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A Simplified Explanation
Published by Front Range Bujinkan Dojo
Table of Contents
Forward Definitions What is Bujinkan Budo? What are the origins of the Bujinkan Dojo? Organization, Structure and Leader of the Bujinkan Budo Toshitsugu Takamatsu Origins of the Bujinkan Organization Changes in the Bujinkan Organization Structure Bujinkan Budo and the Concept of Ninjutsu What is Ninjutsu and how is it comprised? Definition of Ninjutsu Ninja in Historical Context Bugei Juhappen Ninja Juhakkei (Ninja Skills) Is Ninjutsu taught in the Bujinkan? What are the authentic schools of Ninjutsu in the Bujinkan? Ninjutsu Curriculum of other Schools What are the different membership levels in the Bujinkan? Rank Structure within the Bujinkan Licensing and Titles within the Bujinkan Soke Shihan Shidoshi Shidoshi-Ho Menkyo Kaiden Menkyo What kind of training is incorporated within the Bujinkan? The Physical Training Various Weapons Training Subtle Training (Spiritual/Meditation/Nature/Special) Training Principles Where can I get questions answered? Guidelines for Participation in the Bujinkan Contact Addresses Important Definitions Contributions and Credits 4 6 7 7 10 10 10 11 12 12 12 12 13 13 14 16 17 17 19 20 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 25 25 25 25 27 27 28 31 32 35
Summary of Photographs Included:
Photograph 1: Samurai in Traditional Armor Photograph 2: Bushido – The Code of the Samurai Photograph 3: Toshitsugu Takamatsu Photograph 4: Masaaki Hatsumi displaying his certificates of Sokeship Photograph 5: Soke at a Tai Kai Photograph 6: Samurai on Horseback Photograph 7: Popular image of the Ninja Photograph 8: Application of Metsubishi (Blinding Methods) Photograph 9: Annual Hombu Membership Card Photograph 10: Shidoshi Kai Membership Card Photograph 11: Grade Certificate (Kyu & Dan) Photograph 12: Shidoshi-Ho Certificate (Junior Instructor) Photograph 13: Battle of Kawanakajima in 1561 Photograph 14: Densho of the Bujinkan Photograph 15: GoDan (GoDan no Shiken) or Sakki Test
as necessary.com. The version number is given below to show this evolution. This text attempts to answer the most common questions which arise to those uninitiated into the organization and represents only a glimpse and does not represent a the final word on the subject since evolution is an ongoing process.com Again. All photos contained within have been downloaded from open sources or credits have been applied.Forward This text has been written to serve as a ready reference for those new or prospective students of the Bujinkan. all conclusions and statements in this text are the opinion of the author and raise no claim to general validity. Information contained herein represents knowledge which is thought to be correct at the time of its publishing. Version Number: Version 2. This text does not represent any commercial enterprise and is free to those seeking it.FrontRangeBujinkan. dated 1 May 2009 This information booklet is available at no cost and can be downloaded from www. Because the realm of fighting arts is very extensive and the knowledge of the author is far subordinate in nature to the organization.FrontRangeBujinkan.com 4 . www. no claims are made to its authentication. Attempts will be made to correct that which is found to be untrue. Improvements and suggestions are welcomed at the following E-Mail address: editor@FrontRangeBujinkan.
when he moved to Salinas. He moved to San Jose when he was 4 and lived there until 1999. former member of the Santa Clara Vanguard Drum and Bugle Corp. Christoph Dilley. He was head instructor of Bujinkan Wako Dojo. 2008. 1959. passed away in a diving accident on Tuesday.com 5 . Survivors: Wife.. He was born Oct. Leia Dilley. Greg was the vice president of Andrews Blueprint shop. member of the Buddhist organization Soka Gakkai International (SGI-USA) for 22 years. www. 1959 – June 10. Kaela Dilley. Nancy Thomsen. of Salinas. an EMT.In Memoriam Greg Dilley (October 31. Mother. and ordained minister in the Universal Life Church. Neb.FrontRangeBujinkan. and Stepfather. in Omaha. 48. 31. 2008) Greg Dilley. June 10. Children. Glenda and Roland Jackson and his Brother.
Taijutsu (体術) – Body Movement used in aspects of Unarmed Fighting.com 6 .FrontRangeBujinkan. Ninpo (忍法) – Higher Order or evolution of the concept of Ninjutsu.This is the name of the organization that Soke Hatsumi created. These terms and concepts often vary depending upon the context in which they are used.Definitions To attempt to eliminate confusion some terms and concepts should be explained. literally meaning “The Hall of the Divine Warrior.” Bujinkan Budo (武神館 武道) – The Warrior Fighting Art method unique to the Bujinkan. sometimes different than the authors definition. Bujinkan Ninpo Taijutsu (武神館 忍法 体術) – Warrior Fighting Art Body Movement unique to the Bujinkan utilizing the higher order or evolution of the concept of Ninjutsu. Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu (武神館武道体術) – Warrior Fighting Arts Body Movement unique to the Bujinkan. www. Bujinkan (武神館) .
