubts had cleared completely, and I was really impressed with both what I saw of the style, and how it was being taught.

Goju encompasses everything I liked about Wing Chun, and several other styles I've encountered, but nothing I considered a down side. It's an anything goes self defence, covering internals (correct breathing etc), close combat, distance, locks, grappling, anything you can think of system that gives it much more depth, and makes it truly practical, and applicable in any situation you may want to know a martial art. Compared to other styles that basically only really teach you how to deal with someone else who is rigorously trained to only counter restricted by the same rules you've been taught.

I've always been really impressed with the way Goju physically works, everything follows the basic laws of physics, leverage, mass, energy transference etc, and Renshi Paul has always been able to explain why anything is done clearly and logically in a way that makes sense. A stark contrast to the "you just do it that way cos I told you, and my instructor told me that way" attitude I saw in Shotokan, it's good to see even simple things like "your foot points that way for balance and/or because if you punch with it the other way you'll pop your knee out", so it's physically correct also by the way of using your body thoughtfully.

It's great to know that it's a style that promotes skill over physical fitness also, styles like Tae Kwon Do are more like athletics, few people can actively practice them past their 30's or so, whereas Goju Karateka are often still practicing into their 80's, and it still actually WORKS not just as a hobby, but as genuine self defence.

I'm posting this 5 years since I started training in Goju,  I have just returned from visiting Japan to take my 2nd Dan (I passed), I'm still learning, still enjoying myself, and still rate Goju as my favourite Martial Arts style. If I found anything better I'd change :)
« Last Edit: September 22, 2006, 10:15:35 AM by Fraser »
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funky

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Re: Why I love Goju Ryu
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2006, 09:23:14 AM »

In karate I felt it was a combination of the style and the instructor that made me want to pursue Goju Ryu. Goju is definitely the one I prefer. There is less sports based points fighting taught, in fact it's not something advocated at all in class, except for the kids mainly.
Why do I still do Goju Ryu? Because I'm still learning a lot years later!

My recommendation is that you get past the basics before quitting. How many students get to the arm locks, wrist locks, choke outs, pressure points, grappling and throwing techniques, yet quit because they're bored? Most styles don't even teach them! But some people do a mundane job 8 hours a day, 5 days a week and stick with it? However, they pack in karate after 6 months of 2 hours a week! Which is 48 hours (2 days!!!!). The equivalent of 6 days in a job, mmmm, strange eh?

The Oxford Karate Academy has many students who have been training over 10 years, 15 years, 20 years and even one student still with Shihan Paul from his Judo days 35 years ago, who has done Goju 32 years and he's still enjoying it.

Goju has so much depth and hey .... why not become an instructor!
« Last Edit: September 22, 2006, 10:27:24 AM by funky »
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funky

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Re: Why I love Goju Ryu
« Reply #2 on: September 25, 2006, 10:23:38 AM »

The WKF (World Karate federation) states a minimum of 3 years to Black Belt, FIRST DEGREE, most university students get a degree after 3 years, taking into account they take 6 weeks off for Xmas and 6 more for Easter, then 3 to 4 months off in the summer, totalling 6 months off a year and that equates to 18 months over 3 years to get a highly recognised university qualification.

This guy trained twice as often as the average student, helped out in the dojo, had previous experience in the martial arts and is fit, young and able.

There are people in our dojo who over more than 30 years of training, who have also only achieved 2nd Dan. Is it just the time that concerns you? Maybe see him train, spar with him perhaps and then decide if he's a 2nd dan in your eyes. Taking into account that on both occasions he has been assesssed by a panel of high ranking Black Belts from Japan, including 8th dans on the panel, also his own instructor recommending him, considering Shihan paul is a 6th dan and a senior examiner for Europe.

A few years back, Shihan Paul said the failure rate in one black belt exam was 70%. So ........... do you still think it's quick?

Do you even know him? Do you know how aften he trained weekly? Just what is your statement saying? Someone can say they've done karate for 5 years if they include the start date and current date, but just how often do thet attend class? How many people have Gym membership and hardly ever go? They still claim to be a member of the gym and say they go training. So, how many people say "I've done karate for 5 years" yet go 3 or 4 times a month?!

I find your statement weak, sorry!
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Fraser

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Re: Why I love Goju Ryu
« Reply #3 on: September 25, 2006, 03:40:24 PM »

Your a 2nd dan after 5 years? Is'nt that kind of early?

I'm going to reply to that in full force to pre-empt any similar questions, though it could have been a casual rather than pointed question from you. A lot of people mumble and question these things in the background, but never voice them, and it's discontent like that, that too easily spoils relations in the martial arts world.

