Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Gensei-Ryu, also known as Genseikan, is a karate style and has its roots in Shuri Te , one of the three original karate styles on Okinawa (a Japanese island). It was developed by Sensei Seiken Shukumine (1925-2001) who combined classic techniques with new ones and so formed an improved version of the Okinawa-Te he had learned from grandmasters Sadoyama and Kishimoto. The name he gave to this style comes from Gen ('universe', but also 'subtle and deep truth'), Sei ('control', but also 'system' and 'creating a form') and Ryu (stream, school, tradition). The combination Gensei-Ryu means we pursue the deep truth and make it clear once after we get the truth. Sometimes is spoken of Genseikan, where the term Kan means 'intuition'.
Gensei-Ryu was demonstrated for the first time in Japan by Sensei Shukumine in 1949. In 1955 Gensei-Ryu was recognised by the Japan Karatedo Federation (JKF). Shukumine published in 1964 his book “Shin Karatedo Kyohan” in which he descibes the techniques of the style. In 2003 the World Gensei-Ryu Organisation decided to use this book as a guide line for Gensei-Ryu. The book also describes the kata (excercises where a number of kicks, punches and other techniques are performed against 4 to 8 imaginary opponents) that are practised in Gensei-Ryu, amongst them the basic kata Ten-i no, Chi-i no and Jin-i no, but also Naihanchi and the most famous for this style, the one you work up to from the basic kata: Sansai no kata.
In 1965 Sensei Shukumine introduces a further development of Gensei-Ryu which he calls Taido. Taido is by many people not seen as a new karate style, but as a totally new, modern martial art. This new Budo discipline has lots of acrobatic moves like somersaults and flips. Besides Taido, sensei Shukumine was still involved with Gensei-Ryu until his death in 2001.
Gensei-Ryu is a relatively small, but 'pure' style and is characterised by deep, low stances, up-and-down movements of the upper body and Shihoo. Shihoo means 'four directions' and comprises excercises in which a combination of techniques are repeated again and again in four different directions. It looks a little like a kata. Gensei-Ryu stands close to the original Okinawa karate and is therefore a pure form of karate, taught by sincere masters in a way as is meant by Sensei Seiken Shukumine. Unfortunately there are some schools that have replaced the basic kata of Gensei-Ryu by beginners kata from the Shotokan style just to make it more interesting (competative) for matches. They call themselves Gensei-Ryu, but they don't follow the original road as meant by the founder of the style. Therefore they have never been recognised neither by the World Gensei-Ryu Organisation, nor by Sensei Shukumine himself. They have however been recognised by the JKF, but have to use the additional term Butokukai to their name.
Other karate styles derived from Gensei-Ryu are a.o.: Genwakai, Keneikai, Ryounkai, Butokukai and Seidokai.
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