Okinawan Goju-Ryu Precepts

The founder of Goju-Ryu Karate Sensei Miyagi Chojun was bestowed with the tittle of “Bushi” or Gentlemen warrior.


Miyagi Sensei in simple language, explained “bujutsu” or martial arts, and talked about the way people should live and about the order of Nature. He was an austere seeker of truth and harmony through the training of martial.


The tenants of his philosophy in life are:

  • The secret principles of goju- ryu exists in the kata.
  • Goju- ryu karate is the manifestation within one’s ownself of harmony in nature.
  • The way of goju-ryu is to seek the way of virtue.


We therefore take the words of our Sensei to heart as the precepts of Goju-Ryu and recite them here:

It should be known that secret principles of Goju-Ryu exist in the “Kata”.

“Kata” or forms are not simply an exhibition of form, they are concrete manifestations of techniques that can be transformed at any time to any form at will and in which the essence of Karate has assumed a definite form. You should realize that the Kata are a crystallization of the essence of Karate and train hard with the mind of a beginner (Shoshin). You should not neglect this kind of (Kata) training as something simple, rustic (primitive) or un meaningful, for it is only through them that you will reach Gokui, the essential teachings.

Goju-Ryu Karate-Do is a manifestation within one’s own self of the harmonious accord
of the universe.

As supple as a willow, as solid as Mount Tai (mountain of Chinese Poetry), it is when the two extremes of hard and soft are wholly united as one body that the unshakable form of the elemental harmony of Heaven and Earth will evolve. This harmony of hard and soft can be equated with the order of Nature and the oneness of the Universe. Through the way of Goju-Ryu Karate-Do we will be able to express the harmony of nature within ourselves.

The way of Goju-Ryu Karate-Do is to seek the way of virtue.

In Goju-Ryu Karate-Do, through training the body and the spirit, we try to cultivate the ideal human nature of physical and spiritual union. Originally, in the way of strategy, there was the concept “to win”, but to win on account of virtue is the ultimate goal. Therefore, anyone who aspires to this way must not forget the Chinese character “Nin” or to endure. Heighten one’s own virtue, master the strategy of winning without fighting and seek the ultimate secret.