Gikan Ryû Koppojutsu

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by Kikaku, May 3, 2006.

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  1. Kikaku

    Kikaku Gakorai Tosha Akuma Fudo

    Could somebody please explain the basic concepts and principles which they've learnt involving Koppojutsu. I'm aware that it involves strikes/nerve attacks/muscle tearing/pressure point attacks. I would like to know some specifics, such as which throws/kicks/punches come from this Ryu.Generally how do we learn to perform these acts efficiently, if we can't actually practice most of them per say on a living example (logically :eek: )

    EDIT: After a quick search, I see this subject is slightly "taboo".Although, not much has been said about it. I've actually ordered The Daikomyosai Koppojutsu DVD though, I'm wondering what to expect. Exciting :)

    I found this interesting article which explains it's history :


    ****en no Kamae
    Hachiku no Kamae
    Ichimonji no Kamae
    Sanposhin no Kamae
    Hira Ichimonji no Kamae


    This school is most famous in the Bujinkan for the difficult and odd Kamae's of it's taijutsu. It is specialized in Koppojutsu.

    Gikan Ryu has many special punches, kicks, and throws, as well as special movement techniques.

    Brief History

    The founder of this ryu was Uryu Hangan Gikanbo. The 10th Soke, Uryu Gikan, befriended Ishitani Takeoi Masatsugu, Soke of Kukishinden Ryu and Takagi Yoshin Ryu at the time. After training him in Gikan Ryu Koppojutsu, Uryu Gikan presented him with Menkyo Kaiden and made him his successor.

    "Bufu ni sente nashi"
    - 'from this side there is not the first strike'

    The History of Gikan Ryu Kopojutsu

    Gikan Ryu Koppojutsu was founded by Uryu Hangan Gikanbo (1558-1570), who was the Daimyo (feudal warlord) of Kawachi no Kuni (Kawachi Castle). It is said that Uryu Gikanbo's punch was so powerful that he once broke a sword blade in half. He was also a master of Hichojutsu and Senban Nage.

    The 10th Soke Uryu Gikan had been fighting in the battle now known as "Tenchigumi no Ran". This took place on the 17th August 1863. He was fighting for the emperor's army, but was shot in the arm. He still continued to fight with the use of only one arm. When he could he retired to the safety of a nearby temple. It was at this temple that he was met by Ishitani Takeoi Masatsugu, of the Kukishinden Ryu. He told Ishitani that the battle had already finished, so Ishitani then helped him to recover and afterwards escape to Iga.

    A friendship was then formed, and Ishitani was taught the Gikan Ryu and when he attained the required skill level, Uryu presented him with the Menkyo Kaiden, and he became the next Soke of the Gikan Ryu, adding this lineage to two others that he was already the Soke of. These being Kukishinden Ryu and Tagaki Yoshin Ryu.

    Takamatsu Toshitsugu orginally awarded this system to Akimoto Fumio, who became the 14th soke. Akimoto met an untimely death from an illness around 1962, and he left no successor. The system therefore came back to Takamatsu Sensei. He passed the style onto Masaaki Hatsumi, who is the current soke, as listed in the Bugei Ryu-ha Daijiten. It should be said that this Ryu has branched. That happened because Takamatsu also gave Menkyo Kaiden to Sato Kinbei in Gikan Ryu, Kukishinden Ryu and Tagaki Ryu. This man can rightly claim to be the 13th Soke of Gikan Ryu, just as Hatsumi can claim to be the 15th Soke.

    One of the special teachings of Gikan Ryu is "Bufu ni sente nashi" (From this side there is not the first strike). This ryu contains many special kicks, punches and throws. We have been told that the makimono scrolls do not contain step by step instructions of techniques. There are no formal kata in the Gikan ryu. The techniques are created based on the skill of the exponent, and are a combination of the body's movement and the methods of kicking and striking from the ryu. The methods are taught orally.

