History of Goju Ryu Kyudokan Karate


Goju-ryu 剛柔流, founded by Chojun Miyagi, is one of the main traditional Okinawan styles of karate. Goju-Ryu, Japanese for “hard-soft style,” combines hard striking attacks such as kicks and close hand punches with softer open hand circular techniques for attacking, diverting, and controlling the opponent, including locks, grappling, takedowns and throws. Goju-ryu incorporates both circular and linear movements. Importance is also placed on breathing correctly, in addition to spiritual training methods that include body strengthening and conditioning.

David Morris Sensei デヴィッドモリス 先生 has over 40 years experience in Karate, more than 30 of which have been spent as a full-time karate teacher, indeed some of the karateka at his Kyudokan 求道館 school represent 2 or even 3 generations of the same family.

The Kyudokan is affiliated to Nihon Goju Ryu Karate Do 日本剛柔流空手道 which means it is a Bubishi linage school. The Bubishi is considered to be the ‘bible’ of Karate. Under the Nihon Goju Ryu Karate Do umbrella, the Kyudokan is connected to the Bubishi Kenkyukai 武備志研究会 - a study association dedicated to the teachings of the Bubishi.

David continues to travel to Japan to study under Yonemoto Kyoshi Sensei 米元先生 at his Seibukan Dojo 清武館 in Tokyo 東京.

Kyudokan, or kyu-do-kan, translates to “search for the way”. This is the essence of our karate, and most importantly our karateka, because only with the correct, authentic, guidance and, importantly, the freedom to explore one’s own path can we ever expect to reach true fulfilment and enlightenment in our studies.

Whilst many schools and karateka may believe the important journey is the path that leads them to their black belt; our philosophy is very different. At the Kyudokan, far from being the end of the journey, the attainment of the black belt, after many years of regular and dedicated training, represents the beginning of the true journey.

By far the biggest step of all though, is walking through the dojo doors for the very first time… We look forward to welcoming you.

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2 days ago

Kyudokan Goju Ryu Karate Do

Family Karate class Tuesdays 6pm

23 students + 7 Sensei’s = high standards

Next sessions Thursday Chamberlayne Leisure Centre
6pm Family Class
7pm Senior Class
7pm Advanced Juniors
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4 days ago

Kyudokan Goju Ryu Karate Do

🥋Family Session 11:45am
🥋🥋Advanced Junior Session 12:45
🥋🥋🥋Senior only Session 12:45
🥋🥋🥋🥋Grading Session 13:00

What a great day at Kyudokan Karate
A special well done to Scarlett, Warren and Clarke.
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6 days ago

Kyudokan Goju Ryu Karate Do

🥋Kyudokan Introduction Nunchaku Session🥋
Socially distanced & Brand new Nunchuck's still in packaging that the students get to keep

Next Karate Sessions are Saturday at Bitterne Leisure Centre
11am Family Session
12pm Seniors Only
12pm Advanced Juniors
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7 days ago

Kyudokan Goju Ryu Karate Do

Family Session: 42 Students + 9 instructors = Great Lesson.
Next session tomorrow 6pm, special Nunchaku Class
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The translation of Zanshin is a state of awareness, of relaxed alertness. The mind is completely focused on action and fixated on the task at hand. Zanshin is being constantly aware of your body, mind, and surroundings without stressing yourself. It is an effortless vigilance.

I endeavour to live my life intentionally and acting with purpose using Zanshin rather than living mindlessly without focus or direction. Living with a focused mind has enabled to not only progress in my karate but also my battle with Parkinsons Disease

The Japanese proverb “After winning the battle, tighten your helmet.” means the battle does not end when you win. The battle only ends when you lose your sense of commitment, intention and when you stop paying attention.  Zanshin is being focused, alertness regardless of whether the goal has already been achieved. For me, Zanshin is the way I live my life. To have complete awareness and focus everywhere in life.

A state of mind

The Japanese art of archery, Kyudo, study Zanshin. My schools given  name is Kyudokan. The name was given to me by Kiyoshi Yonemoto Sensei. He thought the name epitomises my karate. I didn’t realise the significance of the name at the time. 30 years later, I do now.

I have many goals in life but Its not the target that matters. It is not the finish line that matters. It is the way we approach the goal that matters. Everything is aiming. Zanshin

The translation of Zanshin is a state of awareness, of relaxed alertness. The mind is completely focused on action and fixated on the task at hand. Zanshin is being constantly aware of your body, mind, and surroundings without stressing yourself. It is an effortless vigilance.

