Kiyojute Ryu Kempo Bugei is a unique martial arts system, in that it recognizes the many influences which took place to create the unique Okinawan Bujutsu. There have been many influences upon the small island, beginning with whatever indigenous fighting style the original settles brought with them, to the twelfth century entry of Minamoto Bujutsu, to the fourteenth century Chinese systematic influences, to the seventeenth century entry of Jigen Ryu of the Satsuma clan, and ending with a renewed interest in Chinese boxing during the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century.
While the Okinawans never just accepted any martial art style directed from the sources, they did adopt many aspects of training into their own unique martial arts styles. However, this is an important aspect of training that we can all learn from the ancient Okinawan martial artists. This is the ability to incorporate effective training methods and techniques into practical routines of practicing one’s own skills.
In example, it is known that Chojun Miyagi studied the three internal arts of China, as well as, studying Okinawan grappling skills under Choyu Motobu. There are those who say that Miyagi specifically studied Pa Kua and I Chuan. It is possible that the Kakie training of Goju Ryu is a combination of the joined hand training associated with Pa Kua and the Okinawan grappling skills.
Kiyojute Ryu Kempo Bugei takes this idea a step forward. Using the joined hand, circular walking technique of some Pa Kua schools, practitioners of this branch of Kempo, work from the joined hands position to practice their many skills.
But a truly unique aspect of this training is the inclusion of the Okinawan grappling skills. Just as in Kakie, where the pushing back and forth easily turn into joint locks and takedowns, the circle walking of Pa Kua, operating from the joined hands position, can easily be used to perform what are considered the Aikijujutsu skills of the Minamoto Bujutsu, which may be found in the derived arts of Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu and Motobu Ryu Kobujutsu, skills contained in Kiyojute Ryu Kempo Bugei.
Before adding the practice of the circle walking, which may be referred to as Marui Kempo, in the Japanese language, it is extremely important to master the actual skills of grappling one wishes to practice in the routine.
Whether a person be a student of Chin Na, Jujutsu, Aikido, or any of the other systems of grappling, it is of maximum importance that the actual grappling skills be properly mastered. Using the most familiar Japanese names for the grappling skills, the most basic ones related to Okinawan grappling and most Jujutsu systems are; Kote Gaeshi, Ude Osae, Kote Mawashi, Kote Hineri, Tekubi Osae, Ude Nobashi, and Ude Garami.
Many people practice these moves, in Aikijujutsu, Jujutsu, and other grappling skills, yet they never take the time to work the skills in a progressive and mobile manner. Some styles have very static self defense sets, which do not allow for the development of spontaneity. Others practice a free flowing, gentle method that tends to become very fixed in the movements, which makes the sets predictable and repetitive.
While there are those who try to become spontaneous through a rough form of Randori, the greatest danger is that the practitioners will become injured, because unless a person knows how to flow with the grappling skill and sees or feels the direction of force, the joint being locked can easily suffer a dislocation or worse.
Many people forget that the Minamoto, who created the type of martial art known today in the various forms of Aikijujutsu, Aikido, and even Okinawan grappling, developed an art to be used against a weapon wielding opponent. All of the previously mentioned skills were designed to damage the arm being grabbed severely enough as to render the opponent incapacitated, or at the very least incapable of handling their weapon.
While the skills must be developed to a realistic, fighting level, the safety of the practitioners must be paramount. The Marui Kempo used in Kiyojute Ryu, allows for a great deal of spontaneity. The first thing a student learns is how to walk in a circle. This is practiced in two manners with two variations.
At first the students walk in a large circle. Sometimes this circle will be a twelve foot diameter, or even larger, according to the number of students and the size of the room. Sometimes the students walk keeping their eyes straight ahead of them, at other times, they have their eyes directed towards the center of the circle. The walk is done both forwards and backwards, since in real life, one never knows what kind of situation in which they will find themselves.
After having walked the large circle with other students, each person then walks their own small circle. Once again, this should be done forward and backward, as well as, with eyes forward and directed towards the center of the circle.
In both the large circle and the small circle, students are taught how to keep their hands up in a defensive manner, and how to turn to face the opposite direction, switching the hands as they go, maintaining complete defensive protection. Learning how to turn in a fight can be extremely important, but it must be accomplished in such a manner that no opening is available for an opponent to use.
Once the circle walking has been mastered, the student then begins to walk the circle with their wrist joined to that of another student. Generally, the student focus their eyes on each other, as if they were opponents. When they turn each slides their opposite arm the length of the joined wrist, so that they now link opposite wrists. In example, if two people are walking the circle with their right wrists joined, they then slide their left arms down the length of their right arms as they turn, so that they are now joined at the left wrists, walking in the opposite direction.
After this has been achieved, now it is possible to combine the joint locking and throwing skills into the Marui Kempo. As the Kempoka walks the circle, switching from left side to right side, in order to develop an ambidextrous ability, the martial artist learns to feel the flow of energy. Once this is achieved, then the application of the different grappling skills can be utilized during the walking of the circle.
Using the walking of the circle and by performing the skills at random, the spontaneity needed to actually apply the skills in combat can be developed. Circular leading techniques are used to bring the partner’s hand into proper position for each lock. In some cases the very motion of walking can benefit the application of the grappling skills. By switching from side to side, the grappling skills themselves can be mastered on both sides, creating a very skilled and ambidextrous martial artist.
Since the beginning of the Okinawan martial arts, the Okinawans themselves have been creative in their development and execution of their skills. They learned from the martial arts geniuses of both Japan and China. The great skills of grappling have been studied, along with the many sophisticated skills of striking and training developed in China. Then the Okinawans added their own particular genius to the martial arts. A genius which created specific power generation methods unique to the Okinawan combat systems. Genius which blended the diverse skills into a complete system of incomparable ability. The genius of martial creativity.
This is the principle that helped make the Okinawan Bujutsu great. It is a principle that should continue to be applied today. Martial artists, especially those who train for self defense purposes, should keep an open mind so that they can expand upon the skills they are developing. The ancient masters learned from any source they could. In particular, it is known that the Okinawan masters adapted to their personal combat skills, Northern Shaolin and Southern Shaolin Chinese Kempo, along with the internal arts of Tai Chi, Hsing I, and Pa Kua, as well as, the Japanese arts of Minamoto Bujutsu and Jigen Ryu.
Today’s Okinawan stylist should maintain minds as open as their predecessors. Where there is further knowledge to be gained, let the martial artist be ready to learn. Where there are drills which will safely improve their skills, let them be open to learning. All knowledge is valuable and modern martial artists are in the best position to learn the wisdom of the past generations and from around the world.

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