玉虎流骨指術 - Gyokko-ryū Kosshijutsu - the school of the Jeweled Tiger

Rekishi (History)
During the Chinese Tang Dynasty (618 AD - 907 AD), Cho Busho and/or Yo Gyokko (They could be the same person) brought the school to Japan from China during the Tang Dynasty and it was handed down from generation to generation. Sakagami Taro Kunishige organized Gyokko Ryu shitojutsu. 

In the Tenmon period (1532 - 1550), he taught it to Sakyo Isshinsai who created Gyokko Ryu kosshijutsu. Its sister school is the Koto Ryu, also created by him. Both Gyokko Ryu and the aforementioned Koto Ryu were taught by him to Momochi Sandayu, who carried on the traditions within Iga Ryu until the late Tokugawa period (mid 19th Century). Techniques from Gyokko Ryu and Koto Ryu became the foundation for techniques of Togakure Ryu. supposedly left warring China and arrived in Japan, bringing with them the foundation upon which the Gyokko Ryu would later be based. Some say that the original techniques from the school were created by a princess in the Chinese Imperial Court who used quick body movements to attack specific targets on the body. 

Which correlates with the Kosshijutsu striking techniques of this school. History and our research tells us that the oldest martial art schools from India, Tibet, and China where called tiger striking (kosshijutsu) schools and Gyokko Ryu is the jeweled tiger school.  is a school of kosshijutsu (attacks to muscle and nerve points), shitojutsu (using the thumb and fingers for striking), kenjutsu, and bojutsu. Gyokko-ryu is sometimes referred to as Gyokko Ryu Ninpo from a ninjutsu component it used to contain.

The Kihon Happo is made from the first two levels of the Gyokko Ryu, Ki Gata, and Torite Kihon Gata, which are also the basic techniques of the school. Typical for the Gyokko Ryu are the powerful blocks and balance taking. The school specializes in techniques that involve Kosshijutsu (attack against muscles) and Shitojutsu (use of thumbs and fingers). Kosshijutsu means "to knock down the enemy with one finger". Koshi could also mean ‘backbone’, as Kosshijutsu is the backbone of martial arts. Togakure Ryu Ninpo Taijutsu is a distant branch of the Gyokko Ryu Kosshijutsu.




The Denkei 

(list of previous Soke) of the Gyokko-ryu, is as follows:
  1. Ikai (Cho Buren) 1056
  2. Gamon Doshi
  3. Garyu Doshi
  4. Hachiryu Nyudo
  5. Tozawa Hakuunsai Hogen 1156-1159
  6. Tozawa Shosuke Oho 1161-1162
  7. Suzuki Saburo Shigeyoshi Joan 1171-1180
  8. Suzuki Gobei
  9. Suzuki Kojiro Mitsu
  10. Tozawa Soun Sho O 1288
  11. Tozawa Nyudo Geneai
  12. Yamon Hyoun
  13. Kato Ryu Hakuun Oei 1394
  14. Sakagami Goro Katsushige Tembun 1532
  15. Sakagami Taro Kunishige Tembun 1532
  16. Sakagami Kotaro Masahide Tembun 1532
  17. Sogyokkan Ritsushi Tembun 1532
  18. Sakyo Ishinsai Tembun 1532
  19. Momochi Sandayu I Tembun 1542-1555
  20. Momochi Sandayu Ii Tensho 1573-1591
  21. Momochi Tanba Yasumitsu Bunroku 1595-1615
  22. Momochi Taro Saemon Genna 1615-1624
  23. (unknown)
  24. (unknown)
  25. (unknown)
  26. (unknown)
  27. Seiryu Nobutsuna Kwanyei 1624-1644
  28. Fudo Nobuchika Manji 1658-1681
  29. Kangoro Nobuyasu Tenna 1681-1704
  30. Eisaburo Nobumasa Hoyei 1704-1711
  31. Shinbei Masachika Shotoku 1711-1736
  32. Shingoro Masayoshi Gembun 1736-1764
  33. Daigoro Chikahide Meiwa 1764-1804
  34. Daisaburo Chikashige Bunkwa 1804
  35. Toda Shinryuken Masamitsu B. 1824 - D. 1909
  36. Takamatsu Toshitsugu Uoh B. 1887 - D. 1972
  37. Masaaki Hatsumi B. 1931 – Present


