Shorin Goju Teaching Philosophy

Robert Barton 

Shorin Goju has a well defined philosophy on teaching which all of our instructors are expected to study and from which we work.  Our school of karate is based on a very long history and tradition of teaching. The first roots of this started in India over 1500 years ago and this teaching centered approach has continued to this day. It is because of this philosophy of teaching that we strive to constantly improve our teaching abilities and our methods. We believe that we are the inheritors of a long line of martial artists who have led the way in teaching.

            The Shorin Goju Karate teaching philosophy is: Our first responsibility is to our students and their safe effective education and our second is to our art and our third is to our own instructors and our school. We as instructors will endeavor to provide our students with the safest atmosphere possible in which to study. We will present information to the students in the most effective manner that we can adapting to the abilities and needs of our students. We will embrace the ancient methods that have been so effective and the most modern developments and improvements in teaching always willing to discard that which is ineffective and to do so honestly and sincerely.

            In ancient India there was a warrior class and just like all ancient Indo-European peoples this class was focused on the protecting of order and of the people. It is to this ancient Indo-European cultural milieu that we turn to see the early roots of formalized martial training. It is in ancient Greek that we see the first written accounts of formalized martial training and contests. And it was also in the related peoples of ancient India that we see this principle of teaching exhibited and from there it expanded to China. In China this principle of teaching was continued in the Shaolin Temples which also served as universities and as orphanages. As the Chinese arts were taken up by the Okinawan people this idea of teaching was maintained and it was here that it first became part of standard public education.

            Naha-te and Goju were specifically established as schools of martial arts training. As Goju expanded and branched out this strong tradition of teaching has remained. Miyagi, Higaonna, Yamaguchi, Van Clef, Urban, Dixon are all grand masters who head or headed branches of Goju and they are all known for their abilities to teach and their philosophy toward teaching.

            In Shorin Goju Karate we strive to continue this student focused approach to teaching and we believe that it gives us the strongest martial artists and the strongest art possible. By working to improve the next generation we believe that the art grows strong and remains dynamic and alive always improving always developing and willing to adapt, accommodate and change. By placing the safety and education of our students first we have placed our tradition and our art first. 

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