All About the Animals: “Camp Katsu”

2017 IKKU Camp Katsu

Final Day Group Picture from the 2017 IKKU Summer Camp

Katsu-Ryu Kempo

IKKU Katsu-Ryu Kempo Manual

It was all about the animals during this year’s 2017 IKKU Summer Camp entitled “Camp Katsu”. The Bear, Tiger, Snake, Cat, Eagle, Crane, Monkey, Leopard, Dragon, Swan, Ram, and Praying Mantis were drilled religiously morning, noon and night. While the focus of the camp was Katsu-Ryu Kempo there was also plenty of time for Kotosu-Ha Shito-Ryu Karate, Kobudo and Katana during the week.

For those that didn’t have extensive knowledge and exposure to Katsu-Ryu, the camp offered more than enough to satisfy your hunger for new knowledge. For those that had previous experience, there was still plenty of new ideas and knowledge about this little-known art shared by Soke Ruiz. Hanshi Ron Downton also played a big part during the week as he freely shared knowledge that he has accumulated over the years. Since Katsu-Ryu Kempo is not something that you can simply walk into a dojo and register for, it made this camp the rarest of opportunities to learn an art that is not like any other.

Soke Joseph Ruiz learned his Katsu-Ryu Kempo style through a previous master, Kanki Izumikawa while training in Japan during his time in the armed forces in the 60’s. He continued to teach Katsu-Ryu throughout the 70’s and 80’s but not very many practitioners continued their study. Most practitioners focused on Karate and Kobudo so eventually lost this rare and treasured knowledge. When Ruiz later founded the IKKU – International Karate Kobudo Union in 1986 he continued to share his knowledge and still continues through to the current date. Soke Ruiz is considered to be the foremost expert on Katsu-Ryu Kempo in the Western World.

Katsu-Ryu Kempo

Katsu-Ryu Kempo wood block provided by Shihan Dai Bee Morris. Block made from an original design by Soke Joseph Ruiz and depicts all the Animals from the Katsu-Ryu System.

Soke spent the time to show us a Katsu-Ryu Line Drill that was taught to all participants. As well, we dug deep into the first Katsu-Ryu Kempo Kata and was provided this knowledge based on your own personal absorption rate. Of course, since this first kata is so long, only the first half was taught to the masses. The first kata is comprised of 2 Halves, Part 1 and Part 2. Each part contains 5 Sets of movements with length, time and complexity seeming to increase the further you go.

Also, to those that sought out Katsu-Ryu Kempo Bunkai, Charts were taught. These charts were drilled and reinforced on the floor in small groups with Hanshi Downton overseeing the progress. From White Chart through Black Chart were available and up for grabs for those with the ambition to learn and work.

It may be an alien thought of mind to use hard earned vacation time and money to spend 4-5 days during the summer as a way to relax, but until you’ve tried it, you don’t know what you are missing. Bonding with old friends and making new is just a couple of things that make the IKKU such a special family. Spending time with other like-minded martial artists that are all willing to call you friend, brother or sister makes this a hidden sanctuary and oasis during the hot months of summer in the deep south.

Saturday night at camp is utilized as a way to unwind from the week as we get together, break bread and celebrate those that proved to be exceptional during the course of the week. We honor those that go above and beyond at our inspiring banquet dinner and awards ceremony. So many come to camp to learn each year that we have to stop and recognize those that come to teach and share.

Congratulations are due to all the award winners and those that received special recognition during the week. Camp Awards, as usual, are voted on by Kuro Obis of the IKKU, with 5 Categories of Awards being given out during the annual Saturday night banquet dinner. And finally but not least we need to recognize Kyoshi-Sei Larry Griffin, the IKKU Camp Director, for pulling off yet another excellent camp for our enjoyment. Kyoshi-Sei Griffin does an exceptional job of coordinating all the details of camp while still providing excellent knowledge on the training floor each year. We would be lost without Kyoshi-Sei’s leadership and involvement.

Camp Awards:

2017 IKKU Awards

The 2017 IKKU Award Winners from L to R: Barbara Hughes, Ana Covington, Michael Downton, Soke Ruiz, Nadine Oka, Kim Blue, Ron Downton

Renshi Shihan Nadine Oka – HANSHI AWARD – Most Outstanding Kobudo

Renshi Sensei Barbara Hughes – KYOSHI AWARD – Most Outstanding Renshi

Kyoshi Kim Blue – SOKE AWARD – Most Outstanding Karateka

Shihan Dai Mike Downton – JACK JACKSON AWARD – Most Outstanding Yudansha

Ana Covington – BRUCE WURTZ AWARD – Most Outstanding Kyu

We’ll have to wait another year for this annual exchange of traditional knowledge and camaraderie to occur again with this type of magnitude. But in the meantime, we have plenty of new Katsu-Ryu Kempo technique and kata to work to fill our spare time. We still have several remaining opportunities to get together for the remainder of 2017 so please be sure to check our Events Page for the latest information on upcoming opportunities to train together.

Until our paths cross again, OSU!

Additional IKKU Information:

Don’t forget our next upcoming event which is the 2017 IKKU Christmas Clinic and Celebration. The event is scheduled December 2, 2017, in Dexter, GA, hosted by Suansu Karate Kai at the Estate of Kyoshi Kim Blue.

For information about joining the IKKU – International Karate Kobudo Union then please visit our IKKU Registration Page. We welcome new members to our organization and have 6-10 scheduled events each year. This will allow you direct access to Soke Joseph Ruiz, founder of the IKKU and other High Dan Instructors from the IKKU.

For a full listing of upcoming scheduled sessions please visit our Events Page. Here we showcase our upcoming Clinics, Camps and other opportunities for engagement with the IKKU.

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