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The Bujinkan


The Bujinkan Dojo was organized in the early 1970′s by the current Grandmaster, Masaaki Hatsumi. This organization is comprised of nine distinct schools of ancient Japanese martial arts, with traceable histories from the 9th century and earlier. Hatsumi-sensei inherited these ryuha from his teacher, the late Toshitsugu Takamatsu, in 1972.

The Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu system of martial arts emphasizes natural and relaxed body movement. This martial art is comprised of authentic techniques from ancient samurai and ninja combat arts, taught within both their historical contexts as well as within modern settings. The subtle destruction of the attacker’s balance and rhythm and proper control of distance and timing are a primary focus of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu. These principles allow even smaller persons to overcome larger and more powerful opponents.

The Bujinkan organization incorporates the teachings of nine martial arts lineages (schools) known as ryuha.  These nine schools  and approximate dates of their historical beginnings are:

  • Togakure Ryu Ninpo Taijutsu  |  戸隠流忍法体術  |  1161

  • Gyokko Ryu Kosshijutsu  |  玉虎流骨指術  |  1156

  • Kukishinden Ryu Happo Bikenjutsu  |  九鬼神伝流八法秘剣術  |  1336

  • Koto Ryu Koppojutsu  |  虎倒流骨法術  |  1532

  • Shinden Fudo Ryu Dakentaijutsu  |  神伝不動流打拳体術  |  1346

  • Gyokushin Ryu Ninpo  |  玉心流忍法  |  1532

  • Gikan Ryu Koppojutsu  |  義鑑流骨法術  |  1558

  • Takagi Yoshin Ryu Jutaijutsu  |  高木揚心流柔体術  |  1625

  • Kumogakure Ryu Ninpo  |  雲隠流忍法  |  1532

The Bujinkan teaches both unarmed and armed methods of fighting; incorporating taihenjutsu and ukemi (techniques for leaping, evading sudden attacks, rolling, and safely hitting the ground); dakentaijutsu (striking); jutaijutsu (throwing, grappling, and ground fighting); koshijutsu (pressure points, muscle tearing and attacks, and joint dislocations); koppojutsu (bone breaking techniques); as well as, other unarmed survival and combat applications.


Additionally, the Bujinkan teaches a complete range of ancient and modern weapons.  More traditional weapons include, but are not limited to:  daito, katana, and wakizashi (swords); tanto (knives); rokushakubo, jo, and hanbo (staves of varying lengths); yari, kamayari, kagiyari, naginata, and bisento (spears and glaives); nawa and kusari-fundo (ropes and weighted chains); kusarigama and kyoketsu shoge (bladed weapons with chains or ropes); jutte (sword trapping truncheon); and a variety of shuriken (throwing stars and spikes).

The Bujinkan is budo, not a sport martial art.  There are no competitions or trophies.  The Bujinkan focuses on both mental and physical personal improvement and relies on cooperation and mutual respect as a basis for learning, not competition. 

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