Gogen Yamaguchi

Gogen Yamaguchi

The Successor of Goju-Ryu

The formative period of Goju produced many pro-war era students who went on to lead Goju schools in Japan; amongst them was the famous Gogen Yamaguchi.

Yamaguchi was first introduced to karate by a family friend – a carpenter, Mr Murata. This early influence would change the course of Yamaguchi’s development as a martial artist.

He quickly gained a reputation as a skilful fighter and when Master Miyagi first visited Japan in the early 1930s, Yamaguchi was recognised for his dedication to Miyagi’s own ideals. Yamaguchi Sensei would go on to succeed Miyagi Sensei’s leadership in Japan.

When Yamaguchi Sensei returned from World War II, as a former prisoner of the Manchurian campaign, he found Goju virtually non-existent. Compounding with the devastation of Japan, many of Goju’s instructors and students had not returned from war.

Yamaguchi Sensei was instrumental in the reconstruction of the Goju School. He made it his mission to travel and teach throughout Japan, despite the occupied forces’ restriction of martial arts practice. This often meant secret gatherings and underground training.

His devotion to the arts was evident in his extensive efforts to propagate Goju Ryu. In 1950, he founded the national organization of All Japan Karate do Goju Kai in Tokyo, Japan. This organisation became widely known in Japan and steadfastly maintains the ideals of Miyagi.