Gyokko Ryū Kosshijutsu (玉虎流骨指術), is another of the 9 Schools of the Bujinkan. It is one of the nine ryū (schools) taught to the current grandmaster of Togakure Ryū, Masaaki Hatsumi by Takamatsu Toshitsugu. It is one of the oldest documented forms of martial arts in Japan and forms the backbone for all Japanese styles. It’s specialty is “kosshijutsu” which simply means “bone fingers” and implies the use of the fingers and hands to defeat enemies by attacking weak points (bone structure and nerve centers).
Gyokko Ryū Kosshijutsu

Gyokko Ryū Kosshijutsu is translated as The Jewel (Jade) Tiger School and is characterized by striking techniques with the fingers, toes, powerful locks, and throws specializing in attacking the opponents bone, bone nerve centers and muscle structure. With emphasis on targeted striking in specific areas, piercing of the flesh and even tearing muscle from the bone is possible. The idea behind the attack of Gyokko Ryū Kosshijutsu was the use the least amount of force possible to carry out the technique, hence the name Jewel (Jade) Tiger. The tiger is known for power while jade is said to have healing properties by touch alone. Gyokko Ryū Kosshijutsu also deploys the usage of weapons using kenjutsu (sword techniques) and bojutsu (6 foot staff).

The path of Gyokko Ryū Kosshijutsu progresses from very basic movements that build upon a foundation of very advanced techniques.
Gyokko Ryū Kosshijutsu Levels

Kihon Gata
Torite Kihon Gata
Joryaku no Maki
Churyaku no Maki
Geryaku no Maki
Gyokko Ryū Kosshijutsu Lineage

The most commonly accepted history of Gyokko Ryū Kosshijutsu comes from the myth of General Ikai or Yo Gyokko arriving from China to the Ise province of Japan in the mountains of Iga. Ikai eventually taught students including Gamon Doshi who taught Garyu Doshi who began HakuunRyū Ninpo during the Heihan period which became the foundation for most of the ryū in Ninjutsu. Garyu Doshi taught Hachiryu Nyudo-Hachidō Nyūdō who was a master of kosshijutsu which is the foundation of Gyokko Ryū Kosshijutsu. The first Soke of ‘established’ Gyokko Ryū was Tozawa Hakuunsai who was Hachiryu Nyudo’s student. He was also known as Tozawa Kaneuji and retainer for Minamoto Tameto.

Toda Sakyo Isshinsai (1532), also falls in this lineage and was accredited for starting GyokkoRyū Kosshijutsu and Koto Ryū which are the foundation modern Togakure Ryū Ninjutsu as we know it. The legendary Momochi Sandayu of Iga learned the techniques from Toda.


“Banpen Fugyo – be unshaken no matter what” – Tozawa Hakuunsai
The full lineage of Gyokko Ryū Kosshijutsu is as follows:

Tozawa Hakuunsai (1156-1159)
Tozawa Shosuke (1161-1162)
Suzuki Saburo (1171-1180)
Suzuki Gobei
Suzuki Kojiro Mitsu
Tozawa Soun (1288)
Tozawa Nyudo Geneai
Yamon Hyoun
Kato Ryu Hakuun (1394)
Sakagami Goro Katsushige(1532)
Sakagami Taro Kunishige (1532-1555)
Sakagami Kotaro Masahide (1532)
Sogyokkan Ritsushi
Toda Sakyo Isshinsai (1532)
Momochi Sandayu (1542-1555)
Momochi Sandayu II (1573-1591)
Momochi Tanba Yasumitsu (1595-1615)
Momochi Taro Saemon (1615-1624)
Toda Seiryu Nobutsuna (1624-1644)
Toda Fudo Nobuchika (1658-1681)
Toda Kangoro Nobuyasu (1681-1704)
Toda Eisaburo Nobumasa (1704-1711)
Toda Shinbei Masachika (1711-1736)
Toda Shingoro Masayoshi (1736-1764)
Toda Daigoro Chikahide (1764-1804)
Toda Daisaburo Chikashige (1804)
Toda Shinryuken Masamitsu (1824-1909)
Takamatsu Toshitsugu (1887-1972)
Masaaki Hatsumi (1931-Current)
The Nine Rules of The Gyokko Ryū Kosshijutsu:
The character NIN means to guard the nation with even your life.
Forget self; be patient and do not fear dying.
In danger, say and show nothing.
As a strong enemy comes, keep an indomitable spirit.
Serve and protect the master, as you must your parents.
Vices dissipate your proficiency.
Being drunk affects your judgement.
Destroy the enemy’s power but leave his life.
Do not teach others without the master’s permission.



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