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. 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.
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This is of particular interest to me, since I also practice Baji Zhandao kungfu , which like the Bujinkan, is made up of many different schools of martial art. This shows a link between the Chinese and Japanese arts that I practice.
Personally I think this is too much of a generic explanation. Jia Zi Quan is of particular interest, because the description of the movements, are not only very similar to Baji Quan, but also have similarities to the Gyokko Ryu.
Yet the power and strength come exclusively from the refined way of aligning and structuring the body, as opposed to muscular contraction. If this is true then it is unlikely that he was Shaolin, since the monks did not often populate the Imperial guard, and they were not known for these types of controlling techniques.
When we say controlling, this can include stamping on the the opponent when they are down, something that Kacem has pointed out as specific to the Gyokko Ryu. This is similar to the stamping that is found within Baji Quan and the Jia Zi Quan influence a military art that specialised in Spear; no coincidence that this is also the description for Baji Quan or Ba Zi Quan as it was formerly called! It should also be noted that the Muslim Communities during the Tang Dynasty were the main populace that made up the Imperial army!
This is the philosophy of the school. However, although one must destroy the force of the enemy, you should also endeavour to spare his life. These are high principles indeed, and more common to a Taoist or Zen Buddhist philosophy, as opposed to a Muslim one.
He should forget his ego and take care of virtues like discipline, patience, and courage. The techniques and knowledge acquired should not be passed to others without the explicit approval of the teacher. Although it has been listed as a Ninjutsu school by the Bugei Ryuha Daijiten, it is more of a Bujutsu school. The only exception I have found to this is Kacem who has taught Gyokko Ryu Koppojutsu bone breaking elements in past seminars. Furthermore, these eight basic techniques are also to be found in other Bujinkan Ryu, each with different feelings of movement and partly with different techniques.
This is the preferred style out of which several scenarios for fighting techniques are practised. When a joint lock is being practised, this is not done using pure muscle strength but, by using skillful footwork and with retention of the joint lock, you move your body to apply pressure on the opposing joint.
This can be used effectively for catching and guiding a weapon or limb where you want it without having to grab it, plus it keeps the thumbs ready for pressure striking the body at unusual angles. The preferred position for defence is Migi no kamae right leg in front in order to protect the heart better against attacks. The Gyokko Ryu is known not only for its extremely effective kosshijutsu, but also for the effective use with the katana, tanto and bo staff.
The weapons specific to the Gyokko Ryu are not often taught within the Bujinkan, but once again, as with the koppojutsu, with Kacem and Ishizuka Sensei, there is an exception.
Gyokko Ryu Kosshijutsu: la Escuela del Tigre Diamante