Kukishin Ryū Daken Taijutsu  (九鬼神流打拳体術) [Nine Fierce Deities School]

Ryushin Yakushimaru, the founder of Kukishin-ryū, was born to Dōyu Shirōhōgan at Kumano-Hongu in Wakayama prefecture on January 1, 1318. He was born into one of the most influential clans in Kumano, who were the descendants of the Fujiwara clan who served for generations as bettō, or “Shrine Supervisors." The family eventually entered into the Taira-Minamoto War and commanded the Kumano Navy. Ryushin's mother was Chigusa-hime, whose brother was Suketomo Dainagon Hino, a member of the Southern Imperial court. Because Chigusa-hime had difficulty in conceiving she made a pilgrimage to Enryaku-ji temple at Mt. Hiei where she prayed to the Yakushi Buddha (Bhaisajyaguru-Vaiduryaprabha) for help. Soon after, she became pregnant and gave birth to a baby boy, which she named Yakushimaru after the deity.

Ryushin learned the martial arts and military sciences (Shinden Fujiwara Musō-ryū) handed down in his family from his grandfather Dōjitsu and Shingu-Bettō Ariie. After learning shugendō (mountaineering asceticism) from his father Dōyu, Ryushin then went to Kyoto where he learned esoteric Buddhism from the Buddhist monk Jōkai at Sanmaku-in temple. He also trained in martial arts at Mt. Kurama and was said to be master of Kuji-hihō and Onmyo-do.

In 1335, when Ryushin celebrated his coming of age, he joined the Northern Court under Takauji Ashikaga in a war against the Southern Court. In June, 1336 Ryushin and his vanguard led an attack on the Southern Court's fort on Mt. Hiei. The fort eventually fell and the Southern Court Emperor, Go-Daigo, and his loyal vassals were captured and kept at the old palace of former Emperor Kazanin. Takauji's treatment of the prisoners was so abhorrent that Ryushin was quoted as saying "It is possible to loose the emperor from the harsh treatment he receives. I will plot his rescue." With other conspirators Ooe Gyōbu Daiyu Kageshige, Bessho Saburō Takanori (Kojima Takanori), Hiyoshi Iga Nyudō and Kisshuin Sōshin Hōgen, Ryushin broke into the palace of Kazanin and escaped to Yoshino with Emperor Go-daigo.

Tadayoshi Kuragari-Tōge, the younger brother of Takauji, was alerted of the escape and sent an army of about ten thousand men in pursuit. The army caught up with Ryushin and the conspirators at Kuragari-Tōge, a mountain pass situated on the borders of Osaka and Nara prefectures. It was here that they made a stand against the army, each choosing a weapon they were proficient with. Kageshige took a sword, Takatoku a bow and arrow, and Ryushin a halberd (naginata). As the army outnumbered them completely, it was a battle of strategy and evasion; eventually the blade of Ryushin's Naginata was cut off. So Ryushin used the remains of his naginata to knock down enemies near him and put enemies at bay by swinging the staff in the air, drawing out the kuji-kiri as he did. It is said that the Bōjutsu in Kukishin Ryū was later devised on the techniques Ryushin used on this occasion.

Reinforcements from Yoshino eventually arrived and they could safely take the Emperor Godaigo to a small temple-like hut located at Mt. Kinpusen. Ryushin also succeeded in re-capturing the “Three Treasures of the Imperial House” which he had concealed in a scripture-warehouse at Yokawa in Mt. Hiei. The Emperor Go-Daigo praised Ryushin's dedication and inquired about his secret techniques. Ryushin answered, "It is a secret technique passed on in my family. It is The secret art of Kuji." The emperor then made an announcement as follows: "God knows your loyalty. You shall change your surname Fujiwara to Kuki." The "Ku" of Kuki stands for "Ku" or “nine” in Japanese. "Ki" can be pronounced "Kami" if the character is pronounced in the Japanese way, meaning "Oni-gami"(holy spirit) as opposed to "Oni" (evil spirits). "Ku-ki" is therefore actually "Ku-kami." However, it has been customarily pronounced Kuki since the Edo period.

After the war Ryushin's mother Chigusa Hino, whose family belonged to the Southern Court, lamented over the fact that Ryushin took the side of the Northern Court. She traveled to Musashi (modern day Hino city in Tokyo,) where the Hino family still lived and she died despondently. After his mother's death, Ryushin created the Kukishin Bojutsu in honor of his mother which he called "Juji-Roppou-Kujidome" devoted and himself to protecting the Emperor Go-Daigo.

The records of the Kuki family are kept in scrolls and transcriptions which have been rarely shown, but which have been seen and accounted for by scholars. These ancient documents came to be known to the public when Miura Ichiro published A Study of the Kuki Archives in 1941. The scrolls are known for containing supplementary records concerning the mythological age, complementing the Kojiki and the Nihon Shoki, the two major ancient documents in Japan. Volumes on Ko-shinto, martial arts and Kumano Honzan Shugendō were accounted. Until Miura's publication, the only mention of the scrolls was in volume two of Sontoku Okina Yawa that detailed Kuki Takahiro, the 24th head of the Kukis, giving "ten volumes of books concerning Shintoism" to the scholar Ninomiya Sontoku. After Miura's publication came Kuki-shinden-zensho by Ago Kiyotaka, a leading figure in the study of ancient history, detailing some of the contents of the scrolls, including the origins and history of Kukishin-ryū.

Shoden Gata - 初伝型

Seion (Sound of life) - 生音

The uke grabs the tori's right sleeve and left lapel. The attack is to push with the right hand and pull the arm with the left to unbalance the tori.

Grab the uke's right sleeve and pull, while at the same time thrusting into the asagasumi with a boshiken, shifting to the left. Kick into the back of the uke's knee and drive it to the floor with the rear leg, then throw. 

Uyoku (Bird's wing) - 鳥翼

The uke grabs the tori's right sleeve and left lapel. The attack is to push with the right hand and pull the arm with the left to unbalance the tori.

Grab the uke's right sleeve and pull, while at the same time thrusting into the asagasumi with a boshiken, shifting to the left. Kick to the front of the leg, above the knee to break the leg. Shift in turning clockwise, dropping down to one knee and throwing with seoi nage.

Yume Otoshi (Dream Drop) - 夢落

The uke strikes with a left and right fist. 

Deflect the left strike with the right hand, then deflect the right strike with the left hand, catching hold of the wrist or sleeve. Thrust into the asagasumi with a boshiken and shift the hand to the shoulder blade. Place the elbow underneath the chin and use the leverage along with osoto gake to throw the uke on their back. 

It is the same for hidari waza.

Suiyoku (Water Wing) - 水翼

The uke strikes with a right tsuki, left tsuki and a right tsukigeri.

Deflect the right tsuki with the lead arm and deflect the left tsuki with the lead arm, catch hold of that sleeve or wrist. Deflect the tsukigeri with the left hand and at the same time strike to the uke's right kirigasumi, then kick the uke's leg with the right leg. After the kick, pull back with the right leg into a kneeling position. Push into the kirigasumi to throw the uke with a push-pull action.

Suisha (Water Wheel) - 水車

The uke strikes with right tsuki, left tsuki and a right tsuki. 

Deflect the first strike with uchi age to the wrist, deflect the second strike with uchi age to the inner forearm, then deflect the third strike with uchi age to the bicep. Shift in and place the lead arm on the opponents back shoulder and grab the wrist, twisting the inside of the arm up. Kick up to the uke's inner thigh with hagiken, then turn and throw with uchi mata. 

This throw can be done to the left or right. To change direction, kick with the other leg and step in with uchi mata.