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Our History

Goju Karate was founded in the late 1920's by Chojun Miyagi. Chojun Miyagi was born on April 25, 1888 in Naha, Okinawa. He studied under Kanryo Higaonna, the founder of Naha-te. “Go" means Hard, and "Ju" means Soft, while Ryu means way or Way of Life, hence the Goju-Ryu translation indicating the “Hard & Soft Way of Life". The Goju-Ryu style is a blend of Okinawan Te (Hard) and Shoalin Kung Fu (Soft), with emphasis on the White Crane style. Other Chinese influences include Pakua Chang, I Chuan, and Tai Chi Chuan, which Sensei Miyagi studied on several trips to the Chinese mainland. Master Miyagi was particularly interested in the breathing exercise of the Zen monks. The breathing aspect is one exercise that distinguishes the Goju school from all others. Breathing methods are used by different martial arts schools, however, they are not quite the same as those of Goju. Returning from intense study in China, Master Miyagi decided to organize a systematical instruction of the art of karate do. He established the Goju school, the first instructional organization in the field of martial arts. This was an advanced stage of instruction, where only self-defense techniques were taught to selected individuals.



Canadian Naha-Te Goju Karate Association (CNGK) is an organization of karate schools dedicated to helping people improve their lives through traditional Goju Karate training. Our curriculum was developed by Kyoshi J Purdy, one of Canada's longest training Goju practitioners. Kyoshi Purdy is an eighth degree black belt. He began his karate instruction with Sensei Robert Dalgleish in 1962. Robert M. Dalgleish (November 6, 1942 - July 6, 1978) introduced Goju to Canada and is considered to be the father of Canadian Goju. He continued his training with Sensei Bill Hind in Toronto. In 1988 he travelled to Okinawa to study traditional Goju Karate with Master Meitoku Yagi, who was the acknowledged successor to Master Miyagi, the creator of the Goju Karate system.



Sensei Christina Graf began her study of Goju Karate with Kyoshi Jay Purdy in Elora, Ontario in 1987, earning her Shodan (first degree) in 1993.  After moving from Elora in 1995, Christina trained with Kyoshi Bill Hind in Toronto, ON before returning to the area in 2004.  Reaffirming her commitment to martial arts training with Renshi Mike Robertson in Elmira, ON, she earned her Nidan (second degree) in 2007 and Shodan (third degree) in 2011 and Yondan (fourth degree) in 2016.  Sensei Christina has taught many seminars in women’s self defense and campus safety, and has taught children’s martial arts programs and summer camps with the Upper Grand District School Board. Mapleton Martial Arts was opened in 2012. 

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