The ideas of Kukishinryu - written with assistance by
Andrew Young (UK) and Lauri Jukinen (Finland)
As many of you may know the ryuha chosen for the training during 1999 is the Kukishin Ryu. Actually, the training up until1997 was the completion of the first nine year cycle focusing on the happobiken ('eight ways, secret sword' or the "8" ways of weapons plus the secret sword, giving a total of nine).
A specific weapon was chosen each year to demonstrate the movements of taijutsu. Starting with the three foot stick (hanbo), weapons such as the chain, truncheon (jutte), staff and other long weapons were utilized to develop and understand one's weaknesses in body movement. This cycle ended with the swords.
After a cycle of ryuha for five years and three years for Jupposessho, Hatsumi started to focus on the ryuha – 2005 was Shinden fudoryu, 2006 was Gyokoryu koshijutsu, 2007 was dedicated to Kukishinryu dakentaijutsu.
The ideas Hatsumi used to emphasize the specialties
Kuki Taisho translated one way can be the idea of fighting but still being able to smile. Another translation is the smile of the demons.
Oni Gokko is the ability to play hide and go seek. In this game you are playing hide and go seek with demons, and then tend to be a bit rough.
“demons gate” the direction that demons comes from.
In the techniques Kimon is North-West and in Ura kimon it is South-West – But I found other directions. Could be in general: the direction that is mostly difficult and not expected by the enemy. Has to do with directions: The path you take your adversary or this can mean ones' own direction in life.
The three methods of movement in Kukishinryu:
sabaki, moguri and shirabe: The appearance of sabaki, moguri and shirabe ideas are found not only in the kamae, but in one's mental state; another form of kamae.
One should use the sabaki gata (way of moving according to the type of protection available). With regards to Japanese armor: angle the body to bring the shoulder plate forward while stepping off line of the attack. This movement will protect the flank and undersides of the arm. Maintain too, the narrowest angle to the opponent to cause blows to glance off.
The second method of movement is moguri gata (the movement of dropping down and rising up under the opponent). Any weakness in armor protection will often be around the limbs and body joints. Therefore entering from below with the body or weapon (e.g. a rising cut with the sword) will become more effective. More importantly, one will gain the chance to capture the opponent's balance.
The third method involves a great deal of subtlety. Known as shirabe gata (literally meaning 'finding out' or 'investigating'), the maneuvers to expose the opponents' strengths and weaknesses, likewise intentions and capabilities. When used in conjunction with the sabaki or moguri movements one can find hidden weapons or specific weaknesses in armor protection.
At another level one may see straight though to the opponent's heart. In order to achieve this, understanding human nature is of primary importance.
With regards to armor: Hatsumi demonstrated that the footwork should be light and flowing, as opposed to the contrary idea of heavy movement.