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Founder of the Goju-Kai Gogen Yamaguchi (1909-1989)

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image001Gogen Yamaguchi (1909-1989) was born on January 20, 1909, in Kagoshima city southernimage008 Kyushu. During his early school days, he began training under Murata, a Goju exponent from Okinawa. Later as a law student, Yamaguchi established his first Karate club at the Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto. It was during this period that Yamaguchi created the first stages towards what is known as Jiyu Kumite (free sparring) and established rules to decide the winner of a match.  

In 1931, at the age of 22, Gogen Yamaguchi was introduced to the founder of the Goju style, Master Chojun Miyagi. The meeting proved to have a profound affect upon Yamaguchi's outlook on Karate. Previously, he had only considered the hard aspect of Goju but after his meeting with Master Miyagi, he was determined to train himself both spiritually and physically. Master Miyagi thought highly of Yamaguchi who seemed to have mastered the hard aspect of Goju so well and gave him the nickname of Gogen meaning 'Rough'. He then appointed Gogen Yamaguchi as his successor of the Goju school in Japan.
Master Yamaguchi's contributions to Goju-Kai Karate-Do and to Karate in general have been enormous. Under his leadership, the International Karate-Do Goju-Kai Association (IKGA) has emerged. The organization has increased in popularity both in Japan and other Asian and Western countries around the world.

Master Gogen Yamaguchi, 10th Dan Black Belt, a man of intense dedication and determination can truly be considered the last of the Karate legends. A master of Yoga and Shinto priest, a man that has truly united both aspects of GO and JU into a concerted union. Master Gogen Yamaguchi past away in 1989 at the age of 81 years of age. The legacy of Goju-Kai Karate-Do has now been handed to his son Master Goshi Yamaguchi.

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