The list of techniques[part1 ][ part2 ][ part3 ][ part4 ][ part5 ][ part6 ][ part7 ][ part8 ]
Kukishin Ryu Hanbo

 
It is Kuriyama Ukon who devised the use of Hanbo, a ninety centimeters long staff and introduced it into Kukishin Ryu in the Azuchi-Momoyama period. Kuriyama first served the Shinjo family, the lord of Takatsuki castle. Later he served under Maeda Toshiie in Kanazawa prefecture. He participated in the Battle of Nagashino, which broke out on May 4, 1575, on Oda Nobunaga's side. He took a short spear for which he was well known; but he had a hard fight against an enemy's general named Suzuki Tangonokami Katsuhisa. Kuriyama's spear was cut in half by Suzuki's sword, yet he kept on fighting with what was left in his hand and eventually defeated him. His short staff is said to have overwhelmed enemys' swords and thoroughly beat them.1 It can therefore be assumed that Hanbo was officially included on the list of Kukishin Ryu in the early Edo period.2 A small part of Hanbo techniques has some elements of Taijutsu techniques like Munadori technique, grasping adversary's clothes by the chest. In fact, elements of spear or long staff techniques, which are thought to be the archetype of Hanbo, stay at a superficial level in Hanbo techniques. There is a deeper meaning in which every Hanbo technique should involve characteristics of sword techniques, as teaching passed on secretly through oral instruction says "[Hanbo] changes into a sword." 
In Sensudori, which is Kaiden-gata(the highest level technique), we use a 26 cm long staff. Starting with a staff of 180 cm, we learn to use a staff of 90 cm next and finally move on to a 26 cm long staff. The way we learn the techniques, from long to short, strong to soft; and the way it converges embodies the philosophy "Gou, Ri, Hou, Chi, Shin" ---the essence of Kukishin Ryu. 

 

A Han-bo and a wooden sword and a dagger

 
 


The List of Hanbo Techniques

 

Kamae-gata 1. Otonashi
2. Shinsen
3. Kachimi
4. Danpi
5. Outai (These five techniques are collectively known as Goseino-kamae.)
Kihon-gata or Furi-kata
Omotenokata
(Each technique has an alternative way.)
1. Tachiotoshi
2. Atekomi
3. Koshiore
4. Ategaeshi
5. Tsukiiri
Chugokui
(Each technique has an alternative way.)
1. Kirinohitoha
2. Otoshimatsuba
3. Mizudori
4. Gorinkudaki
5. Mawaridori
Gokuino-kata  1. Tsurunohitokoe (An alternative technique)
2. Karamedori (An alternative technique)
3. Shin-no-karamedori
Sensudori 1. Tenno-kata
2. Chino-kata
3. Jinno-kata

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[ Notes ]
1 There is another view concerning the origin of Hanbo. Kuriyama went to Kanazawa in order to serve under Maeda Toshiie at a time when social unrest had not subsided yet. At the time there were robbers who mugged people living in the castle town. One night, Kuriyama was on his beat, when he came across robbers and fought against them with his long staff. His staff was cut in half by the head of the robbers Yamada Tenryu Ken, who was an experienced swordsman of Kurama-Hachi Ryu(Kyou-Hachi Ryu). But Kuriyama beat him with the ninety centimeter staff left in his hands. After this experience, Kuriyama devised the Hanbo techniques. It was in July, 1583. (Excerpt from a letter dated May 22, 1945 Takamatsu Chosui wrote to Kuki Takaharu.)
2 It is conceivable that Hanbo had a supplementary character in Kukishin Ryu at first, given that the volume of Hanbou was regarded as a volume supplement to Bojutsu- Hihouhennomaki in Amatsutatarahibun-kaidokuhen and there was no short poem regarding the secret of the techniques listed on the text.

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