There were two secrets in the old jujitsu. One was the kappo, the methods of resuscitation, and the other was the sappo, or the methods of attacking vital spots of the body in order to cause a coma, asphyxia, or death. These secrets were usually taught together and handed down by word of mouth from master to pupil in sworn secrecy so that the pupil was unable to disclose any of them without his master’s permission.
Kappo developed along with the development of jujitsu in the 1600’s and was refined and added to by many jujitsu masters of various schools since then. Each school had its own secret techniques used to attack opponents and also to save wounded comrades with emergency treatment, such as katsuho (emergency revival treatments). Katsu revival techniques were kept secret so that the enemy would not be able to potentially revive an injured comrade allowing him to return to battle.
Before modern medical treatment in Japan, kappo was often the only chance a person had to recover from a severe injury. Ribs broken in battle could puncture a lung causing it to collapse leading to almost certain death. Many of these revival techniques were often desperate, last-ditch attempts to keep the warrior alive. It was of vital importance to return an injured warrior to the battlefield quickly so that he could continue fighting.
The methods of sappo (killing blows) were always traditionally taught in conjunction with methods of kappo (resuscitation). This balanced approach allowed the jujitsu expert to dispatch an opponent and quickly revive him. This dual concept fits the oriental ideas of yin and yang (opposites) and the importance of maintaining balance in life.
Sappo is the art of striking vital points with the intent to deliver a disabling or fatal blow. These vital points are anatomical weak areas in the body’s structure. Normally these points are fairly well protected. However, at times these areas can be more susceptible to attack. Struck with sufficient force and the proper angle and direction, serious or fatal injury will occur. Vital points utilized in fighting are related to acupressure points used for healing.
Kappo, also known as katsu (resuscitation), is the medical art for the restoration of life, the resuscitative first aid techniques. This art is designed to resuscitate persons who have fainted or who have been knocked unconscious. Originally it was felt that katsu should be employed for reviving victims of attacks. Later, however, it was discovered that this art was also effective in some cases of drowning, sunstroke and in helping victims of accidents. It should be noted that these methods are ancient and are no longer considered the standard of modern medical care. These methods have been replaced around the world by updated versions known as cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
While kappo, also known as fukkatsu, is an ancient resuscitation art, seifukujitsu are methods of adjusting and restoring (healing). Shiatsu (finger pressure techniques), anma (ancient massage), do in (gentle approach to the Way), and sekotsu (bone setting) were other restoration techniques. The Shiatsu ryoho (finger pressure way) of healing later became known as shiatsu ho (finger pressure method) of healing. Amma or Anma (ancient massage) is over 300 years old, dating back to at lease the Edo period (1603-1868) later to become seifukujitsu (restorative massage) under Professor Seishiro Okazaki. Kappo (resuscitation technique) in modern times is called jinko kyoku ho (artificial respriation). All kappo are considered jimmei kyujo (life saving) techniques.
Other Kiai Echo 2017 Issue 1 Articles:
- Editor’s Corner
- Koa Kan is Born
- DZR Chicago Clinic 2016
- Betty Fisher Remembered
- Bud Estes’ Yawara
- Fighting Fit
- 10,000 Reasons
- Jujitsu at the Beach
- Two Lines
- Black Belt Promotions
- Growth and Development
- A Philosophy of Sutemi
- Do You Have the Power?
- AJJF Business
- Donate to the AJJF
- Open Letter to O’hana