九鬼神伝流八法秘剣術 Shinden Fudo Ryu Dakentaijutsu . These individual schools usually originate from specific regions in Japan.玉心流忍法 Koto Ryu Koppojutsu .com 7 . www. whereas the Bujinkan maintains more of a Combat orientation while still maintaining its historical roots. Masaaki Hatsumi.雲隠流忍法 What are the origins of Bujinkan Budo? The Onin War (1467 – 1477). bear the family name of their originators.虎倒流骨法術 Takagi Yoshin Ryu Jutaijutsu . which is headed by Dr.高木揚心流柔体術 Gikan Ryu Koppojutsu . The Nine Ryu-Ha in which Bujinkan Budo is comprised: 9 Schools or Styles of the Bujinkan Togakure Ryu Ninpo Taijutsu . and are known or named in part due to their specific and very distinct style or weapon specialization. Bujinkan Budo is comprised of individual Ryû or schools (Ryu-Ha – Collection of Schools) which are studied and practiced in traditional and modern methods of application. In contrast. which have roots in traditional styles.FrontRangeBujinkan. a conflict rooted in economic unrest and brought on by a dispute over shogunal succession has been regarded as the onset of the Sengoku Jidai.義鑑流骨法術 Kumogakure Ryu Ninpo . The distinction between today’s other martial arts and their sport aspect comes from this compilation and individualistic nature of each style or school. today’s martial arts are oriented towards competition.神伝不動流打拳体術 Gyokushin Ryu Ninpo .玉虎流骨指術 Kukishinden Ryu Happo Hikenjutsu .What is Bujinkan Budo? Bujinkan Budo is the term used to represent a collective organization of 9 historical Japanese fighting arts.戸隠流忍法体術 Gyokko Ryu Kosshijutsu .
Old technologies were reworked with a new spirit into modern systems.Sengoku Jidai) was a time of unrest and near constant conflict similar to the European “Dark Ages” which lasted from the middle of the 15th century up until the beginning of the 17th century. This code was known as Bushido. As evolution is always changing so has the code of warrior ethics.1868) period. which directed the actions of Japan’s warrior class. This was a time where many schools disappeared altogether or covertly continued their teachings that left the ruling class unaware. industrialization and began to model itself after western influence.com 8 . This included Martial Arts such as Judo (1882). Japan opened up its doors to outside influences. www. Following the Battle of Sekigahara Tokugawa Ieyasu became Shogun and established his (Bakufu – Field Headquarters of the commanding general or the institution of government under the shogunate) at Edo. After this period Japan entered into a long period of unprecedented peace generally marking the beginning of the Edo (1603 . During this time of peace many influential persons pressured the ruling family of Tokugawa to limit the power of the warrior class. Early on in Japanese history a Code of Warrior ethics or a behavior code was established to direct one’s actions. As a result modern fighting arts were developed with roots to that of old. The Battle of Sekigahara (1600) was generally regarded as the last major conflict of this time. intense changes were imposed Photograph 1: upon a very traditional atmosphere.FrontRangeBujinkan.The Warring States Period (戦国時代 . During this time old traditional fighting arts became shunned and ostracized within its society. Many schools reduced the training that was conducted to reflect these influences. It was not until the early 1900s that the traditions of the old were to be integrated with the modern traditions in a more Nationalistic nature. Varied changes also influenced martial schools which changed the face of Japan forever. Karate-Do (1901) and Aikido (1942). At the beginning of the Meiji period (from 1868) and by express direction from Japanese authorities. Samurai in Traditional During this time Japan entered into a period of Armor major transformation. It was wished that a continuation of tradition would be modeled after the Samurai of the Tokugawa times. the Samurai.
Rules have been established to ensure the safety of the participant and by all practical sense has now led to their constraint in practical application. competition often stands in the forefront of the particular systems in question.” With regards to Zen Buddhism. The Bujinkan still maintains its combat and genuine self-defense orientation in all of its training. it also represents a reflection of the true opponent.com 9 . The experiences within this long tradition lay the basis of Photograph 2: Bushido – The the philosophy of the traditional fighting arts – The deescalation of aggression since a victory oriented competition Code of the system would not be practical. It has become associated with defensive studies and also to realize self-perfection.FrontRangeBujinkan. The progression from fighting arts into competition arts has encompassed modern martial systems. which has been carried on throughout modern years originating from ancient times. Due to this transformation. www. oneself.Although “Do” represents the general philosophical aspect of the fighting arts it also is universally recognized to mean “The Way of. Today this concept of evolution has not been exercised by Bujinkan Budo.
In Europe. Takamatsu was considered weak and to be a whiner as a child. Structure and Leader of Bujinkan Budo Toshitsugu Takamatsu Today’s knowledge and the tradition of the styles arise from Toshitsugu Takamatsu (1889 – 1972). During his younger years he traveled through China and survived many “life and death” duels.” This triggered the popularity of the system and the publication of many varied books and films. The books made the concept of the Ninjutsu system very popular and initiated the “Ninja Boom. this system was introduced to the Photograph 4: Masaaki Hatsumi displaying Western areas and spread very rapidly to other countries during the 1980s.FrontRangeBujinkan. his certificates of Sokeship www. educated and became a fierce fighter. Hatsumi sought out Takamatsu’s “true Toshitsugu budo” and after a long search he was accepted as a student. This served to inform the public as to the origins of the system and gave it the momentum to now become a truly worldwide organization. Origins of the Bujinkan organization The Bujinkan was founded by Masaaki Hatsumi in the 1970s and up until this time training in these traditions existed only in small groups led by Hatsumi. He learned numerous traditional fighting arts over the years and received teaching licenses in most all of them. Takamatsu personally trained Hatsumi for over a decade and later appointed him as his successor as Soke of these 9 different schools or traditions. Dr. Hayes) returned to the United States after a period of study with Soke Hatsumi and published books about Ninjutsu. according to own accounts to Hatsumi. Through his study of the fighting arts he was strengthening. An American Student (Stephen K.com 10 .Organization. Later he settled down in Japan and had many pupils Photograph 3: Takamatsu during his lifetime. the direct teacher of Sôke Masaaki Hatsumi.
