Bujinkan Ninjutsu

The Ninjutsu | What is Ninjutsu | Ninjutsu Description | History of Ninjutsu | Who is a Ninja | Traditional Ninjutsu | The Ninja | Art of Ninjutsu | Ninjutsu Weapons | Ninja Silent Assassins | Ninja’s Mikkyo Mind | Bujinkan Ninjutsu | Rules of the Bujinkan | Ninjutsu and Koryu Bujutsu | Ninjutsu Arts Strategy

The Bujinkan is an international organization headed by Soke Masaaki Hatsumi. The Bujinkan or Devine Warrior Hall is a collection of 9 Schools (Ryu); 3 of which are Ninjutsu Ruy (the only 3 left in the world). The Bujinkan was create by Soke Hatsumi to bring the art of Ninjutsu and Ninjutsu Training to people outside of Japan. The Bujinkan dojo are spread across the world with many in the United States, UK, Europe and Japan.

The Bujinkan’s fundamental teachings are based upon the concepts of Heaven, earth and man. Many of the techniques ascent from the later to the prior.

The schools of the Bujinkan incorporate not just hand-to-hand combat but also weaponry including the Sword, the Bo, Hanbo and specialist weapons such as the Kusari-Fundo and the Shuriken. Each schools is rooted with the basics called Taijutsu. Taijutsu is the un-armed form of all techniques and the basis for all the Ryu.

The Bujinkan has 10 Kyu grades and 15 Dan grades. Bujinkan instructors can only grade students up to 4th Dan, all grades beyond this must be given by Soke in Japan. The 5th Dan test the only test in the Bujinkan. This test is used to prove that the practitioner has grown to a level where they can their senses are more in tune with the things around them.

The Bujinden (head Bujinkan dojo) is in Noda City, just outside Tokyo. Soke Hatsumi created this martial arts hall so that all students around the world would always have a place to train. Hatsumi sensei conducts lesson’s both at the Bujinden and also at the main Japanese martial arts centre in Ayase. Classes are mostly run by Hatsumi Sensei’s senior shihan.

The Bujinkan (武神館) is a martial arts organization practicing the art commonly referred to as Bujinkan Budō Taijutsu (武神館武道体術). It is headed by the Sōke of the school Masaaki Hatsumi (初見良昭). Masaaki Hatsumi is the recognized lineage holder of the nine ryuha transferred to him in the middle of the 20th Century by his teacher Takamatsu Toshitsugu. The Bujinkan is specifically known for its koshijutsu, koppojutsu, jutaijutsu, dakentaijutsu, and happo hikenjutsu in addition to its higher elements of ninpo and ninjutsu.

Training: The training is generally referred to as taijutsu (body arts), and is composed of both armed and unarmed methods of fighting. Much of the basic taijutsu taught to beginners comes from six primary lineages in the Bujinkan compendium, namely Koto-ryu, Gyokko-ryu, Shinden Fudo-ryu, Takagi Yōshin-ryū, Kuki Shinden-ryu, and Togakure-ryu.

A large variety of weapons are taught, including swords such as daitō, wakizashi and tantō, bamboo shinai, wooden bokken, mogito (a flexible aluminum replica sword that holds no edge), or swords made by soft modern materials are employed for safety such as fukuro shinai, staves of varying lengths (bo, jo), short staves called (hanbō, hanjō), nawa (rope), kusari-fundo (weighted chain), kusarigama (scythe with chain), yari (spear), kamayari (spear with curved scythe-like blades crossing the principal head), kagiyari (spear with 2 rearward hooks), bisento (known in Mandarin as ‘kwandao’), kyoketsu shoge (similar to a kama except it has a dagger point and a rope of several feet attached to an iron ring), jutte (sword trapping truncheon), tessen (iron fan), naginata (Japanese glaive), kunai (a blunt digging tool), as well various form of shuriken including bo-shuriken and senban shuriken. Bujinkan Budō Taijutsu practice does not include participation in competitions or contests.

Grade: The Bujinkan Dōjō has a series of nine kyÅ« (grades) below the level of shodan, starting with mukyu (“without grade”) and then from kukyu (9 kyu) to ikkyu (1 kyu), with 9 kyu being the lowest rank and 1 kyu being the highest. Just like in other Japanese martial arts, such as karate and judo, unranked (mukyÅ«) practitioners wear white belts, and those with ranks of shōdan and above wear black belts. KyÅ« level practitioners wear colored belts, though the actual color of the belt varies from place to place.

Furthermore, unlike other martial arts, the color has no relation to the actual kyu-level the practitioner holds. In Japan, it was once customary for kyu-level men to wear green belts and women to wear red belts; however, this practice has largely been abandoned. Now, both male and female Bujinkan practitioners wear green belts at most Japanese dōjō. Outside of Japan, some countries still follow the green for men/red for women custom, while others use green for all practitioners.

There were originally 10 dan levels, as with many other martial arts using the kyū/dan system, but this was changed by Hatsumi to 15 dan levels. He then went on to joke that now with the mature age being 21, maybe he should raise it again. The grades are divided into three groupings; 1-5 dan Ten (Heaven), 6-10 dan Chi (Earth), 11-15 dan Jin (Man, in the sense of Humanity). The Jin levels are further divided into the five elements of the Godai; chi (earth), sui (water), ka (fire), fū (wind) and kū (void).

The practitioner’s level is displayed by the color of the art’s emblem, called wappen (ワッペン), inscribed with the kanji “bu”(æ­¦) and “jin” (神). There are four kinds of wappen (9 to 1 kyÅ«, 1 to 4 dan, 5 to 9 dan, and 10 to 15 dan) sometimes augmented with up to four silver or gold stars (called hoshi) above or around the emblem, representing the individual ranks.

At 4 dan (yondan), practitioners submit to a test before the sōke to establish that they are able to sense the presence of danger and evade it, considered to be a fundamental survival skill. This is called sakki. This is the test for 5 dan. A practitioner with the level of godan or above is entitled to apply for a teaching license (shidōshi menkyo). A shidōshi is entitled to open his own dōjō, and grade students up to the level of 4 dan. A practitioner with the level of between 1 dan to 4 dan may become a licensed “assistant teacher” (shidōshi-ho), if backed by and acting under the supervision of a shidōshi 5th to 9th dan or a person who holds the level of 10 dan (jÅ«dan). In the Bujinkan a person who holds the level of between 10 dan and 15 dan is often referred to as a shihan.

In addition to the kyÅ«/dan system, a few practitioners have earned menkyo kaiden “licences of complete transmission” in individual schools. These menkyo kaiden essentially establish that the master practitioner has learned all that there is to learn about the particular lineage. Whereas the kyu/dan ranks are often made public, those select practitioners who have earned menkyo kaiden rarely divulge their status.