|Niten Ichi Ryuu Gorin no Taisei|
|Name||Niten Ichi Ryuu Gorin no Taisei|
|Literal English||Two Swords as One Heaven School - Flow of the Five Rings|
|Classification||Chakra Control, Ninjutsu|
The Niten Ichi Ryuu Gorin no Taisei (二天一流五輪の体勢, "Two Swords as One Heaven School - Flow of the Five Rings") is the koryu (古流, lit. "old school") of the Yagami Clan, an internal art that requires immense talent and effort to master. Each of its techniques are classed in order of difficulty from the basic Fire Circle Kata that could cleave a man in two to the Wind Circle jutsu that bend the very laws of the universe. This style is the succession of the Yagami Clan and is used with Tsukikage (月影, lit. "Moon Shadow") the Yagami ancestral blade.
The Niten Ichi Ryuu is the Yagami Clan's greatest treasure, dating back to its founding over a thousand years ago when the Sage of the Six Paths brought Ninjutsu to the shinobi world. At the time the Yagami was known as the Higurashi (茅蜩, lit. "Cicada"); and were a clan largely comprised of merchants, blacksmiths, and other craftsman. It is believed that they were commissioned to fashion weapons that would be capable of fighting the shinobi threat. Though they forged many, the greatest of their teasures would be the Tsukikage. It was a weapon capable of mystical feats, that weaponized the very teachings of the Sage of the Six Paths. It was in this era that it became known as the Sanka no Tsurugi (惨禍の剣, lit. "Sword of Calamity"); an artifact capable of causing untold levels of destruction, that nearly brought the Higurashi and her allies into ruin.
Constant war and conflict had plagued the Higurashi since the blades creation, and it was only due to the timely intervention of the Mibu Clan that saved them from total annihilation. In the aftermath of the merger, the newly established Yagami Clan was headed by the heir Yagami Ryuu, son of the former mistress of the Higurashi and head of the Mibu. It was he who derived the Niten Ichi Ryuu through years of meditation and training, by observing the effects of Tsukikage, and his attempt to replicate its power by using the human body as the medium. However the Niten Ichi Ryuu was only infantile at this time, lacking the comprehension and details as it does now. With each successive generation the successor to the Niten Ichi Ryuu has added to its teachings, expanding the clan's understanding of this mystical art, evolving, changing and expanding for over a thousand years.
The Niten Ichi Ryuu is a methodology of physical movements combined with the cultivation and circulation of one's internal energy to reach a harmonic state with the natural world. Due to its close association with the elements, and nature itself it has evolved into both a form of combat as well as one of the Yagami's most deeply philosophical concepts. Within its core doctrine; all things in the natural world exist in a perpetual ever changing state of duality. All things possess yin and yang, and in time will transform into one or the other. The practitioner himself represents the yang while the world represents yin, yet to seek balance between the two, the warrior must become the yin to nature's yang. As the body is the physical instrument of yang, it can through its movements symbolically represent the state and flow of energy found in nature. By understanding the nature of one's chakra, its spiritual and physical properties, only then will the practitioner be able to utilize and harmonize with the five divine elements. Thus it is named; Two Heavens as One; the heaven of earth representing man, and the heaven of the sky representing nature. It is only when these two are united will can achieve peace, power and prosperity.
Ying Yang Five Elements TheoryEdit
Chakra is the the essence of life and existence, it exists within the body, in the atmosphere and throughout nature itself. It is in the very water we drink, the air we breath, and the land upon which we tread. It is in the food we eat, it is at the very heart of our mind, body and soul. Before one can begin to grasp the secrets of the Niten Ichi Ryuu, they must first learn Kikou (気功, lit. "Art of Breathing"). At its earliest stages, learning first how to breathe and cultivate one's energy in order to separate it into its yin and yang components is key. The reason for this is by utilizing this breathing method, and meditation one can purify one's energy as it is being gathered. Inhaling generates yin chakra, while exhaling generates yang chakra; as the energy is passed through the body, meditation is used to help purify the energy, enhancing its quality. The purification of energy is essential to the Niten Ichi Ryuu as its philosophy denounces the barbaric concept of "more chakra equals more power"; power in this system can be achieved through small amounts of pure energy, rather than massive quantities of it.
