Miyagi believed that “the ultimate aim of karate-do was to build character, conquer human misery, and find spiritual freedom”.
He stated that it was important to balance training for self-defense with “training the mind, or cultivating the precept karate-do ni sente nashi (‘there is no first strike in karate’)”; he also emphasized the importance of “cultivating intellect before strength”.
Miyagi chose the name Goju-ryu (“go” meaning “hard” and “ju” meaning “soft”), to emphasize that his style integrated both “hard” and “soft” styles. Goju applies not just to karate, but to life in general; only hardness or only softness will not enable one to deal effectively with the fluctuations of life. When blocking, the body is soft and inhaling; when striking, the body is hard and exhaling.