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Goju Ryu means Hard and Soft System of Empty Hand. The student will be taught various skills such as strikes, kicks, sweeps, throws, stances, pressure points, balance and movement. Katas (sometimes referred to as Shadow Boxing) are an integral part of Karate and many other martial arts, where they are also sometimes called forms or patterns. The martial artist follows a particular sequence of movements that include the attack and defense against one of several imaginary attackers. Practicing Kata is a good way of exercising the pure form of techniques. Various Katas will be taught to the student. As there are 647 techniques in Japanese Goju Ryu, 80% of these techniques can be learned by studying and perfecting the Katas. Karate training takes place in a formal atmosphere with an emphasis on etiquette and self control as well as physical ability. Training generally is divided into the practice of basic techniques, kata and sparring. Students will only begin sparring after three months of training. This is to ensure that the student have a basic understanding of the techniques and control that will be expected of him/her. Additionally, Okinawa Kobudo is also included in the membership. Kobudo is the study of the martial arts weapons.
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