I spent over a year and a half maybe even 2 years doing nothing but goju directly under Shihan Paul Coleman, training in every session from 6pm till whatever time the dojo closed (normally after 9.30)   5 times a week as often as I could, never less than 3, for large portions of that I was helping run the children's classes also, so that meant teaching, which is training in itself, from 4.30 several days a week on top of my own classes.

Some joked I was yudansha, as which I believe it is still possible to achieve 3rd dan in 3 years of intensive training in Japan.

Normally 3 years is the absolute minimum for 1st dan in traditional karate, then 2 years minimum before you can attempt your 2nd dan.

My 2nd dan exam took place after a weeks intensive training, 6 hours a day in Omagari, under Shuji Tasaki Sensei (Hanshi, President of Japan Karatedo Seiwa Kai), and Seiichi Fujiwara Sensei. Followed by a 2 day seminar in Akita Budokan with (in no particular order):

Wada Sensei,
Yutaka Ishikawa Sensei
Yoshihiro Hisanaga Sensei - Eibukan, Kagoshima Kai, Kyushu Region
Shuji Tasaki Sensei - Seiwakai, Kanto Region
Seiichi Fujiwara Sensei - Seiwakai, Akita Region
Koei Teruya Sensei - Okinawa Gojuryu Kyokai
Masataka Muramatsu Sensei - Okinawa Gojuryu Kyokai, Eidokan, Chubu
Kiyohara Sensei
Hiragaki Sensei - Seishikan
Hidehiro Maekawa Sensei
Motomasa Mayama Sensei
Minoru Tanaka Sensei - Jitsueikai
Muramasa Sensei

( I believe they are all 7th and 8th dan JKF goju kai, if not all 8th dan. I may edit this post to reflect any details I find later)

Seven of these instructors were the examiners for my ni dan shinsa, for which we were tested individually rather than in groups as there were few that had travelled to Japan this year to test. I must admit I am not sure as to which of the seminar instructors were present on the board other than Fujiwara sensei,  as I had not met many of them before, and it wasn't exactly what I was concentrating on at the time ;)

I have never felt truly 'ready' for a test, I am always learning, always trying to improve and am still only a beginner in the grand scheme of things, however I leave it to my examiners to judge what I have achieved so far.

There will always be 'good' students of X level, and not so good, who have the same qualifications, and people have bad days and good days, or even weeks depending on health and what is going on in their lives, from that point I leave it to my peers, the instructors and people I train with to judge me, I work hard in the hope that I am hopefully viewed favourably in that respect, but all that matters to me is I enjoy training for myself, and when I can the positive effect of assisting anyone who asks.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2006, 01:33:17 PM by Fraser »
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Duncan Thikett

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Re: Why I love Goju Ryu
« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2006, 01:39:22 PM »

I just wanted to say that you only have to look at this wonderful website to see how committed Fraser is to Goju Ryu and the OKA.  ::)

Also regarding "Deaths" view - to us mere mortals I believe 5 years is a long time!


Duncan.
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Shihan Paul

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Re: Why I love Goju Ryu
« Reply #5 on: November 23, 2006, 12:53:12 PM »

Re personal growth and freedom. That probably could not be better done than by swapping ideas/concepts, but to take it further needs to be validated/tested and proven. Maybe by becoming an instructor this can be realised in another way. I know people who are now far better at karate by doing one thing: teaching. They have to explain in a clear concise way just what it is they wish you to do, this in turn gets them thinking more about what they themselves are doing and they in turn become their own critic/instructor to some extent.

My dojo does not have subservient robots in it though! As regards loyalty, I ask my students to look elsewhere to expand their knowledge. I have students who train with me and yet do a variety of other arts, these include black belts from other systems and those that realise there is a lot more to learn by looking at the bigger picture. Some of my students, both male and female, are practicing jujitsu, boxing, judo, wado ryu, taekwondo etc, are they loyal to me? To some extent yes, but mainly I want them to be loyal to themselves and to seek what is best for them.

Sharing knowledge is correct for some, spreading confusion is also what some people deem it as. In school, one teacher teaches the class for that particular subject, karate is simply another subject. If I feel people need to discuss the information, I usually ask after teaching the topic at hand "any questions?"

If a student wishes to show a variation, but maybe if it's so good, then bring it to the instructors attention so that the entire class can benefit from the extra knowledge, however, I also know many variations on many techniques.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2007, 06:36:55 PM by Shihan Paul »
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