San Bu Kai Martial Arts


Goju Ryu Karate is one of the three major styles of Okinawan Karate from which all other systems of Japanese Karate are derived. Okinawa is the largest of the Ryu Kyu Island chain situated at the southern tip of Japan and is the birth place of Karate, as we know it today. Karate was only transported to mainland Japan in 1922 and it may be little known that this art of the empty hand has its roots in Southern Chinese Boxing (Nan Chuan).

Kanryo Higashionna, an Okinawan Martial Artist  travelled to mainland China to pursue the study of Chinese Fighting Arts around 1877. Higashionna trained under the famous Martial Arts Master Ryu Ryu Ko. On his return to Okinawa in 1890, he settled in Naha (the port capital of Okinawa) and combined the indigenous Te (meaning hand) Fighting Art of his native Island people, with a modified version of the Chinese White Crane system he had studied in China. He called his art "Naha Te", this being both a combination of the name of the city in which Higashionna lived and the name of his native Okinawan Fighting system.

Chojun Miyagi was one of Higashionna's top students. Born of a wealthy family, Miyagi was able to devote his whole life to the study and practice of Budo (Martial Ways). Before and after the death of his teacher, Miyagi had also traveled to China to research the Chinese Martial Arts. He made a number of trips, training in Fukien White Crane (along with other Southern Chinese Systems) under a senior student of Master Ryu Ryu Ko. 

Upon his return to Okinawa, Miyagi Sensei (teacher) was awarded the title of "Master of Karate", the very first such designation by the ruling body of Japanese Martial Arts - the Budokukai. Miyagi had also traveled to Japan and Hawaii demonstrating and teaching his art. At this time he was considered one of the most powerful and knowledgeable Karate men in the world.

Miyagi returned again to Okinawa and after settling down and establishing a permanent Dojo at his house, he began organising a syllabus of training for what has today become known as Goju Ryu Karate. Chojun Miyagi coined the name Goju Ryu from a Chinese Martial Arts text called the "Bubishi" (regarded as the bible of Karate). The name Goju Ryu translates as:  GO = Hard/Strong JU = Soft/Flexible RYU = School/Family Meaning the hard and soft school of Karate.

Miyagi always taught with an emphasis on Kata and Bunkai (fighting moves) and it is no secret  that the Kata taught today in the Okinawan Goju Schools are the same as those forms taught by Chojun Miyagi and his teacher Kanryo Higashionna. 

Eichi Miyazato (10th Dan) protégé and Uchi Deshi of the Master, became the successor of the Ryu after the Master passed away. Master Miyazato was also All Okinawan Judo Champion. His power and techniques are unequaled in the Martial Arts world and he was known as a brilliant Kata exponent and a fearsome fighter.

Morio Higaonna (10th Dan) opened one of the first established Okinawan Goju Ryu karate dojo in Tokyo, Japan. Catering mainly for foreigners, he attracted a large number of South African, English and Australasian students, some of whom had trained under other karate organisations. Higaonna duly formed the IOGKF (International Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate Federation) and went on to establish a leading reputation around the world as an exceptional kata exponent. His representative organisation in New Zealand was the Rembuden Institute of Martial Arts.

John Jarvis (5th Dan) was the first chief instructor for Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate in New Zealand. Jarvis had extensive training in Japan, originally starting with the Kyokushinkai Karate Style, holding the rank of 5th Dan. He also branched into Japanese KoBudo (classical weapons systems) holding Dan grades in laido, Jodo and Tanjo. Jarvis formed the Rembuden Institute of Martial Arts in the early 70's in New Zealand.

Dennis May (8th Dan) was the next chief instructor for Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate in New Zealand. He was the National head for the New Zealand Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate-Do Association (N.Z.O.G.K.A) for approximately eight years.

Ken Roberts (8th Dan) is the current Chairman for Goju Ryu Karate DoNew Zealand. Ken has been training for over 50 years and was a personal student of John Jarvis in the 1960s. He has trained extensively overseas in Okinawa and the USA. He is one of the longest serving practitioners of karate in New Zealand and is also the teacher of Terry Hill.

Terry Hill (8th Dan) is the current chief instructor for Goju Ryu Karate Do New Zealand. His training hall (Dojo) is located at 47 Lewis Street, Glenview, Hamilton, New Zealand. Terry Hill has been practising Martial Arts for over 43 years, having spent his first six years training in New Plymouth at the Rembuden Karate Dojo, under Sensei Ken Roberts (8th Dan), Chairman of Goju Ryu Karate Do New Zealand.

Terry has had an extensive career in Traditional Martial Arts and Modern Fighting Sports competition, gaining a silver medal at the NZ Amateur Wrestling Championships in 1989. He also won a Taranaki Amateur Boxing title in 1978, before moving to Hamilton in 1980. Teaching Karate at the University of Waikato from 1981 till 1993, Terry Hill during that period won the New Zealand Okinawan Goju Ryu Karate Championships (Heavy Weight Division) three times and the N.K.F. (National Karate Federation) Open Kata and Heavy Weight Kumite division in 1988. He was also the coach for the Waikato University Karate Team who had been undefeated in National competition for over eight years.

In 1989-90 Terry Hill, then New Zealand Middleweight and Super Middleweight Kick Boxing champion, fought and defeated the mecca of the Kick Boxing world the Thais. In 1985 he won the last of the New Zealand Open Full Contact Martial Arts Championships (Middle Weight). Then in 1991 Terry Hill went on to win the first New Zealand I.O.G.K.F. (Heavy Weight) Full Contact Karate Championship Title, and later that same year the 1st I.O.G.K.F WORLD (Heavy Weight) Full Contact Karate Championship Title in Okinawa Japan.This capped off a 13 year competitive career with 100 fights to his credit for 81 wins, 18 loses and 1 draw.

Terry Hill is also a former N.Z.O.G.K.A, U.N.Z.K.O and W.A.K.O National Karate Coach and Selector having retired from these positions in 1994. He is currently the national Sanda coach for the New Zealand Chinese Martial Arts & International Wu Shu Council and is one of only a handful of  Internationally Licensed Judges for Sanda in Australasia.

Terry is also a Stand Up Instructor for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and has worked for the UFC as a referee and judge for their international events.   He is currently President of the NZMMAF and provides judging and referee courses through Global fighting Networks .