"The Unseen Light shall not shine so long as the Toorima ryu casts its gaze upon the world."
Toorima ryu Phantom thief
This style is considered the only rival to the Unseen Light. A school of blind fighters whose sole purpose is to kill all users of the Unseen Light. Unlike Unseen Light practitioners who gain their power from awakening their sixth and seventh sense. Fighters of the Toorima ryu are able to sense the "Emptiness" of space around them. Through this they are able to absorb, manipulate, and release energy taken not only from an opponent but from the void itself. The saying of the clan is that the Void may give us strength, but it can just as easily take that strength away. Failure to carry out its will entitles to a fate far worse than death. Toorima ryu practitioners can be identified by their eyes that are black as the sea during moonlit night. They are no pupils nor irises, just a black void. Just like the inner void in their hearts.
Once upon a time fifteen hundred years ago to be precise the Unseen Light was born and with it, came its darker side, the Shadow’s Eye. Somewhere around 500 AD, a group of Zen monks were making a pilgrimage through China. They encountered a band of marauders and nearly all of the monks were slaughtered, except for eight members, who managed to escape. However, they did not get away totally unscathed. Four of them had been permanently blinded and had to rely on the others for guidance. All of them been seriously wounded and would have perished, had they not stumbled on a place of great good and evil. It was an ancient shrine that was hidden deep within the forests near what is now Beijing.
The void Edit
Everything in this universe exists within space. The Gods also exists in empty space. All matter is made of atoms, the inner-space of an atom is also mostly empty. The void is a luminous subatomic energy that pulsates beneath the tiniest of subatomic particles in the emptiness of space. All empty space in our universe is pulsating with a self-aware divine energy that constantly creates our material reality. The same vast emptiness that exists inside the atom also exists in the human body. It looks like our bodies are solid, but we are made of cells, molecules, and atoms and all these components are mostly hollow and empty. Because space, where the Gods live, is emptiness or “nothingness”, you cannot intellectually study “nothing.” But, you can experience “nothingness” by withdrawing your five senses from the objects of the world. Look around you—the furniture, the walls, and paintings. All objects exist within space. Every invention in this world, every object in it first began with a thought. A thought is then put into action, and a material object is created.
This is one problem with putting your focus on objects—any object is made of mind-stuff which is not reflective of the subatomic reality (pure consciousness). The mind and its thoughts are only a constriction of pure consciousness (the void) which exists in you and in the nothingness of space. The second problem with seeing objects as reality, is that the subatomic structure of objects is constantly changing. The atoms that join to form objects are highly unstable. Because of this, there is no object that is eternal; all external objects are impermanent and constantly changing. Basing our perceptions and the foundation of our lives on impermanent external objects creates fear because when we identify with impermanent objects, we are standing on shifting sand. If we withdraw our senses from external objects and put our awareness on the space around us (emptiness), we will experience a shift in consciousness. We will feel light, joyful, and clear-minded because we are now focused on the void. Through meditation; we empty ourselves, and we withdraw the senses away from external objects and collect our senses within ourselves. During waking or working hours, the inner-equivalence of space- awareness is staying in the present moment. Stay present and check in regularly with your inner-body—you will feel lightness, joy, and clarity as you return to the present moment.
The concept behind the Toorima ryu is that since the more openings you leave in your guard the likelier you are to be hit, the obvious solution is to get rid of all the flaws in your fighting style. This implies perfecting defense to such an extent that you leave virtually no weakness which your enemy might exploit. Yet, the style is an assassins art so it shouldn’t be mistaken for a purely defensive one; Toorima ryu, being a style where emphasis is put on speed, dexterity and control, eventually allows the user to freely swap from an offensive stance to a defensive stance – or vice versa – within seconds and without too much effort. Many of its more powerful techniques are crippling in the best of circumstances. In additions practitioners of the style have en incredible tolerance to attacks that should leave them in bed for weeks. The greatest weapon of the style is its ability to bend air currents to its will.
