London Karate Club

Karate 101


The London Karate Club shares a proud and direct lineage with the most important figures and events in karate history.

Our Sensei is an honoured student of Master Meitetsu Yagi, son of Dai Sensei Meitoku Yagi, founder of Meibukan Goju Ryu.

            Master Ryu Ryu Ko...

Kensei Higaonna Kanryo (founder of Naha-te)...

Grand Master Sensei Chojun Miyagi (founder of Goju Ryu)...

Dai Sensei Meitoku Yagi...

Master Meitetsu Yagi...

Kyoshi Richard Fall

Goju Ryu Karate Timeline:

1392 Thirty-six families from China immigrate to Kume village Naha, Okinawa. Chinese Boxing is practiced.

1477 The three kingdoms of Okinawa are unified, and the ruler King Shosh bans the use of weapons all of Okinawa. Development of unarmed combat increases.

1881 Higaonna Kanryō returned from China, where he studied under Master Ryu Ryu Ko, and founded Naha-te, the precursor to karate. 

1916 Grand Master Higaonna Kanryo dies with student Chogun Miyagi at his side.

1930 Master Chogun Miyagi names the Gojyu Ryu style.

1933 Master Chogun Miyagi's Gojyu-Ryu was accepted as part of Japan's martial arts in the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai.

1952 Sensei Meitoku Yagi becomes the only student of Master Chojun Miyagi to be given permission to open a dojo.

1953 On October 8th, Grand Master Chojun Miyagi passes away.

1963 The family of Grand Master Chojun Miyagi officially appoints Sensei Meitoku Yagi as successor of Okinawan Gojyu-Ryu. Dai Sensei is given Master Miyagi’s Gi and Obi.

2003 On Febuary 7th Master Meitoku Yagi passes away. Dai Sensei’s eldest son, Meitatsu Yagi, assumes leadership of the International Meibukan Gojyu-Ryu Karate-do Association and his second son, Meitetsu Yagi, becomes the head of the Hombu Dojo in Okinawa and its international affiliates. 

To learn more about the history of goju ryu karate goōjū-ryū  


London Karate Club Training Manual

Students of the London Karate Club are required to learn the history, philosophy and requirements of Meibukan Goju Ryu Karate. Our Training Manual is a helpful resource for gaining knowledge about karate and what is expected of students inside and outside the dojo. 

LKC - Training Manual (pdf)



London Karate Club places significant emphasis on kata as a critical training element. Kata is the essence of karate and represents more than a millennium of learning and teaching.

There are twelve Goju Ryu kata:

Sanchin means "three battles." Sanchin is a kata meant to unify the mind, body and spirit. The techniques are performed very slowly so students master precise movements, breathing, stance/posture, internal strength, and stability of both mind and body. Sanchin is the foundation for all other kata, and is generally considered to be the most important kata to master.

Gekisai Dai Ichi & Ni means "attack and destroy." Gekisai Ichi & Ni were created around 1940 by Chojun Miyagi and Nagamine Shoshin, and were intended as beginners' kata to introduce the basic forms of karate in a standardized way. The main difference between dai ichi and dai ni is that dai ni introduces open handed techniques and new stances (i.e., neko ashi dachi). 

Saifa means "smash and tear." Saifa has its origins in China and was brought to Okinawa by Kensei Higaonna Kanryo. It contains quick whipping motions, hammerfists, and back fist strikes; it particularly emphasizes moving off-line from an opponent's main force, while simultaneously closing distance and exploding through them.

Tensho means "revolving hands." Tensho, like sanchin, is a form of moving meditation, combining hard dynamic tension with soft flowing hand movements, and concentrates strength in the tanden. Tensho can be considered the ju (soft) counterpart of the sanchin's go (hard) style.

Seiunchin means attack, conquer, suppress; also referred to as "to control and pull into battle." Seiunchin kata demonstrates the use of techniques to unbalance, throw and grapple, contains close-quartered striking, sweeps, take-downs and throws.

Shisochin means "to destroy in four directions" or "fight in four directions." It integrates powerful linear attacks (shotei zuki) and circular movements and blocks. It was the favorite kata of Grand Master Miyagi.

Sanseiru means “36 Hands.” The kata teaches how to move around the opponent in close quarter fights and emphasizes the destruction of the opponent's mobility by means of kanzetsu geri.

Seipai means “18 Hands.” Seipai incorporates both four directional movements and 45° angular attacks, as well as implements techniques for both long distance and close quarter combat. 

