Koppo and Kosshi

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu Resources' started by llong, May 24, 2006.

  1. llong

    llong Valued Member

    Another beginner's question! :(

    I hear the terms koppojutsu and kosshijutsu a lot, and I'm wondering what they mean. The idea of "bone breaking art" is apparently a mis-translation or something, but what is the feeling or essence of it? Is it part of the ryu? If so, which ones?

    I went to a seminar this weekend where it was discussed, and much of it went over my head.

    Thanks for what might be a dumb question!
  2. stephenk

    stephenk Valued Member

    Here's an article my teacher (James Morganelli) wrote about a year ago or so....

    Sorry about the formatting...

    Last edited: May 24, 2006
  3. Dale Seago

    Dale Seago Matthew 7:6

    Excellent essay, Stephen -- thanks for sharing it, and to James for writing it!! :cool:
  4. Dale Seago

    Dale Seago Matthew 7:6

    Well, you did describe yourself as a beginner, so that shouldn't be too surprising. :p

    If you have a shidoshi you train with regularly out there, I'd think that with James Morganelli's essay as a guide he or she should be able to physically answer your questions on this subject.

    'Course, that still doesn't mean you'll fully understand it. :D By way of illustration, a few weeks ago one of my students returned from a trip to Japan. (There's a fairly constant stream of people from my area going over throughout the year. First thing that always happens when they return is that, whatever their level, they become the instructors for at least a class or two.)

    In his first class on his return, he was showing something from a very crowded Hombu training session where everyone was packed together like sardines. So the attack was starting at very close range, and everything took place within a very small space. There was no specific "technique" that was supposed to be done, this was about a "feeling" or "approach"; and my student did it with proper Shinden Fudo ryu "feeling" and principles.

    That gave me a good opportunity to help everyone contrast and compare certain things between Shinden Fudo and Gyokko ryu, because in a Hombu training session back in December we'd dealt with the same kind of situation, same packed environment, same initial attack. . .but from a Gyokko ryu perspective. In fact, this same student had been in that session as well.

    So I went back and forth between the two a few times for everyone to observe -- no "form" or "technique" for either approach. Then a woman in the class, a black belt who's trained with me for several years, said, "I can't see any difference". The yondan who was my uke at the time said, "Well, it sure feels different on the receiving end!!"

    So I had to go around the class doing both approaches to everyone; and even those who couldn't yet see or do what I was getting at could tell that the feeling was totally different between the two.

    So don't be surprised if you end up in that sort of situation: Differences in koppo & kosshi may not be anything you yourself can understand in an intellectual way, but you should be able to feel it. :)
  5. maf

    maf Valued Member

    thanks for posting the artical stephenk, it's given me a little bit more a deeper look into koppo and koshi, it's made me take a different look at certain techniques.
  6. MadMonk108

    MadMonk108 JKD/Kali Instructor


    骨 means bone, skeleton, or frame.

    法 means method, law, or Dharma.

    骨指, Koshi, includes the same first Kanji, for skeleton, or frame. The second character, 指, can be read as finger, or to point.
  7. Dale Seago

    Dale Seago Matthew 7:6

    Yes, as Shidoshi Morganelli's essay points out in the second post in this thread.
  8. MadMonk108

    MadMonk108 JKD/Kali Instructor


    Just thought someone might want the characters. It makes research a lot easier. I also think the additional clarification "frame" may give some insight.

    You don't have to thank me. :Angel: You're welcome.
    Last edited: May 24, 2006
  9. Tengu6

    Tengu6 Valued Member

    The article by James Morganelli is titled "The Backbone of Budo part 1" and appears in the Spring 2005 issue of Bujin-Kan (www.bujinmag.com). Part 2 appears in the Summer 2005 issue. James has great insight and is able to translate his thoughts to his writtings very well. I always look forward to his articles.

    Markk Bush
  10. llong

    llong Valued Member

    Thanks Dale and all for your comments!

    That article was great. I've subscribed to bujinmag for quite a while, but didn't recall seeing the article.

    (General Note: Beginners really should re-read article/books that come their way periodically, because each time they will pick up more and more.)
  11. Tengu6

    Tengu6 Valued Member

    That is good advice regardless of your level of training. Hatsumi Sensei has said that the letters that Takamatsu sensei wrote to him continue to teach him to this day.

    Soke's books are written in the same manner, they may mean something different to us when we re-visit them in a year or so.......and again, and again. This is such a goft from Soke, as you develop "Budo Eyes" his words will continue to teach us as we re-visit them. On that note, I highly reccomend Ben Cole's book "Understand? Good. Play!", it is hard to get right now but will be back in print in 2007.

    Sorry if I drifted off topic.

    Markk Bush
  12. xen

    xen insanity by design

    really enjoyed reading that, it should be copied to one of the stickies.
  13. llong

    llong Valued Member

    Thanks everyone for their comments; this is very helpful for a beginner.

    I also notice that Gyokko Ryu is often labelled "Kosshijutsu" while Koto Ryu is labelled "Koppojutsu", so I think the article is helpful for distinguishing between the two Ryu.

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