curriculum-koppoujutsushoden

Koppoujutsu Shoden

Koppoujutsu (骨法術) is an ancient form of armed and unarmed combat which focuses on striking bones and skeletal structure to break and knock down the opponent. Koppoujutsu shoden is a foundational module that teaches the basic principles and concepts of koppoujutsu.

The fundamentals of koppoujutsu are split into three levels; shoden, chuuden and jouden or beginner, intermediate and advanced.

Koppoujutsu shoden is made up of 18 forms split into three categories, postures [kamae] (構), engaging [daken] (打拳), and geigeki [counter attacking] (迎撃). These three areas are called Koppou Roppou Kamae, Koppou Roppou Daken and Koppou Roppou Geigeki respectively. Along with the daken are 6 hand striking postures called (houken) [宝拳].   

These forms are designed to reinforce muscle memory and practice good martial habits.

Kotouha Houshiki - 虎方式


The system of Kotouha (虎倒派) or the Tiger Felling School has a core system of movement, which was developed for a certain kind of close combat engagement. Kotouha focuses on close combat, grappling and hidden weapons; aligning the system with a compact method of movement and footwork.

Below are core concepts which the techniques of koppoujutsu rely on. 

Sokushin Sokuhou - 足進側方 (Lateral Step): From shizen no kamae, lower the lead leg and place the rear foot behind the lead foot in an L shape. Then step out of sokushin sokuhou with the lead foot in any direction.

Kamae Taoshi - 構倒 (Structure Breaking): Knock down the opponent from above and below, locking the structure, then breaking it. 

Hagi Keri - 骭蹴 (Shin kick): From sokushin sokuhou, thrust up to the suzu (pelvis) with the shin. Hagi keri is used to break the structure and posture.

Gantsubushi - 顔潰 (Taking the face/senses): Similar to metsubushi (目潰) or blinding powder, gantsubushi is a posture and movement, usually from shizen which disrupts the opponents senses to strike from a hidden position. Can include throwing blinding powder, sand or similar to obstruct vision.

The houshiki are embedded into the 18 techniques of Koppoujutsu Shoden. The purpose of this section is to highlight the importance of these concepts within the system.


Koppoujutsu Shoden Kamae - 骨法術初伝

Kamae (構) are postures or biomechanical structures of the body for specific use in both unarmed and armed combat. The kamae practiced in Koppoujutsu are derived from the Tiger Felling School (Koto Ryu).

[一] Seigan no Kamae - 青眼の構 (True Eye Posture): The lead hand is in Kitenken pointing at the opponent's eyes, while the lead foot is forward pointing at the opponent. The rear hand is in Kitenken resting on the bicep of the lead arm, while the rear leg is at a right angle to the opponent. Koto Ryu seigan is shallow, feet shoulder width apart.

[二] Bobi no Kamae - 防備の構 (Defensive Posture): The lead hand is in Niouken (仁王拳) pointing at the opponent's eyes, while the lead foot is forward pointing at the opponent. The rear hand is in Niouken resting on the hip, while the rear leg is at a right angle to the opponent. Bobi is very shallow, with both feet together.

[三] Shizen no Kamae - 自然の構 (Natural Posture): The body is facing the opponent and the legs are shoulder width apart, parallel facing forward. The hands are in Kitenken resting on the pelvic inlet or the belt. 

[四Houko no Kamae - 抱圍の構 (Encircling Posture): The lead hand is forward in Kitenken pointing up, while the lead foot is forward pointing at the opponent. The rear hand is in Kitenken also pointing up but slightly off-set from the lead hand, while the rear leg is facing forward and also slightly off-set from the lead leg. Koto Ryu Houko is a shallow posture.

[五] Hira Ichimonji no Kamae - 平一文字の構 (Level Straight Line Posture): The body is facing the opponent and both arms are stretched out in a straight line. Both hands are in Kitenken. The posture is shallow.


[六] Sukimi no Kamae - 隙楣の構 (Shoulder Yoke Posture): The body is facing the opponent and both arms are stretched out in a straight line. Both hands are in Kitenken. The legs are crossed (sokushin sokuhou). The posture is shallow.

Koppoujutsu kamae serve as the core foundation of movement in the Tiger Felling School (Koto Ryu). The idea of kamae is to maintain posture through movement in both attack and defence. Kamae allow the practitioner to maintain a combat posture that transitions into striking or grappling, without having to think about movement. These kamae should be programmed into the body's muscle memory.


Koppoujutsu Shoden Houken - 骨法術初伝宝拳

Hōken (宝拳) are the striking postures of the limbs of the Tiger Felling School (Koto Ryuu).


[一] Niou Ken - 仁王拳 (Deva fist): Clenched fist, thumb resting on the index finger.

[二] Kiten Ken - 起転拳 (Turning fist): Fingers are clenched together facing forward in a cupping action with the thumb locked in on the side. 

