What are "koppou tactics"?

Kforcer

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The submission-grappler that I most admire, Masakatsu Funaki, was described in 1987, by a UWF description, as utilizing "koppou-tactics" which have become influential as a fighting technique.

Would this mean he was using the art of koppo in his fights? Or would koppou-tactics refer to something else? This fascinates me to no end, because I discovered that Masakazu Imanari, Takefumi Hanai and Takumi Yano--more contemporary grapplers with a style much in the spirit and after the fashion of Funaki's--were said to practice something either called koppo or koppou.

Does anyone know anything more? Is there a Japanese grappling art known as koppo? Is there something else known as "koppou"? Would "koppou-tactics" not be referring to a specific art at all, in the context of a mixed martial artist/shoot-style professional wrestler utilizing "koppou-tactics" but simply a use of certain moves?
 

Chris Parker

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Hi,

The most common way you will encounter the term "koppo" is within the Ninjutsu-related arts. Koto Ryu, Gikan Ryu, Gyokushin Ryu, and Kumogakure Ryu (as well as Togakure Ryu, to my mind at least) all involve koppojutsu as an aspect of their curriculum. Koto Ryu in particular is known as Koppojutsu.

In these arts, the term "koppo" is sometimes refered to as "bone breaking", although a more literal translation is "bone methods". The concept involves striking to the skeletal structure of an opponent (attacking it) in order to defeat them.

I have, however, seen another art that uses the term "koppo". It is basically a modern Japanese Jujutsu and knife fighting system, and some of it is seen of the Human Weapon Ninjutsu episode.
 
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Kforcer

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--At 5:26 is the description of Masakatsu Funaki that mentions his "koppou-tactics" which have become influential.

He used rolls, somersaults and a variety of acrobatic movements to get into submission positions--usually leglock positions--from standing. He also had some kicks that involved sliding or rolling, unusual for an MMA'ist.

Takefumi Hanai, Imanari, Takumi Yano all share those sorts of tactics with Funaki and have been described as koppou practitioners. Could this be the point of reference? Or a sign of koppou/koppo influence?

Thank you, this subject is very fascinating. Funaki is the grappler I study the most, and perhaps Takefumi Hanai and Masakazu Imanari are tied for second most studied. I have never practiced ninjitsu, but I have always respected it and would love to know if ninjitsu thus somehow indirectly influenced my game. I think that would really be cool, because even though I don't know a lot about the style, I love it and have been impressed by what I've seen.
 

Chris Parker

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Okay. I was not aware of any of these guys, but what you have here is Japanese Professional Wrestling, basically a similar idea to the WWE. Koppo(u) seems to be a term they are using for acrobatic (and therefore impressive looking) maneouvres, similar to the idea of a form of highyl acrobatic and aerial wrestling from Mexico being refered to as lucha libre, and the wrestlers themselves being known as luchadors.

Don't look too much into the term itself, I'd suggest, it's similar to WWE wrestlers being described as having a "high risk" style. And no, there is nothing in any way related to Ninjutsu here at all. It's pro wrestling.
 
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Kforcer

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I think there is a misunderstanding about the nature of the UWF--it isn't simply professional wrestling. Its a shoot-style professional wrestling organization made up of legitimate, world-class submission-wrestlers trained by old-school catch-as-catch-can wrestlers such as Karl Gotch, Billy Robinson, etc. that not only engaged in shoots such as style vs. style shoots, but formed the backbone of the entirety of Japanese mixed martial arts.

Shooto, the oldest of the MMA organizations, was founded by the UWF's Satoru Sayama. Pancrase, the second oldest of the MMA organizations, was founded by UWF members Masakatsu Funaki, Minoru Suzuki, Ken Shamrock and a number of others. UWF alumni Dan Severn and Ken Shamrock were also integral to the UFC. RINGs, another famous Japanese MMA organization (the organization where Fedor came from), was founded by Akira Maeda, also of the UWF. Kazushi Sakuraba also came out of the UWF.

The main distinction is simply that the UWF was at the time, a more stylized exhibition of what its members were capable of, which crumbled under political struggles and beneath an overwhelming desire of the younger wrestlers to showcase what they could do in an unplanned environment.

But the techniques and the training in the UWF was well beyond merely legit. Hence it forming such a strong foundation for Japanese MMA. What you say makes sense though, because the former UWF'ers, in their lives as MMA'ists and competitive grapplers, have been known for their high-risk style.
 

