Genseiryu, also known as Genseikan, is a karate style and has its roots in Shuri Te, one of the three original karate styles in Okinawa (a Japanese island). De bedenker van Genseiryu is Sensei Seiken Shukumine (1925-2001) who combined classical techniques with new ones to form a version of the Okinawa-Te that he had learned from grandmasters Sadoyama and Kishimoto. The name he gave to this style comes from Gen ('universe', but also "deep truth"), Be ('control', but also "system’ and "design") en Ryu (flow, school, tradition). The combination Genseiryu then means something like "pursuing the deep truth and clarifying it when we have found it". Sometimes it is also called Genseikan, where the term Kan means as much as "intuition".
Genseiryu werd door Sensei Shukumine first demonstrated in Japan in 1949. In 1955 Genseiryu was officially recognized. Shukumine published in 1964 the book “Shin Karatedo Kyohan” in which he describes the techniques of the style. In 2003 the World Genseiryu organization decided to use this book as a guide for Genseiryu. This also contains the kata (style exercises involving a number of stairs, bumps and other techniques 4 until 8 imaginary opponents is executed) described that are practiced there, including the basic kata Ten-i no, Chi-i no en Jin-i no, but also Naihanchi and the best known for the style, where d.m.v. the basic kata is worked towards: Sansai no kata.
In 1965 Sensei Shukumine introduces a further development of the Genseiryu that he calls Taido. Taido practitioners don't see it as a new karate style but as a completely new one, modern martial arts. It's a Budo discipline that looks very acrobatic, with cartwheels and somersaults etc.. Besides Taido, Sensei Shukumine remained committed to Genseiryu until his death 2001.
In the Netherlands Genseiryu is distributed by Sensei Nobuaki Konno from the years 80. When he came to the Netherlands he started teaching Ryounkai style together with sensei Takahashi, one of the different schools of thought that train Genseiryu. Some of these schools omit the name Genseiryu as a style when they leave it “their style” to speak. Ryounkai, Genwakai, Butokukai, Keneikai, Seidokai are all schools that actually train Genseiryu Karatedo. In the past they often trained under the name Genseiryu with the addition of the name of “their style”. So: Genseiryu Ryounkai, Genseiryu Seidokai, Genseiryu Butokukai enz. However, every organization has gone its own way and has changed techniques or kata according to the organizations' own assessment. Genwakai has gone a bit further in this than the other styles or organizations. Characteristics that unite the different offshoots are the katas that are trained. With the exception of the Butokukai, they all train the kata Ten-I, Chi-I en Jin-I no Kata. The Butokukai trains the Heian katas from the Shotokan as basic katas.
When Sensei Konno stopped training at the Ryounkai organization, he got in touch with several other Genseiryu organizations such as the Butokukai and the Genseiryu organization which has its main dojo in Ito, Japan. In the Genseiryu organization in Ito several students from Sensei Shukumine were united and Sensei Shukumine occasionally still gave lessons and exams here. Sensei Konno has participated in these very unique classes several times. He is one of the few who was personally invited by Sensei Shukumine.
Sensei Konno thus began to train the Genseiryu style and was allowed to use the name, with permission from Sensei Shukumine, use as style name. Sensei Konno is door Sensei Shukumine, in 1997, promoted to 6th dan. A few years later he received this promotion again from the Karatedo Bond Nederland. Sensei Konno also received the 6th dan from Sensei Hisataka in April 1992 in het Koshiki Karatedo. Sensei Konno has taught many karatekas in these years who still speak of him with great admiration.
Genseiryu is a relatively small one (The Netherlands has nowadays 2005 only 5 clubs) style and is characterized by low, deep positions, up-and-down movements (height differences of the upper body) and Shihoo. Shihoo means "four directions’ and includes an exercise in which a combination of techniques is repeated in four different directions. It looks a bit like a kata (by the way, some other styles also practice Shihoo). Genseiryu is close to the original Okinawan karate. There are schools that have replaced the basic kata of Genseiryu with the beginner kata (Heian) from Shotokan karate, presumably to make it more interesting for competitions. They also call themselves Genseiryu. But then use the supplement Genseiryu Butokukai. They are mainly active in Japan.