Shihohai: The Ceremonial Kata

In Japan, Shihohai (worship in four directions) is the first ceremony conducted in the Imperial Court at the beginning of each New Year. It is said to have its origins in yin and yang (two primal opposing but complementary principles) but there is no documentation available that clearly indicates this path. However as yin and…

When the Dust Settles

Last December, Roland Figgs-Renshi, the head of Ryusei Karate-Do U.S.A., and his student, Dusty Stalcup, travelled to Japan to participate in the 18th Ryusei-Hai Tournament and Instructors Clinic in Katsukabe, Saitama in Japan. At the tournament, Figgs-Renshi provided his able officiating expertise, honed by his years as a successful competitor. For his part, Dusty was…

Kata as Kumite

Modern karate, I believe, has strayed from the correct path, with many instructors separating the practice of kata and kumite. They think the two are not the same thing. I disagree with this point of view. When I started karate, in 1981, I enjoyed both kata and kumite, but we trained in them separately. It…

That Sinking Feeling

In order to improve your overall technique, you need to introduce the concept of “sinking” into your training. You must feel as if you are dropping into the ground, as well as adopting a dead-weight feeling in your striking limbs and a dropping/sinking feeling while throwing. With the combination of these concepts added to your…

New Members

Ryusei Karate-Do Canada would like to welcome two new members. Rick Going (left) and Kambiz Miranbigi (right) are long-time Chito-Ryu members who have now establshed the Ottawa Ryusei Karate dojo. Rick GoingRick is a third-degree black belt and has been a member of the Ottawa Chito Kai dojo, under Harvey Brown-Sensei, for 28 years. A former…

The Way to Japan

Most of us cast ourselves as heroes in our life stories. To achieve this exalted status usually requires us to ignore some inconvenient truths and put a spin on others. I usually present my decision to test for my 6th degree black belt in Japan like this: Sakamoto-Sensei had just finished an embukai (demonstration) where…

The Chinese Connection

Here is a copy of an essay I wrote on the technical theory of Ryusei karate. I haven’t marked this up for the Web, since I have included parts of it in other Ryushu articles (such as Hard to be Soft). Click here to see a PDF of The Chinese Connection. —Peter GiffenBarrie Ryusei Karate

Report on Embukai 2006

In June, 2006, I traveled to Kasukabe and Tsukuba City, in Japan, to join the Ryusei Embukai, attend a clinic by Sakamoto-Sensei and train with Okashita-Sensei afterwards. I was accompanied by two of my senior students, Warren Tresidder and David Waterman. On June 24, we were invited to witness a demonstration of technique by Sakamoto-Sensei,…

Canada in 2007

We would like to greet and wish all the best for 2007 to Ryusei karateka in Japan, the United States and Australia. In Canada, over the next year, we intend to pursue our course of technical development that includes a series of special clinics and production of a technical manual. We hold three official clinics…

A Ryusei Road Trip

On July 24, 2006, Matt Mannerow and I drove from our Ontario towns to Cincinnati, Ohio, to train with Roland Figgs-Renshi and exchange techniques and ideas about Ryusei karate. We arrived at 3:30 p.m. and settled into our motel room not far from the Figgs home. Figgs-Sensei met us at the hotel and then drove…

Scenes with O-Sensei

Food For ThoughtIn the course of my karate training, I made three pilgrimages to live at the home of and train with Tsuyoshi Chitose (1898-1984), 10th dan master and founder of Chito-Ryu karate: in 1977, 1979 and 1980. Each time I was humbled by the master’s openness and generosity, letting young, ignorant foreigners intrude on…

When Push Comes to Punch

Oshi-zuki, or push punch (think the sequence in Chinto), is often taught as two oizuki (lunge punches) in a row. While this the right way to learn it, oshi-zuki is really much harder than this to do properly, and has applications that aren’t readily apparent in the basic execution. In fact, it’s not really a…