Defining Ryuhoryu

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Ryuhoryu (龍鳳流) began development in 2005 by Scot Mertz.  The idea for Ryuhoryu was that it would be a living preservation style focused on preserving older material and practices from the Naha area which wasn’t represented in other styles.  A lot of the material was extra kata that some instructors would teach that was outside of the normal modern Naha-te curriculums.  These extra kata had historical significance even though they themselves did not belong to any one school.

This project began under the name Saishuryu (最終流), however the name was dropped after it was found to belong to another school.  The name Ryuhoryu was chosen based on an old Okinawan saying regarding how the Dragon and the Phoenix regulate the moon and the tides.  The dragon and the phoenix are also representative of opposites and in Chinese cultures are often regarded as the King and the Queen, or the In and the Yo.  The dualism concept is found in many cultures throughout the world.

In 2014, after 9 years of research, the first curriculum of Ryuhoryu was produced.  This first curriculum covered 18 empty hand kata which were all in danger of being lost or forgotten, with the majority of the material coming from Aragaki Seisho, Kojo Tatei, Higashionna Kanryo, and Kuniyoshi Shinkichi.  Additionally in researching the older Naha practices some theory was also discovered which was incorporated into the Ryuhoryu curriculum, some of these practices include the use of the zodiac for kamae and fighting strategies, Chinese manners for entering and leaving dojos, use of the right and the left, energy usage, and other material that is not presently taught in modern karate.

The kata canon from Ryuhoryu is:  Sanchin, Babulien, Naihanchi, Seisan, Niseishi, Unshu, Tenkan, Kukan, Chikan, Sanseiru, Sochin, Byako, Hakkaku, Kuho, Useishi, Hakuryu, Pechurin, and Ershiba.

In the infamous words of Kimo Wall, Train hard... train often.

Gambatte Kudasai

Scot