[三Happa Ken - 八葉拳 (Eight Leaves fist): Hand is open. Fingers are together and slightly bent. 

[四] Koppou Ken - 骨法拳 (Thumb Bone fist): Clenched fist, thumb on top of index finger in bent shape. 

[五] Shikan Ken - 指環拳 (Ring Finger fist): Fingers together, but fully bent. Striking with the tip of the bent finger.

[六] Hagi Ken - 拳 (Shin fist): Shin.

The striking postures protect the fingers and hands. They are vital to the effectiveness of the striking postures (kamae).

Koppoujutsu Shoden Daken - 骨法術初伝打拳

Daken (打拳) refers six basic techniques (waza) [技] that are designed to align the body and teach proper biomechanics. These daken are the basic striking forms of Koppoujutsu and form the foundation of attack and defence.

[一] Joudan Tsuki - 上段突 (high thrust): This waza begins from seigan no kamae. Transition into houko no kamae with sokushin sokuhou (cross step) and at the same time strike with a high thrust (joudan tsuki) with the fist in niouken. Reset to seigan no kamae. 

[二] Gedan Tsuki - 下段突 (low thrust)This waza begins from bobi no kamae. Transition into sokushin sokuhou (cross step) and at the same time strike with a low thrust (gedan tsuki) with the fist in niouken. Reset to bobi no kamae. 

[三] Jakkin Tsukihagi -  弱骨 (shoulder joint strike and kick)From shizen no kamae, transition with sokushin sokuhou (cross step) while raising one hand to guard, then strike with shikan ken (ring finger fist) to the jakkin (shoulder joint), followed by a kick with hagi ken (shin kick). Reset to shizen no kamae.

[四] Happa Tsukihagi -  八葉突 (palm strike and kick)From shizen no kamae, transition with sokushin sokuhou (cross step) while raising both hands into houko no kamae, kick with hagi ken (shin kick) and then immediately strike to the face with happa ken (palm strike). Reset to shizen no kamae.

[五] Koppou Tsukihagi - 骨法骭 (thumb bone strike and kick)From hira ichimonji no kamae, sokushin sokuhou (cross step) and immediately strike with koppou ken to the kasumi (temple). Follow up with a hagi ken (shin kick) to the pelvis. Reset to hira ichimonji no kamae. 

[六] Ryoute Happa Tsukihagi - 両手八葉突 (double clap and kick)From hira ichimonji no kamae, sokushin sokuhou (cross step) and immediately kick with hagi ken (shin kick) to the pelvis. Follow up with a double happa ken (hand clap) to head. Reset to hira ichimonji no kamae. 

Koppoujutsu daken teach the basic striking methods of the Tiger Felling School (Koto Ryuu). Embedded within the koppoujutsu daken are simple concepts of striking high or low to set up the next strike or kick. Koppoujutsu daken transitions easily into throwing and grappling techniques.

Koppoujutsu Shoden Geigeki - 骨法術初伝迎撃

Geigeki (迎撃) are counter attacks that receive the opponent's attack and follow up with action to disrupt the opponent's posture to set them up for a counter strike or throw. 

[一] Gantsubushi Jakkin Keri - 顔潰弱骨蹴 (Taking the Senses, Striking to the Shoulder Joint and Kicking): From shizen no kamae, shift forward with the lead leg, bring up the lead arm in kitenken and then with the rear arm strike to the jakkin with joudan tsuki. Sokushin sokuhou, then kick with hagiken using the lead leg. Same for migi and hidari.

[二] Gantsubushi Happa Keri - 顔潰八葉 (Taking the senses, Striking to the face and Kicking): From shizen no kamae, shift forward with the lead leg, bring up the lead arm in kitenken and then sokushin sokuhou while bringing up the rear arm, forming hokou no kamae. Kick up to the opponents suzu with hagiken, then strike with happa ken to the face. Same for migi and hidari.

[三] Hira Ichimonji Koppou - 平一文字骨法 (Level Posture with Bone Strike): The body is facing the opponent and the legs are shoulder width apart, parallel facing forward. The hands are in Kitenken resting on the pelvic inlet or the belt. 

[四] Hira Ichimonji Happa - 抱圍の構 (Encircling Posture): The lead hand is forward in Kitenken pointing up, while the lead foot is forward pointing at the opponent. The rear hand is in Kitenken also pointing up but slightly off-set from the lead hand, while the rear leg is facing forward and also slightly off-set from the lead leg. Koto Ryu Houko is a shallow posture.

[五] Hira Ichimonji no Kamae - 平一文字の構 (Level Straight Line Posture): The body is facing the opponent and both arms are stretched out in a straight line. Both hands are in Kitenken. The posture is shallow.


[六] Sukimi no Kamae - 隙楣の構 (Shoulder Yoke Posture): The body is facing the opponent and both arms are stretched out in a straight line. Both hands are in Kitenken. The legs are crossed (sokushin sokuhou). The posture is shallow.