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The following article contains HEAVY SPOILERS! Read on at your own caution!

The Niko Style ( () () (りゅう) , Niko-ryū; lit. "Two Tigers Style") is a style created by Gaoh Mukaku and passed on to the many "Tokita Niko's" he fostered.[1] Currently, there are only four known surviving pracitioners of the Niko Style, to varying degrees of mastery: Tokita Ohma, Kiryu Setsuna, Kanoh Agito and the "Tiger's Vessel" that is affiliated with the Worm.[2][3]

About

The Niko Style was born from Mukaku rearranging the Gaoh Style with some parts of the Kaiwan Style into something more useful in the modern age.[1] Particularly, it was born during the finally years of Mukaku's attempts of unifying The Inside through martial force.[1]

The style is made up of four different katas, or forms, each of which must be fully mastered in order for the Niko Style to be complete.[4] This style places a high focus on adaptability and applicability; many of the techniques are not set patterns, but rather basic principles which can be applied in multiple situations.

The Niko Style utilizes unique styles of training to maximise the user's physical conditioning. This includes underwater shadow-boxing (which combines anaerobic exercise with water resistance) to improve muscular and cardiovascular functions.[5]

Four Katas

The Niko Style's Four Katas are Adamantine, Flame, Redirection and Water. Each kata has an 'ultimate technique' which are not necessarily the most powerful techniques but are rather "aces in the hole" that can be used no matter what condition the user is in.[6]

Adamantine Kata

The Adamantine Kata ( (こん) (ごう) (かた) , Kongō no Kata; lit. "Adamant Form")[7] involves the tightening of the muscles (thus hardening one's body) for both defensive and offensive purposes.

Indestructible

Indestructible ( () () , Fue) allows the user to either defend from powerful blows or attack the opponent in a powerful attack, through instantaneously clenching all of their muscles at the moment of impact; tensing and tightening of the muscles increases the solidity and density of the user's body, thus preventing the impact of outside attacks from inflicting much, if any, damage.[8][9] This gives the technique massive defensive and offensive power.

By the user also picturing themselves as if they are rooted to the ground, the technique has the capability to withstand blows from opponents up to a certain weight limit.[8] The sturdy muscles presented by Indestructible are durable enough to mitigate attacks as brutal as Rakshasa's Palm (in this case, because it prevents the permeation of the palmstrike's rotational energy).[9] However, Indestructible is not infallible and can be broken through by colossal blows that are overwhelmingly powerful (such as Wakatsuki Takeshi's blows)[10] or by powerful attacks that can gradually wear Indestructible down (such as Kiryu Setsuna's Rakshasa's Sole).[9]

Ironbreaker

Ironbreaker ( (てっ) (くだ) , Tessai) is a strike-enhancing technique that is delivered while tensing and tightening the muscles in the user's hands or feet.[11] It causes attacks powerful enough to leave an impression of one's fist in their opponent's body.

Iron Fingers

Iron Fingers ( (てっ) () , Tesshi) is a technique that involves tightening the muscles in the fingers thereby hardening the joints of the fingers.[4] This is an extremely versatile technique and can be used as a jabbing attack against the opponent's vitals, as a pinching hold or even to enable movement of the fingers even if they are broken.

It is presumed that this technique is related to the Pierce technique of the Gaoh Style.

Bone Binding

Bone Binding ( (ほう) (こつ) , Hōkotsu) is the ultimate technique of the Adamantine Kata.[12] Using precise and delicate muscle control, the user is able to move body parts where a bone has been broken. This technique appears to be one of the many Kaiwan Style techniques transferred over, as Kuroki Gensai demonstrated the same technique when his entire right fist was broken.[1]

Flame Kata

The Flame Kata ( () (てん) (かた) , Katen no Kata; lit. "Heavenly Fire Form") is centered around movement and positioning, giving the user incredible speed and agility.

Flashfire

Flashfire ( () (ばしり) , Hibashiri) is a style of movement that allows for the user to flicker like a flame. This technique is able to confuse the enemy by making them see multiple copies of themselves.[13]

Phantom Pace

Phantom Pace ( (ゆう) () , Yūho) is a technique where user quickly sidesteps at the moment right before their opponent's attack, causing the opponent to think that their attack phased right through them.[14]

Raging Fire

Raging Fire ( (れっ) () , Rekka) is a sprinting technique that is performed after digging their toes into the ground, allowing them to accelerate at unthinkable speeds.[15]

Earth-Shrinking

The ultimate technique of Flame Kata, Earth-Shriking ( (しうく) () , Shukuchi) with the essence of the technique laying in "standing on one's bones alone" without the use of the muscles. It relies on shifting one's center of gravity to move, with its "interval" visibly different from regular motions. It yields the illusion that the user is backstepping and the distance between the user and the opponent suddenly shrinking.[16]

Redirection Kata

The Redirection Kata ( (そう) (りゅう) (かた) , Sōryū no Kata; lit. "Flow Control Form")[17] involves seeing and manipulating the "flow of power", using minimal motions to turn the opponent's attacks against them. As a result, this kata requires incredible kinetic vision and delicate physical control.

