Shuko – Ninja Hand Claws

Shuko, or as they are sometimes known: ninja hand claws, are one of the traditional weapons of the Togakure ryu and they are often one of the most misunderstood tools of the ninja.

Many internet sources claim that the shuko was a tool for climbing trees and walls. While the shuko can be, and were, used for that purpose, their primary function was as a weapon. I’ll let Soke Hatsumi demonstrate.

Shuko – 手虎 – literally translates as “tiger hand” and along with the senban shuriken and the shinodake constitute the three once hidden skills of the Togakure ryu. According to Soke Hatsumi “For many years, they were a secret weapon totally unknown to other ninjutsu schools.”

Traditional shuko were made out of two metal rings bound by leather. Modern shuko are made with one metal ring connected by mesh to an adjustable mesh wrist strap. Aside from these differences they are used exactly the same.

One more thing: While using shuko in a modern self-defense scenario sounds badass, you’ll probably end up going to jail, having sent the other guy to the hospital for multiple laceration wounds and likely some cosmetic surgery. Just a thought.


5 Responses to Shuko – Ninja Hand Claws

  1. Zack says:

    i found your blog via “latest post” on the…uh…wordpress dashboard thingy.

    dude. these are intense. i like this.

    and i’ve made and rss feed for your blog on the rss feed reader i have because i like the site you have here. nice stuff, man.

  2. Pingback: Togakure Ryu History Primer « Hanzo Project

  3. Pingback: The Shukō of Togakure-ryū – Classical Martial Arts Research Academy

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