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A Study in Fusion


Overview of Ryusei Curriculum

It is interesting that Jigoro Kano, in his book, Mind Over Muscle, wrote that he wanted to develop traditional jujitsu into a comprehensive method of physical education, intellectual training and moral education. He finally developed his ideas into Kodokan judo:

I did this thoroughly researching the jujutsu that had existed up until that time as much as possible, keeping what I felt should be kept, discarding what I felt should be discarded, thoroughly studying the techniques and theories and establishing them in a way that would be most applicable in today’s society.

O-Sensei did the same, and he developed a curriculum that is indeed a synthesis of the two root methods, and as a result is unique in itself. Most kata of Ryusei Chito-Ryu are unique and bear little resemblance to other Okinawan forms of the same name.

Sakamoto-Sensei has continued this tradition of re-examination and improvements that reflect his understandings. O-Sensei changed many of the forms, and left sections out, and Sakamoto-Sensei believes this is a challenge to find out more for himself, as O’Sensei had told him that he had only taught the first half of the method; the rest was up to him.

The Australian Chitokai crest is distinguished by a red line that is narrow at the top and winds it way down to a wider end. I remember a conversation I had with Sakamoto-Sensei in the mid-1990s, over a cup of green tea, in the small flat that visitors bunked in at the Chito-Ryu honbu in Kumamoto. He said that todi was a river, and that Chito-Ryu was but a contributor to that river of knowledge. Nobody can claim ownership to the river of knowledge, they can only add to it, and through an austere, lifelong study, hope to promote its legacy.

—Brian Hayes, Chief Instructor, Renshi, Australian Chitokai Karate Association


Jigoro Kano: Mind Over Muscle (Kodansha 2005)
Kiyoshi Arakaki: The Secrets of Okinawan Karate (Kodansha 2002)
Ashley Mckellar: “Physics Fu” article (www.Chitokai.com.au)
Matt Manerow: "Training Notes"
Peter Giffen: “Hard to be Soft,” Technical Essay. Ryusei newsletter
Nakamine: The Essence of Okinawan Karate
Bubishi (Patrick McCarthy Translation)
Michael Colling: “Chitose Tsuyoshi, A Bridge Through Time”
Kenji Tokitsu: Miyamoto Musashi, His Life and Writings (Weatherhill 2005)



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