Chojun Miyagi is without doubt one of the most vital figures within the growth of contemporary day karate do. All through his life he labored tirelessly to unfold the empty hand artwork round Okinawa and mainland Japan. Throughout this time he survived the Battle of Okinawa, not solely bodily but in addition emotionally after dropping a son, his prime pupil – Jin’an Shinzato – and quite a few different mates and trainees within the combating together with two daughters on a ship stuffed with evacuees headed to Kyushu. Following the American invasion he additionally misplaced meticulous data that he had stored on the historical past of his artwork regardless of taking nice efforts to maintain them protected.
Miyagi acquired direct transmission of te (the unique phrase utilized by Okinawans to explain, no less than partly, what would later change into generally known as karate) from his trainer Kanryo Higaonna who himself had discovered his combating model from the Chinese language grasp Ryu Ryu Ko in Fujian province, China. Ryu Ryu Ko primarily taught the apply of the kata Sanchin together with varied strategies of physique conditioning. These strategies of coaching have been elementary types of weight coaching designed to stretch and strengthen the physique and are identified by practitioners of Goju ryu karate as hojo undo. Implements initially utilized in hojo undo embody the nigiri sport (gripping jars), the chi ishi (weighted stones positioned on the finish of a thick stick) and the sashi ishi (massive stone weights).
Initially, the kongo ken was not utilized in hojo undo and the origins of the instrument lie neither in Okinawa or China, however reasonably on the other aspect of the Pacific Ocean, in Hawaii.
By 1926 Chojun Miyagi was properly established as a good martial artist on Okinawa particularly but in addition more and more amongst mainland Japanese practitioners. In that 12 months a former pupil of Miyagi’s, Chinyei Kinjo, the president of the Hawaiian-published newspaper Yoen Jihosha, invited Miyagi to Hawaii within the hope that his presence and coaching would assist to enhance the conceit of Okinawan immigrants residing there who suffered from discrimination. The grasp left in April or Could and stayed for nearly a 12 months.
Evidently Miyagi was very comfy in Hawaii, which is itself similar to Okinawa. He was welcomed with nice respect and enthusiasm and was capable of attain not solely expat Okinawans but in addition Filipinos, Hawaiians and even some Westerners. One of many folks he taught was the considerably well-known judo knowledgeable and pro-wrestler Okishikina. The latter launched a few of his Western wrestler mates to Miyagi with the outcome being one of many bigger and apparently stronger pro-fighters squealing in ache after introducing himself and trying to check Miyagi’s power by squeezing his hand tightly…solely to obtain the identical remedy at a later date when it had been defined to Miyagi that the wrestler was trying to check his power.
The upshot of the journey to Hawaii and publicity to Hawaiin wrestlers is that Chojun Miyagi returned with the coaching system that got here to be generally known as the kongo ken. Whereas the Hawaiians had used a extra rounded metal ring, Miyagi made it extra elongated and nearer in approximation to a human physique. These days the kongo ken continues to be utilized by these coaching with conventional hojo undo tools.