    Soke of Gikan Ryu

    Uryu Hangan Gikanbo Yeiroku Era (1558-1570)
    Uryu Yoshimitsu Tensho Era (1573-1592)
    Uryu Yoshimori Kan-ei Era (1624-1644)
    Uryu Yoshichika Kambun Era (1661-1673)
    Uryu Yoshitaka Genroku Era (1688-1704)
    Uryu Yoshihide Horeki Era (1751-1764)
    Uryu Yoshimori Kansei Era (1789-1801)
    Uryu Yoshiaki Tenpo Era (1830-1844)
    Uryu Yoshiyasu Bunkyu Era (1861-1864)
    Uryu Gikan Keiko Era (1865-1868)
    Ishitani Takeoi Masatsugu (approx. death 1905)
    Ishitani Matsutaro Takekage (approx. death 1911)
    Takamatsu Toshitsugu Uoh b. 1887 - d. 1972
    Akimoto Fumio (approx. death 1962)
    Hatsumi Masakki b. 1931 -

    July 1995:
    Koshijutsu vs. Koppojutsu: A Comparison
    by Jeff S. Mueller

    Last month I covered some of the differences and misconceptions between the Jutaijutsu and the Dakentaijutsu. This month I will try to clarify some points regarding the differences and similarities between Koppojutsu and Koshijutsu.

    To begin, many people state that the Koppojutsu and Koshijutsu are sub-divisions of the Dakentaijutsu. This is simply untrue. They are all different arts with different principles and concepts. The commonly stated differences are usually gross over-simplifications of the true differences. The typical answers to the question "What's the difference between Koppojutsu and Koshijutsu?" are: Koppojutsu is bone-breaking, and Koshijutsu is muscle and tissue tearing using the fingertips. Some people go on to describe that the Koshijutsu tearing is done to the kyusho (nerve point or vital point). Well, this is um, kind of true. Maybe.

    Let's take an look at the two systems on their true base levels. Let's begin with the Koshijutsu. The Gyokko Ryu Koshijutsu is based on affecting the Kyusho at 45 degree angles by using the fingertips and STRIKES. The "muscle and tissue tearing" usually spoken of is a by-product of affecting the kyusho. But it is not limited to such action. There are many kyusho that are exploited in the Gyokko Ryu Koshijutsu that don't tear tissue or muscles. The method for developing power in the Koshijutsu is a pivoting action around the spinal column, which creates a solid, snapping strike.

    Now let's look at the Koppojutsu. It has been simplified to the extreme, usually being summed up in two words, "Bone Breaking." Well, let's start at the beginning, the Koppojutsu comes from the Koshijutsu. The Koppojutsu deals with the use of the skeleton structure, also known as Kohtsu Po (Bone Method). The whole body method in the Koppojutsu causes the attacker to commit when attacking and thereby stretching himself out. This allows the Koppojutsu stylist to strike with the entire skeleton and body weight to throw the uke of balance with the initial contact. This creates a solid, crushing strike. It uses the principles of striking the kyusho at 45 degree angles as well as an added method of "bone-breaking." This deals with striking the kyusho at 90 degree angles to break the bone or create the feeling of numbness that accompanies a broken limb. As an interesting aside, the kyusho names used in the Bujinkan today come from the Koto Ryu Koppojutsu.

    Let's sum up. The Koshijutsu involves the striking and grabbing of kyusho at 45 degree angles. The power of these strikes comes from the rotation of the body and is generated by the limbs. The Koppojutsu involves striking the kyusho at 45 and 90 degree angles using the entire skeleton as the tool. They both involve striking the same kyusho, use the same method of 45 degree angle striking and grabbing. The difference is in where the power comes from and the added method of "bone-breaking" in the Koppojutsu. Now these are the differences as they apply to the Gyokko Ryu Koshijutsu and the Koto Ryu Koppojutsu and to any other system of Koshijutsu or Koppojutsu. And please remember that this article was written on the base level of understanding that students should have concerning these two integral concepts of the Bujinkan. There are many other differences, concerning throws, joint-locks, etc.... I hope this once again clears up any over-simplification of these important terms.


