Kyo, Souji and Saisyu training.

Kusanagi style of ancient martial arts (草薙流古武術, Kusanagi-ryū Kobujutsu) is a fictitious fighting style employed by characters in the The King of Fighters games produced by SNK.


Kusanagi style of ancient martial arts

The Kusanagi style of ancient martial arts is the main fighting style of the Kusanagi family. Originally, due to their family's treasure, it had weapon-based origins but it was adapted over the years to focus on utilizing the user's fists for their pyrokinesis abilities. It remains a legacy amongst the family's members and is traditionally handed down with each passing generation. The exception to this is Shingo, who was taught albeit jokingly by Kyo, and then later by Saisyu.

The style was shared by their family's friend, the former Yasakani clan. Thus, alongside the Yata clan, the most distinct trait for all of their techniques amongst the three clans are their namings being numbered via styles/methods (e.g. 88 Shiki/Method 88, 132 Shiki/Method 132, etc.) that may or may not have extended names (e.g. 182 Shiki vs. 108 Shiki: Yami Barai). "Ge Shiki" (Outer Method) moves tend to be more unique attacks within a specific spectrum, while the "Ura Shiki" (Reverse Method) techniques are normally stronger version of their base versions. In some sources, even the practioners' normal attacks were named as such.

However, after the Yasakani subjected themselves to Orochi's blood and changed their name to the Yagami clan, their styles began to deviate from one another, with the Yagami adding the "Kin Shiki" (Forbidden Method) naming to their arsenal. Likewise, the last member of the Yagami clan, Iori Yagami, uses the most amount of "Reverse Method" techniques within his take on the Yagami-style.

This martial art is very much like traditional Japanese karate style by adding Chinese kung fu in it. Kyo put his own spin on the style by incorporating Kenpo in The King of Fighters '96 onwards.

Its been insinuated, particularly in The King of Fighters: Kyo that the Kusanagi style harbors a dark side that potentially transforms the practitioner into a mindless berserker, not very different from the Riot of the Blood and Street Fighter's Satsui no Hado. Careless practitioners of the Kusanagi bloodline may end up falling to this path if they lose themselves to its darker side. This happens to Kyo in the 1998 drama CD and The King of Fighters: Kyo manga and echoes with his clones in the Hong Kong comics. Souji in the KOF Kyo story is particularly wary about it that he stopped training lest he becomes one himself completely.

Kyo's 524 Shiki: Kamukura in 2001, 2002, Neowave and XI also has him briefly in a deranged berserker-like state upon connecting with it, a possible nod to the aforementioned state.

Known Practitioners

It is not known if Aoi can fight but she inherits her family's innate pyrokinesis ability.

Martial Arts Influences

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