• Official branch dojo of U.S.A. Goju Ryu Karate-do Seiwakai
  • Member Dojo of JKF Gojukai

Teachings that we preserve...

  • Traditional training
  • Quality instruction
  • Effective & proven fighting method
  • Enhanced physical & mental health
  • Opportunities to train in Japan
  • No nonsense
  • No marketing gimmicks
  • Just pure honest training & hard work

 

Our mission

Goju Ryu is the style we practice and teach here.  It has been handed down through the generations; is a true and authentic martial art with many years of tradition, and has a direct lineage back to its source.  Our mission here is to provide members with good quality instruction and ensure maximum potential benefit.  Self-defense is always a primary focus of our Karate training, yet there are many positive benefits which can be realized as the results of training in martial arts.  We continually have opportunities to attend training functions with other students and teachers from all over the world, both here in the United States and abroad. 

Each year, many of the Seiwakai instructors from around the world gather in Japan to train with Seiichi Fujiwara Hanshi, our worldwide association’s President and Head Instructor.  This ensures their skill level increases exponentially and that they obtain the latest instruction from the top JKF Gojukai teachers.  This allows for all dojos around the world to stay up to date with standards of etiquette, basics, and kata within our organization.  This also ensures that the training you receive is exact to the training that is given to Japanese students and instructors.

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Roots of Goju Ryu

Goju Ryu translated in English means, “the school of hard/soft”.  It was established by Chojun Miyagi, who had trained in Naha-te as a youth and later spent some considerable time training in China as his teacher, Kanryo Higashionna had done before him, studying various southern styles such as Monk Fist Boxing and Five Ancestors Kung Fu.  His studies in China served to bring him closer to understanding the art he was taught initially as a boy in Okinawa.  The name Goju was derived from the 'Eight Poems of the Fist' found in the Bubishi - a collection of documents said to have been assembled some time during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and relating to the southern Chinese styles which strongly influenced the evolution of martial arts in Okinawa.

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Miyagi Sensei was a man of few words who believed in avoiding violence, expressing to his students that no good comes from it.  As the son and heir of a wealthy merchant, he was able to spend a great deal of his life learning, training, understanding and later sharing his knowledge with those he welcomed to train with him.  He was known to possess immense strength as his training methods were quite severe, requiring complete focus and discipline.  It was said that he was a strict teacher, yet he was regarded with great respect by all who knew him for his values and temperament.

Goju Ryu training places emphasis on breath control, strength and endurance conditioning, close in fighting techniques, and mental focus.  The strategy of the style's fighting method utilizes circular movement coupled with hard powerful counter-attacks.  Among the arsenal of various strikes and kicks are also found grappling techniques which are an essential element of the style's fighting method.  Practitioners of Goju Ryu learn how to utilize tactics which close distance, imbalance and incapacitate an opponent to the degree required by the situation.  Goju Ryu practitioners always strive to avoid violence, yet when there is no alternative, the objective then is to end the conflict quickly and efficiently with respect to acceptable and reasonable use of force.  When one has an opportunity to observe a scenario involving an experienced Goju Ryu practitioner engaged in combat, the effectiveness of the tactics used (when done properly) become very apparent.  This is why Miyagi Sensei was a firm advocate in avoiding violence...because the things we do, cannot be undone.

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Gogen Jitsumi Yamaguchi, Hanshi

Founder

-JKF Gojukai

Gogen Jitsumi Yamaguchi Hanshi was one of the most well-known of all Karate-do teachers from Japan, and was famously known as “The Cat”.  He was responsible for the establishment of the JKF Gojukai and the All Japan Karate-do Federation, now known today as the Japan Karate Federation (JKF).  Among his many contributions was the introduction of Jiyu Kumite (free sparring), which has become the essential element in traditional and sport competition over the years.

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Shuji Tasaki, Hanshi, 9th dan

Founder

-Goju Ryu Karate-do Seiwakai

The Goju Ryu Karate-do Seiwakai was formed in 1972 by the late Shuji Tasaki Hanshi. He was one of Gogen Yamaguchi Hanshi’s most senior students, and was the first All Japan Gojukai Kumite Champion in 1963, and many years after, representing Tokyo.  He was said to have been one of the most formidable opponents anyone ever faced in tradtitional Goju Ryu kumite, while also being a much respected teacher to many.

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Seiichi Fujiwara, Hanshi, 8th dan

President

-Goju Ryu Karate-do Seiwakai

Upon Tasaki Hanshi’s passing in 2011, Seiichi Fujiwara Hanshi, Tasaki Hanshi's senior student and long-time protégé, became President of Goju Ryu Karate-do Seiwakai.  Fujiwara Hanshi was an All Japan Karate-do Kata and Kumite Champion, and is one of the most highly regarded teachers of Goju-Ryu Karate-do in the world.  As head of the Gojukai's Overseas Committee, he teaches and coaches students worldwide, tirelessly ensuring that students all over can have the best quality Goju Ryu training.

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Vassie Naidoo, Shihan, 7th dan

President

-U.S.A. Goju Ryu Karate-do Seiwakai

Vassie Naidoo Shihan has over 45 years of experience training and teaching Goju Ryu.  He began training in South Africa before moving around Southern Asia (Thailand, Hong Kong, Japan) - receiving his 3rd dan directly from Gogen Yamaguchi Hanshi; and finally settling in Santa Monica, California.  He travels to Japan annually to receive instruction from his senior teachers, while also traveling to other locations around North America to continue the teachings of Goju Ryu.  Naidoo Shihan is the official representative of the United States of America and Latin America for Goju Ryu Karate-do Seiwakai.  He is one of only two directors outside of Japan who sit on the board of directors for Seiwakai International.

About the Instructor

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Sean O'Leary, Sensei, 3rd dan

Chief Instructor

-Pennsylvania Seiwakai (aka Valley Goju Karate)

Sean Sensei has trained in the martial arts for 30 years, since the age of 10. He began his karate training in Shotokan, but by the time he was 12 years old, he was training Goju Ryu at the House of Karate in Staten Island, New York with Peter Tocco Sensei.

At present, he trains under Vassie Naidoo Shihan and is a member of Goju Ryu Karate-do Seiwakai and JKF Gojukai.  Not only has he trained in karate-do, but has also trained in Aikido, Iaido, Kenjutsu, Muay Thai & Boxing.