Those who made the road
> Tatsuo Shimabukuro
Chojun Miyagi was born on April 25, 1888 in an aristocratic family.
His family was in the import/export business, and owned two ships
which made regular trips to mainland China, placing them among the
wealthiest families in the area.
He began training in karate under Kanryo Higaonna
at the age of 14, in 1902. Like his teacher before him, because of
his great natural talent and fierce determination, he progressed
very rapidly. The training was severe beyond belief at times but he
practiced ever harder with an enthusiasm unmatched by any of the
other students. Chojun Miyagi became "uchi deshi" (private disciple)
of Kanryo Higaonna. He studied with his teacher for 14 years before
his teacher's death in 1915.
Chojun Miyagi, as successor to Naha-te pushed
himself to the limits of endurance in his desire to emulate the
extraordinary skill of his teacher. To this end, that same year
(1915) he journeyed to Fuzhou, China, the city where his teacher had
studied the martial arts, to further his research. This was one of
three trips he made to China during his lifetime.
On his return to Okinawa he began to teach the
martial arts at his home in Naha. Later, he also taught at the
Okinawan Prefecture Police Training Center, at the Okinawan Master's
Training College, and at the Naha Commercial High School (where his
teacher had once taught).
Chojun Miyagi dedicated his whole life to karate.
He was responsible for structuring Naha-te (which he later named
"Goju-Ryu") into a systematized discipline which could be taught to
society in general. This teaching system that he formulated enabled
karate to be taught in schools for the benefit of the young, and to
reach vast numbers of people throughout the world. However, his
private teaching at his home remained strictly in adherence to the
principles of his teacher, Kanryo Higaonna, and his teacher before
Chojun Miyagi died on October 8th, 1953.