The Art of 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

Nin (perseverance/Endurance)
Jitsu (Techniques)

The Togakure Ninjutsu ryu was originally not formalised till 3 generations after Daisuke Togakure began to development.

The History of the Togakure ryu begins with Daisuke Togakure and his defeat against a superior force. With his defeat he lost everything including his Samurai status. He flead to the mountainous wilderness of Kyote, here he met the warrior monk Doshi. Doshi has left China for Japan escaping the now escalating political and military upheavals.

In Iga Province, now know as the Mie Prefecture, Daisuke studied with Doshi, learning new military, personal and spiritual concepts, which had basis in Chinese teaching such as those of Tzun Tzu.

Daisuke was taught the practical applications of the balance of the elements in diet, in combat, in thought and emotion, and in utilising the forces and cycles of nature to his advantage. Thus, away from the limiting conventions of samurai conduct that he had never thought to question, He discovered a completely new way of working his will. It was Daisuke’s descendants that developed and refined these notions into the Togakure ryu of ninjutsu, and came to be called by the name ninja.

The Togakure-ryu’s secret was the shuko, a spiked iron band worn around the hand, enabling the ninja to stop sword blades or climb trees and walls like a cat. Another device utilised by the Tokakure ninja was the tetsubishi, a small spiked weapon used to slow pursuers or protect doorways. Made with spikes sticking out in all directions, the tetsubishi were scattered on the ground to be stepped on by the unsuspecting.

They also used and kept secret the use of the senban shuriken or four pointed throwing star, originally made from a metal building washer, it looked so innocuous as to be ignored by samurai soldiers. Most important to our training today is the Togakure ryu ninpo taijutsu, or unarmed methods of moving the body with subtle rather than forceful movements which controls the actions of the attacker and allows the ninja to win whilst expending minimum energy and exposure to the least amount of danger.

The Gyokko Ryu is developed from an older fighting system brought over from China. This system was integrated with the Japanese systems of the time. Legend tells of its founder Yo Gyokko using this koshijutsu system to defeat several tens of warrior monks lead by an old man of strange appearance who wanted Yo dead because of his reputation in defeating challengers. He killed over fourteen monks and defeated the old man even after being struck on the head by a sword which bounced off, as his head was so hard. Later after killing a lion with one fist he became known as Koto-ou (lion battling king).

Koppojutsu are bon breaking methods taught in Ninjutsu. This system originated from a monk called Busho, who travelled from Korea to Japan. He brought an technique of bone breaking and weak points. This system has been passed down orally to this day.

In 1624 it was passed to the Toda family, Toda Shinryuken passed it to Takamatsu Toshitsugu his grandson. Takamatsu passed it on to Hatsumi Masaaki which brings us to the present day.

The Kuki Shinden Ruy employs the eight part Happo method which included: Taijutsu (unarmed combat), Hichojutsu (leaping), Mawanage (rope throwing), Koppojutsu (bone smashing technique), Jutaijutsu (grappling), Yarijutsu (spear technique), Naginatajutsu (halberd skills), Bojutsu (long staff fighting), Jojutsu (cane technique), Hanbojutsu (stick fighting), Seban Nage (shuriken throwing), Tokenjutsu (blade throwing), Kojutsu (fire and explosives), Suikutsu (water techniques), Chiku Jo Gunryaku Heiho (military tactics and fortress design and penetration), Onshinjutsu (art of invisibility), and Hensojutso (disguise).

With its own unique Taijutsu methods this ryu teaches us many leaping tactics and also the use of the kamayari or hooked spear said to have been used by pirates on the Japanese inland sea, specialising in field craft and espionage.

Gikan Ryu contains many special kicks, punches and throws. During the battle of Tenchi Gumi No Ran August 17th 1863, the tenth grandmaster who was also named Yryu Gikanbo was shot and although he continued to fight with only one arm had eventually to retire after been cut many times. He was found by Matsutaro Ishitani, who was himself on the way to the battle. Ishitani helped Gikanbo recover in the mountains of Iga. In return for this act he was trained in the secrets of Gikan Ryu.

As the grandmaster of this ryu Shinryuken Masamitsu Toda taught the arts of striking and kicking to his grandson Toshitsugu Takamatsu. This ryu teaches the art of defeating a strong person by feigning weakness.

This ryu teaches many of the secret philosophies and tactics of our art.

Founded by a monk named Un-Ryu (Cloud Dragon) this ryu has close relations with Kuki Shinden ryu. The two schools adopted techniques from each other to improve the quality for future generations. Takakage Matsutaro Ishitani was also a soke of this ryu and it is through Takamatsu Sensei and Hatsumi Sensei that many of the throwing and locking tactics are handed down.

FINAL THOUGHT: Most of the other remaining ninjutsu schools were wiped out by Oda Nobunaaga in 1591 when the men, women and children of the Iga mountains were slaughtered by a force out numbering them 10 to one. Of those few families to survive all forgot or put aside their training in the many years of peace that followed. Leaving Masaaki Hatsumi as the only surviving grandmaster; the only person acknowledged as an authentic Soke in traditional ninjutsu by the Japanese authorities.