The origin of Kukishin Ryū Bōjutsu 九鬼流棒術, as we practice it, can be found among the martial arts practiced during the Tang Dynasty in China. Some of these skills and techniques came to Japan with Otomo Furumaro. Sometime during Choho period (999-1004) was reformed method of Nawa Shinzaburo Motonaga and he became Ryuso (founder) of Chōsui Ryū 澄水流. This ryu had been renamed, when the 3rd Soke Okuni Kihei Kitosumi inherited sovereignty, to Kishin Chōsui Ryū 馗神澄水流.
On Mount Kurama was a Shingon priest named Yakushimaru Kurando Taka Masa, who had studied both Kishin Chosui ryu and Shinden Fujiwara Muso Ryū 神傳藤原無双流. In the summer of 1336 Yakushimaru participated the emperor Godaigos side at Ikoma mountain and when he was in the battle broke the blade of his Naginata, he had to fight on with just the shaft. It was a life-changing experience and he developed techniques with long pole – staff 棒 – and incorporated them in his Kishin Chosui ryu. Later he founded Chosui Kukishin ryu which was shortly thereafter renamed Kukishinden Tenshin Hyoho and which today is known as Kukamishin ryu.
In 1349 Izumo no Kanja Yoshiteru founded the Kukishin Ryu Happo Bike Jutsu after studying Chosui Kishin ryu. Bojutsu techniques were recorded in a book which was named Kangi no maki .
The 27th Soke of Kukishin ryu Happo Biken – Takamatsu Toshitsugu structured these kata to what we know today as bojutsu, and left the sucession to Hatsumi Masaaki, thus he is the 28th Soke of this tradition. Takamatsu Sensei took what we call Keiko Sabaki gata from Kukishin Ryu and Shoden-, Chuden- and Okuden gata from Kishin ryu. The last three can also be found among the documents that define Amatsu Tatara Kukishin ryu bojutsu, and the first are included in both Takagi Ryu bojutsu and Kukamishin ryu bojutsu.
Kukishin ryu bojutsu has several different types of forms. The two most common are maru-bo (round rod) and Hakkaku-stay (octagonal rod). These two could also have reinforcements of metal around the ends. The other two are Donryu bo 呑竜棒 (dragon staff) and nyoi-bo 如意棒 (wishful staff). The last two rods requires an extremely high taijutsu management.
Nowadays, one standardized length of the rod to 6 shaku (6 feet, i.e. 182 cm), but in the past would be a staff 1 foot (33 cm) longer than what one was, but could also be longer. The thickness of the rod usually 1 sun (3 cm), but it could also vary.
Manufactured from wood and 2 m long, wrapped in leather and covered with metal studs. Used on battlefields to put down the warrior in armor and keep at a distance. A blow could crush a man. Could also be used as a shield against arrows, sword and other weapons. A long rope could be attached to the narrow end to provide assistance for techniques such as throws.
Bo no Kagi 棒の鉤
Rod with a hook at one end that could be used to hook the clothes or armor at a distance. The hook could also be used as a tip for strikes and swipe from the side.
Kuki Gyoja bo 九鬼行者棒 – nine demons pilgrims staff
This is a weapon that was also called Donryu bo 呑龍棒- dragon staff. Four metal tips are secured at one end and attachment is reinforced with metal strips in itself has studs. The inside is hollow and conceals a four foot long chain of weight and that can are whipped if necessary. The other end of the rod is reinforced with nine studded metal spikes and a metal tip.
Tetsubo 鉄棒 – iron staff
Same as Kanabo 金棒 – metal rod. Could weigh up to 5-6 kg.
Shakubo 錫棒 – walking stick
This rod had a big ring with nine small rings attached to it. The top of the ring had a point, like a nail. The rings and the tip of made of metal. The nail could be used to shock or impact against the enemy, like a short spear.
Ruha, Pertti. Kukishin Ryu Bojutsu – bakgrund.