Speed: The very foundation of the Toorima ryu, speed of execution – whether it refers to footwork or execution of technique – is what allows the practitioner to evade attacks (through dodging, sidestepping, or parrying) and instantly counter-attacking with devastating strikes. Control: Unlike Unseen Light Toorima ryu is more proficient in bladed weaponry ranging from sai’s and kunai to nodachi’s and spears, though their equally as dangerous in hand to hand. Mastering and remaining in contact with the void while moving at relatively high speed requires some degree of control and dexterity. From learning how to avoid getting impaled with one’s own weapon to being able to masterfully handle as many weapons as you have arms, the Toorima ryu teaches the practitioner almost everything about control. Endurance: As much as the Toorima ryu is a speed based style, it requires the practitioner to possess adequate strength of body to utilize the void, and eventually wield it as it suits him. It is that constant exercising part of the style which actually helps the user build up more endurance and resilience. Defense: Defense automatically becomes better as the three aforementioned keep getting developed during the mastering of the style. Speed allowing for better evasion, control helping the parrying and endurance making the user able to sustain effort for longer. However, it has to be noted that the very essence of the Toorima ryu is the use of alternate rapid movements to create the optical illusion that there are very few holes in the practitioner’s guard, or even none at all.
The fact that the student is blind coupled with their training allows their sensory organs to work far better than the sense organs of normal humans, and thus senses which outdo the capability of normal human perception. These enhanced senses are simply heightened versions of one’s normal senses, and thus they include:
• 1. Touch- Students can feel the most minute indentation on a page, allowing one to read by touch. The rest of their skin is equally sensitive, enabling student by concentration to feel minute temperature and pressure changes in the atmosphere around them. Masters even with their senses of smell and hearing blocked, can feel the presence of a person standing five feet away from them simply by his or her body heat and disturbance of air. A side effect of the students heightened sense of touch is their ability to manipulate their muscles and internal organs. The sense of touch is not just external, but internal too (central nervous system), thereby giving student the ability to have total body control, greatly increasing their strength, reflexes and agility.
• 2. Smell- They can smell with more clarity/range, even to the point of distinguishing subjects by their scents; they can track subjects and distinguish between simultaneously-occurring smells (as well as being able to notice when someone has masked their natural scent); however, they may also be involuntarily sensitive to loud smells, aromatic attacks and nasal-based allergens
• 3. Taste- They can taste hints of things that have been long washed off of surfaces, and tell the ingredients within foods (with the use of taste memory and the distinguishing of similar tastes), or if a substance has been masked; often accompanied by a superhumanly tough tongue, Asepsis and/or Material Intuition; heightened Taste can sometimes work like heightened Smell
• 4. Hearing- Their sense of hearing enables them to detect an acoustic pressure change of one decibel at a pressure level of seven decibels (whereas the lowest threshold for average human hearing is twenty decibels.) This could be used to hear sounds with more clarity and range, and to distinguish subjects’ presence by memory of sounds (even with simultaneously-occurring sounds or fast talking), and to detect lies by listening to and analyzing changes in breath, heartbeat, etc.; may be involuntarily sensitive to loud noises (and/or can of hear on subsonic/supersonic frequencies). Through training students are able to control their hearing acuity, mentally blocking out specific sounds like their own breathing and heartbeat, all ambient sounds to a normal human level of perception, or all sounds but a particular sound they are concentrating upon.
• 5. Spatial Sense- It is a common misconception that balance isn't a sense,This can be used to judge distances accurately, tell if an object can fit into a space, discern the speed, velocity and momentum of objects, sense when/where a subject teleports and sense the shape of things in one's proximity (if unable to see); they are also incapable of suffering from vertigo and/or fear of heights
Meditation techniques Edit
Taken directly from its zen ancestry Toorima ryu teaches a number of meditation techniques to better access the void.
Meditation—Sixty One Points
Students will lie on their back and tense and relax different body parts—legs, arms & hands, stomach, throat, face. After the tension/relaxation exercise, participants will stay lying on their backs, on the floor; place your awareness on 61 different points in the body. When you place your awareness on a certain body-party, you will automatically breathe Prana (Life-Force) into this part of the body.