Weeping Willow

The most basic move of the Redirection Kata, Weeping Willow ( (やなぎ) , Yanagi) alters the trajectory of their opponent's attack by redirecting their flow of power.[18] In this manner, the user can make their opponent's attacks miss as well as make an opponent lose their balance, allowing an opening for an attack.

Change of Scenery

Change of Scenery ( (てん) () , Tenchi) is where user hurls their opponent with a twisting throw.[19]

Chi Blockage

Chi Blockage ( (ぜす) () , Zetsuki) is a powerful palm strike that was originally created to destroy the nerves. However it can also be used to suppress the autonomic nervous system.[20]

Entanglement

Entanglment ( (から) み, Karami) is a technique that goes one step beyond the Weeping Willow. By not only altering the trajectory of the opponent's attacks but grabbing onto them while doing so, the user can redirect the power back into their opponent. This can cause dislocation of the joints, as seen when Ohma used it on Komada Shigeru.[21]

Flowing Edge

Flowing Edge ( (りゆう) (じん) , Ryūjin) is a defensive technique that deflects an attack's trajectory by applying power to its side.[22] It can even be used to deflect projectiles (such as bullets) by calculating the angle of incidence of the projectile and creating an angle to deflect the projectile off of hard bone in order to change the projectile's trajectory.[19]

Marionette

The ultimate technique of Redirection Kata, Marionette (傀儡 (くぐつ) , Kugutsu) amplifies the body's internal power and control their body with minimal useage of energy, enabling them to move and fight when their stamina is extremely limited.[23]

Water Kata

The Water Kata ( (すい) (てん) (かた) , Suiten no Kata; lit. "Heavenly Water Form") is a grappling-based kata that places emphasis on flexibility and fluidity of motion.

Bind of Pisces

Bind of Pisces ( (そう) (ぎよ) () (しばる) , Sōgyo no Shibaru) is an armbar that involves immobilizing the opponent's arms by pinning one arm by their head with one's legs and the other arm with one's hands.[4]

Guillotine

Guillotine ( (しゅ) (だん) , Shudan) is a technique that is performed while the opponent is off balance, the user then grabs the front of their opponent's neck with both hands (while facing in the opposite direction to them) and then violently pulls and lifts their opponent's body up off the ground using their neck as a lever, heavily damaging the opponent's neck.[24]

Jellyfish Clutch

Jellyfish Clutch (海月 (くらげ) (がた) め, Kurage Gatame) is where the user runs at the opponent and catches them in a headlock, leaning down using the momentum of their run. This movement is used to viciously snap the opponent's neck back.[25]

Screw Cutter Jizo

Screw Cutter Jizo ( (ねじ) (きり) () (ぞう) , Nejikiri Jizō) is a technique that, while the opponent is off balance in a supine position, the user grabs their opponent's arm with both hands, before flipping them over into a prone position and then tightly holding that arm in a manner similar to an armlock that also involves sitting on the opponent's shoulder.[24]

Seagrass Hold

Seagrass Hold ( (みな) (くさ) () り, Minakusa Tori) is a technique used to evade and then lock a thrusting movement; the user quickly dodges a thrusting weapon (such as a spear) or thrusting attack (such as a punch or nukite) and grabs and locks the offending weapon/limb under their armpit in one fluid motion.[26]

Water Dragon's Vein

A variation of the bow and arrow hold, Water Dragon's Vein ( (すい) (りゅう) (みゃく) , Suiryūmyaku) is where the user lies on their back with their arms clutching their opponent's neck and knees, and their legs pushing up on their opponent's back.[25] This causes loss of consciousness within seven seconds, due to the carotid sinus reflex, though it has been surmised that the true purpose of this technique is to snap the opponent's spine.[27]

Water Mirror

The ultimate technique of the Water Kata, Water Mirror ( (すい) (きょう) , Suikyō) can be used when the user cannot can't use their normal locks and holds, such as if they had broken their arm. This technique involves using a part of their opponent's body to place their opponent in a lock or a hold. Because there is no specific form for Water Mirror, it allows the user to be flexible and change the way they use it in a fight situation. For instance, in Ohma's battle with Imai Cosmo, Ohma grabbed Cosmo's arm and used it to put him in a chokehold; he also dislocated Cosmo's shoulder and broke his wrist to prevent him from escaping.[6]

Other Katas

Nil Kata

Nil Kata: Void

The Nil Kata ( () (かた) , Mu no Kata, lit. "Empty Form") is not one of the four katas of the Niko Style per se, but rather a compilation of breathing exercises.[28]

Void

Void ( (くう) , ) is a breathing exercise similar to Ibuki breathing and neigong, which involves deep exhalations through increasing the abdominal pressure, focusing awareness towards the body's meridian. This is used as a means of concentration and internal regulation.[28]

Combined Katas

Some moves of the Niko Style utilize principles from multiple katas.