many illegitimate instructors emerged to take advantage of this popularity. Photograph 5: In addition. This was to encourage new membership and provide the opportunity to those who could not travel to Japan in order to study.com 11 .Due to the increasing popularity of the Bujinkan Soke felt inclined to instruct abroad by conducting annual Tai Kai (Big Seminar) events which were sponsored by various countries. it became well known that Soke Hatsumi found it more and more stressful in his worldwide travels. Changes in the Bujinkan In the middle of the 90s amidst many rumors. From this time on up until 2003 the Bujinkan gained strength and numerous teachers (Shidoshi and Shihan) helped to solidify the Bujinkan as a truly worldwide organization. One can journey to Japan to train at their discretion or attend the annual Daikomyosai – Great Illumination event which is held in the latter part of November thru the beginning of December in order to share training experiences and celebrate Soke Hatsumi’s birthday (2nd of December). Unfortunately. The Bujinkan had the biggest rates of increased membership during these times. Over time the organization has grown substantially and most all illegitimate instructors have been exposed due to an ever expanding Bujinkan network and the spread of accurate information. Soke encourages all 5th Dan (Shidoshi) and above to come to Japan at least once a year to continue their higher studies in a direct training atmosphere in order to deeper their understandings. at his discretion. Due to this solidarity Soke Hatsumi held his last overseas Tai Kai in 2003 and issued instructions that no Japanese instructor would be allowed to teach outside of Japan without his prior approval. Retests can only be administered by designated Shihan (10th Dan and above) in the presence of Soke Hatsumi. Before this time the subjects were strongly focused upon a certain Ryu and/or weapon. www. This is still continued however very strong deeper spiritual aspects and advanced types of Taijutsu are stressed. the GoDan (5th Dan – Shidoshi) Soke at a Tai Kai test can now only be given in Japan due to the fact that Soke Hatsumi must be present and administer at least the first test.FrontRangeBujinkan. They dressed in Black uniforms and portrayed Ninjutsu as something other than what Hatsumi was attempting to teach. Also since this time the annual training subjects changed.
secretness.Organizational Structure As grandmaster. Hatsumi has employed a very open and liberal form of organizational structure. Therefore. Even though organizations often appear in this manner. Usually the organization develops from a senior foreign student of the area in question (i. there are no designated representatives for certain regions.e. United Kingdom. Bujinkan Budo and the Concept of Ninjutsu Often in the past and even in the present day the study of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu has been equated with the Ninja of feudal Japan and consequently the study of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu was equated to be the study of Ninjutsu. from where all documents and memberships are granted. What is Ninjutsu and how is it comprised? Definition of Ninjutsu – The Kanji or Characters for Ninjutsu (忍術) are divided into Nin .FrontRangeBujinkan. There are truly only three “Ninjutsu Ryu” contained within the nine schools of the Bujinkan. The exact translation is up for the interpretation of the individual translator though. Ninjutsu signifies the use of specialized techniques.). of which Togakure Ryu is the most widely known. and perseverance. Germany. This misrepresentation unfortunately continues to this day due to the lack of knowledge.com 12 . The concept of the Ninja came about www. Dr.忍 (Shinobi) and Jutsu . With time international organizations have developed under the direction of Soke Hatsumi in order to spread the fighting arts of the Bujinkan. All teachers in the Bujinkan may freely teach and learn according to authority given to them by Soke Hatsumi. endurance.術 (Techniques). Jutsu means art or technique. misinformation or commercialization. Discussion as to the origin and purpose of such organizations will remain unanswered at this point and will only be looked at from the surface. etc. up to this point Ninjutsu should be defined as all activities conducted in medieval Japan by the Ninja. Due to these unfortunate circumstances some light will be shed upon such misconceptions. Nin signifies stealth. The Bujinkan is centrally organized around the Hombu Dojo (Main Training Hall).
Sojutsu (Spear Fighting) 4. Bugei Juhappan – The 18 Martial skills learned by the common Japanese Warrior (Bushi). They are listed in the Bugei Juhappan. It is seen rather as a supplement to other Budo schools. Torimono Dougu (Arresting Weapons) 11.g. The practitioner of Ninjutsu was required to learn the common arts of war first. www. Although Ninjutsu belongs to the classical arts of war in Japan and was taught in several schools. Hojutsu (Musketry) 15. Nagamono (Polearm Fighting) 10. Kyujutsu (Archery) 6. Angou (Signaling) 18. Prior to this these persons were described as ones who used stealthful fighting tactics (e. 1. Kenjutsu (Swordsmanship) 2. Battojutsu (Sword Drawing) 3. Shurikenjutsu (Blade Throwing) 14.com 13 . it is not clearly defined as a Budo art. Kyuba (Mounted Archery) 7. Jinei / Heihou (Strategy and Tactics) Photograph 6: Samurai on Horseback In addition to the Bugei Juhappan other training was included in the Ninja Juhakkei.from around 1700 and on. Kakushi Buki Jutsu (Hidden Weapons) 12. Ninja in Historical Context – The activities of Ninjutsu involved primarily those of an unconventional nature in the conduct of war. Naginatajutsu (Naginata Fighting) 5.FrontRangeBujinkan. Suijutsu / To-Suijutsu (Swimming) 8. Jujutsu (Unarmed Combat) 13. The following serves only as an example of some of the common disciplines. Jouhou Kaishuu (Information Gathering) 16. Bojutsu (Stick and Staff Fighting) 9. Chikujou (Fortifications) 17. raids).
