As its exposure increased, many became interested in Miyagi Chojun Sensei’s art. One of Miyagi Chojun Sensei’s senior disciples, Shinzato Sensei, gave a performance of kata at a Japanese martial arts tournament. Afterwards, a master asked the name of his school. Shinzato Sensei had no answer for him, returned to Okinawa and told Miyagi Chojun Sensei about his encounter. In order to promote his art as well as cooperate with other schools of Japanese martial arts, Miyagi Chojun Sensei decided it was necessary to name his art. It became known as Goju Ryu Karate, meaning hard and soft, taken from the precepts of traditional Chinese Kempo. He was the first among different schools of karate to name his art and in 1933 his art of Goju Ryu was formally registered at the Butoku-kai, Japanese Martial Arts Association.
During the 1930s, Miyagi Chojun Sensei actively developed and promoted karate-do in Japan and throughout the world. For example, in 1934, a Hawaiian newspaper company invited him to Hawaii in order to introduce and populate karate in Hawaii. In 1936, Miyagi Chojun Sensei spent two months in Shanghai, China, for further study of Chinese martial arts. In 1937, he was awarded a commendation by the Butoku-kai for his kata. Miyagi Chojun Sensei developed Goju Ryu by analyzing and employing scientific methods of exercise. In 1940, he created katas Gekisai Dai ichi and Gekisai Dai ni with the purpose of popularizing karate and improving the physical education of young people. He also created Tensho kata emphasizing the softness of the art whereas Sanchin kata emphasizes the hardness.
A tragic period ensued in the 1940s as a result of World War II and Miyagi Chojun Sensei stopped teaching. During this period he lost a son and a senior student while enduring the devastations of war and poverty. After the war, Okinawan karate spread rapidly throughout mainland Japan. Miyagi Chojun Sensei taught karate in Kansai, Japan, for a short time. In 1946, however, he started teaching karate at the Okinawan Police Academy as well as in the backyard of his home in Tsuboya.
From the beginning, Miyagi Chujun Sensei recognised karate as a valuable social treasure of Okinawa. He devoted his entire life to the study, development and transmission of Okinawan karate for the sake of future generations and is truly known as the founder of Goju Ryu karate-do. During his lifetime, Miyagi Chojun Sensei was known and respected by everyone not only in Okinawa but also respected throughout the world as one of karate’s greatest authorities.
Miyagi Chojun Sensei chose the name Goju Ryu from the Eight Precepts of traditional Chinese Kempo found in the document Bubishi and are as follows:
These eight precepts are the essence of the martial arts and are the elements one strives to achieve in training Goju Ryu Karate-do. Such training shall serve to lead humankind to rediscover our natural instincts and capabilities.