Meditation—Hollow & Empty Meditation
During the same 61-point meditation, while taking your breath and awareness to different body parts, also notice any physical sensations in these body parts. Be aware of the air coming into your body. The in-breath energizes and vitalizes, exhalation relaxes and releases tension. Consciously relax each body-part with each exhalation. Feel the prana fill each body part with each inhalation. As you breathe into the various body parts, visualize that body part as “hollow & empty.” At the end of this meditation, you will also withdraw your five senses from external objects and collect all your senses in your heart area.
Follow your breath right at the tip of your nose. Continue taking deep breaths and focus on the flow of air in and out of your nostrils. “Your nostrils are hollow and empty.”
Put your awareness on the throat; breathe into your throat. The passageway between your nose and throat is hollow& empty.
Follow your breath from the throat to the point between the eyebrows. Keep following your breath in this area. The area between your throat and third eye are hollow and empty.
Put your attention on your heart. Breathe into your heart. Feel your heart expand; your heart is hollow and empty.
Be aware of your stomach. The air comes into your stomach and flow out of your stomach. Your stomach is hollow & empty.
Bring breath into both legs; feel the air filling both legs. Your legs are hollow & empty.
Follow your breath from your feet up to the fontanel. Your entire body is hollow & empty.
Be aware of 10 meters to the left of your body. Be in a space 1 kilometer to the left of your body. Be aware of 10 meters to the right of your body; aware of a space 1 kilometer to your right.
Breathe into the fontanel, now, let your breath take you beyond the top of the head, into the sky.
You and all of space are hollow and empty.
Withdrawing Your Senses From External Environment
Become aware of your mouth. Let go of all desire for external taste. Focus on your own saliva. Relax the tongue more and more. Now surrender your sense of taste to your heart.
Become aware of your nose. Feel the air coming in and going out. Breathe in life with every breath, relax more and more with each exhalation. Let go the sense of smell; breathe into your heart and relax your heart with each exhalation.
Be aware of your ears. Let go of your sense of hearing. Focus on the “hum” of pure silence. If you want, you can close off both ears with your fingertips. Just listen to pitch silence. Let that silence fill you heart.
Focus on the touch of your clothes against your skin. Wherever possible, feel the external elements touching your skin (breeze, heat, cold, etc…) Be in touch with all sensations on your skin. Slowly go back to your heart and breathe deep into your heart.
Visualize your eyes. Go up closer and enter your own eyes. Whom do you see sitting behind your eyes. Focus on the tiny patterns and colors floating behind your eyelids. Now, draw your attention to a focal point between your eyebrows. Breathe into the center between your eyebrows. Surrender to any sensation.
Breathe deep into your heart. With every exhalation, relax your heart. Feel the space surrounding your body. Feel the air inside your body. Let the breath inside your body merge with the space outside you.
Iryōjutsu( Medical technique), Toorima ryu has great potential within as a healing art as well as a fighting art. Students are trained to use their ki in the process of healing. Their enhanced senses make it easy for them to distinguish different herbs and extracts. however this style places more stress on damaging the body then healing it.
Stage One – “Learning the ropes” The user learns how to wield the void correctly. Countering attacks at this level, although very much possible, is limited to parrying while holding one’s ground.
The greatest weapon of the Toorima Ryu users chi becomes so warped that their aura takes on the characteristics of a vacuum that pulls in apposing energies when ever they touch. At first its effects can be fought off without any trouble but even then if opponent extends their resources too far user could unwittingly draw in enough of their chi to knock them out. Masters of this technique are able to pull away the chi of others at will without any visual evidence. This technique has been the death of all unseen light practitioners who faced off against it. For not only does make all ki attacks useless it totally negates their sixth and seventh sense. Users aura represents their connection to the vast emptiness of the void. As their ki spread out and connects with the world around them it leaves everything in perpetual motionlessness. Everything we see is in a constant state of vibration thus the illusion of solidity when these vibrations stop the unseen light practitioner can no longer sense them and thus no longer have access to their seventh sense. In addition the longer the opponent fights the more energy is drained from them making their ability to sense that energy weaker and weaker. Thus the fighter gradually loses their sixth sense. The user must remain is contant control of themselves lest their aura break loose and wreak havoc on their surroundings.