Marine Force Recon. Intonjutsu (Escaping and Concealment) 17. Moreover it is important for one to note that even modern day Special Armed Forces have a shroud of mystery involved with them. Chi Mon (Geography) Photograph 7: Popular image of the Ninja Today. Shinobi-Iri (Stealth and Entry Methods) 12. Even then most people tend to form their own opinions based upon their personal interpretations and bias. techniques practiced in modern day Ninjutsu focus upon those relevant to armed and unarmed combat. Choho (Espionage) 16. Shurikenjutsu (Blade Throwing) 6. and superstitions all led to exaggerations and false interpretations of who and what the Ninja actually were. restricted general knowledge. Seishin Teki Kyoyo (Spritual Refinement) 2. Bajutsu (Horsemanship) 13. During modern times much of the same type of misinformation exists and has only been clarified by authentic sources. During the time of old rumors. Boryaku (Tactics) 15. when one thinks of the Green Berets. Kusarigamajutsu (Sickle and Chain Fighting) 9. Even though techniques are listed in both the Bugei Juhhapan and the Ninja Juhakkei techniques sometimes are practiced similarly or completely different.FrontRangeBujinkan. Bojutsu (Stick and Staff Fighting) 5. For example. Kayakujutsu (Pyrotechnics and Explosives) 10. Taijutsu (Unarmed Combat) 3. British SAS. Naginatajutsu (Naginata Fighting) 8. and German GSG9 or KSK most people have an idea based upon second or third hand www. Ten Mon (Meteorology) 18.com 14 . Sui-Ren (Water Training) 14. Much false information surrounds the Ninja of old and new. Kenjutsu (Swordsmanship) 4. It is the intention of this document to dispel some of these ideas as presented by the Bujinkan organization. Hensojutsu (Disguise and Impersonation) 11.Ninja Juhakkei – The 18 Ninjutsu Fighting skills that were also practiced along side the Bugei Juhappan. Sojutsu (Spear Fighting) 7. 1.
The difference between fiction and non-fiction lies with James Bond and his inventive weapons master. such as undercover agents. etc. Unfortunately. When you take into consideration that such misinformation and misunderstandings happen even today then it is understandable that such things are even more exaggerated with things that history yields. are reality. Technical aids find themselves at home with this type of branch and so did they in ancient times of the Ninja. Nevertheless. Within the context of the media. clocks with laser weapons. knowledge of the Ninja and their art still has not become common knowledge throughout the world. Seek such things from your instructors. written documents. spies and military counselors. Circle of acquaintances exist within the Bujinkan in order to discover and document technical literature on subjects of interest in order to present information based upon facts and not fiction. The Ninja were mostly represented as cold-blooded murderers which had origins in legend and horror stories of Japan. which will allow for your education and personal growth. Another explanation could be found in the heroic roles portrayed in stage plays and novelty items (i. In contrast. who expose the reality of Secret Service activities.information that sometimes is twisted be misinformation or the popular media version. piers. Their knowledge of numerous fighting skills and their conduct of special missions with specialized equipment soon generated such myths of supernatural ability. extensive opinions exist today that cast the Ninja as nothing else as paid murderers and terrorists.e. You will find this unique structure within the Bujinkan. The necessity of secrecy arose and contributed this myth.FrontRangeBujinkan. the black clad figure of the night).com 15 . it can be doubted that cars with catapult seats. They never-the-less were highly specialized warriors which conducted specialized missions. personal experiences and then come to your own informed conclusions! www. such movies of the 1970s only added to this mystery by over exaggerating rumors and false history.
Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu was chosen as the official term used to encompass all levels of training in the Bujinkan. Training within the Bujinkan encompasses many forms of unarmed and armed combat methods not specifically considered Ninjutsu. www. to include the varied weapons and ever increasing levels of training. As an example. One must constantly seek higher levels of training which encompass more than just the concept of Ninjutsu if one is to truly understand was is attempting to be passed on by Soke Hatsumi. in 2004 the yearly subject chosen was that of Juppo Sessho. Ninjutsu specific knowledge and training plays a historical and modern role in its application. For example. Answers will only be found through true devotion and diligent training.Is Ninjutsu taught in the Bujinkan? Yes. Styles within the Bujinkan can be considered separate but also overlapping or connected. This theme emphasized the roots that lie within the concept of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu. training in Ninjutsu is conducted in the Bujinkan but at varying degrees.FrontRangeBujinkan. you will find similar fighting methods in all Budo styles. The weapons that are used originate from specific schools within the Bujinkan. Underlying fundamentals of this form of Budo were best thought to be absorbed by more advanced students. Nevertheless. since their level of training experience allowed more of an understanding and interpretation of this training. the Shuko (Hand Claws) originate from the Togakure Ryu and the Rokushaku Bo (6’ Staff) originates mainly from the Kukishinden Ryu.com 16 .