Chris Parker

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What I had to go on was the video you posted, and that was certainly pro-wresting. Now, I'm going to go on record here as saying I love pro-wrestling, especially the WWE. I have more than enough understanding to see how the moves actually work, and I know the origins (quite nasty and brutal) of most of them. But if this term "koppo(u)" is being used here, it seems to be a reference to a style in wrestling, nothing more. I meant no disrespect to the UWF, but that was pro-wrestling, pure and simple.
 

kaizasosei

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It says 'with unique footwork and striking drawing on or supplemented with koppo-brought a new wind or wave into the sport'

old japanese striking arts i believe are often summed up as koppo towards the layman. It's sortof like knocking on a door rather than a punch from the shoulder. I'm not certain, but this is the impression i get when i hear how people use the term.

Also brings to mind the term 'kotsu' as in -the knack. But it is the kanji for bones.


j
 
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Kforcer

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What I had to go on was the video you posted, and that was certainly pro-wresting. Now, I'm going to go on record here as saying I love pro-wrestling, especially the WWE. I have more than enough understanding to see how the moves actually work, and I know the origins (quite nasty and brutal) of most of them. But if this term "koppo(u)" is being used here, it seems to be a reference to a style in wrestling, nothing more. I meant no disrespect to the UWF, but that was pro-wrestling, pure and simple.

Its pro-wrestling, but its not necessarily in the same vein as the WWE; if you watch a lot of the UWF and then for example, watch the participants in their later competitive careers as fighters/grapplers, you see a lot of similarities. For example, Funaki's style of rolling submission entries from different angles was in tact and probably even magnified, Kazushi Sakuraba's favored moves were the same in the UWF and in mixed martial arts, etc.

I guess my point is that I think it is possible that if someone is referring to a person's style in the UWF, it could have larger implications about that individual's actual martial arts style. For example, someone breaking down the style of an MMA champion that hailed from the UWF, be it Ken Shamrock, Funaki, Sakuraba or whomever, in the context of a UWF bout might still yield up similar insights into that person's style as he would had he been breaking down their style as utilized in MMA or grappling.

It seems possible to me, anyhow. Naturally, insights about the style someone uses in pro-wrestling wouldn't necessarily yield insight into their martial arts style; but again, I think it is possible if the individual in question happens to use similar moves in both arenas.

Actually, the other guys I mentioned weren't pro-wrestlers, but rather students of Funaki or people influenced by him stylistically. They did emerge from the world of pro-wrestling, sort of, but the organizations they came out of had already turned to "shoots" by the time they came around.

Here is a video of one of the people mentioned as a koppo/koppou practitioner, Takumi Yano:
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This is another of the guys, one of my favorite fighters, Takefumi Hanai(he is a protege of Funaki, via his instruction manuals), also said to have trained koppo:

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Here's another guy, Tokoro, that was supposed to have trained koppo:

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I guess a spinning back-fist he used, he accounted to a trainer of his that practiced koppo?

What I'm getting is that perhaps people who were influenced by Funaki grappling-wise or as students also happened, coincidentally, to train in the art of koppo as well and there is no over-arching connection other than a write-up on him utilizing that word in the English translation.
 

Chris Parker

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I found this webstore that seems to have a few items you may be interested in: http://www.puroresushop.com/pro53

Go down the page to below the Kosen Judo stuff.

But I will say that all the names I am seeing there are again Pro Wrestlers (Lyger, Fujimoto, the use of a Dragon Sleeper etc), so I am still thinking it is a Pro Wrestling term in Japan. And yes, the Japanese version of Pro Wrestling is a bit different to the WWE, but it is still Pro Wrestling.

The clips you posted in the last post are interesting. I would surmise that "koppo" in this regard started as a style of Pro Wrestling, and has been adapted for MMA and submission style contests. Not uncommon, in Pro Wrestling in the US, a number of people have done both, with a degree of success. And there have been MMA persons who turn to Pro Wrestling as well (Ken Shamrock at the top of that list). So I'm not disparaging either. But for origins, I would look to Japanese Pro Wrestling.

Oh, and this is completely unrelated to anything a Ninjutsu practitioner would recognise as our Koppojutsu, which tends to be more striking oriented.
 

kaizasosei

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My translation was not that good but i'm sure it is saying that the footwork comes from the 'koppo' as well as some actual striking.

I'm thinking, natural movements can be used in a variety of different situations.

j
 

George Kohler

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The koppo tactics they are referring to is based on a person by the name of Horibe Seishi who teaches a family art which he called koppo. As I understand he combined his family art with submission grappling after the BJJ craze started. I think his organization is called Nihon Budo-den Koppo Kai. Horibe claims his koppo was started by Otomo no Komaro in 8th century.

His website is http://koppo.jp/

You can see a video of it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JxyDEkin28k&feature=player_embedded

Here is an old Black Belt article of him http://books.google.com/books?id=VN...#v=onepage&q=The ancient art of Koppo&f=false
 
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