    1. Hiki Otoshi
    2. Kakae Komi
    3. Kote Gaeshi
    4. Iri Chigai
    5. Ete Nage
    6. Ryote Dori
    7. Ryomune Dori
    8. Kasumi Gashi
    9. Ori Ki
    10. Uchi Otoshi
    11. Iki Chigai
    12. Eri Hiki
    13. Hiki Tate
    14. Maru Mi
    15. Gyakute Nage
    16. Mojiri Gaeshi
    17. Ichimonji
    18. Gyaku Muine Dori
    19. Eri Jime
    20. Mae Kata Dori
    21. Tsuri Gake
    22. Uchi Komi Kakae
    23. Kaeshi Nage 1
    24. San Myaku Dori

    #4 Iri Chigae
    The attacker grabs your right wrist with his right hand. You step back left and grab the inside of the wrist, then step in (lowering your stance) and strike with a left happoken fist to the solar plexus, barring the arm. Bring the wrist down to your belt, then take a deep step away and twist to throw the attacker to the ground.

    #6 Ryote Dori
    The attacker grabs both wrists. Step forward to the right at a 45 degree angle, taking your left hand towards the eyes to break the grip. Push your left hand in one smooth motion past the attacker's left shoulder, then bring down your left elbow sharply onto the attacker's left elbow to break it while stepping back and sinking.

    #8 Kasumi Gaeshi
    The attacker grabs the left lapel with his right hand and punch to the face with his left. Cover the grabbing hand with your left hand. Avoid the punch by stepping to the left while bringing your right hand over the top to grab your own clothing, entangling the attacker's hand. Then twist to the right, taking ura gyaku, bringing your left elbow over the top of the grabbing arm to lock it. Twist back to break the arm.
    Last edited: May 3, 2006
  2. George Kohler

    George Kohler Valued Member

    What kind of knowledge are you seeking? If you need certain information you can go to E-Budo, but I'm sure that you were being sarcastic.
    Last edited: May 3, 2006
  3. pearsquasher

    pearsquasher Valued Member

    "The methods are taught orally"

    Your answers in your own notes. :D
  4. Kikaku

    Kikaku Gakorai Tosha Akuma Fudo

    Sure, do a search for Gikan Ryû Koppojutsu in
    You should get a variety of differernt sites.

    This one seems very interesting
  5. BlazingKickz

    BlazingKickz New Member

    That is NOT Gikan Ryu

    That is Tanemura's Asayama Ichiden Ryu Notes mislabled as Gikan Ryu a while back.
  6. Existence

    Existence Super Saiyajin :o

    I kind of wish i can learn koryu, but that'll never happen.
    curse my curious nature.
  7. Brad Ellin

    Brad Ellin Baba

    It's late and I'm tired. Keep it on track. This could be an informative and interesting thread, but 'm not wading through mounds of garbage to find the info.
  8. Kikaku

    Kikaku Gakorai Tosha Akuma Fudo

    Perhaps you have a link to Gikan Ryu ?
  9. George Kohler

    George Kohler Valued Member

    What he is saying is that the kata listed from that web site is not Gikan-ryu, but Asayama Ichiden-ryu. Someone obtained a copy of the Genbukan Ninpo Secrret Gateway Shoden level VHS tape and wrote their notes based on the kata shown. On the video Takagi-ryu, Kukishin-ryu, Koto-ryu and Gyokko-ryu were shown, but another set of kata were shown. At that time the ryuha listed above and Shinden Fudo-ryu were well established from Bujinkan videos and Seminars by Manaka Fumio Unsui, which were also video taped. Since Tanemura Sensei came from the Bujinkan, that person must have assumed that it was Gikan-ryu.

    Also, it is listed as shoden kurai, but actually is Jodan no kurai and chudan no kurai together.

    BTW, Cesar, if you want to call me a koryu geek, then so be it. But, let me state this: I was doing Special ops when you were going thru special ed.
    Last edited: May 3, 2006
  10. Grimjack

    Grimjack Dangerous but not serious

    IIRC, it was that guy that started the Bushikai accoriding to one of his (now banned) students here on MAP.

    Loved your last line. :D
  11. Cuchulain

    Cuchulain Valued Member

    I've done some Gikan Ryu in Japan and found it quite interesting. What I remember from the two or three movements we did was that it was slightly awkward (for me, anyway) but interesting - using kamae in response to punches and attacks and constructing your kamae in such a way that you can move out of them in different ways, depending on how the opponent moves. (This was done, at least on this occasion, by orienting your feet in a particular way.) There was also a movement that required very good flexibility in the legs!