Claims to this knowledge stems from Menkyo Kaiden which has been awarded to their leaders. Two organizations have been formed by former students of Soke Hatsumi (Jinenkan and Genbukan) and have formed their own base of knowledge. Concern sometimes arises that Ninjutsu will fall back into abuse. www. This may be correct up to the point that the other two Ryu-Ha are taught to only the highest ranking of Soke’s students. All other schools of Ninjutsu appear up to know to be considered as questionable. there is long term controversy surrounding the authenticity to the “claim of sole representation” of Ninjutsu within the Bujinkan organization. Therefore historical documents are either very rare. since they are historically believed to have become extinct and their so-called representatives have yet to produce any reputable documents to contradict these negative feelings. which gives them the authority to from their own school. A short discussion will take place here and further interpretation will be left up to the reader. It is commonly believed that only concepts and techniques of the Togakure Ryu are taught.FrontRangeBujinkan. no specific techniques are documented but rather are only passed from one generation to the other by verbal or physical methods). due to its popularity and financial interest. to include its misrepresentation of the techniques itself and the circulation of fake documents. There are several Ryu which historically have “Hiden” or only “Verbal” transmission of techniques (i.com 17 .What are the authentic schools of Ninjutsu in the Bujinkan? Most sources agree that the following three Ryu-Ha still exist today and are authentic historically: • Togakure Ryu Ninpo Taijutsu Happo Biken • Gyokushin Ryu Ninpo Happo Biken • Kumogakure Ryu Ninpo Happo Biken Each of these three Ryu-Ha originates from Soke Hatsumi as represented within the Bujinkan. hard to find or are not in existence. This method of teaching arose from military necessity in order to keep methods secret. Caveat Emptor – Let the Buyer Beware! Claims to this lineage by countless organizations should not equate to historical authenticity! Ninjutsu Curriculum of other Schools According to various experts.e.
com 18 . and that is to confer with Dr.Furthermore. various traditional Ryu are said to exist as forerunners to Ninjutsu which contain selected specialized Ninjutsu techniques but have no claim to be associated with or considered to be Ninjutsu. It is very clear due to the nature of the discussion of history that there may never be a final conclusion which will answer everyone’s questions or dispel all controversies. www. Historical facts become ever increasingly difficult to establish due to lost or destroyed documentation of various schools. It is doubted by some historians as to the degree of systematization of several schools within the Bujinkan and if their true authenticity is valid. renamings. Photograph 8: For example. deviations. etc. throughout history. Hatsumi directly or to gather facts through his or other various media products. research which has been Application of Metsubishi conducted from World War II up until recent (Blinding Methods) years has just as much controversy surrounding it due to the lack of documentation (documentation lost. Also those schools which exist only through traditional verbal tradition (kuden) are almost impossible to document or prove. The structure of Japanese fighting arts has been subjected to new establishments of schools. Of course. never established or maintained). This leaves the only practical answer to questions of authenticity.FrontRangeBujinkan. destroyed. Again this is due to the difficult task with which researchers find themselves engaged in. it will always be left to the individual as to their individual interpretation and final conclusion.
com 19 . Japan but this is entirely up to the rules of individual dojos.What are the different membership levels in the Bujinkan? Students of the Bujinkan normally maintain two types of memberships and these memberships are represented by two categories of cards. Photo 9: Annual Hombu Membership Card The Annual Hombu Membership Card serves as official recognition of one’s membership in the Bujinkan organization. Normally the annual membership is not required unless the student attends training at the Hombu Dojo in Noda. Shidoshi (Fully Licensed Instructor – 5th Dan thru 9th Dan). and Shihan (Master Instructor – 10th Dan & above). These cards are either the annual membership or shidoshi kai card. Photo 10: Shidoshi Kai Membership Card The Shidoshi Kai (Instructors Association) card is the annual membership card issued to official instructors within the Bujinkan. Shidoshi-Ho (Junior Instructor – 1st thru 4th Dan).FrontRangeBujinkan. www. Possession of this card is an indication of three levels of instructors.
although they were have similar adaptation. Soke Hatsumi followed this ranking with the Godai Principle (Chi. and Shodan or above wear a black belt. Ranking was accomplished by awarding certificates appropriate to one’s level of apprenticeship. The traditional style of steps was used prior to this system (Shoden. Sui. and Jin (Person) within the Bujinkan. Kyu Grade Dan Grade 1-4 Dan Grade 5-9 Dan Grade 10 Soke Ten Shodan-Godan Chi Rokudan-Kudan Jin Chi-Sui-Ka-Fu-Ku www. Soke devised a classification system comprised of Kyu and Dan grades. With the opening of worldwide apprenticeship. Within the Bujinkan there are 9 Kyu Grades and 10 Dan Grades. higher Kyu grades wear Green. Chi (Earth).FrontRangeBujinkan. Fu. In the Bujinkan few belt colors are represented under this system of ranking. To further recognize each individual Dan rank White. Ka.com 20 .Rank Structure within the Bujinkan The rank classification system in the Bujinkan very clearly differs from other modern systems. Okuden). Silver. ranking followed the traditional Menkyo principle. or Gold rank stars are worn to distinguish this. Although it was never meant to reflect these further Dan grades it has become a method of recognizing and referring to ones ranking (11-15 Dan). These steps were represented by Ten (Sky). Prior to this. Beginners (MuKyu – 10th Kyu) wear a white belt. Ku) and this further reflects the higher levels of ranking. though not meant to represent Dan ranking. Chuden.
