Chojun Miyagi was born on April 25, 1888 and began his training under Kanryo Higaonna at the age of 14.
Because of Chojun Miyagi’s natural talent and determination, he progressed very fast. The training was tough, but he worked with enthusiasm like no other students. Chojun Miyagi became “uchi deshi” or private disciple of Kanryo Higaonna and studied with him for 14 years until Kanryo’s death in 1915.Chojun Miyagi pushed himself to the limits to have the skills of his teacher. In 1915 (the same year), Chojun Miyagi went to China to do more research.
This was one of the three trips Chojun Miyagi made to China in his lifetime. Chojun Miyagi began to teach martial arts in his hometown of Naha and also taught at the Okinawan Police Training Center, the Okinawan Master’s Training College, and Naha Commercial high School.Chojun Miyagi spread karate throughout Okinawa and the mainlands of Japan. Chojun Miyagi had dedicated his whole life to karate and was responsible to structure Naha-Te into a discipline which could be taught to society. His system was to help teach karate to the young. Chojun still had strict principles (from Kanryo Higaonna) for teaching privately.
Chojun Miyagi’s top student, Jin’an Shinzato was asked in 1930, by many people in Tokyo, what martial arts he practiced. When he returned to Okinawa, Jin’an asked Chojun Miyagi what it was called. Chojun Miyagi decided to call it Goju-Ryu, which meant “hard and soft.” He had gotten the ame from the Bubishi (which was a Chinese Text on Martial Arts). The line in the Bubishi had read, “Ho Goju Donto” which means the way of inhaling and exhaling is hardness and softness. Sadly in 1953, Chojun Miyagi suddenly died from a heart attack and left behind his wife and children which leads me to Grandmaster kenzo Uchiage.
Kenzo uchiage was born in 1920 and began his martial arts training when he was in high school. He further pursued Sumo and chose to go to Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto in 1937. In 1939, he joined the University Karate Do Club and after four years became captain. During this time Grandmaster was very proficient with his training and as one of Miyagi’s original students, he was one of the two to ever get his 5th dan from Chojun Miyagi. From 1941-1945 Grandmaster Kenzo uchiage joined the Japanese imperial Army and served during WWII as an officer for the Air Force.
After he returned from war, he finished his law degree and eventually would build his own dojo next to his home in Osaka.Kenzo made Goju known as he traveled around Japan competing with other Dojo’s. Sensei K. Uchiage, S.
Ujita and T. Kizaki were all on a team together ran by their coach Gogen Yamaguchi. Kenzo Uchiage was the director of Japan National Team and was the highest rank of all JFK styles. He was elected the Vice Chairman of the JFK Gojukai in 1972. He was President in 1989 and remained there until his death in 2003.
Which leads me to his son Takeshi Uchiage.Sensei Uchiage was born in Osaka Japan in 1948 and began training from his father when he was six years old. He practiced Kenyu Ryu (which is a complex style of martial arts) from his master Tadao Nakano. He began his training from Sensei Ahagon and Sensei Arakiri in Japan. Sensei Uchiange went to Canada in 1972 to see the mayor, Shozo Ujita. Shozo Ujita was the president of JFK Gojukai at the time and wanted one of his students to move to Canada to be the karate ambassador, which is when Sensei Uchiage moved to Canada.
Sensei Uchiage is a graduate from Tenri University and served as a trainer for their karate team. He is the chairman of Goju-Ryu Karate Do Uchiage Kai and has a reputation in 21 countries. Sensei Uchiage’s wife, Kayoko Uchiage also does karate and has a 6th degree black belt in Goju ryu and is also a member of the National Karate team in Japan. He has two daughters, Sumi and Hideme Uchiage who also have been on the National Team in Canada. Sensei Uchiage’s son, Toshihide Uchiage, started training when he was five and has competed in the Junior and Senior International Competitions. Which leads me to our Sensei, Sensei Tibon.Sensei Tibon has trained for over fifty years and was introduced to martial arts by his father, Gene D. Tibon Sr.
Sensei Tibon’s father also does Goju Ryu, and also Escrima and street fighting. Sensei Tibon has trained under his father and now has trained his two sons Gino and Adam as well as his grandchildren.