Kanryo Higaonna sensei (1853-1915) was taught by Seisho Arakaki sensei when he was around 17. Later, he traveled to Fushou, Fujian Province in China (1874-1877) to research martial arts. After coming back home, he taught and nurtured distinguished karate figures like Chogi Yoshimura, second son of Lord Yoshimura, Chojun Miyagi and Juhatsu Kyoda.
Chojun Miyagi sensei (1888-1953) learned from Kanryo Higaonna sensei from the age of 14. In 1915, he traveled to Fushou in Fujian Province, staying over one year studying and seeking good teachers throughtout the country. In 1936 he visited China onceagain to deepen his studies. Miyagi sensei was the one to name the first style of karatedo, Goju-ryu. He mainly instructed karatedoat the Ryukyu Police Academy and other schools, passing away suddenly on October 8, 1953 while being an instructor at the police academy.
Eiichi Miyasato sensei (1922-1999) learned from Chojun Miyagi sensei at the age of 17 in Matsuo, Naha City. During the time he was a police officer, he assisted Chojun Miyagi sensei and instructed at the police academy. After the death of his master, he maintained the garden of Miyagi sensei's residence and instructed disciples. In April 1954, at the general meeting of the then Okinawa Goju-kai, he was officially recognized as the successor to Chojun Miyagi sensei.
In 1957 he opened the Jundokan Karate Dojo in Asato, Naha City. While he instructed students, he acted as an advisor to the All Japan Karatedo Federation and the All Japan Karatedo Federation Goju-kai, as president of the Okinawa Prefecture Karatedo Federation, and as the first president of the Okinawa Goju-ryu Karatedo Association, among other important responsibilities. He passed away on December 11, 1999.
Born on November 24, 1925, Koshin Iha sensei first learned from Chojun Miyagi sensei at the age of 14. Upon the death of his master he assisted Eiichi Miyasato sensei in the instruction of students. From 1964 to 1975, he opened the Goju-ryu Shodokan Karate Dojo in Tomari, Naha City where he taught. In October 1969, on the suggestion of Eiichi Miyasato sensei, the Okinawa Goju-ryu Karatedo Association was inaugurated with Eiichi Miyasato as first president and Koshin Iha as vice president. Following the death of Miyasato sensei on December 11, 1999, he was elected second president by the board of directors of the Okinawa Goju-ryu Karatedo Association and acted as such until 2004.
Today, under third president Yoshio Hichiya, the Okinawa Goju-ryu Karatedo Association has its headquarters at the Hichiya Dojo located at 3-180-33 Ishimine-cho, Shuri, Naha City, Okinawa. The association consists of 10 dojo in Okinawa, six in mainland Japan, and others in the USA, Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world. Every year, the association holds a tournament in April and three dan examinations. It also organizes a study group the fourth Sunday of each month and carries out overseas seminars amongst other activities. Today, President Yoshio Hichiya is also the president of the Okinawa Prefecture Karatedo Federation.
Higaonna Kanryō (東恩納 寛量 Higaonna Kanryō?, March 10, 1853 – October 1915), also known as Higashionna West, was a Ryukyuanmartial artist who founded a fighting style known at the time as Naha-te. He is recognized as one of the first students of Fujian White Crane Kung Fu masters, namely Ryū Ryū Ko, in the Fuzhou region of China who returned with those skills to Okinawa. His student, Chōjun Miyagi, would later found Gōjū ryū Karate.
Eiichi Miyazato (宮里 栄一 Miyazato Eiichi?, July 5, 1922 – December 11, 1999) was a leading Okinawan master of Goju-ryu karate. He was a senior post-war student of Chōjun Miyagi, founder of the Goju-ryu style. Miyazato held the rank of 10th dan in karate and 7th dan in judo; on his death, he was honoured with the degree of 8th dan in judo.