FrontRangeBujinkan.com 21 .10th Kyu 9th Kyu 8th Kyu 7th Kyu 6th Kyu 5th Kyu 4th Kyu 3rd Kyu 2nd Kyu 1st Kyu 1st Dan 2nd Dan 3rd Dan 4th Dan 5th Dan 6th Dan 7th Dan 8th Dan 9th Dan 10th Dan 11th Dan 12th Dan 13th Dan 14th Dan 15th Dan 無級 九級 八級 七級 六級 五級 四級 参級 弐級 一級 初段 弐段 参段 四段 五段 六段 七段 八段 九段 (Mukyu) (Kyuukyu) (Hachikyu) White Belt Green Belt 1 white star (Shichikyu) 2 white stars (Rokukyu) (Gokyu) (Yonkyu) (Sankyu) (Nikyu) (Ikkyu) (Shodan: (Nidan) (Sandan: (Yondan: (Godan) (Rokudan) (Nanadan) 3 white stars 4 white stars 1 gold star 2 gold stars 3 gold stars 4 gold stars Black Belt 1 silver star 2 silver stars 3 silver stars Shidoshi Badge 1 gold star 2 gold stars (Hachidan) 3 gold stars (Kyudan) 4 gold stars Shihan Badge 1 white star 2 white stars 3 white stars 拾十段 (Judan) 拾初段 (Jushodan) 拾弐段 (Junidan) 拾参段 (Jusandan) 拾四段 (Juyondan) 4 white stars 拾五段 (Jugodan) 5 white stars www.
com 22 .FrontRangeBujinkan. The title Shidoshi is a specific title awarded in the Bujinkan and it entitles the bearer to teach independently.The following are examples of the two classifications of official certificates issued from Soke Hatsumi. as depicted in the below example. These are the only certificates that are considered to be approved and valid by Soke. Photograph 12: Shidoshi-Ho Certificate www. Photograph 11: Grade Certificate (Kyu or Dan) The classification of documents for Kyu and Dan grade differ only slightly from the above example. The titles Shidoshi and Shidoshi-Ho are only considered to be official titles if a separate certificate is issued to award such title.
FrontRangeBujinkan.Photograph 13: Battle of Kawanakajima in 1561 www.com 23 .
At the same time.Licensing and Titles within the Bujinkan In the Bujinkan there are few titles or official terms of rank recognition.com 24 . www. Shihan This is an honorable title awarded in the Bujinkan to recognize an exceptional and honorable person that is informally awarded informally at the rank of 10th Dan. Shidoshi One is eligible to be awarded this title at 5th Dan and with this recognition comes the authority to teach independently. in this case 9 within the Bujinkan organization. documents which have been handed down from generation to generation are given to the new head. Menkyo Kaiden Menkyo Kaiden is a personal award given to an individual who has mastered all aspects of a particular school that is able to transmit the system completely to their students. Soke The Soke is the head or leader of the school. A person can be the head of several different schools. Although the award itself is authorization to teach the person awarded this title should instruct under the direct supervision of a Mentor and further educate their self under this Mentor’s supervision. This title is confirmed with the Shidoshi Kai membership certificate and card. It is the responsibility of this leader to bring life and flexibility into the system. in order to allow for modernization. This title is awarded to only one individual and is recognized by proper documentation by the previous leader.FrontRangeBujinkan. Shidoshi-Ho Shidoshi-Ho is a title award to a junior licensed instructor (assistance instructor) of 1st through 4th Dan ranking. Menkyo An Issued Certificate. The title in itself is a creation of Soke Hatsumi himself and is used exclusively in the Bujinkan.
Other specialized weapons are used as well to include concealed weapons and modern day applications of older and newer weapons. Bisento (Halberd). Taijutsu is just another concept which today is comprised of individual body movement and other techniques such as Jutaijutsu.FrontRangeBujinkan. Naginata (Angle Bladed Pole Weapon).What kind of training is incorporated within the Bujinkan? The Physical Training Training in the Bujinkan relies upon Taijutsu or Unarmed Fighting as its backbone. elasticity) combined with Taijutsu means correct body movements and motor activity used in combination as opposed to relying upon brut strength and raw power. Kodachi (Short Sword). Tanto (Knife). traps. Tai (Body) and Jutsu (Techniques) composed together. Used in combination it can be used to further explain other concepts. Rokushaku Bo (6 Foot Staff).com 25 . As used within the Bujinkan. When training with weapons a concept of the usage of anything as a weapon is reinforced to allow flexibility and survivability. Koppojutsu. Taijutsu as it is normally translated is the art of using the body movement in Unarmed fighting. rolls. Ju (compliance. Spiritual Training There are a very many views and opinions of this subject so it will only be touched upon here in a limited capacity. Meditation This is can become a component of regular training or can be restricted to special training session. Kosshijutsu. etc. www.) to assert oneself over their opponent) as an overall unarmed self-defense system. Shuriken (Throwing Blades). Taijutsu therefore means the use of body movements and applicable varied techniques (throwing. choking. Katana (Japanese Sword). Dakentaijutsu. etc. etc. striking. The main goal of this training is to focus the mind to find internal peace and calmness to manage ones environment. As it is comprised. Yari (Spear). Jo (5 Foot Staff). Ninja-To (Ninja’s Specialized Sword). it is made up of two words. The primary weapons used are the Hanbo (3 Foot Staff). grappling. Kunai (Digging Tool). Further explained. Various Weapons Training The Bujinkan is comprised of many different weapons. sweeping. Kusari Fundo (Weighted Chain). such as JuTaiJutsu.
