Ryobukai Seiryu Kata – Kaicho Yamazaki

During the 1930s, the Japanese government was largely controlled by the military, and around 1935, the commanding general of the Imperial Japanese Army approached Konishi Sensei and asked him to develop self-defence techniques for women serving in the Japanese Government Railways. At the time, Konishi, Ueshiba, Mabuni and Ohtsuka were training together almost every day, and Konishi asked Mabuni to work with him on delivering what the government had requested.

Together, the two men developed a kata incorporating significant elements of their respective styles, Shindō jinen-ryū and Shito-Ryu, as well as feedback from Morihei Ueshiba, who advised them on changes intended to more closely tailor the techniques included in the form to the needs of women, for whom it was being designed. The kata that resulted from the collaboration between these three masters – Seiryu (青柳, meaning Green Willow) – includes core principles from karate, aikido and jujutsu, and became part of the training regiment for female railway workers.

Kaicho Kiyoshi Yamazaki (1998) – Seiryu Kata (Japan Karate-do Ryobukai)