A series of pressure points along the torso and chest that causes the opponents aura to bleed out uncontrollably.
Stage Two – “A preface to Demonic Speed” With the basics grasped, the practitioner is now ready to go one step further in his mastering of the ‘dance’. Now possessing nimbler footwork and being more dexterous while attacking, the user can parry attacks either while advancing on his enemy or while back-pedaling. Offensive options are now even wider due to the higher level of expertise in void mastery.
Divine Wind This technique was created to mimic the legendary kachu tenshin armiguriken. It uses chi to enhance muscle strength and speed. then by using a vacuum to help pull their punches forward and reduce air friction allows user to match that legendary speed.
Stage Three – “An introduction to Demonic Speed” This stage marks the point where the style evolves into one of deceit and optical illusions, becoming heavily reliant on feints to work properly. Since it’s impossible for someone at this level to have got rid of the many openings in his defense, there is the need to ‘give the impression’ that he has only a few of them. Speed having risen by a fair amount since initiation, the user is now capable to moving his arms so fast that it creates the illusion of him having more limbs than it is really the case. The enemy, fooled into thinking the Toorima ryu practitioner can parry most of his blows, will reassess his attacking options. The user, however, can only remain stationary when performing this move. A maximum of 2 ‘shadow limbs’ can be made.
This technique allows user to compress and invert their vacuum aura along the bottom of their feet slowing them to slide along the ground silently, their vacuum soled feet never touching the ground.
The air in front of user thickens noticeably allowing them to stop when the speed they travel while using the vacuum soils is to high to do it manually.
Stage Four – “Harnessing Demonic Speed” Now literally able to juggle with their weapons, the fighter is presented with numerous options for defensive and offensive moves. The disconcerting ease and speed with which one is able to move only serves to reinforce the guard of the user; however, given that it’s still a long way to go towards perfection, there is still the necessity to have recourse to ‘illusions’.
Stage Five – “Mastering Demonic Speed” It is at this level that the most dramatic change in movements is observed – the swiftness of both footwork and especially manoeuvres having gone up significantly. The dexterity with which one can now attack/defend is virtually perfect, leaving very few openings in one’s guard. And as if this wasn’t sufficient, the speed of these movements is such that it renders the created optical illusions more potent that ever, the user being able to give the impression that he now has up to eight arms able to both parry and initiate attacks from almost every angle and position.
Vacuum Sphere This technique doesn’t give user the ability to fly but creates a chi enforced vacuum around their hands and feet. This allows user to defy gravity well enough to glide through the air.
Stage Six – “True Demonic Speed” With the practitioner having practically mastered the ability to fight at very high speed, focus during training is now put on having an even better control – in an attempt to eliminate the need to hold one’s ground at all times while using the demonic speed to create illusions. For this reason, a bigger emphasis is put on physical strength to allow the fighter to both move at high speed and wield his weapon as the same dexterity as if it were under normal circumstances.
Users battle aura comes free, a great blurry grey distortion. Using their arms more as a guide for their battle aura, user sweeps them both forward, patterning and arranging several layers of vacuum force. All before user simply cease to exist ripped to shreds by a pressure invariance.
Stage Seven – “Transcending Demonic Speed” The final stage of the Toorima ryu, which also coincides with complete mastery. The few people who did manage to reach that level of skill were rumoured to leave no opening at all in their defense. And although it might be deemed impossible to reach such perfection, it might not be that farfetched a claim assuming the practitioner can compensate for the rare weaknesses he has through the use of even more developed optical illusions.
Vacuum bomb this technique uses used alternating vacuum zones and a small amount of chi to form two opposing currents. The air is filled with a shrieking roar as a distortion passes through the space between user and opponent. This technique can be both lethal and non-lethal. User can cause it to detonate before hitting opponent shredding most of their aura and leaving them defenseless, or they can simply hit them throwing omnidirectional waves of concussive force ripping them to pieces. This technique can also be focused into a weapon allowing it to take on the weapons properties.