For example.FrontRangeBujinkan. Photograph 14: Densho of the Bujinkan www. Special Training One-on-one or group discussions can be conducted to foster development on special subjects. lessons occur during religious apprenticeships for warriors that sometimes can help to explain life difficulties or questions.Training in Nature This training is focused around the usage of nature as a learning tool to enable the development of one’s heightened awareness.com 26 .
Shu ● Ha ● Ri should result in the student surpassing the master. His website is located at www. your best source of information currently is the internet. If the student never achieves the master’s ability. SHU .Training Principles Shu ● Ha ● Ri This is a term the Japanese use to describe the overall progression of traditional martial arts training.Understanding the form (leaving the form) Ultimately.FrontRangeBujinkan. then the art will stagnate. **Another translation by Shihan Paul Richardson relating directly to the Bujinkan can be referenced in his newsletter (June 2000 issue of ‘Jinja’ on page 7). Where can I get questions answered? The Bujinkan has become truly international now and consists of many Master Instructors in most countries.hanako.uk.Studying the form (breaking the form) RI . This is an improvement for the art as a whole. at best. as well as the lifelong relationship the student will enjoy with his or her instructor. But. the art will continually improve and flourish. both in knowledge and skill. by using the keyword – Bujinkan. If the student never surpasses his master. if the student can assimilate all that the master can impart and then progress to even higher levels of advancement.Learning the form (protecting the form) HA .co. It is advised that you direct questions to your closest Bujinkan instructor.com 27 . www. Since training in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu normally is not advertised in a similar manner as other martial arts. the art will deteriorate.
Those unwilling to take personal responsibility for accidents occurring during Bujinkan training shall not be admitted. were those committing violent drunken acts. either as practitioners or as members of society. Among them. drug addiction. Specifically: (1) Only those who have read and agreed with these guidelines shall be allowed to participate. This is an extremely important point. one should not cause trouble to the Bujinkan. From this day forward. and trouble makers who thought only of themselves and failed to see how their actions might adversely affect others. or mental instability shall be barred from joining. Reiterating for clarity. the Bujinkan was open to large numbers of people who came to Japan. and individuals lacking self-control. (3) A physician’s examination report shall be required. the mentally ill. and dedication shall be allowed to participate. all such people shall be expelled. Those not doing so shall not be allowed to join. for example. individuals with clinically abnormal personalities or physiology.FrontRangeBujinkan. Specifically.Guidelines for Participation in the Bujinkan The Bujinkan shall be open to only those who agree with and uphold the guidelines of the Bujinkan Dôjô. Through their actions. unfortunately. those with infectious diseases or illnesses. (4) Individuals with criminal records shall be turned away. and those living in Japan who break domestic laws shall be turned away. such people were discarding the traditional righteous heart of the Bujinkan. The necessity of such a report concerns individuals who may present a danger to others. www. Troublemakers. self-control. (6) Regarding accidents occurring during training (both inside and outside the dôjô). those who commit crimes. by committing disgraceful or reproachable acts shall be expelled. the Bujinkan shall not take responsibility for any accidents happening in the course of training. individuals with mental illness. regardless of the location. (2) Only those able to exercise true patience. (5) Those not upholding the guidelines of the Bujinkan.com 28 . Until now.
Sui (water). Fû (wind) and Kû (emptiness). 5) To not stray from the path of loyalty and brotherly love. This card not only preserves the honor of the Bujinkan members. and obstinacy. and is aware of that which flows naturally between the two parts: “The secret principle of Taijutsu is to know the foundations of peace.com 29 . (8) The tradition of the Bujinkan recognizes nature and the universality of all human life. To follow this code is part of the dôjô’s guidelines. 4) To recognize sadness and worry as natural. We www.FrontRangeBujinkan. and to seek the immovable heart. To study is the path to the immovable heart (fudôshin). it indicates you are part of a larger whole—one whose members come together with warrior hearts to better themselves through training and friendship.(7) All those joining the Bujinkan must get an annual member’s card.” The Code of the Dôjô: 1) To know that patience comes first. and to delve always deeper into the heart of Budô. The fifth dan test shall only be administered by Sôke. Takamatsu Toshitsugu Uou Hatsumi Masaaki Byakuryu (9) Initial training begins with Taijutsu Kyu levels: beginners First to Fifth dan: Ten (heaven) Fifth to Tenth dan: Chi (earth) Tenth to Fifteenth dan: Jin (person) The eleventh to fifteenth dan are broken into Chi (earth). the Bujinkan has become truly international. the Happô Biken will be taught at these levels. 2) To know that the path of Man comes from justice. It evinces the glory of warrior virtue. Toda Shinryuken Masamitsu Shôwa 33 (1958) March. indolence. Ka (fire). Recently. 3) To renounce avarice. Meiji 23 (1890) Spring. so exist various taboos among the world’s peoples and nations. True Shihan can be given fifteenth dan. Just as there are various time zones. and embodies both loyalty and brotherly love.
