The Arts we Teach

Jujutsu is known to the world through its use in the sports ring and its effectiveness  in combat. Whats not so well known is that Jujutsu has a history that goes back many hundreds of years to the times of the Samurai. In fact the modern techniques used by Jujutsu practitioners today were first developed  centuries ago to enable the samurai to defeat enemies on the battlefield.
Whats not so well known is that some  samurai, as well as mastering the techniques of Jujutsu, would also go on to master the art of Ninjutsu.  Ninjutsu contained very secret techniques for winning in combat and so was seen as the highest levels of warrior skills.
Putting it in a modern context one could in fact see Jujutsu as the art of the soldier and ninjutsu as the art of the special forces soldier.
Here at the Northampton Kouryuu Dojo we are dedicated in studying the ancient methods of the samurai and looking at how to employ them in  real modern combat situations.

The  arts we teach are mixture of arts that were taught to the Samurai (The traditional warrior class of Japan), The Sohei and Yamabushi (Warrior Monks) and the Ninja (Warriors trained in Clandestine Warfare). These arts are what is termed Sogu Budo or complete arts in that they include all the arts that were taught to and passed down to us from these warrior groups. Traditionally warriors in Japan studied the Bugei Juhappan or the eighteen martial arts. The Bugei Juhappan changed through time and in different martial arts schools, but to give you some idea, some of these arts were...

  1. Taijutsu/Jujutsu: Unarmed Combat

  2. Kenjutsu: Sword Defence Techniques

  3. Iai Jutsu: Fast Sword Drawing Techniques

  4. Bojutsu: Staff Fighting Techniques

  5. Sojutsu, Spear-fighting Techniques

  6. Naginatajutsu: Halberd Fighting Techniques

  7. Bisento: Battlefield Halberd Techniquess

  8. Tantojutsu, knife Defence Techniques

  9. Juttejutsu, fighting with a truncheon

  10. Kakushi Buki Jutsu: Secret Weapons

  11. Yoroi Kumi Uchi: Fighting in Armour

  12. Hojutsu, shooting (with firearms)

  13. Hojojutsu, tying up an opponent

  14. Bajutsu: Horse Riding

  15. Suieijutsu, swimming in armour

  16. Ninjutsu, espionage and clandestine warfare.

  17. Gunryaku Heiho: Battlefield Dactics

  18. Tenmon and Chimon: Strategies of Heaven and Earth







Today the the need for self protection has moved away from the battlefields, mountains and villages of old Japan to the towns and cities of the 21st century, and therefore some of the arts that were originally in the Bugei Juhappan have changed or been brought in line with todays world. However the tactics, strategies and methods of self-protection developed over centuries by these wariors is as useful today for our own self-protection and for the protection of our friends and family as it has always been.

Today in our school we practice the skills of six martial arts that have come directly down to us from the past grandmasters of warrior arts.

Gyokko Ryu Koshijutsu: Jewelled Tiger school

Gyokko Ryu is the oldest of the nine traditions, this style is heavily influenced by very old Chinese martial arts and is known for its attacks to muscle groups, and soft tissue and organs and also using fingers and thumbs for ripping, tearing and striking. Cho Gyokko who was said to have fled China during the Tang Dynasty around 900 AD originally founded Gyokko Ryu. This ryu forms much of the basis for the Bujinkan system including the kihon happo (Beginner exercises in locks, throws and strikes)

Koto Ryu Koppojutsu: Tiger Felling School

Koto Ryu emphasises the striking of the  opponent’s bone structure and skeleton to cause him damage and defeat him. Strikes are generally targeted to areas that disrupt spinal alignment and locks are applied in the same fashion.  It is thought that the Koto Ryu came from China via Korea, by Chan Busho, a Chinese warrior.

Kukishinden Ryu Happo Biken: Nine Demon God School of eight secret weapons.

Kukishinden Ryu is primarily a battlefield art although it was also used by pirates and the Kuki Suigun (Navy). Founded in the 14th century the weapons in this school can be quite large, including spear and halberd. Best known for its used of the Staff, the techniques in this school teach us how to use weapons and how to defend against them.

Takagi Yoshin Ryu Jutaijutsu: High Tree raised spirit school of grappling.

This system is a Jujutusu school that specializes in grappling and throwing techniques similar to aikido and judo. However, unlike judo and aikido, this style makes it difficult for the opponent to fall or roll safely with the attacker either dropped on his head or in such a fashion that he is unable to continue the fight. This ryu is known as the “bodyguard school”. Jutaijutsu uses an opponent’s force against him. No resistance is offered, but rather the opponent’s direction of movement is enhanced and used to defeat him. Jutaijutsu was frequently used by police and in more civil settings than other, more battlefield oriented arts.

Shinden Fudo Ryu:Immovable Heart School

Shinden Fudo Ryu is another Jujutusu school that teaches throws, strikes, locks, and kicks done in a fairly straightforward manner. It uses the body as a striking weapon and often seems “hard” in application. The Shinden Fudo Ryu was known for its use of nature as an ally, and is ideal where one is protecting oneself on rough ground. In fact this school was used by the Yamabushi or mountain warriors to defend themselves whilst travelling in the forests and mountains of Japan. and techniques are often very casual looking in approach but ideal when fighting a larger beter armed attacker.

Togakure Ryu: Concealed Door School

Togakure Ryu Ninpo concentrates on the arts of concealment, camouflage, intelligence gathering, deception and escape and evasion. It is famous for its use of such weapons as shuko and shuriken. Daisuke Togakure reportedly founded it in the late 1100’s. Togakure ryu uses a lot of techniques that incapacitate, often brutally, and in a very deceptive manner.

Some of the scrolls owned by Dr Hatsumi, the current head of the Bujinkan Organisation