Soke Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi

Soke Hatsumi in Kongo-gassho-no-kamae
Soke Hatsumi in Kongo-gassho-no-kamae

Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi

Comments from Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi about the learning of Ninjutsu:

The reason why we do not pay a lot of attention to the specifics of each ryu is, that we are studying all nine systems in a manner, that produces one set of internalized skills in a student.

Basically, the ninja's hand to hand fighting method was Tai-jutsu, sometimes refered to as Koshi-jutsu, sometimes Dakentai-jutsu or Yawara, or even Ju-jutsu. The terms changed and varied as the years went on. Sometimes it was called Koshi-jutsu or Koppo-jutsu or only te. So the basic core was Tai-jutsu. And after they had mastered Tai-jutsu they learned to employ the special weapons of their style or system. In the Tai-jutsu training of each specific tradition, there may be slight differences in body postures, or the names given to specific fists, but if I were to classify it technique by technique now it would be an enormous task. Therefore, right now, the Togakure-ryu is representative of the entire collection of nine ryu.

It is not necessary for you to be too concerned with cataloguing this or that. It is sufficient to think of all our training as the Bujinkan Dojo method. Since the basic principles are all the same, the fundamentals are the same. The grip of the sword might be different, certain techniques might be slightly different, names of techniques may be different, but sometimes even though the names are different, the movements themselves are similar.

Soke at a Taikai (seminar)
Soke at a Taikai (seminar)

Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi was born on the 2nd of December 1931 in Noda City (Chiba Prefecture) He finished his studies of theater science at the Meiji University of Tokyo with the promotion and is now running his own chiropractic clinic in Noda City.

During the fifties and sixties Dr. Hatsumi covered quite a distance to continually learn from his teacher Toshitsugu Takamatsu (10. 05. 1889 - 02. 04. 1972), the 33rd grandmaster of Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu, who lived in Kashiwara City (Nara Prefecture).

Takamatsu Sensei himself had learnt (among others) from Takalage Ishitani (Iga Ninjutsu-ryu and 26th grandmaster of Kuki Shinden Ryu Happo Hiken [the secret art of Ninjutsu weapons, developed by Izumo Kanja Yoshiteru]).

Takalage Ishitani taught him especially the eight fundamental techniques (Happo) of the Kuki Shinden Ryu:

1. Tai jutsu

2. Koppo Jutsu (Dakentaijutsu and Jutaijutsu)

3. Yarijutsu

4. Bojutsu (Bo, Hanbo)

5. Semban nage

6. Ka jutsu

7. Chiku Jo Gunryaku Heiho: Military tactics.

8. Onshinjutsu / Hensojutsu: The art of disguising.

Koto Ryu Koppo Jutsu und Shinden Fudo Ryu Dakentaijutsu had been taught to Takamatsu Sensei by his grandfather Shinryuken Masamitsu Toda.

Before his death, Takamatsu Sensei appointed Dr. Hatsumi as his legitime successor in the nine traditional japanese martial art styles represented by him.

Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi is therefore Soke (grandmaster) of the following nine Ryu:

Generation Ryu

34. Togakure Ryu Ninpo

28. Gyokko Ryu Koshi-jutsu

28. Kukishinden Ryu Happo Hiken-jutsu

21. Gyokushin Ryu Ninpo

18. Koto Ryu Koppo-jutsu

17. Takagiyoshin Ryu Jutai-jutsu

16. Shindenfudo Ryu Dakentai-jutsu

15. Gikan Ryu Koppo-jutsu

14. Kumogakure Ryu Ninpo

The founders of the nine styles are:

Togakure Ryu Ninpo: Daisuke Nishina (who later named himself "Togakure");

Gyokko Ryu Koshi-jutsu: Hakuunsai Tozawa;

Kukishinden Ryu Happo Hiken-jutsu: Izumo Kanja Yoshiteru;

Gyokushin Ryu Ninpo: Sasaki Gorozaemon;

Koto Ryu Koppo-jutsu: Sadayu Momochi;

Takagiyoshin Ryu Jutai-jutsu: Oriuemon Shigenobu Takagi;

Shindenfudo Ryu Dakentai-jutsu: Izumo Kanja Yoshiteru;

Gikan Ryu Koppo-jutsu: Sonyu Hangan Gikanbo;

Kumogakure Ryu Ninpo: Heinaizaemon Ienaga Iga (who later named himself "Kumogakure Hoshi").

Due to the diversity and complexity of the techniques of the nine Ryu, Dr. Hatsumi decided not to teach these techniques all by themselves but as one unity. This was the way "Bujinkan Budo Tai Jutsu" was created. He used this name to the honor of his master Takamatsu Sensei, because "Bujinkan" means "school of the divine warrior" (Bu [warrior] Jin [god] Kan [school]).

If you don't have the possibility to train at least temporarily in Japan at one of Dr. Hatsumis Dojo under the authority of Soke himself or one of his Shihans, you can also do this at one of the many "Tai Kai" seminars. These seminars are held all over the world and last mostly three to four days.

You can find Dojos training according to the principles of Dr. Masaaki Hatsumis Bujinkan Budo Tai Jutsu in almost every country around the world. Probably there's one just next to you... have a look at the international Bujinkan adresses, the international Dojo list or feel free to contact us.

Soke in Ihen-no-Kamae

Soke in Ihen-no-Kamae

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