Karate is a fighting art from the island of Okinawa, off the coast of Japan. Kara means "empty", and te means "hand". In addition to implying weaponless fighting, this name symbolizes peace in the Zen Buddhist sense.

Goju is a particular style of Karate. Kanryo Higashionna taught Okinawan fighting arts to Chojun Miyagi, who merged in soft techniques from Chinese Kenpo and named the system Goju-ryu. Go means "hard", and ju means "soft". Goju Karate harmonizes these aspects.

Goju came to America when Peter Urban studied under Gogen Yamaguchi, then patriarch of the style. On his return to America, Urban founded the USA Goju Association.

Master Joseph Kelljchian received his black belt from Joe Hess, and then his master's degree from Peter Urban.