I endeavour to live my life intentionally and acting with purpose using Zanshin rather than living mindlessly without focus or direction. Living with a focused mind has enabled to not only progress in my karate but also my battle with Parkinsons Disease

The Japanese proverb “After winning the battle, tighten your helmet.” means the battle does not end when you win. The battle only ends when you lose your sense of commitment, intention and when you stop paying attention. Zanshin is being focused, alertness regardless of whether the goal has already been achieved. For me, Zanshin is the way I live my life. To have complete awareness and focus everywhere in life.

A state of mind

The Japanese art of archery, Kyudo, study Zanshin. My schools given name is Kyudokan. The name was given to me by Kiyoshi Yonemoto Sensei. He thought the name epitomises my karate. I didn’t realise the significance of the name at the time. 30 years later, I do now.

I have many goals in life but Its not the target that matters. It is not the finish line that matters. It is the way we approach the goal that matters. Everything is aiming. Zanshin
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1 week ago

Kyudokan Goju Ryu Karate Do

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1 week ago

Kyudokan Goju Ryu Karate Do

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2 weeks ago

Kyudokan Goju Ryu Karate Do

🥋11:45: Family Training
🥋🥋12:45: Advanced Juniors
🥋🥋🥋12:45 Seniors Only

Next Session, Places at Eastleigh Tuesday 6pm Family Session.

Training Covid-19 safe
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2 weeks ago

Kyudokan Goju Ryu Karate Do

Kyudokan Karate following COVID-19 safety guide lines.
Each student is 2.5metres apart and temperature checked upon arrival.
🥋11am Family Session
🥋🥋12noon Seniors only session
🥋🥋🥋12noon advanced juniors

Next 3 sessions Sunday from 11:45 am Holly Hill Leisure centre
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2 weeks ago

Kyudokan Goju Ryu Karate Do

3 sessions tonight and every Thursday
🥋6pm Family Session
🥋🥋7pm Advanced Juniors
🥋🥋🥋7pm Seniors Only

Next 3 Sessions at Bitterne Leisure Centre on Saturday from 11am
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Comment on Facebook 263617303796490_1713750632116476

Excellent first session! We loved it! Thank you David and co x

2 weeks ago

Kyudokan Goju Ryu Karate Do

🥋🥋Another great evening at Kyudokan Karate.🥋🥋
31 new members in the last 5 weeks! Now is an amazing time to join. 🥋You will receive a free Gi (uniform) when you join🥋

Next 3 Sessions at Chamberlayne Leisure Centre this Thursday
🥋6pm Family Session
🥋🥋7pm Seniors Only
🥋🥋🥋7pm Advanced Juniors
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3 weeks ago

Kyudokan Goju Ryu Karate Do

4 Amazing Sessions at Bitterne Leisure Centre Today
🥋11am Family Session: all ages all levels
🥋🥋12pm Senior Only Session
🥋🥋🥋12pm Advanced Juniors
🥋🥋🥋🥋1pm Grading session
Congratulations to all that passed: Nikola, Harry, Jason, Finlay, Mark, Tony, Martin, Lucas, Kayden, Austin, Jithin and Mark.

Next Training session is at Holly Hill Leisure Centre on Sunday
11:45am Family Session: all ages all levels
12:45pm Advanced Juniors
12:45pm Seniors Only
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Comment on Facebook 263617303796490_1709099879248218

Congrats everyone - thought Martin done an amazing Kata.

Congratulations to all those passing their grading today! Well deserved! 👏

🥋Amazing sessions at Chamberlayne Leisure Centre, every Thursday at 6pm and 7pm🥋
🥋6pm Family Session, all ages, all grades
🥋7pm Advanced Juniors
🥋7pm Seniors Only
🥋Next Sessions: Saturday 11am and 12pm at Bitterne Leisure Centre
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4 weeks ago

Kyudokan Goju Ryu Karate Do

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A Heavy Burden

Nihon Goju Ryu Karate Do has a traditional linage of great standing and the Kyudokan follow the teachings of teachers past and present. All karate schools have their own grading system and depending on the teacher’s beliefs, their school’s grading system will differ.  It is often said that belts and grades are not so important, it is the development and his or hers understanding that is more important.

So what does a belt and its ranking system truly mean? Some people believe it is status, some people believe it is seniority, some people believe it the symbol of the path of their journey to black belt… whatever you believe, the most important thing is what it means to the individual student.

