The techniques emphasized in the Gyokko school are:
- Bone breaking and muscle damage - kosshijutsu (骨指術)
- Using the digits for striking and maiming - shitojutsu
- Sword and stick fighting - kenjutsu, and bojutsu.
History of Gyokko ryu
Myth describes Cho Gyokko as the teacher who brought the school to Japan from China during the Tang dynasty. It was handed down from generation to generation. Sakagami Taro Kunishige organized Gyokko Ryū shitojutsu; in the Tenmon period (1532 - 1550), he taught it to Toda Sakyo Isshinsai who created Gyokko Ryū kosshijutsu. Its sister school is the Koto Ryū, also created by Toda. Both Gyokko Ryū and the aforementioned Koto Ryū were taught by Toda to Momochi Sandayu, who carried on the traditions within Iga Ryū until the late Tokugawa period (mid (19th Century). Techniques from Gyokko Ryū and Koto Ryū became the foundation for techniques of Togakure Ryū.
The school's expertise is roughly divided into sections:
- Taijutsu - unarmed against unarmed.
- Muto dori - unarmed against short sword and knife and unarmed against katana.
Formal stages of Gyokko Ryū
- Ki Gata (The postures of Gyokko Ryū, includes methods of moving within them)
- Torite Kihon Gata and Moto Gata (These are the fundamental techniques that make up the system)
- Joryaku no Maki (Contains various forms, each form contains principles that the practitioner needs to understand)
- Churyaku no Maki (Contains more forms, these are more advanced than Joryaku no Maki forms)
- Geryaku no Maki (Contains very advanced forms)