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-Senseis
performance of Gungfu no Kata, a koryu kata.
Sakamoto-Sensei also studied other martial arts, before and
after becoming a member of Japans 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 masters 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
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.