The black belt is a burden. I believe the teacher who awards the grade has just as much responsibility as the student who attempts it. The teacher must be careful not to award the grade without considering the huge burden being placed upon the student. The black belt is symbolic, it represents many things we strive to live up to, fortitude, courage, resilience and many more. It is the first step at the bottom of the mountain.

Yesterday I studied with a great teacher. He said the journey up the mountain is hard, each dan grade representing base camps. Camps to prepare you for the next stage. Today, two Kyudokan students will attempt to reach the third camp, Debbie and Leo Strong.

I have been asked many times if I have failed students who attempt their grade.  Fortunately I have. I have not placed a burden they could not carry.

A Heavy Burden

Nihon Goju Ryu Karate Do has a traditional linage of great standing and the Kyudokan follow the teachings of teachers past and present. All karate schools have their own grading system and depending on the teacher’s beliefs, their school’s grading system will differ. It is often said that belts and grades are not so important, it is the development and his or hers understanding that is more important.

So what does a belt and its ranking system truly mean? Some people believe it is status, some people believe it is seniority, some people believe it the symbol of the path of their journey to black belt… whatever you believe, the most important thing is what it means to the individual student.

The black belt is a burden. I believe the teacher who awards the grade has just as much responsibility as the student who attempts it. The teacher must be careful not to award the grade without considering the huge burden being placed upon the student. The black belt is symbolic, it represents many things we strive to live up to, fortitude, courage, resilience and many more. It is the first step at the bottom of the mountain.

Yesterday I studied with a great teacher. He said the journey up the mountain is hard, each dan grade representing base camps. Camps to prepare you for the next stage. Today, two Kyudokan students will attempt to reach the third camp, Debbie and Leo Strong.

I have been asked many times if I have failed students who attempt their grade. Fortunately I have. I have not placed a burden they could not carry.
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Comment on Facebook A Heavy Burden ...

Thanks for all the support - means a lot. Three and half hours stretching body and mind resulted in a pass for us both. Exhausted and thrilled 😊x

I thought I had a lot to remember, and so much to still learn, when I took my first grade. Incredible that the path in front now looks even longer! I believe there are wise people who talk about the importance of the journey rather than just destination though! 😉 😊

Well said - good luck both of you 👏👏

Very best of luck today Debbie Strong and Leo . You 100% deserve the grade and I’m certain you will absolutely smash it .

(Non ninja response - #terrified!) 😉😂😂😂

Very well written Sensei!

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🥋🥋Another amazing week at Kyudokan Karate at our 4 venues around Southampton. 🥋🥋

Even more new members started this week ✅
Covid-19 safe ✅
Busy Classes ✅
4 students passed their next grade ✅✅✅✅
Amazing friendly family atmosphere ✅

🥋🥋We have an amazing joining offer: no joining fees, no insurance fees till August 2021 and a free Gi (uniform) when you join. Its never been a better time to start your training🥋🥋
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Comment on Facebook 263617303796490_1690263791131827

my son Dylan wants to come back he used to go to bitterne leisure about 4 years ago where do you do the classes now

Ollie really enjoyed the advanced junior class yesterday (despite his tired little face 🤣)

Red Suits

I have often been asked why do the children wear red karate suits and not the traditional white karate suits like the majority of karate schools. Maybe when I say I like the colour and that the children can spend more time training, less time washing, you may be slightly disquieted by my attitude and apparent lack of upholding tradition.

The colour red donotes strength, passion, self sacrifice and blood. It is the color that ‘gets the blood flowing’. Many phrases such as the terms for “embarrassment to death” or “growing red with anger” or “deficit spending or losses” or “complete stranger” are denoted with Japanese word for ‘red’.

White on the other hand is inherently denotes death and mourning too. This peaceful color also stands for purity and truth. White is the color of snow, starting on a blank page, going back to the roots and to scorn or treat someone cold.

However, while I believe it is very important to uphold tradition maybe by being a little bit different than all the rest is refreshing and free thinking.

Many years ago in the 80's , there was a very powerful and progressive karate style who dominated kumite competitions all over the country. It's instructors were Mike Dinsdale Sensei and Greg Wallace Sensei. The style was unlike the traditional karate of the day and to be honest was frowned upon. But in competition it worked, they competed and won. They won against biased referring and hostility for their lack of tradition. They were called Renshinkai........they wore red karate suits!.

Their moto was " Strength in Unity" a moto I believe the Kyudokan follows..

