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Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture
Grappling in Goju-Ryu

In this extract from his book, “The History of Karate: Okinawan Goju” (May 1996), Morio Hiagonna tells us the tale of a meeting in the 1930s where Jigoro Kano (founder of Judo) and Chojun Miyagi (founder of Goju-Ryu karate) discussed grappling and groundwork in karate:

“When they spoke later Kano Sensei asked, "Are there ne-waza (ground fighting techniques) in karate?" Miyagi explained that there are, along with nage waza (throwing techniques), shime waza (choking techniques) and gyaku waza (joint locking techniques). He then demonstrated some examples explaining the continual importance of harmonizing and focusing the breath. Kano was surprised to find that karate was much more than just punching and kicking techniques, but that it encompassed the depth of a complete martial art."The History of Karate, Okinawan Goju-Ryu, Morio Hiagonna

Yet more evidence, allbeit of a secondary nature, that the karate of old was much more holistic than its modern offspring.

(Thanks to Jim Prouty for sharing!)

All the best,


Wastelander's picture

That's a very interesting quote--thank you for sharing! Higaonna Sensei's books are on my wish list, if I ever have enough money to buy them :P

karate_pty's picture

Yes, if you study Okinawan Karate Kata in depth, you'll find this grappling techniques. But in my opinion, this grappling techniques are more to finish off an oponent rather than "roll" with him, as you see in grappling competitions.