Ken Sakamoto, the Head Shihan of the Ryusei Karate-Do Federation, was 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), the Sixth Todi Master and founder of Chito-Ryu karate. At that time, Sakamoto-Sensei was profoundly inspired by O-Sensei’s performance of Gungfu no Kata, a koryu kata.

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 Morihei Ueshiba, founder of aikido. Other martial arts that he practised over the years include sumo, judo and jukendo (fighting with bayonets).

In 1977, Sakamoto-Sensei became a direct disciple of Chitose-Sensei and moved to Kumamoto, on the southern main island of Kyushu. Sakamoto-Sensei attended various tournaments accompanied by O-Sensei, including the All-Japan Kobudo Tournament.

In 1982, Sakamoto-Sensei helped to plan and run the Soke Karate Demonstration at the Yubin Chokin Kaikan in Kumamoto. The following year, he helped to organize and run the first Soke Cup tournament in Kumamoto.

After O-Sensei passed away in 1984, Sakamoto-Sensei led training sessions at the Chito-Ryu summer camps held in the United States and Canada, supported by the spirit of his master. During these camps, the master’s son, Yasuhiro Chitos,e became the second Soke of Chito-Ryu.

In 1986, he founded a Ryusei Chito-Ryu Karate-Do study group in Tokyo that was designed to investigate the essentials of Chito-Ryu karate-do.

Sakamoto-Sensei accepted an invitation from the second Chito-Ryu Soke (Yasuhiro Chitose) to become the Secretary General of the International Chito-Ryu Karate-Do Federation, in 1996. The same year, he helped organize and run a karate demonstration to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of Chito-Ryu karate and the 13th memorial day of the first Soke (Chinen Kinchoku), at the Kumamoto Prefecture Theatre (June 16).

Also in 1996, Sakamoto-Sensei paid a visit of respect to the Suzan Shorinji Temple in Hunan, China, where he received from the Rev. Shaku-Ei-Shin a “scroll of Daruma Zen priest” that recognized the legitimacy of Chito-Ryu as a fighting art with its roots in Chinese kempo.

In 1997, Sakamoto-Sensei left the International Chito-Ryu Karate-Do Federation and founded his own school, called Ryusei Chito-Ryu. Three years later, the second Chito-Ryu Soke sent him a legal notice forbidding him to use the name “Chito-Ryu.” So in 2001, Sakamoto-Sensei renamed his school Ryusei Karate-Do.





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