片腕奥行き流 | Kataudeokuyuki-ryū | Way of One Arm Length
A (B-Rank upkeep)
Taijutsu, Fighting style
Offensive, Defensive, Supplementary
The invention of Kyōsuke, Kataudeokuyuki-ryū takes many cues from the kind of combatant that a well-trained Shokuzaidōka who has mastered Jion no Kata must necessarily be, while incorporating elements much more reserved and cautious than the use of Meiyokaifuku-ryū would reasonably allow. Designed for the purpose (as its name indicates) of keeping one's opponents at an arm's length, Kataudeokuyuki-ryū, like the style from which it was drawn, incorporates both hard and soft elements. One of the most distinctive elements of Kataudeokuyuki-ryū's use is this duality of hard and soft, physically separated by their use exclusively in movements of the lower and upper body, respectively.
The intent behind the style's design is made most evident in the types of suki (隙, lit. opening) it creates with respect to its blocks and dodges, as well as what use it makes of maai (間合い, lit. interval) between the user and their opponent(s). Engineered so as to allow the user to keep all others at a distance ideal for short-to-mid range ninjutsu, while leaving open at least one of the user's hands, Kataudeokuyuki-ryū is a style that rarely makes use of strikes for any purpose. Despite this major divergence in design, the style shares many components with certain kata from Meiyokaifuku-ryū, and can be broken down similarly.
Kataudeokuyuki-ryū, like all kata from Meiyokaifuku-ryū, possesses the element of kamae (pictured below), which in Kataudeokuyuki-ryū is called monzu-gamae (問手構え, lit. asking hand stance). The stance is held by the user relatively loosely, with both of the hands mostly open (with one hand facing upwards and the other facing inwards, held near the arm), one of the user's hands raised level to their neck and their other kept in line with the elbow of the first arm. The position of the arms and body allows the user to accomplish a couple of things: it allows the user to perform one-handed handseals with the closer-kept hand, it allows the user to perform tenkan waza (転換技, lit. diverting techniques) with an optimal degree of protection of the front of the user's body, and it allows the user the proper leverage to perform nage waza (投げ技, lit. throwing techniques) if their opponents are kept at the correct distance. The stance has one notable flaw in that, beyond requiring the user to shift the stance from one side to the other as they change positions relative to their opponent(s), the fact that the user keeps one hand reserved for handseals and the other hand forward means that the range of attacks they can protect themselves from is limited directionally to their front, requiring a specific type of footwork and body movement to compensate for this limitation.
The style has a sokui-hō (pictured below), called koibitodōshi-dachi (恋人同士 立, two lovers' stance) is a position that, though central to the style, is not a stance that is held in the same way that most others would be. Rather, it is a position that is returned to between actions, as the kamae of the style is only maximally functional if the user holds to a certain type of movement. While holding the sokui-hō, a majority of the user's weight rests on the front foot (with is bent slightly at the knee) which is turned roughly forty-five degrees from the body's centre. The user's rear foot is raised at the heel, and is positioned immediately behind the forward foot, touching it at the heel.
The style's unpo-hō, jūten'unpo (柔転運歩, lit. soft turning foot and leg movement) is one of the more pivotal parts of how well the style functions. Though the nature of the footwork appears soft and sliding, involving a process called "turning the circle", whereby the user moves in a semicircular fashion around their opponent(s), it is so done in order to best deliver hard strikes. The most notable from among these hard strikes are the kari waza (刈技, lit. reaping techniques), which are a series of sweeps and throws generally aimed at the feet or legs of the opponent(s).
The kata's tai-sabaki, senkaitai-sabaki (旋回体捌, lit. swiveling body movement) involves a constantly rotating the upper body independent of the user's feet. Rather than priming the user for strikes or serving to control the user's position and weight, senkaitai-sabaki serves almost exclusively to increase the range of angles of attack protected by the user's kamae. Between the constant movements of jūten'unpo, the strikes launched by the user, and the change in position of senkaitai-sabaki, the user is typically able to cover every angle that they would otherwise be able to while leaving one hand free to form handseals for the entire duration of an engagement.
Kataudeokuyuki-ryū grants the user a tier and one advantage to their Agility, an advantage to their Strength, an advantage to their Constitution, and an advantage to their Dexterity. These boosts reduce by an advantage at Legendary, and the boost to Agility is reduced by two at Godlike.
As a result of the positioning of the user's hands relative to one another, the only instance in which the user's handseals may be interrupted by an Iaido strike or a similar technique is if the user is able to be caught off-guard (i.e. if the Dexterity or other attribute relevant to the speed of the strike exceeds both the user's tracking and precognition).
While in theory Kataudeokuyuki-ryū is a style whose practitioners need not be able to form one-handed handseals, it is typically only optimally functional for users with such capabilities.
The user's ability to combine the constant use of handseals and ninjutsu with the style of Kataudeokuyuki-ryū is largely dependent on their level of training with both of the relevant categories of fighting. For each tier of Fighting Style they possess in either Ninjutsu or Taijutsu below Specialist, they receive one less advantage to Agility. Should they lack any training in the Taijutsu Fighting Style, the user receives no advantages to Constitution or Strength. Should they lack any training in the Ninjutsu Fighting Style, the user receives no advantages to Dexterity.
Should the user become inhibited in certain ways, or become maimed in such a way that the functionality of any given limb is sufficiently impaired, it becomes either impractical or impossible to use Kataudeokuyuki-ryū (unless they possess more than four limbs).
Unlike most other fighting styles with hard components, none of the strikes performed as a part of Kataudeokuyuki-ryū represent a potentially lethal threat to the average, fully-able person. Should any of its practitioners lose the capability of ninjutsu (or lack it in the first place), the style is likely to lose any real offensive capabilities beyond knocking an opponent off-balance. This is obviously less true for particularly fragile foes, or if the user is only seeking to subdue their opponent (in which case the use of the free hand to cast genjutsu is a plausible alternative).
Kataudeokuyuki-ryū is similarly restricted in tightly-enclosed environments, where the user's capacity to manoeuver around their opponent(s) is limited, as they are unlikely to be able to engage in many of their techniques (side-stepping, ducking, or even certain leg sweeps), and are most likely left with few alternatives to turn to.