The strength and uniqueness of Goju Ryu Karate lies in its heritage. Each one of us is an extension of the direct line from Higashionna Kanryo to Miyagi and those who followed in their footsteps. Each of these individuals exemplified an important aspect of Karate and that is the development of character. Without character and a strong foundation, nothing of substance can be accomplished.
Winning championships is fun, having excellent technique is desirable, understanding kata and bunkai are important. Nevertheless, as wonderful as these things are, they should never replace a strong, disciplined character. Through my travels and studies I have come to the conclusion that, today, the Gojuryu art form has been split up into many factions and organizations. Unfortunately, not all these factions see eye to eye.
My goals and objectives in Karate-do are the same as that of the Tao. “You cannot deny some of the differences of life nor of those in Karate-do as there will always be those who do not understand and those who do.” The key is to achieve harmony.
In America, I feel we have come full circle. We began as students, we have gone through the ranks, and we have paid our dues. We have fought difficult battles and have learned hard lessons; but we are not narrow-minded. We are not complacent; we are educated individuals who live in the present. But that has not prevented some of us from going astray.
There are those whom have gone astray in believing that our art form is something that can be owned. On the contrary, Karate-do is not an object to be owned, but rather an art to be mastered.
Unlike those who have lost their way, we retain our original vision. We seek to produce leaders who share that same vision. We… I dare to ask, “Is there a better way?”