The Goju-Ryu / Wing Chun Connection

seasoned

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grydth

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Found this in an old Black Belt magazine, thought it was interestind. Goju and Wing Chun connected by the Bubishi.

Black Belt Magazine, Feb 1984 - The Goju - Wing Chun Connection by Thomas J. Nardi, PhD.

My girls study goju-ryu, and I can tell you at least something from watching the classes for some years now. They openly and proudly acknowledge having material from China... it is even referenced in a number of kata names. I jokingly threaten Shihan Trotman with lawsuits of copyright infringement.

Some of the moves are clearly based on CMA material. I sometimes run through some of their stuff and tell my kids what the Chinese moves are called. One does, however, have to be careful with apparent similarity. Shihan was teaching my daughter a junior black belt level kata and I saw a technique which seemed to come from Yang Tai Chi...but, in fact, he then showed me a move completely different in purpose and execution.

I believe the partial Chinese ancestry adds to both the fluidity and deadliness of goju-ryu.... these practitioners may be both hard and soft, flowing and firm, internal and external. They have different speeds and paces. A person mastering it would be a most dangerous opponent.
 

Uchinanchu

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It's easy to see how certain arts may have influenced other styles, when forms are borrowed from. What one should keep in mind though, is that many Okinawan practitioners/sensei have borrowed several concepts, theories, & principals from more than just one Chinese based system.

I agree that there is a great similarity in the above mentioned wing chung form and Tensho kata. As far as that making Wing Chung the base for Goju Ryu, though, I have to disagree. Was it an influence on certain aspects of Goju? Most likely. But the same can be said for Pa Qua, Sing Yi, Ngo Cho, as well as a few others, I'm sure. Will we ever know for certain, what, if any, style was the main influence for the style we call Goju Ryu, today? Most likely not.

I can say, with certainty though, that Pa Qua Chang and Sing Yi had a big influence on the branch of Goju that I study-Meibukan Goju Ryu. It was founded by one of Chojun Miyagi's senior students, Yagi Meitoku. Dai Sensei Yagi would take periodic trips to China (along with his pupil- my teacher-Ikemiyagi Masaaki) and study Pa Qua & Sing Yi. I believe these styles greatly influenced his teachings of Goju. The very fact that the Meibuken kata that Dai Sensei created and added to the curriculum, are named after specific aspects/animals from the Pa Qua teachings, speaks for itself.

My own teacher, Ikemiyagi sensei himself spent time abroad studying other syles outside of asia, in order to get a broader understanding of his own style. He looked at/trained in boxing, jujutsu, capoirera... Did he incorporate everything that he learned? Obviously not, for then it would no longer be Goju. The basic underlying principals that make up a system must remain intact in order for it to continue as such.

If one wishes to find the origins of a particular style/martial art, then one should first take a good, hard look at its basic principals/teachings and, if it (the principals) has not drastically changed since its (the style's) conception, then you may be able to find a connection between it and some older style with similar principals.
 

clfsean

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Okinawa was influenced by Southern CMA's to a great deal... bak hok & ngo cho are two the main influences from what I can discern.

You won't see techniques quite like the ones I practice in Choy Li Fut in Goju-ryu (I've dabbled in it with goju sensei friend of mine). I do see similarities (from a CMA POV) to most of the Southern CMA shorthands just for the base ideas of power & control. The techniques follow from there. There are only so many techniques that can happen & maintain the structure of the southern shorthand.
 

geezer

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Okinawa was influenced by Southern CMA's to a great deal... bak hok & ngo cho are two the main influences from what I can discern.

You won't see techniques quite like the ones I practice in Choy Li Fut in Goju-ryu (I've dabbled in it with goju sensei friend of mine). I do see similarities (from a CMA POV) to most of the Southern CMA shorthands just for the base ideas of power & control. The techniques follow from there. There are only so many techniques that can happen & maintain the structure of the southern shorthand.

Well put, CLF Sean. And in application, that is to say in a street fight, I'd bet that the so-called Southern Short-bridge styles would all look pretty much the same.

Oh, and a note to Seasoned-- keep right on posting on the Wing Chun forum. If nobody is responding, it's probably because you haven't made any obnoxious remarks. Those are the ones that get the most feedback!
 

Zero

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That's an interesting read Bill.

I only spent a couple years in WC but of course still keep in contact and mix it up for fun now and then with friends still training in WC. While some of the foundations may be the same I do think when it comes to actual technique execution there is very little similarity in the fighting styles of goju and WC. Defintely the hard/soft application is there and perhaps the overall concepts but a goju practitioner when he fights looks nothing like a WC one.
 
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