Today there are many different styles of karate. Most karate styles trace their lineage back to the three
main original karate styles, these being:
Shuri-te influenced by the hard techniques and characterized by an offensive attitude.
Naha-te influenced by the softer techniques including breath control and 'ki'. It was characterized by a
more defensive attitude with grappling, throws and locking techniques.
Tomari-te influenced by both the hard and soft techniques.
The names Shuri, Naha and Tomari refer to the cities where the style was centered around. At the end of
the 19th century Shuri-te and Tomari-te were subsumed under the name Shorin ryu. Naha-te was
renamed as Goju ryu in 1930.
"Te" was the original name giving to the native Okinawan fighting art. Over many centuries it is believed
the indigenous Okinawan te was blended with the Chinese fighting arts to become what is now known as
Karate was previously taught in secret and only became open to society in 1905 when Naha-te began to be
taught in high schools.
Shortly after this Karate was introduced to mainland Japan where it soon became popular. It is around this
time that Shorin ryu developed into several slightly different styles of Karate. Goju ryu remained largely
For a more detailed history of Goju ryu karate and its origins from Grandmaster Ryu Ryu Ko to
Grandmaster Kanryo Higashionna (1853 - 1915) to Grandmaster Chojun Miyagi (1888 - 1953) you should