    I don't know if these were kata, or if they were what the names were or what level of the school they come from, but I don't think Gikan Ryu is a particularly mysterious or taboo subject - it just hasn't been video'ed, and there aren't notes on its levels and suchlike out there.

    There is a temptation to say 'X isn't taught' or 'Y isn't found in the Bujinkan,' when really I think that people confuse the Internet with real life. Just because you can't download it doesn't mean it isn't there. I've seen loads of stuff in Japan that I've read 'isn't taught' on the Internet, and I don't even live there! I just visit from time to time. I can only presume that if I did live there, I'd see more.

    I think that Soke doesn't always label what he is teaching to his class and I've seen him do things that look to me like they could be Gikan Ryu many times - but I'd guess to him this sort of detail is irrelevant and is much more important to budo nerds (like me :) ). Many times though if you do your research and keep your eyes open you can recognise things that are being taught and it's my impression that Soke makes up much less than people think when he's teaching. I could of course be wrong though. :D
  12. Venganza

    Venganza New Member

    When i was with the B.B.D. I was taught koppojutsu techniques, i think really what you need is footage of these techniques so you can understand what it is, it is hard to explain exactly what it consists of. Most of the techniques to involve bone breaking and muscle tearing but there is alot more. Putting the names of the throws and strikes on here mean nothing really without seeing them.
  13. Neil-o-Mac

    Neil-o-Mac The Rev

    Gikan Ryu isn't the only Koppojutsu ryu in the Buj though - chances are what you learned was more likely Koto Ryu stuff.
  14. Cuchulain

    Cuchulain Valued Member

    I would be extremely surprise if you learned Gikan Ryu in the BBD. Nothing is impossible, but it's extremely unlikely. You might have seen Koto Ryu, and even then, given that Mr McCarthy left the Bujinkan before this school was emphasised as a yearly theme, that's unlikely as well. You might have seen some koppo taken from the Quest video on Koto Ryu that Soke put out in the 1980s, but realistically, you probably just saw harder than average technique labelled as Koppojutsu.
  15. Senban

    Senban Banned Banned

    Cuchulain said:-
    I don't think I agree with this although I'm willing to be corrected of course.

    Although Koto Ryu was used in 2000 as the yearly theme, along with Gyokushin Ryu and Gikan Ryu, knowledge of the Koto Ryu was already in circulation. Certainly the Shoden Gata and Chuden Gata at least.

    Plus, kata from the Koto Ryu were being taught at least as far back as 1992 because you can see Shihaku being taught at the 1992 UK Tai Kai (which incidentally included some Gikan Ryu material just to keep this on topic).
  16. Cuchulain

    Cuchulain Valued Member

    Yes of course, you are right. But in my limited experience of BBD training, the ryuha gata weren't emphasised at the point mr McCarthy left the Bujinkan. Anything is possible, but it strikes me as unlikely.

    Anyway, this is really not the point of the thread, and the BBD should be left out of this at the risk of derailing the thread further. I would be more than happy to continue this by PM for anyone that would like to do so.
  17. Venganza

    Venganza New Member

    Poor B.B.D. nobody wants to play with them any more. It's taboo it's that which should not be named. oh lordy lorks a lordy. Sorry for the ramble but Venganza need substance me no like bad medicine.
  18. saru1968

    saru1968 New Member

    Your point being?

    or are you just in a playful mood?

  19. Venganza

    Venganza New Member

    yeah partly its fun to play and its just funny how people get touchy about the B.B.D. as soon as they are mentioned its like an argument gets started i havent been on here that long so dont get what the deal is i have trained with both and i think the only people who can judge are people who have done both. I am probably one of the youngest on here so maybe i dont understand what the big deal is.
  20. xen

    xen insanity by design

    before this gets out of hand, do a search and read the mountain of circular threads which have been locked on here before we end up going back down this path.

    its been four months since the last one and I for one hope that it was the last.

    it makes neither side look good and pretty much everything that could have been said on the subject has been, by both sides on here.
    Last edited: May 5, 2006
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