.
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Comment on Facebook 263617303796490_1689641211194085

Whether or not I like or agree with the post matters not, after all, what on Earth do I know and who should care what I think? But I must say that I love when people, particularly in the martial arts community can think for themselves and have the courage to forge different paths. Love it. (Ps, we’ve done blue and black and white during various iterations of my school). 😊🙏

🥋🥋Family Sessions + Senior Only + Advanced Juniors + 12 students successfully Grading 🥋🥋
Another amazing week at Kyudokan Karate with 10 sessions this week at 4 locations around Southampton.
While keeping Covid-19 safe, with temperature checks, social distancing and hand cleansing.
The Kyudokan family continues to grow with more members again this week in addition to more parents now becoming members joining in the training.
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🥋🥋🥋Gradings🥋🥋🥋
A very well done to Lilly, Gracie, Jessica, Patrick, Elliot and Luke for passing there grades today.
It was very tough grading session with the students having to work extremely hard to demonstrate that they were ready to be awarded their grade. Part of the grade included sparring which was possible with their siblings. 🥋🥋🥋
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A brilliant end to a great week. With lockdown being eased and our classes starting in the leisure centres Kyudokan Karate students returned to training.

Sunday at Holly Hill Leisure Centre proved to be very popular. It’s important for everyone to remember to book your place in our classes. Places are going fast and we need to know how many students attend to make sure we have the correct number of instructors. Booking can be done in advance so go to your app now.

Next training....... Places for People Leisure Centre, Tuesday 6.00pm.......book now to avoid disappointment

A brilliant end to a great week. With lockdown being eased and our classes starting in the leisure centres Kyudokan Karate students returned to training.

Sunday at Holly Hill Leisure Centre proved to be very popular. It’s important for everyone to remember to book your place in our classes. Places are going fast and we need to know how many students attend to make sure we have the correct number of instructors. Booking can be done in advance so go to your app now.

Next training....... Places for People Leisure Centre, Tuesday 6.00pm.......book now to avoid disappointment
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🥋🥋🥋Our Journey through Lockdown🥋🥋🥋 ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook 1670286229796250

Love the closing picture!

This morning class at Bitterne Leisure Centre once again was awesome. Kyudokan students are enjoying the classes, its been a long time in lockdown. Our next classes are tomorrow, Sunday at Holly Hill Leisure Centre

This morning class at Bitterne Leisure Centre once again was awesome. Kyudokan students are enjoying the classes, its been a long time in lockdown. Our next classes are tomorrow, Sunday at Holly Hill Leisure Centre ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook This morning class ...

First session and can’t wait for the next. Great club and thanks for the welcome

I hadn’t realised Leo had been graded. Congratulations Leo well deserved 👏👏

We’re quarantining after going to France to see my parents. Will be back as soon as we can!

First karate lesson for junior and senior students of the Kyudokan last night at Chamberlayne Leisure Centre. Strictly following government guidelines on social distancing, sanitation and well being of all our students, the lessons were awesome,

We take these unprecedented times very seriously and have increased the instructor to student ratio and with so many members continuing their training online during the lockdown and attending the outside classes too, the standard and enthusiasm was brilliant.

With lockdown being relaxed, now is a great time to  join Kyudokan Karate. 

Our next class is tomorrow Saturday 22nd August at Bitterne Leisure Centre, 11.00am.

Interested? Come along, children adults and families very welcome

First karate lesson for junior and senior students of the Kyudokan last night at Chamberlayne Leisure Centre. Strictly following government guidelines on social distancing, sanitation and well being of all our students, the lessons were awesome,

We take these unprecedented times very seriously and have increased the instructor to student ratio and with so many members continuing their training online during the lockdown and attending the outside classes too, the standard and enthusiasm was brilliant.

With lockdown being relaxed, now is a great time to join Kyudokan Karate.

Our next class is tomorrow Saturday 22nd August at Bitterne Leisure Centre, 11.00am.

Interested? Come along, children adults and families very welcome
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Remembering our international ties with our South African friends before lockdown. Hoping to return to see you all again soon

Remembering our international ties with our South African friends before lockdown. Hoping to return to see you all again soon ... See MoreSee Less

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Testimonials

  • Martin (48), Luke (13) and Elliot (11)

    Both of my sons are members of this fantastic Karate school.

    Elliot (11) joined in March 2019 and Luke (13) in August 2019. They enjoy it immensely and I am very proud to say that they have earned their purple belts in this time. Elliot loves showing me (and anyone who will watch!) his Katas at home, and Luke is keen to become a junior instructor when the time comes.

