This art (jutsu) consists of locks, entanglements, strangling, striking and kicking, as well as the use of small weapons such as shuriken. The Taijutsu techniques of Kukishin-ryū were altered by the seventh head of the school Kiyotaka Kuki, and organized by his son Sumitaka. This was because the techniques of Atekomi (striking) originated at times when armor was worn and became outdated. These techniques were modified to fit in with the early edo jidai. In the late Edo era, the twenty-fifth Soke, Takatomo Kuki, devised the Kihongata that consisted of eight techniques used for teaching the basics of the Ryu arts to beginners- however, this review did little to quell its brutality in learning and teaching. In an effort to make safer to learn and teach, Takatomo altered the techniques so that beginners could practice without suffering injuries. Takatomo served at Nijō Castle in Kyoto, where on February 28, 1864 he visited the Imperial Court and demonstrated his new methods to the emperor.
Kukishin-ryū and Takagi-Yōshin-ryū Taijutsu
There is a strong relationship between the taijutsu of Kukishin-ryū and Takagi-Yoshin-ryū. According to Takamatsu Chōsui, the story of blending of Takagi-ryū Taijutsu into Kukishin-ryū (and Kukishin-ryū bōjutsu into Takagi-ryū) is as follows:
The untimely death of inheritor Sadataka Kuki left Kukishin-ryū without an heir. Therefore the eldest son of Yoshitaka Kuki, named Kihei, became the successor. During the time of his inheritance, Kihei's health was very poor and he was bedridden. Eventually he grew stronger and was able to head the ryū properly, even becoming a mountaineering ascetic and traveling far across Japan. During one of his journeys Kihei happened to meet the son of Gennoshin Takagi in Akou (present day Hyōgo Prefecture), who was named Umanosuke. During their visit together, they compared the acumen of their two ryu. Whereas Takagi exceeded in Taijutsu, Kihei's Bōjutsu was superior. So in agreement, they altered the basic format of the two ryū. Since this time the basic Taijutsu of Kukishin-ryū is Takagi-ryū while the Bōjutsu, Spear and Naginata techniques have remained Kukishin-ryū.r