|Seiryu - The Story Behind the Kata|
|Monday, 29 December 2008 00:00|
In about 1935, Konishi Sensei developed another kata - Seiryu. During this period, Konishi Sensei, Ueshiba Sensei, Mabuni Sensei, and Ohtsuka Sensei were training together almost daily. At this time, the Japanese government was largely controlled by top officers of the Imperial Army. Konishi Sensei was asked by the commanding general of the Japanese Army to develop women's self-defense techniques. His first step in fulfilling the Army's request was to ask Mabuni Sensei to help him develop standardized training methods, to help the students remember the techniques.
Together, they developed a karate kata that incorporated the essence of both their styles. As they worked to finalize the kata, they shared it with Ueshiba Sensei, who approved some sections, but advised certain changes. Ueshiba Sensei strongly felt that the kata should be modified based on the gender of the practitioner, because of the need to protect very different sensitive areas. Also a woman's training was normally executed from a natural (higher) stance. Another factor which greatly influenced the kata was the female position in Japanese society. At the time, a woman's life was defined by cultural customs, though both sexes wore kimono and used geta. All these factors were considered in the process of developing the kata.
As a result of the collaboration between three great masters, the Seiryu kata, contained the essence of both aikido and jujitsu, going with the force instead of directly opposing an opponent's attack. Ryu means willow in English, and just like a willow will bend with the wind, so should the martial artist practicing this kata. The term also implies great strength, for the willow does not break under the force of the wind. The kanji for this kata may also be pronounced aoyagi.
|Last Updated on Monday, 29 December 2008 13:00|