    I decided to join in November 2019, during what was a very difficult time for me personally. I can't understate how Karate has helped me.

    The mental and physical focus was just what I needed and within a few lessons I could feel the benefits.

    It speaks for itself that during these unprecedented times of the covid pandemic, not only has the club kept running - it has grown, with more training venues and lessons being added all the time.

    Lessons are well structured, with a healthy mix of physical training, form practice, and application - all this, of course, is handled with social distancing precautions in place, and any contact is with other family members only.

    There are a wealth of experienced instructors on hand and one thing you will constantly hear is; 'Are there any questions?' This very much a two way school with mutual respect and advice apparent in bucket loads. The instructors themselves run the school with just the right balance of discipline, humour and encouragement; which keeps the atmosphere family friendly.

    I owe this school a huge debt, and if you are thinking of trying karate I can't recommend this club enough. It won't be easy, but you won't be disappointed.

    The Kyudokan is what every Karate club should aspire to be!

    Martin (48), Luke (13) and Elliot (11)
  • Paul Gibbs Sensei

    Having practiced karate myself when I was younger, I knew it was something I also wanted my kids to do, and in turn signed my son up at just six years old.

    To be honest he really needed to do something, a focussed outlet if you will; he was very active, perhaps a little too confident and was becoming a bit of a handful - always trying to fight his older brother and sisters - possibly ADHD, but definitely hyperactive.

    It took me a while to find the right club. My previous experience of karate had not been overly inspiring and everywhere I looked the clubs seemed either too ‘commercial’ or too non-contact or even overseen by crazy people wanting to teach students unsafe techniques.

    Kyudokan, however, was exactly what he needed. He soon calmed down and was able to focus his energy and his mind. His school work and behaviour improved immeasurably.

    Through the years he always worked hard for each of his gradings. The club’s Senseis helped him so much whenever he needed it. We quickly became part of the Kyudokan family and made many new friends. The Kyudokan is so much more than just a Karate club...

    Paul Gibbs Sensei
  • Harrison (9) and Mark (45)

    My son started Karate back in February this year and one of the best things we have ever done.  My son expressed an interest in Karate and as a child I also attended some martial art classes and wanted something that would enable my son to be more active and spend less time on the games console.  Harrison has now been doing Karate for the last 6 months and massively improved his confidence.  In his nature he is quite shy but this has helped him grow as an individual and to mix with others with a great team spirit.

    The club has been amazing all throughout lockdown with having zoom training sessions at the start and at times having one 2 one sessions.  This then developed into training outside in small groups and all within strict guidelines with 5 students to 1 Sensei.  I have since also joined as I was watching my son train and initially thought as an older person with a few health issues it would be too much.  How wrong was I, don't get me wrong it's tough but I absolutely love it.  We are now back inside in a very safe environment with social distancing covering 4 different locations and the value for money is excellent as we can train 1 to 4 times a week with one monthly fee.

    The Kyudokan team is very professional and well organised and the app is so easy to use to book the Karate sessions.  The teaching is brilliant with so many Sensei's to help with learning and development.  Not only do we learn Karate but it's far more than that from the history of Goju Ryu Kyudokan Karate, discipline and ways we translate to everyday life.  The team is incredibly passionate with what they do and this translates to the students.

    I am very proud as my son Harrison who has recently graded with passing his green belt and of myself for passing my first grading - red belt.  I really enjoy doing something together as a family but at the same time as an individual.

    This club is amazing and highly recommend anyone wishing to start Karate from juniors to seniors.

    Thank you

    Harrison (9) and Mark (45)
  • Simon Ellis Sensei

    I started my karate journey with David Morris Sensei in 1986, when I was 12 years old.

    To say it had a profound effect on my childhood and early adulthood would be underselling it. In terms of confidence, physical development and spiritual focus it has been invaluable.

    Over the years life has led me away from the dojo on a few occasions for a couple of years and at times, like most people's lives today, it has thrown some curve balls. It is with utter confidence that I can say that without my karate, my teachers' guidance, and the mental strength and determination that martial arts has given me, these curve balls would have beaten me.

    At 46 I continue to study, still with Sensei Morris, and I hold Kyudokan karate in my heart; striving to use its philosophies and principles in all of life's everyday battles. For this Dave, I am truly grateful.

    Thank you my friend.

    Simon Ellis Sensei