Gyokko Ryu is a famous school of Kosshi-jutsu (called “Shito-jutsu” in older times) and is also known as Gyokko Ryu Ninpo – which was the source of Haku-un Ryu Ninpo from Iga. Gyokko Ryu is also the oldest school of Kosshi-jutsu and is the source of almost all Ninpo Taijutsu. Takamatsu Sensei taught that Koto Ryu Koppo-jutsu, Gyokushin Ryu Koppo-jutsu, Gikan Ryu Koppo-jutsu, Iga Ryu and Koga Ryu all descended from Gyokko Ryu.
We are told that the founder of Gyokko Ryu was Ikai or Cho-Gyokko of China.
The genealogy is:
Ikai/Cho-Gyokko – Gamon Doshi – Garyu – Doshi – Hachiryu Nyudo – Tozawa Haku-unsai — Momochi Sandayu – The Toda Family —- Toda Shinryuken – Takamatsu Toshitsugu.
The Grandmaster Hachiryu Nyudo used a secret weapon called a “Kyoketsu-Shoge” to hit the enemies sword and disarm them (Kyoketsu-Shoge means “running through the mountains and fields”). A Kyoketsu-Shoge is a type of Kusari-Gama (sickle & chain weapon) with a rope made from women’s hair ending with a large circular iron weight.
Togakure Daisuke, who was the 5th generation grandmaster from Hachiryu Nyudo and founder of Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu used a special secret weapon by adding a secret object to both ends of a Kyoketsu-Shoge (this is Kuden). He could disappear at any time by using this secret weapon. There are also secret techniques in Gyokko Ryu for using two small balls to disappear.
Gyokko Ryu’s motto is to try to have harmony, even with the enemy and to avoid fighting while keeping a smile. If there is no choice but to fight, then completely knock down the enemy without allowing them to touch you.
In training, Gyokko Ryu teaches how to bow with the hand signals of Tenryaku Uchu Gassho Rei which means “Heavens Nature” or “Harmony of Dragon and Tiger”. When fighting, there is a special way with the Sansai-no-ho of Tenryaku, Chiryaku and Jinryaku. There are also the hand signals of Kongo Gassho, Suirin Gassho and Kafu Gassho.
The same system can also be found in Koto Ryu Koppo-jutsu.
Gyokko Ryu has Sandan Kamae system with nine styles of how to punch and use the hands in addition to three styles of kicking.
As Kosshi Taihen-jutsu there are three ways: Ryuhen (dragon), Kohen (tiger) and Hyohen (leopard) with each having nine Henka (variations).
The patterns of Gyokko Ryu are divided into Jo-ryaku, Chu-ryaku and Ge-ryaku and the Kihon Taihen-jutsu are Ichimonji, Hicho and Jumonji.
There are many Kuden (Secret teachings), including Kuraidori, Shinshin-shingan, Tenmon Chimon and others. A Kuden regarding how to surely win is called Kyohen-no-Jutsu. Shoto Tanemura was given this Kuden from Takamatsu Sensei one year before he passed away.
Gyokko Ryu and Koto Ryu have nine rules:
1. Make an effort for the country and embody the meaning of Nin (patience).
2. Control your ego, don’t regret death.
3. If someone is coming to take your life, say and show nothing.
4. If a strong enemy comes, keep an immovable heart (Fudoshin).
5. Do your best to serve and honor your teacher and your parents.
6. If one is drowned in lust, one’s power will disappear.
7. If one is drowned in alcohol, one’s power will disappear.
8. Break an enemy’s power and fighting spirit, but leave their life.
9. Do not teach or show our school’s techniques to another person.
Practitioners of this Ryu-ha must promise to keep these rules.