The English-language Ryusei Karate-Do Technical Manual was published last fall. It includes a translation of the original Japanese manual, written by Sakamoto-Sensei, with his understanding of Chito-ryu technique, as well some excursions into history and philiosophy. To this we have added illustrations of the lower belt techniques, kata and bunkai and an expanded glossary. To top this off, the manual includes a DVD of Ryusei kihon, kata and bunkai, with Sakamoto-Sensei performing much of the technique. Following is the Introduction to the manual.
Your Guide to Ryusei Karate-Do
Congratulations. You have in your hands the first English Ryusei Karate-Do Technical Manual. If its weight reflected how much work went into it, you wouldn't be able to lift it.
The core of the manual is a translation from Japanese of the manual written by Ken Sakamoto. As international head of Ryusei Karate-Do, Sakamoto-Sensei brings some impressive credentials to the table. Born in Ichikawa City, Chiba Prefecture, on February 2, 1949, he began his martial arts career in 1964, studying Goju-ryu karate. In 1968, he started learning Chito-ryu karate. Two years later, he met Chinen Kinchoku (Tsuyoshi Chitose, 1898–1984), the Sixth Todi Master and founder of Chito-ryu karate.
Sakamoto-Sensei also studied other martial arts, before and after becoming a member of Japan's Self Defence forces in the 1970s. For example, he practised aikido under Getsu Sugawara-Sensei, one of the chief disciples of Morhei Ueshiba, founder of aikido. Other martial arts that he practised over the years include sumo, judo and jukendo (fighting with bayonets).
But of all his teachers, Sakamoto-Sensei was most impressed by master Chitose, especially by his performance of koryu kata, including Gungfu-no-kata. This long, family form seems more Chinese than Okinawan, with its fluid, open-hand moves and dependence on cultivating the right breathing and internal energy. As a live-in disciple with O-Sensei, and as his son-in-law, Sakamoto-Sensei was uniquely positioned to observe and practise O-Sensei's most advanced techniques.