History

The Ruysei style is a form of Okinawan Karate derived from the Chito Ryu style established in 1946 by Dr. Tsuyoshi Chitose; a renowned Okinawan Karate master and a direct descendant of some of Okinawa’s early Karate masters. Dr. Chitose was also instrumental in assisting Gichin Funakoshi (the “Father of modern Karate”) with the introduction of Karate to mainland Japan from Okinawa.

It is widely regarded as the “most ergonomically-efficient” of all karate styles due to the fact the techniques and methods it employs were developed from a medical perspective and are designed for promoting longevity and health as well as effective self-defence. 

More than traditional karate Chito-Ryu involves a complete martial art that employs striking, kicking, grappling, trapping and locking techniques.

Ken Sakamoto became a live-in student of O Sensei at the age of 20, after having studied many various forms of martial arts, and he has since devoted his life to the study of Chitose’s teachings, and deepening his knowledge and understanding of the art.

After O Sensei died in 1984, Sakamoto continued his research and practice, developing his own approach to Chito Ryu. Then in 1997, he decided to set up his own organization, so he could teach according to his own insights.

He named the new group Ruysei Karate-Do.

Ruysei translates into English as “Dragon Spirit”. It is an honorific title for the warrior who devotes himself the the practice 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.

Ryusei Karate-Do is therefore a traditional Okinawan fighting art, that is the legitimate successor to the techniques of both Chito Ryu and Todi ( the traditional martial art used by warriors in the old kingdom of Ryukyu in Okinawa).

Sakamoto Sensei has been criticized by some senior Chito Ryu karateka for changing the katas he was taught by O Sensei. His response is that inheriting the Chito Ryu tradition does not mean sticking to the old formalities. It means that we, living in this world now, should try to create our own skills and philosophy, and make them available to the world through our performance. We must not suppress the movement to technical innovation because we do not want to tamper with tradition.