EVOLUTIONAL SUCCESSION OF GOJU MASTERS FROM NAHA-TE TO NISEI GOJU


KANRYO HIGAONNA (1853-1917) NAHA-TE

A historical figure in the martial arts of Okinawa, Kanryo Higaonna was the leading exponent of Naha-te.  During this time the martial arts system took on the name of the city in which the art was practiced. Hence the name Naha-te for Naha City and Shuri-te for the City of Shuri, in Okinawa. The development of karate in Naha City was basically due to the work and influenced of Kanryo Higaonna.

    Higaonna began his martial arts training with Aragaki Seisho (1840-1918) , master of the Monk Fist style for around for 3 1/2 years.  He then started training under the tutelage of Kojo Taitei(1837-1917).  After training with these masters, Higaonna went to China to expand his knowledge in some Chinese systems.  Higaonna stay and studied in the Fukien (Fuzhou) Provence in China for about ten years(1873-1883). In China, Higaonna studied with Masters Wai Xinxian and Xie Zhongxiang.  He studied under Ryuru Ko, who was said to be a master of several Chinese Gung-fu styles. One of which might have been the White Crane Kung fu.  


CHOJUN MIYAGI(1888-1953) GOJU - RYU

 

Master Yamaguchi


GOGEN "THE CAT" YAMAGUCHI (1909-LATE 80's) JAPANESE GOJU-RYU

 

Master Yamaguchi

 

 Master Yamaguchi's association with Master Miyagi proved to be a fruitful one, as he was named successor of the Goju Mantel in Japan.  In the mid 60's, Yamaguchi was successful in unifying all karate dojos into what was then the All Japan Karatedo Organization. Ultimately,Yamaguchi evolved his own personal style called GOJU-SHINTO.

PETER URBAN (1935-PRESENT) USA GOJU


      Chief Grand Patriarch of all American Goju Systems, Peter Urban is credited with training some of the greatest martial arts traditionalist in this generation. Master Urban, while stationed in Japan for eight years with the united States Navy, trained with Prof. Richard Kim, an authority of Okinawan Karate Systems.  Prof. Kim introduced Peter Urban to Masters Yamaguchi (Japanese Goju) and Mas Oyama (Kyokushin Kai).  Receiving his master in both system, Peter Urban, the first American Tenth Dan with his creation of USA GOJU and for being the original propagator of he Goju style in the United States.

FRANK RUIZ (1934-1995) NISEI GOJU-RYU

      Credited for having assembled and trained many of the karate stars on the East Coast of the United states, Hanshi Ruiz used Nisei Goju to foster his personal training method. Many a great karate masters trained to enhance their martial arts with Hanshi Ruiz.  Some of these men were the late Louis Delgado, Malachi Lee, Ronald M. Taganashi. and Thomas "La Puppet" Carol.  Other that also trained with Hanshi Ruiz, were Ron "the Black Dragon" Van Cleef, Chaka Zulu, Earl Monroe, Herbie Thompson,  Bill Wendell, Elsie Roman , Gaynor Gotay, Carlos "Charlie" Cuprill, John Giordano, Robert Perry, Frank Pogliani, Carlos Serrano (Ruiz's first black belt), Jose M. Serrano and Wifredo Roldan (Present Head of Nisei).  Some of these men would form their own martial arts systems.

     Hanshi Ruiz, a student of Peter Urban, was an avid tournament competitor in the early sixties.  One of the fierce fighter of his time, Hanshi Ruiz secured
Championships in Gheez Nation Championships 1963, U.S. International Championships 1964, and undefeated in 186 fights. He would later in 1969 come out of retirement to take the Pan American Kata Championship in Puerto Rico.

      Hanshi Frank Ruiz was a highly decorated war hero of the Korean War (1951-1954).  A member of the United states Marine Corps, Hanshi Ruiz earned the Purple Heart, Silver Star, Bronze Star with the Combat V, Jump Wings, the United Nation Ribbon, and the Presidential Unit Citation.

      Hanshi Ruiz took Goju Karate to its new evolution, NISEI GOJU Hanshi Ruiz developed the "The Spinning Top Principle" based on the centrifugal force
application in combat, i.e., Spinning kick, blocks and hand techniques.  In 1969, along with Master Harry Rosenstein founded the NISEI GOJU SYSTEM. Master Rosenstein would later form his system KANZEN GOJU.  Representation for Nisei spread throughout the United States in New York, Florida, Colorado, New Mexico, New Jersey, Texas, California, US Virgin Island and the Bahamas.

      Hanshi Ruiz dedicated his life to the martial arts, the people he taught, and the community in which he lived. Hanshi Ruiz worked as an  undercover police officer in the virgin island and was instrumental in setting up karate programs for the NY Police Department.  Contributing to the community of the lower east side of Manhattan, Hanshi Ruiz worked in the Hamilton-Madison House community center and was Head Instructor of the UNIVERSITY OF THE STREETS, home of the International Nisei Goju-Ryu Karate-Do World Headquarters.

      A dreary day in July 1970, Hanshi Ruiz was struck by a car traveling at the speed of eighty miles per hour while repairing a flat tire.  With broken legs, arms, ribs, and several skull fractures, Doctors predicted that he wouldn't walk, let alone do martial arts.  Even after braking the pins in his legs, Hanshi Ruiz overcame the odds, discarding the crutches and once again was demonstrating his prowess in the system that he created, NISEI GOJU-RYU.

      Frank Ruiz, the man, the legend, and pioneer of the American Martial Arts Movement retired to Florida in 1979.  At this time, he had appointed then Shihan Wilfredo Roldan the Head Master of the NISEI GOJU-RYU WORLD HEADQUARTERS in New York City.

WILFREDO ROLDAN (1951-PRESENT)- SECOND GRAND MASTER OF NISEI GOJU

      
      Tenth Dan and Chief Grand Master of NISEI GOJU, Roldan is the inheritor of the system created by Grand Master Frank Ruiz.  A student of some of the pioneers of the American Martial Arts Movement, Roldan received  Tenth Dan from  Supreme Grand Masters Peter Urban (USA GOJU) and Florendo MaCalruz Visitacion (VEE ARNIS JITSU)  and a Black Belt from Peter Siringano Sr.(SAMURAI JUJITSU)

      Hanshi Wilfredo Roldan spends his times developing the NISEI GOJU KARATE JUJITSU AND ARNIS SYSTEMS.  Hanshi Roldan today , gives seminars in KUBUDO(weapons), NISEI ARNIS JITSU, as well as, the jujitsu applications inherent in the Katas of NISEI GOJU.