Sōsuishi-ryū Jūjutsu involves formal practice in empty-handed grappling as well as grappling techniques with a number of weapons. These include the kodachi and bokutō. Subsets of the curriculum focus on technique designed to be used in armour, with others focused on civilian settings and scenarios. The syllabus extends to supplementary exercises, and a form of free practice that interweaves with the more stylised elements.
Koshi-no-mawari practice is centred around use of the katana, with broader implications arising from the concepts contained within.
The names Sōsuishi-ryū and Sōsuishitsu-ryū are alternate pronunciations of the same Japanese kanji and are used interchangeably. In the west, the former is more commonly seen.
Apart from the rare and historic forms of grappling and sword, Sōsuishi-ryū is distinctive in that it maintains the menkyo grading/licensing system. This system, which can differ significantly across the various ryūha, predates the dan-i grading system created by Jūdō’s founder, Professor Jigorō Kanō. It is conceptually different to dani-i, despite its apparent similarities.
Sōsuishi-ryū’s grading system is as follows:
Sanmokuroku – title of Kyōshi may be conferred
Yonmokuroku – title of Kyōshi may be conferred
Gomokuroku – title of Shihan-dai or Shihan may be conferred
Sōsuishi-ryū uses the Shōgō (称号), or honorary titles, of Kyōshi, Shihan-dai and Shihan, which are awarded by Shitama Sensei alone. They are not conferred in every case.
While previously awarded, Sōsuishi-ryū no longer uses the rank of Kuraizume.