Kururunfa means “holding on long and striking suddenly.” Its techniques are based on the Chinese Praying Mantis style. Kururunfa contains a wide variety of open-hand/hip coordination techniques that, depending on the circumstances, can either be interpreted joint locks, blocks or strikes or any combination of the three.

Seisan means “13 Hands.” Seisan is thought to be one of the oldest kata that is widely practiced among other Naha-te schools. The Goju-Ryu (Naha-te) version is more complicated that contains close range fighting techniques such as short-range punches, low kicks, and directional changes to unbalance the opponent. It contains techniques performed under full tension thru the range of motion, as well as strong fast techniques. Seisan is said to complement Seiunchin. 

Suparinpei means “108 Hands.” Also known as Pechurin, it is the most advanced Goju Ryu kata. Initially it had three levels to master (Go, Chu, and Jo), later Miyagi left only one, the highest, "Jo" level. This was Dai Sensei Meitoku Yagi's specialty  


Belt Requirements - Adults


Fundamentals - Standing Basics; Shiko Dachi & Sanchin Dachi Stances

Kata - Sanchin, GeChuGe; JoChuGe


Fundamentals - Walking Basics; 1-point

Kata - Gekisai Dai Ichi; JoChuGe; ChuShutoGe


Fundamentals - Walking Basics; Zenkutsu Dachi Stance

Kata - Gekisai Dai Ni; ChuGeriGe


Fundamentals - Walking Basics; 2-point; Kokutsu & Nekoashi Dachi Stances

Kata - Saifa; Tensho; Shisochin; KakiChuGe


Fundamentals - Walking Basics; 3-point; Kosa Dachi Stance

Kata - Tenchi; Seiryu


Fundamentals - Walking Basics; 4-point; Combo

Kata - Byakko; Shujakkyu; Genbu; Sanseiryu

Black (Shodan)

Fundamentals - Advanced Walking Basics; Combo

Kata - Seisan

Black (Nidan and Higher)

Kata - Seiunchin; Seipai; Kururunfa; Sumparumpei 


Belt Requirements - Kids

Yellow Stripe

Fundamentals - 1-step Basics; Punch - High, Middle, Low; Blocks - Low, Middle, High; Kick - Front; Strike - Shuto; Stance - Shiko Dachi

Kata - Standing Basics

Orange Stripe

Fundamentals - Walking Basics; Punch - Lunge; Blocks - Shuto; Kick - Side & Round; Strike - Gyukku Shuto; Stance - Sanchin & Zenkutsu Dachi

Kata - Kata 10 Hands

Green Stripe

Fundamentals - 3-step; Punch - Hook & Reverse; Blocks - Open Hand Kick Block; Kick - Crescent & Hook; Strike - Ridge Hand; Stance - Kokutsu Dashi

Kata - Kata 8 Kicks

Blue Stripe

Fundamentals - 5-step; Punch - Jab/Cross & Upper Cut; Blocks - Mawashi & Kaki; Kick - Foot Sweep & Back; Srike - Spear Hand; Stance - Nekoashi Dachi

Kata - Sanchin (Short)

Brown Stripe

Fundamentals - Freestyle; Punch - Low Hook; Blocks - Ko; Kick - Jumping; Strike - Saifa Punch; Stance - Kosa Dachi

Kata - GeChuGe; Kakome Kumite (GeChuGe)

Black Stripe

Fundamentals - Advanced Performance; Kick - Spinning Hook

Kata - Perform Previous with Understanding; Renzoku (GeChuGe) 


Class Bow In / Out Ceremony


Opening of Class

Standing in Musubidachi

Sensei will say the following:

Kiotsuke - Stand up straight. Attention.

Senior student says:

Shen zen e – bow to shrine

Sensei ni tash rei – bow to sensei

Sempai ni tash rei – bow to senior black belt

Oh to guy ni – bow to senior kyu belt

Sho man e

Students may say after each Senior student command:

Onegai Shimasu (Ownie gai she mas) - Please teach me, please help me

Closing of Class

Sensei will say the following:

Kiotsuke - Stand up straight. Attention.

Senior student says:

Sho man e rei - bow to the Shrine

Sensei Ni tash rei - bow to Sensei

Sempai ni tash rei – bow to senior black belt

Oh to guy ni Waka rei - bow to the kyu belt

Sho man e

Students may say after each Senior student command:

Arigato Gozamashita - Thank you for teaching me, helping me