Weapons of Ryukyu Kobujutsu

The style of Shuriken taught in the syllabus is Shingetsu Ryu Shuriken Jutsu, which was passed down form Fujita Seiko (1899 – 1966). .

Fujita Seiko was the last authentic Koga Ninja and the driving force and main influence to Sensei Motokatsu Inoue.

Authentic Shingetsu Ryu is not taught extensively in Japan and was only shown to a select hand full of seniors, including Sensei Julian Mead when he was training there. Some schools of this art can still be found today but is difficult to attribute a direct lineage and authenticity.

The initial throwing style approach in Shingetsu Ryu is based principally on the straight throwing method. This was expanded to the spin approach from blade and shaft for distance along with underarm and side throwing.

The Shuriken used are the classical darts of approximately 7-9 inches long and of good weight. The approach is mainly due to the method of short distance up to about 4 metres. Longer distances are better tackled with the spin, which uses less energy due to the rotational natural power generated.

The Shuriken are held in the palm of the hand and follow the line of the middle finger sitting in the central channel of the hand. Snapping the arm forward from the elbow, which should remain straight, lifts the arm. Caution is always placed on not dropping the arm and losing focal energy and height.

Accuracy is not important when a student first starts and the main emphasis is to get clean entry in the target. The stance is similar to “zenkutsu dachi” and the front foot is encouraged when first starting to slide slightly forward to encourage momentum. Exercises of distance training are often taught starting very close and sliding back after each throw. This is a good way of naturally getting distance achievement.

As training progresses bunching and splitting are taught along with changing the Shuriken weight and length. The student must work toward being able to throw anything and adapt to anything quickly.

Students must train every day to be competent at throwing and the practice encourages a strong sense of Zen. Try too hard they do not stick in, try without concentration they fall to the floor. The perfect balance in mental and physical harmony is imperative. Never throw with too much emotional content. Never get angry and always focus the Hara and power from stability.

Shuriken were often traditionally used to unbalance an opponent, a kind of distraction with intent. It was well known for example that Miyamoto Musashi the famous Japanese swordsman was an excellent exponent of Shuriken deploying the art of Jikida Ho. He favoured the throw to unbalance and then used his sword for the killer strike.
Fujita Seiko used a wide range of darts and his primary objective was to throw to kill. The tips were often tipped with poison using old recipes passed down through the family.