Describing the history and development of Goju-Ryu karatedo has always been a precarious matter. Until recently no one seemed engaged in it. One referred to Kanryo Higaonna , the Okinawan who learned Chinese martial arts in Fuzhou, the capital city of Fujian province in China, during the second half of the19th century.
However recently (1996) this has changed. A book solemnly dedicated to the history of Goju-Ryu karate-do was written by Morio Higaonna , the world’s leading authority on Traditional Okinawan Goju-ryu. In writing history there is always the danger to lean so heavily upon the work of previous writers that one’s own becomes but a digest of theirs, replete with the mistakes and prejudices of the earlier generation. The author has avoided this predicament by using only primary sources of information: the family, students, and friends of the founders of Goju-Ryu karate, Kanryo Higaonna and Chojun Miyagi . To the evidence he has collected from the interviews conducted over the past thirty years, he has added the fruits of his extensive research in Okinawa, Japan and China during the same period. Not surprisingly, the book that has resulted from this gargantuan effort is now recognised as the definitive work on the subject.
This comprehensive history was written by Shihan Harry de Spa (1951 – 1999)