Higaonna Kanryo Sensei was born in the city of Naha, Okinawa in 1853. As a youth he began learning Kempo and very quickly became a master martial artist. In 1868 he travelled to Fuzhou, China. After some time he was introduced to Kempo master Ryu Ryu Ko and was finally, after a long period, accepted as Ryuko's personal disciple. Higaonna Sensei stayed with Ryuko for fifteen years and became Master Ryu Ryu Ko's most skilled student. Higaonna Sensei returned to Okinawa in 1881 where his martial arts became known as Naha-te. His fame as a martial artist quickly spread and the Okinawans soon realised that the martial art of Higaonna Sensei exceeded anything that they have seen before. Higaonna Sensei opened his house as a Dojo and continued to teach until his death in 1915. He is honoured as the founder of Okinawan karate.
The founder of Goju-ryu karate, Miyagi Chojun Sensei, was born in Okinawa in 1888. At the age of twelve he started karate training with Aragaki Ryuko Sensei. At fourteen he was introduced to Higaonna Kanryo Sensei and was eventually accepted as Higaonna Sensei's personal disciple. Together they devoted their lives to the improvement and advancement of Naha-te, until Higaonna Sensei's death in 1915. After his Master's death Miyagi Chojun Sensei travelled to China to develop his knowledge of the martial arts. On his return to Okinawa he began to teach at his home. Later, he also taught at the Okinawan Prefecture Police Training Center, at the Okinawan Master's Training College, and at the Naha Commercial High School.
Miyagi Chojun Sensei was responsible for structuring Naha-te (which he later named Goju-ryu) into a systemised discipline, which could be taught to society in general. The teaching system, which he formulated, enabled Karate to be taught to schools for the benefit of young people, and to reach vast numbers of people throughout the world. However, his private teaching at his home remained strictly in adherence to the principles and traditions of the teacher, Higaonna Kanryo Sensei and his teacher before him Ryu Ryu Ko.
Miyagi Chojun Sensei passed away on October 8th, 1953, leaving a great legacy behind. He predicted that during the twentieth century Karate would spread throughout the world. Today we can see that his prediction has been realised; Karate is not only practiced in Japan, but can be found in over 140 countries of the world.
After Miyagi Chojun Sensei's death a meeting of senior students and Miyagi Kei, the second son of Master Miyagi, it was agreed that Miyazato Eiichi Sensei was the most qualified to succeed Miyagi Chojun Sensei. Miyazato Sensei accepted the responsibility and dedicated his whole life to preserving and spreading Goju-ryu in Okinawa from his dojo, the Jundokan. 2003 marks the 50th anniversary of the Jundokan Dojo.
Tenth Dan, Hanshi, Miyazato Eiichi was born in Naha, Okinawa on July 5, 1922. He began his training in Goju-ryu Karate-Do in 1938 under the founder of Goju-ryu, Miyagi Chojun Sensei. At the early age of thirteen, Miyazato Sensei was accepted in Miyagi's Garden Dojo for formal training. Although Miyazato Sensei excelled in the art of Goju-ryu, Karate was not his only passion. His daily martial arts training were divided equally between Karate and the sport of Judo. Not only did he master the sport of Judo, but he also became Okinawa's and the all Japan Police Judo champion for many years. Miyazato Sensei passed away on 11th December 1999.
September 12, 2004
OKINAWA GOJURYU KARATE DO SO HONBU - JUNDOKAN
This notice is to inform all affiliated members of Jundokan Okinawa, that as of the 23rd of June 2004, the Jundokan Dojo has withdrawn from the Okinawa Gojuryu Kyokai (Association).
Following the passing of Miyazato Eiichi Sensei, certain members of the Okinawa Gojuryu Kyokai began efforts to make Jundokan a branch dojo of the Japan Gojukai organization. The subsequent selection of a new chairman for the association from a Jundokan Branch Dojo made it virtually impossible for the Jundokan to preserve the teachings of Miyazato Sensei within the association.
It is therefore our decision to withdraw from the association in order to preserve the Okinawa Gojuryu Karate that has been taught at the Jundokan since its founding 50 years ago. With this move, Jundokan will be able to continue the traditions as passed to Miyazato Sensei by Okinawa Gojuryu Karate founder Miyagi Chojun Sensei.
The Jundokan has NOT changed. Under the guidance of Yoshihiro Miyazato Kancho, Tetsunosuke Yasuda Sensei, Seikichi Kinjo Sensei, and Yoshishige Omine Sensei, the Jundokan and all itís members have committed themselves to preserving the traditions of Okinawa Gojuryu Karate as taught by Miyazato Eiichi Sensei and in doing so honouring the memory of a great man.
In August of this year, the Okinawa Gojuryu Karate Do So Honbu - Jundokan held its first grading tests since regaining its independence. The tests were a success and will be held twice a year in March and August each year.
The Jundokan remains the same and as always, welcomes its overseas affiliate members. We must however, ask you to please consider your future in Gojuryu and take time to decide whether the best path for you lies in affiliation to the Jundokan and Miyazato Senseiís traditional Gojuryu teachings, or in affliation to the Association and Gojukai. We would appreciate an indication as to where your loyalty lies.
From this point on, there shall be no area representatives or so-called Shibu-cho. All affiliate dojos are considered equal and shall report directly to the Sohonbu - Jundokan.