The Hombu’s publications also contain information concerning the worldwide practice of Bujinkan Budô Taijutsu and the various materials (printed. a year later. 28th Grandmaster Takagiyôshin Ryû Jûtaijutsu Happô Biken. We must put the heart of the warrior first.com 30 . or otherwise) available for training. 17th Grandmaster Kumogakure Ryû Ninpô Happô Biken. Noda-shi. Chiba-ken 278 Japan Tel: 0471-22-2020 Fax: 0471-23-6227 www. 14th Grandmaster Gyokushin Ryû Ninpô Happô Biken. Reading them soon after you join. 18th Grandmaster Shinden Fudô Ryû Daken Taijutsu Happô Biken. 26th Grandmaster Kukishin Ryû Taijutsu Happô Biken. Translation by Benjamin Cole www. The Bujinkan Dôjô Sôke: Masaaki Hatsumi Title: Hisamune 636 Noda. Those not upholding the above-mentioned guidelines shall be forced out of the Bujinkan.must respect each other. 34th Grandmaster Gyokko Ryû Kosshijutsu Happô Biken.com Togakure Ryû Ninpô Happô Biken. striving to avoid such taboos. and read and reread them consistently as part of your training. 28th Grandmaster Kotô Ryû Koppôjutsu Happô Biken. 15th Grandmaster All members should own every copy of the Hombu’s publications. working together for self-improvement and for the betterment of the Bujinkan.bujinkan. 21st Grandmaster Gikan Ryû Koppôjutsu Happô Biken. video.FrontRangeBujinkan. will afford you with different interpretations and different feelings. and then several years after that.
FrontRangeBujinkan.Contact Addresses: Japanese: English: www.com 31 .
The Higher Concept of the Fighting movements in the Bujinkan. Way or Philosophical concept of purpose. Symbolic representation or explanation of the world by means of 5 elements – Chi (Earth). Sui (Water). He chose this name in order to honor his teacher Toshitsugu Takamatsu. Methods of the Ninja. A name for a person in medieval Japan who used specialized military tactics.FrontRangeBujinkan.Important Definitions Bujinkan Dojo / Bujinkan 武神館 道場 武神館 Hall of the divine warrior – The Name Organization created by Sôke Hatsumi. Bujinkan Budo Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu Bujinkan Ninpo Taijutsu Daimyo Do Godai 武神館 武神館 武道 体術 武神館 忍法 体術 大名 道 五大 Ninja 忍者 Ninjutsu Ninpo 忍術 忍法 www. Ka (Fire). and Ku (Void). The Fighting Arts of the Bujinkan.com 32 . Regional Leader in Japanese Feudal Times. Higher order or understanding of the concept of Ninjutsu. Fu (Wind). The Higher Concept of the application of specialized Fighting techniques in the Bujinkan (Ninjutsu).
Sakki Test - GoDan no Shiken Photograph 15: GoDan (GoDan no Shiken) or Sakki Test www. Okuden (Upper). Soke then positions himself with the sword overhead. The Godan test (5th Dan test in the Bujinkan) or also formally known as GoDan no Shiken.FrontRangeBujinkan.com 33 . Chuden (Middle). The person testing must sit with their back towards Soke. while he is armed with a Bamboo sword. with either success or failure as a result. Since approximately 2002 this test can sometimes be delegated to a Shihan (10th Dan or above) and most be conducted in the presence of Soke. focuses and releases his intention while striking in a downward stroke towards the tester. Usually. One must “sense” the attack and apply Ukemi (body movement) away from the attack. Sakki signifies an aggression sense or “killer intention” which serves to protect the individual or also referred to as a danger sense. usually after the first test by Soke has been failed. Sometimes higher levels may be added such as Hiden (Secret) or Inner Teachings which is reserved for the most highest of disciples. only two attempts are made. Traditional teaching methods most commonly divided into different steps or levels – Shoden (Lower).Ryu 流 Style or School.
An Honorary Title for 10th Dan and above Instructors in the Bujinkan. The highest military leader in feudal Japan. Body Movement or the Higher Concept of Unarmed Combat. This is the title given to designate a teacher or instructor. An Occupational warrior in feudal Japan with a high and privileged rank within the social hierarchy. Due to the increased power given to the Shogun.com 34 . Shidoshi 土道師 Shidoshi-Ho 土道師 補 Shihan 師範 Shogun 将軍 Soke 宗家 Taijutsu 体術 Tenno 天皇 www.Samurai 侍 Servant. this led to the gradual loss of power of the emperor. The family head of a traditional Japanese Fighting system. This is the title for assistant teachers from 1st through 4th Dan. The Shidoshi-Ho should however be under the direct supervision of a Shidoshi in order to be further educated.FrontRangeBujinkan. This title is confirmed by a teaching certification. This title is awarded for 5th Dan and above and allows for full independent teaching. Name for the Japanese Emperor.
Shihan – Bujinkan Dojo Arnaud Cousergue.Contributions and Credits I would like to offer final credits and thanks to the following individuals for their direct or indirect contribution to this compilation of information: Richard Van Donk.FrontRangeBujinkan. Shihan – Palo Alto Ninjutsu In addition. NiDan & Shidoshi-Ho. the source of much information pertaining to the Bujinkan has obscure origins and sometimes cannot be traced to the source. Shihan – Solkan Europe Yaron Galant. Shihan – Bujinkan Wako Dojo Julio Toribio. Shihan – Bujinkan Monterey Dojo Paul Richardson. Shihan – Kaigozan Dojo Kevin Millis. Since this was such a good source of basic information I have translated it. edited it and made it available to those who have requested it! Larry Miller. This publication originally was published and made available in German.com 35 . Shihan – Bujinkan Lincoln Dojo Ken Harding. Shihan – American Bujinkan Dojo Greg Dilley. I offer thanks to those that have contributed indirectly. Shihan . Front Range Bujinkan Dojo www.Missouri Bujinkan Dojo Mats Hjelm.
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