As one's training progresses, the practitioner learns to harness their internal purified energies, and use the yin-yang chakra to interfere with and amplify the divine elements. By manipulating the elements found within the body, one can achieve superhuman physical abilities, even going so far as to change the nature of one's body. By dispersing one's chakra into the environment and doing the same, one can generate powerful elemental effects. Theoretically this process could allow any practitioner the potential to manipulate all known elements, effectively bypassing the elemental affinities shinobi rely on. As this is not nature transformation, such a feat is still within the realm of possibility. The concept and philosophy of the Niten Ichi Ryuu is based off one of the four theories of existence; one of them is called the Ying Yang Five Elements Theory. In this theory, five divine elements exist; tree, fire, earth, metal and water, and the forces that bind all five together is darkness and light; yin and yang respectively. In this theory, the divine elements represent the flow and the state of energy as it exists, and is the focus of the Niten Ichi Ryuu. Movement is power and power is energy. Through the movement of the physical body combined with the release of chakra, the practitioner seeks to alter the flow, and amplify the presence of the divine elements. The resulting harmony between the self and nature results in the manifestation of mystical powers, as the elements surge with immense might in the world. The key to understanding the Niten Ichi Ryuu is divided into the five phases, each named after a divine element. With each subsequent mastery of a state, the practitioner becomes closer to reaching true synchronization, and ultimately embodying the Niten Ichi Ryuu itself.
The Tree Circle (木円陣, Moku Enjin) is the cycle of growth, and its energy is yang. It is the foundation of the Niten Ichi Ryuu system, as it is the cultivation of one's energy. The breathe is vital to all life, it is the growth and expansion of one's own energy; as life begins at first breath and death begins at one's last; thus understanding and mastering the art of breathing is a crucial part of development. Within the Tree Circle, practitioners are taught the breathing method by which to generate yang chakra and the techniques to purify this energy as it is passed throughout the body using Yin chakra. Eventually physical conditioning is combined in order to train one in how to breath during the movement itself. In time these training exercises meld together as the breath, the movement, and the purification of energy become synchronized. Although the Tree Circle is identified as the first stage its practicality is largely for training purposes, serving as the foundation later on for the advanced techniques. Mastery of this circle however grants one phenomenal physical capabilities, drastically augmenting one's strength, speed and durability to astounding levels. One's measure of power can be directly correlated to the quality of one's reserves, and the strength and conditioning of his body.
The Fire Circle (火円陣, Ka Enjin) is the cycle of prosperity and the second phase of the Tree Circle. Building atop the principles of the Tree Circle, the Fire Circle is considered the phase where one is able to utilize the teachings of the Niten Ichi Ryuu in a practical combat environment. As fire's energy is expansive, one reaches the level where the purified chakra residing within the body can be channeled, projected, and utilized in a variety of manner. In this circle, training is heightened to the extent that the practitioner must begin to develop the necessary techniques of projection and alteration, in regards to augmenting the physical capabilities of the body, and beyond that in the environment. Mastery of the Fire Circle is said to allow the practitioner the ability to direct his chakra to interfere with the variables of the body to enable phenomenal feats of physical prowess. Techniques such as the famed Ashigaru (足軽, lit. "Light-Foot") are learned at this phase.
Earth Circle (土円陣, Chi Enjin) is the changing point of matter, it is the stage where one is able to seperate and balance the yin and yang chakra's within the body. Earth Circle is considered the premire phase of the Niten Ichi Ryuu as its mysteries are those that most closely resemble ninjutsu. At this phase the practitioner of the Niten Ichi Ryuu develops the most famed capability of the art; the ability to disperse one's chakra into the environment, and using the concepts of the Yin Yang Five Elements Theory, to engender a spiritual reaction that creates an elemental effect. In this manner practitioners of the Niten Ichi Ryuu are masters at employing the environment as their weapon, harnessing, wind, water, earth, metal, and fire to the fullest, as they unleash mighty elemental attacks! One of the key aspects of the Niten Ichi Ryuu is that it does not cater to the elemental affinities that restrict the typical shinobi. The interactions of their chakra is strictly yin-yang, however by understanding the concepts of the five elements theory, one is able to emulate an elemental affect by generating a reaction with said element. In this way, the practitioners chakra serves as the catalyst to amplify the presence of the divine element, and direct however they choose. In this way, techniques of the Niten Ichi Ryuu do not rely on hand-seals, nor do they require that one possess the appropiate elemental affinity to use any given element.
Metal Circle (金円陣, Kin Enjin)
Water Circle (水円陣, Mizu Enjin)
Behind the ScenesEdit
- The Niten Ichi Ryuu is loosely based off of the art of the same name, developed by Miyamoto Musashi.
- The "Circles" within the Niten Ichi Ryuu each represent a book in Muashi's Book of Five Rings.
- The fundamentals of this style were greatly inspired by Enlightenment of Thunder and Lightning (EOTL) from the manhwa series Veritas.
- The philosophy of this style along with the weapon Tsukikage, are based off of the style depicted in the fanfic Break the World by Rihaku. All credit goes to the original author for these brillant ideas.