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On my last trip Noguchi Sensei surprised us by teaching Gikan-ryū Koppōjutsu. I think he just recently decided to start teaching this Ryū-ha. He said he learned the techniques from Hatsumi Sōke four years ago in a private session.
I have trained techniques that was claimed to be Gikan-ryū by western teachers before. I did not see any similarity what so ever, this was completely different.
There is 10 techniques in all, they don’t have any names. He showed us his notes and it was 3-4 pages with descriptions of the techniques. I attended two of the Gikan-ryū trainings he did in November this year. Fortunately I got to train all 10 techniques (I think?) with a lot of henka. It was a blast training with such good friends as Ari (Dai Shihan from Finland) and Philip (Dai Shihan from Denmark).
I’m not gonna give any descriptions here, but Noguchi Sensei said that the characteristics of this school is to attack the opponent from the side. Several techniques you hit his kidney. Many strikes was done with Ura-ken for example.
This inspired me to create a new page to the web site, click the button below.
Earlier this year I heard that Ishizuka Sensei had been appointed as the new Sōke of Gyokkō-ryū. Now Nagato Sensei said that he had been appointed as the new Sōke of Shindenfudō-ryū. At the Buyukai I heard rumours about Noguchi Sensei was going to be the next Kotō-ryū Sōke (which now has been confirmed). No one has been appointed Sōke for Gikan-ryū yet, but I have my suspicions.
Sōke is now 88 years old
88 is an important number in Japanese, not only because it is a “double infinity”, but…. The eighty-eighth birthday is the occasion of beiju (米寿), “rice age”, because the Chinese character for rice, 米, looks like the characters for eight tens plus eight (八十八).
Hatsumi Sōke was in a good mood this trip. His knees are weak so he have trouble getting up and down on the floor so we do standing bow ins and outs in the training now.
Senō Sensei said a few years ago, he felt energised during Hatsumi Sōke’s birthday because there was so many familiar places coming and giving him good energy. I think Hatsumi Sōke feels the same way.
I have added several more pictures on the Kaigozan Dōjō Instagram page.
Yes, I have read Turnbull and know his version but I have spent 15 years by Soke’s side hearing the wisdom that our art has brought us.
It reverberates deeply. It is not academic.
We are not looking to prove a direct lineage. At least I am not.
I am trying to explore the origin story of the Toda family’s art. I don’t care how old it really is. If the art was created in the Edo period by a bunch of Onmitsu and Oniwaban agents, then so be it.
To me, it is like the Masons picking up where the Templars left off. The Toda family were no doubt Takasho which have a strong connection to the Onmitsu and Oniwaban. I have continuously found records that prove the Toda family have worked as Torimi/Onmitsu agents and can prove that they came from the Iga-Shu sharpshooters.
The evidence is mounting high very quickly. It is just a matter of putting a label on it. Toda Sensei felt it should be called Togakure Ryu. Maybe it is just a remnant of the Iga Ryu giving credit to the story of Togakushi. Whatever, I am just interested in the ride through history that this origin story has provided us because without it I never would have had this personal adventure of discovery and excitement.
Seriously, every day I find more and more than just line up with Takamatsu’s story. I think we are just still stuck on what we do and do not call ninja and ninjutsu.
And I for one still prefer my Japanese resources. As great as a researcher as he is, I do not think he is the one to draw the line as to what is and what is not the truth about a very secretive Japanese art.
Bujinkan Kokusai Renkoumyo