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Philosophical Background

Sakamoto-Sensei classifies the kata of his system into four groups: Basic, Kei-I I, Kei-I II and Koryu. The basic kata are Seisan and Niseishi, and are performed pretty much as they are in traditional Chito-Ryu. Kei-I I kata are inspired by the moves of animals and Kei-I II kata express human emotions.

The following comes from a poor translation of Sakamoto-Sensei’s description of his system. We apologize for not doing his words justice. The translation will be redone when time and money permit.


Basic theory of the Kei-I Kempo

In our world, there are five kinds of spirits that are symbolized by wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Everything, animate and inanimate, is brought into being and given form by means of one of these five spirits. A form has both yin and yang (negative and positive) aspects.

When the positive (yang) met the negative (yin), with these five spirits in harmony, "I"(meaning, mind) was born to become "form." Then the road to be followed by human beings was made: "Kendo" for men and "Kondo" for women. Finally, this famous definition was developed: "Ten" (Heaven) is the big cosmos (Daiten), and "hito" (people) are the small cosmos (Shoten).

Animals got a partial measure of "ki" (spirit) and "ri" (reason, logic), whereas human beings got the full measure of both. Animals, who only received partial ki, can live harmoniously with the "law of the nature" given by Heaven. The human beings, on the other hand, who got full ki and ri from Heaven, are completely ignorant of how to make good use of the ri. Human beings have to study more about ki from the animals, who know the "law of the nature," and they must investigate more about the ri, as well as the "law and logic of Heaven" (governing all animate and inanimate things).

The meaning of Kei-I originated in the "Five Yin-Yang (Negative-Positive) Samskara" theory, which explains the growth and change of all things in the world.

Go-Keiken and Purposes of Training

1. Ryu (dragon)-ken—heart & mind
2. Ko (tiger)-ken—bone
3. Hyoh (panther)-ken—muscle & power
4. Ja (snake)-ken—spirit
5. Tsuru (crane)-ken—energy


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