Kihon Happō II
Gyokko Ryū Kihon Happō
Much of the kihon happō of bujinkan budō taijutsu originates in the Gyokko ryū. Soke Hatsumi has often said that Gyokko ryū forms the foundation for practicing and understanding Togakure ryū. In 2008, the year of Togakure ryū, Nagato Sensei was asked to demonstrate and (re-)teach the Gyokko ryū version of kihon happō.
There are 8 techniques in the kihon happō, combine these with the opposite side version and you get a total of 16 techniques. Each technique begins specifically with the right hand side. So uke attacks with a left strike for 3 of the techniques and a left grab for the other 5. Tori begins in a right hand kamae and receives the strike with the right arm or applies the lock with the right hand. This seemed a little unusual for many people including myself who usually begin the other way around. One reason for beginning with with right side technique is related to the wearing of the sword or swords on the left side of the waist.
The 3 striking techniques of the koshi sanpō or motogata are named from the Gyokko ryū posture that tori begins with. The 5 hand capture or locking forms are simply numbered. As follows and in the order demonstrated:
• 右一文字之構 – migi ichimonji no kamae
• 右十文字之構 – migi jūmonji no kamae
• 右飛鳥之構 – migi hichō no kamae
• 一本 – ippon
• 二本 – nihon
• 三本 – sanbon
• 四本 – yonhon
• 五本 – gohon
Interestingly jūmonji no kamae was second instead of third, and we usually practice the right and left versions as one flow. In ichimonji no kamae and hichō no kamae we are used to doing the right as one technique and the left as a separate technique.
The hand capture forms of the torite kihon are listed by number and not referred to by name as is usual in general kihon practice. The techniques in Gyokko ryū relate to:
• one – omote gyaku
• two – omote gyaku tsuki
• three – ura gyaku-omote gyaku as in renyō
• four – musha dori
• five – jigoku dori (not ganseki)
Technique five begins with a musō dori that moves into jigoku dori. Nagato sensei also pointed out that musō dori can flow into and between gokuraku otoshi – jigoku dori – goja dori – ganseki nage. These however are not the basic kihon happō. Ganseki can be seen as a failed jigoku dori.
To add to the confusion the 8 techniques performed on each side can be listed from 1-16 beginning with migi omote gyaku, hidari omote gyaku… finishing with migi jūmonji and hidari jūmonji.