Who invented this new style? It wasn’t invented recently. It is technically simply a subsystem of the Goju Ryu which originated in the Naha area of Okinawa based on a combination of local skills and forms learned in China. Goju Ryu and Uechi Ryu are related styles both from the earlier Naha te. The only thing that is new here is the name. 

Why do you not wear the Goju Fist patch? The Goju Fist patch was adopted by Cogen Yamaguchi to signify his Goju Kai subsystem of Goju Ryu. We are not students of that subsystem and so we have no right to wear that patch. It is true that some more recent subsystems have designed patches that look very similar, some of those people were students of Goju Kai at some point while others were not. To wear that patch or to wear a significantly similar patch would imply an association which does not exists since while both are subsystems of the same Ryu I never studied under Goju Kai. I have the greatest respect for Goju Kai and the current head of Goju Kai has asked others to not wear or copy that patch and we are happy to respectfully comply. 

Why did you drop so many of the kata of Shaolin Goju? Through the years Shaolin Goju adopted many forms and kata from other systems and this has given that system a wide variety of kata. Shorin Goju simply focuses on and requires the kata of Goju Ryu, though we strongly recommend that our students explore a few kata of other Ryu. Our students may also decide to learn weapons kata if they wish.

 Why don’t you use all of the Japanese titles? It has certainly become all of the rage to use Japanese titles to address one another in the martial arts world of today. But most of these titles originated as honorary titles appearing only on promotion scrolls but not used as forms of address and would seem to be more related to the Japanese Samurai traditions than to the Okinawan traditions. We use a few which are generally used in Okinawa though the standard western forms of address are acceptable and you will often hear Sensei as a sign of respect. And you will hear it used where it belongs; after the name of the person.   

Do you guys really train wearing shoes? Most of the time, yes. 

Why don’t you guys use colored belts for adults? If you want to pay me $30 dollars every three months to hand you another fashion accessory ok. I find the use of constant testing for belt colors and stripes, at a small fee, to be irritating. I see no use for it with adult students and prefer that they wear a single belt through their kyu ranks and when they move to another kyu they are handed their traditional scroll. As for colored belts and children I see a use for it within reason for motivating and rewarding progress but feel that it is often used just to generate revenue for many schools. As a result kyu ranks are awarded as scrolls or certificates generally without a testing fee and only a small fee for the paper and ink. 

Why no stripes on your black belts?  We generally know one another in the class so it isn’t needed to show who is in charge. Instructors will have their certificates displayed or available and can often be identified as the black belt running the class. We do actually allow stripes but feel that if one must have stripes it is at least more tasteful to have them in the same color as the belt. 

Why are there no weapons requirements? Karate written the original way translates as China-hand and early in the 20th century that newer way of writing it translates as Empty-hand. Our requirement involved empty hands. Weapons can be studied by students bt are not required. 

Why the new name for something that you have been doing for so long? Legalities to be honest. The name of the Goju system which I studied is legally owned by a corporation, I have no desire to be involved in a court battle over who has the right to use it. 

Why don’t you use more of the Japanese names for techniques? When the techniques and forms of China were taken back to Okinawa the instructors used translations into the local language. We adhere to that tradition and feel that communication of ideas and concepts are better facilitated by speaking in a language which is clearly understood. 

Isn’t this style a new Ryu and shouldn’t it be called Shorin Goju Ryu? No, it is a subsystem of an existing Ryu with some variation but no significant difference. To establish a new Ryu one should have some significant difference in the new Ryu or a significant reason for leaving an established Ryu. Many traditional Ryu in Japan will not accept a new Ryu until it has at least three generations of teachers.

What's up with no colored belts? We use a ranking system more akin to the older temple system of titles we have also adopted the Kyu & dan system developed for Judo that has been adopted by many karateka. We have ten kyu ranks and ten dan ranks. We do have colors assigned to our kyu ranks and these may be used but are generally seen used for children and competition. Our adults and children at some locations tend to wear a single type of kyu belt which is black and white and signifies that the wearer is of a kyu ranking.


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