The phrase, Go, is the Japanese word for hardness and Ju is the word for ‘softness’ or ‘gentleness’. The phase, Ryu, means way of. The proper translation of Goju-Ryu means the way of the hard and soft. The system is based on an Oriental concept that all hardness and stiffness is not good. At the same time all softness and too much gentleness is not good. The two should complement each other. Combining the two gives Goju-Ryu karate beautiful movement, filled with grace, flowing forms and strength. Actions are sometimes extremely fast and other times slow and majestic. The existence of both hard and soft techniques in this system is characteristic of Goju-Ryu karate.
USA Goju Karate is a system of training, which utilizes close-contact techniques to subdue an attacker. Known for its use of kicks to the opponent's legs, circular (non-linear) blocking, grabbing (manipulative), leg sweeps, and powerful striking techniques, USA Goju is a splendid form of self-defense. Prominent style markers are the use of controlled abdominal breathing, the cat stance, the mawashi uke (wheel block), and simultaneous multiple attacks to the legs, arms, torso, neck and head. A 24-kata regimen, ippon kumite (semi-free one blow sparring), jiu kumite (controlled free-style sparring), and repetitious practice of extrapolated Kata techniques typically make up a Goju training session. Always evident is an emphasis on spirit building, a "never-give-up-attitude," the practical (utilitarian) application of extrapolated Kata movements, a penchant for continuous personal improvement, the safety of all participants, and the efficient use of technique.