What is Ryusei Karate? History Countries Newsletter Events Links Home

An Introduction to Ryusei Karate

The Meaning of Ryusei
“Ryusei” translates into English as “Dragon Spirit.” It is an honorific title for the bujin or warrior who devotes himself to the practise of karate and understanding the art’s ultimate meaning. Ryusei is also a term of respect used to honor the spirit of such a fighter.

The term “Ryusei” was coined by Tei Junsoku, the “Saint of Nago,” in 1705. Junsoku was an 18th-century Confucian scholar from Okinawa who made trips to China and returned with books on Chinese science and philosophy.

The Origins of Todi
“Todi” is the name of the martial art used by warriors in the old Kingdom of Ryukyu (Okinawa) to protect the “sappushi,” envoys sent by the emperor of China. Todi is said to be a kempo-bujutsu (an ancient Chinese fighting system), which was passed on down within the South Shaolin Temple in Fujian, China, until the Min dynasty.

Todi also greatly influenced ti (pronounced “tee”), the indigenous Okinawan fighting system. Ti developed into two distinct branches: Shuri-ti, in the capital of Ryukyu (Shuri), and Naha-ti in the kingdom’s commercial centre of Naha.


What Is Ryusei Karate-Do?
Ryusei Karate-Do is a traditional Okinawan fighting art (kempo-bujustu) that is a legitimate successor to the techniques of both todi and Chito-Ryu. The latter fighting system was founded by Master Chinen Kinchoku (who renamed himself Tsuyoshi Chitose), the Sixth Todi Master. The United States Chito-ryu Karate Federation has a good, concise history of the master here.




[Next page]