About Our Style

At Heartland Family Karate we study Goju Ryu, which originated in Okinawa, Japan.

The founder of Goju Ryu, Miyagi Chojun Sensei, once said:

Do not be struck by others
Do not strike others
The principle is peace without incident

This represents the fact that karate is used only for self-defense.  While people study karate for a variety of reasons, many start learning karate for self-defense.  With SenShin Goju Ryu, you will learn self-defense (along with discipline, respect, dedication, physical fitness, the list goes on and on….).

What does Goju mean?

Goju literally means hard/soft.  So Goju Ryu is a style of karate that incorporates a wide range of techniques, from the hard to the soft.  Hard techniques most people would think of are punches and kicks.  Soft techniques tend to be more open hand and circular in nature, very similar to the circular movements found in Chinese Kung-Fu.

We teach an art…

Our goal is to teach you the art of Goju Ryu.   We are a traditional school, which means that we wear white gi’s and follow the tenants of  justice, honor, veracity, politeness, benevolence, courage, and loyalty.  Our emphasis is upon the improvement of the mind, body and spirit.  This is accomplished by hard physical training, teaching traditional kata’s, and a strong emphasis upon techniques.  Classes are structured, with a formal beginning and ending.  While we train hard, students enjoy the classes.  Learning a martial art is a rewarding but challenging endeavor.

Those not familiar with karate think of high flying kicks, karate chops, and leaps from here to there.  Goju Ryu karate-do teaches you self-defense techniques, builds confidence, and improves your physical condition all at the same time.  We do have kicks, blocks, punches, and karate chops.  But we also have throws, wrist locks, and controlled falls.  As you progress through our style, you build upon what you have already learned.  Nothing is taught just for a test, simply to be forgotten.

Our emphasis is…

Discipline is important element of our training.  In addition, we also emphasize physical fitness, good techniques, kata, and kumite.  You will first learn proper stances, as that is the foundation of everything.  After that you will learn blocks, since there is no first strike in karate.  As you progress along you will learn punches, kicks, and other techniques, as well as the history of our style.  The details matter, and good techniques are critical.

When you come in, you will hear the class recite the Dojo Kun, which starts by stating that “we will seek perfection of character” and ends with “we will reframe from violent behavior.”

Ours is a style for all ages…..

We train hard and study a well rounded style of martial arts (Goju Ryu) that is appropriate for all ages.  While some schools attend many tournaments, we typically only participate in two tournaments a year.  We train not to compete, but to learn.

If you want to learn flying kicks and aerial acrobatics, we are not the school for you.  But if you want to improve your fitness level, gain confidence, improve yourself, and learn a life long art, come in and see us.  It is a wonderful journey.


Stop by and visit, or call (402) 312-0209

All new families and students can attend one free class.