Fire Water

A combination of the Flame and Water Katas, Fire Water ( (えん) (すい) , Ensui) is a rapid transition from a forward dash to a low tackle, evading any incoming attacks while aiming to tackle the opponent to the ground at the same time.[29]

Flashing Steel

A combination of Raging Fire and Indestructible, Flashing Steel ( (しゅん) (てつ) , Shuntetsu) is the fastest attack of the Niko Style. It involves charging the opponent at a high speed and delivering a blow with tightened muscles.[4] The momentum and hardness interact to make for a devastating blow; it's best used as a counter, utilizing both the opponent's and the user's momentum to maximize inflicted damage.[24] However, despite its speed, its linearity makes it predictable.[4] Flashing Steel has at least three forms: Blast ( (ばく) , Baku), a blow with the elbow[8], Smash ( (さい) , Sai), a punch[30], and Pierce (穿 (せん) , Sen), a finger stab.[31]

Flickering Flame

Combining the Flame and Redirection Katas, Flickering Flame ( (うねり) (ほむら) , Uneri Homura) is a technique that shifts the user's center of gravity when at full sprint, enabling the user to change directions mid-dash immediately and still maintain top speed. The technique puts heavy strain on the legs, however.[32][29]

Ironbreaker Revolution

A combination of the Adamantine and Water Katas, Ironbreaker Revolution ( (てっ) (くだ) (かい) , Tessai-kai) is where the user first throws their opponent to the ground and immediately follows up with a revolved Ironbreaker punch.[24]

Swimming Swallow

A combination of the Redirection and Water Katas, Swimming Swallow ( (すい) (えん) , Suien) is a rush of blows with unpredictable and quickly-altering trajectories, making them incredibly difficult to guard against.[30]

Will-O'-the-Wisp

Using the principles of both the Redirection and Flame Katas, Will-O'-the-Wisp (不知火 (しらぬい) , Shiranui) is a turning sidekick and that redirects the flow of the kick into a full-body stomp. The attack is powerful enough to smash a hole into the ground when utilized.[33]

Secret Techniques

There are three known Secret Techniques ( (おう) () , Ōgi) of the Niko Style. Of the three, only one was created by Gaoh Mukaku and relies on the mastery of all four Katas to utilise it effectively. The other two were created by The Other Tokita Niko and require an external force and specific requirements to utilize, but also have serious drawbacks.

Possessing Spirit

A peculiar technique designed to combat the Kure Clan's Removal, the user overclocks their heart to enhance their speed, torque and, ultimately, their damage output.

Fallen Demon

Kiryu Setsuna using Fallen Demon

The Secondary Secret Technique: Fallen Demon ( (だお) () (いう) () (にう) () , Dai-ni Ōgi: Gōma) is another technique created by The Other Tokita Niko. Using this technique, the user enters a state of tachypsychia, an altered perception of time, allowing them to see everything around them in slow motion. While this does not increase the speed of the user's physical actions, it allows them to identify and react more effectively, making it easier for the user to dodge and counterattack.[34] The technique is highly taxing on the brain, due to forcing the brain to analyze what it sees at high speeds, and will permanently damage the brain if it's overused. As seen with Kiryu, who had Fallen Demon, it can cause life-like hallucinations.[34]

Demonsbane

The Secret Technique: Demonsbane ( (おう) () () (おう) , Ōgi: Kiō) is the application of all four katas acting as one. As such, can only be performed by someone who has mastered all four.[35] The training for the technique requires the user to have experienced the heightened sense of awareness that comes with a near-death experience.[36] It is a counter that enables the user to completely ward the impact of an opponent's attack. The user utilizes Redirection to change the direction of the attack's power, Water to allow the power to flow throughout the body and Flame to check positioning. Finally, Adamantine is used to deliver the diverted power back to the opponent while also adding their own power to the attack, drastically augmenting the damage inflicted.[14]

Demonsbane is also a formless move, making it deceptively deadly because no matter what attack the opponent performs, the user can divert and return it back with more power. However, the move does have a few weakness: besides having to be a master of the Niko Style, the Redirection and Water Katas are key to achieve the move in the first place. If the Redirection Kata is used improperly, the flow of the attack won't change and will instead hit the user. If the Water Kata is used improperly and their body is not completely relaxed, the flow of the attack will move randomly in the user's body, damaging themselves or lowering the damage of the final attack.[14]

Known Users

Creator

Masters

Other Users

DP - self-proclaimed Tiger's Vessel.png
"The Tiger's Vessel"

Notes & Trivia

  • Kanoh Agito knew of The Other Tokita Niko[37] and has demonstrated usage of the Indestructible technique. He also displayed a viscerally irked reaction when he realized Ohma was "Niko's heir."[38] It's only later that Agito discovered that Ohma's Niko Style was different from the Niko Style taught by The Other Niko.[29]
  • The term Tiger's Vessel ( (とら) (うつわ) , Tora no Utsuwa) appears to be related to the Niko Style, more specifically the Posessing Spirit, in some way. It's currently unknown how.

References

Navigation

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Martial Arts Formless · Gaoh Style · Inaba Style · Kaiwan Style · Koei Style · Kure Clan Style · Niko Style (Possessing Spirit) · Raishin Style
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