Modern karate first took seed 400 years ago on the island of
Okinawa. It was during the 15th century, when weapons were banned from the
island, that the Okinawan people had to find new ways to protect themselves from
bandits and invaders. They discovered that through intensive training their
hands and feet alone were capable of being as deadly as the deadliest weapons.
For several hundred years, the Okinawans perfected their techniques as a
peaceful art through the form of kata, a series of solo, dance-like exercises
using defensive blocking, punching, and kicking movements.
The Okinawan Goju-Ryu
karate practiced at Sho-Rei-Shobu-Kan developed through the combination of the
hard hand techniques of the Okinawan people and the soft circular movements of
Chinese Boxing. This style became known as Goju-Ryu Karate, or hard-soft way.
Practitioners learn how to combine soft blocking tactics with quick strong
counterattacks. Much emphasis is placed on speed so that blows are delivered in
rapid succession. Goju-Ryu employs breathing exercises as well as dynamic
tension katas. It is Goju-Ryu Karate that is taught today in the schools of