The world of martial arts is a place where competitors and students alike strive to achieve a greater understanding of their art.

With the advent of modern technology, there are opportunities for people to learn or even master martial arts in new ways.

One such example is online videos that teach you movements while they’re being executed. While it can seem impossible to choose one martial art over another, some believe that Goju Ryu offers more benefits than other karate styles, including Kyokushin Karate.

What does the Goju Ryu style entail?

The Goju Ryu is one of the traditional karate styles. The style offers a philosophy that focuses on spiritual development and physical training.

The word “go” in the name Goju means “hard,” while “Ju” is translated as “gentle,” which shows how one aspect complements another.

This style can also be referred to as flexible hardness or just plain hard style. The fundamentals of the style include striking and kicking techniques, with an emphasis on natural movement, movement in harmony with gravity, and the principles of prana.

In addition to being one of the oldest karate dojos known today, Goju Ryu is also one of the most beautiful martial arts. The style promotes poise and self-defense skills; all of this is done with elegance and balance.

What does Kyokushin entail?

Kyokushin, translating into “ultimate truth,” is a martial art known for its intensity and aggression. It is an extremely hard karate style, generally taught with a full-contact set of rules and regulations; this means that there are no restrictions on fighting.

Taking the name from its founder, Masutatsu Oyama, Kyokushin is a highly technical martial art that uses sparring, punching, and kicking techniques.

As such, Kyokushin fighters are seen as fierce and strong as they strike with their fists and feet. The fighters are known to deliver powerful, crushing kicks and are adept at using joint locks.

What distinguishes this style from other fighting styles is that it involves striking or kicking an opponent with minimal protection.

This makes these fighters extremely adept at fighting defensively and offensively.

Differences between Goju Ryu vs. Kyokushin

The differences between Goju Ryu and Kyokushin are many and varied.

  • Goju Ryu founder was Chojun Miyagi. The style’s techniques are based on Chinese martial arts and techniques from Okinawa. Masutatsu Oyama founded Kyokushin Karate. The founder studied several martial arts, including Judo and boxing, before deciding to start his style.
  • Although Goju Ryu is based on Chinese martial arts, it is more of a traditional martial art with a strong focus on spiritual values. Kyokushin Karate is more of a technical style that revolves around speed and power.
  • Although Kyokushin incorporates punching and kicking techniques, its movements are stiffer than Goju Ryu.
  • Goju Ryu emphasizes the theory of natural, harmonious movement. Kyokushin teaches the use of a hard blow that is directed with speed and power.
  • Goju Ryu fighters are seen as more flexible and graceful. Kyokushin fighters, on the other hand, are known for their viciousness and fierceness.
  • Goju Ryu fighters tend to employ both soft and hard techniques. On the other hand, Kyokushin is a tough, extremely hard style that uses punches and kicks with no restrictions.

Similarities between Goju Ryu vs. Kyokushin

  • Both Goju Ryu and Kyokushin use “hard” strikes and kicks.
  • Both styles are known for the fact that they tend to be fearless, energetic, and aggressive
  • The Goju Ryu style, as well as the Kyokushin style, aims to help students develop self-defense skills, poise, and self-discipline.
  • Both styles are considered traditional martial arts.
  • Both the Goju Ryu style and Kyokushin Karate are primarily stand-up fighting styles.

What to choose?

There is no clear-cut answer to this question. While Goju Ryu is more traditional than Kyokushin, the latter offers the advantage of being a more technical style of martial arts.

With these two styles side by side, you can discover which suits you best and grow your skills in different ways.

Moreover, these styles are not so different that they cannot be combined to create a hybrid fighting style.

You should choose the one that will benefit you the most and teach you what you need. As long as you are practicing something that fulfills your needs and goals, consider it a success.

AspectGoju-ryu KarateKyokushin Karate
OriginFounded by Chojun Miyagi in Okinawa, JapanFounded by Masutatsu Oyama in Japan
PhilosophyFocuses on blending hard and soft techniquesPrioritizes full-contact and rigorous training
TechniquesCombines circular movements with linear strikesHighlights powerful strikes and low kicks
KatasFeatures a wide range of traditional katasUtilizes a smaller set of katas
KumiteIncludes both traditional and sport-oriented kumiteStresses full-contact sparring and knockdown fights
BlockingUtilizes circular blocking techniquesStresses strong, straightforward blocks
StancesUtilizes various stances, including sanchin stanceEmphasizes a deep, rooted stance (kokutsu-dachi)
Training MethodsEmphasizes internal training and breathingFocuses on physical conditioning and endurance
Belt SystemUtilizes the kyu/dan ranking systemUtilizes the kyu/dan ranking system


While these two arts share a lot of similarities in terms of their philosophies, they also have distinct differences.

While Kyokushin spars full contact with minimal protection, Goju Ryu teaches the concept of harmony and balance with the use of soft yet hard techniques.

Which style is for you?

That’s entirely up to you to decide. Remember, both styles require a fair amount of strength and flexibility to be effective fighters.

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