The Bujinkan dojo was created in the 1970’s to teach the nine family traditions of the Bujinkan Dojo to have deep roots in Japan’s feudal wars; which have been passed down from generation to generation for close to 2000 years. The emphasis of these traditions is spiritual, mental, and physical development through training.
Masaaki Hatsumi Sensei (Bujinkan Dojo) has decided to rename the art of Ninjutsu – “Budo Taijutsu” to try and eliminate the Western misconceptions about what Ninjutsu is and is not. This re-naming has also allowed for a framework that consolidates nine martial arts schools under one discipline.
Budo Taijutsu does not refer to a specific style, but more to a group of arts, each with a different point of view expressed by the different school. The physical dynamics from one school to another varies – one may focus on redirection and avoidance while another may charge in and overwhelm, etc.
To provide some kind of brief description, Budo Taijutsu includes the study of both unarmed and armed combative techniques, strategy, philosophy, and history. In most instances, the area of study is quite comprehensive. The idea is to become adept at many things, rather than specializing in only one.
The main principles of Budo Taijutsu are posture, distance, rhythm, and flow. Soke Hatsumi has repeatedly called Budo Taijutsu, “The Art of Distance and Timing”. The practitioner responds to attacks in such a way that they place themselves in an advantageous position from which an effective response can be employed. They are taught to use the entire body (Taijutsu) for every movement/technique, to provide the most power and leverage. They will use the openings created by the opponent’s movement to implement techniques.
In 1974, Dr. Hatsumi founded the Bujinkan Dojo to teach Togakure Ryu Ninpo, Gyokushin Ryu Ninpo, Kumogakure Ryu Ninpo, Koto Ryu Koppo-Jutsu, kukishinden ryu, Kukishin Ryu, Gikan Ryu, Hontai Yoshin Ryu, Gyokko Ryu, Hontai Yoshin Takagi Ryu, and Shinden Fudo Ryu.
The Bujinkan Dojo 武神館道場 , or “Warrior God Training Hall,” was organized in the early 1970’s by Hatsumi Masaaki Sensei. This organization is comprised of nine distinct schools of ancient Japanese martial arts, with traceable histories from the ninth century and earlier. Hatsumi Sensei inherited these ryu ha from his teacher, the late Takamatsu Toshitsugu in 1972. The nine schools of the Bujinkan are listed below.
- Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu, Founded by Daisuke Nishina in the Late 1100’s
- Gyokko Ryu Koshijutsu, Founded by Tozawa Hakunsai in the Mid 1100’s
- Kukishinden Ryu Happo Hikenjutsu, Founded by Izumo Kanja Yoshiteru in the Mid 1300’s
- Shinden Fudo Ryu Dakentaijutsu, Founded by Izumo Kanja Yoshiteru in the Early 1100’s
- Gyokushin Ryu Ninjutsu, Founded by Sasaki Goemon Teruyoshi in the Mid 1500’s
- Koto Ryu Koppojutsu, Founded by Sakagami Taro Kunishige in the Mid 1500’s
- Gikan Ryu Koppojutsu, Founded by Uryu Hangan Gikanbo in the Mid 1500’s
- Takagi Yoshin Ryu Jutaijutsu, Founded by Takagi Oriuemon Shigenobu in the Mid 1600’s
- Kumogakure Ryu Ninjutsu, Founded by Iga Heinaizaemon No Jo Ienaga in the Mid 1500’s
The Bujinkan martial arts emphasizes natural and relaxed body movement to generate power. Taijutsu (unarmed) “body skill” uses the entire body in a natural way to harmonize and amplify simple movements, rather than relying solely on brute force or speed. The subtle destruction of the attacker’s balance and rhythm and proper control of distance and timing are the primary focus of Bujinkan Taijutsu. These principles allow even smaller persons to effectively defeat larger and more powerful opponents. The fighting skills of the Bujinkan Dojo were tested exhaustively in combat by the legendary ninja and samurai of Warring States Japan.
The International Bujinkan Dojo is directly supervised by Hatsumi Masaaki Soke. Presently, Hatsumi Sensei still lives and trains in Noda City, Japan. He actively teaches every week at the Ayase Budokan in northern Tokyo and at the Bujinkan Honbu Dojo in Noda. Hatsumi Sensei is recognized as one of the premiere martial artists of today and is well known worldwide. The Bujinkan Dojo is truly international, with hundreds of Bujinkan schools and training groups scattered about the globe.
Bujinkan Honbu Dojo (Office)
636 Noda, Noda-shi,
Chiba-ken, 278-8691, Japan