KARATE DOESN'T EXIST Gavin Mulholland Goju Ryu Interview

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KARATE DOESN'T EXIST... What does Gavin Mulholland, 7th Dan Karateka of Daigaku Karate Kai mean?

What is Goju Ryu? Why did he immediately switch from Judo to training Goju Ryu? Why does he ignore white belts? Why bother with a 30 person kumite? Why is the training so tough? Why did he walk away from an engineering career to go travelling and training in Asia? How did his fighters come to dominate in MMA? What did he study at university? How come he ended up in London?

Gavin Mulholland 7th Dan Goju Ryu is based in London and beyond his training is an accomplished musician, whisky afficionado and Shillelagh practitioner. Interviewed by Mick Tully who is a JKD Instructor under Guro Dan Inosanto and Rick Faye. He runs MKG Coventry and is preparing for his BJJ black belt.

The name Goju is derived from two contrasting terms: Go meaning hard, and Ju meaning soft. Goju differs from most other Karate systems in its proximity of fighting. Great emphasis is placed on striking and grappling at close quarters, both standing and on the ground, making it a good style for reality-based self defense. Goju Ryu traced its roots to the late 19th Century, when an Okinawan islander named Kanryo Higaonna travelled to Southern China and trained under a White Crane master named Ryu Ryu Ko. On his return he taught his art and one of his students began to emerge as exceptional. His name was Chojun Miyagi.

The Okinawa islands are off the southern coast of Japan, it is here that KaraTe is said to have originated. However fighting systems had existed across Asia for thousands of years before the name 'Karate' was ever used. When the various martial arts that existed in China were practiced on Okinawa, they were collectively known as Tode, or Chinese Hand. Okinawa also had its own systems of combat known as Te; the main ones being Naha-te, Shuri-te and Tomari-te. It was the fusion and development of these arts that became widely known as Kara-te when a council of Okinawan-te masters agreed the term in 1936. Karate, or empty hand, was therefore never meant to be a 'style' in its own right; rather a term to represent all unarmed fighting arts. So, although the name 'Karate' is relatively new, the fighting art practiced under its umbrella have a heritage of several thousand years. Gavin Mulholland can be found here; www.goju-karate.co.uk

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