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The Bujinkan Dojo is dedicated to the study and promotion of traditional Japanese martial arts as taught by Grandmaster Masaaki Hatsumi, in Noda-shi Japan. The Bujinkan Dojo comprises nine different, but complimentary, martial arts traditions that encompass all aspects of personal combat and self protection skills. Our training will consist of unarmed and armed personal combat techniques, as taught in Japan. Our martial art is truly martial in that it is centered on centuries old, combat-tested techniques. We are not a sport martial art, nor do we compete in tournaments or matchtype competitions. While this sounds very serious, and indeed it is, we are also here to have fun, improve ourselves, learn from each other, and find ways to live our lives without fear. As Hatsumi-sensei says, “...to become people that can live.” Within the following pages, you will find an overview of our dojo's basics. They include physical conditioning, terminology, our dojo rules and etiquette, basic martial arts techniques, and some training tips to help you along the path. These are by no means intended to be complete. Each of you is encouraged to maintain your own notes and references to help you learn these skills. This information will help you learn more effectively and safely as you begin your training with us.
Our Training Philosophy
We train in Hatsumi-sensei's Bujinkan arts in order to learn how to survive in the real world. On the surface, it may seem that we are engaged in those aspects of life that deal with physical dangers, whether they come from a physical assault or other parts of life that may cause physical harm. While this is very true, we also wish for our members to take home something more.
“Life is not simply about staying alive, it is about living.”
We learn to overcome our fears, doubts, and inhibitions and enjoy life without having the constant nagging fears that keep us from reaching our potential. Many would say that learning to disarm a sword wielding attacker has little to do with life in modern America. We feel that the confidence and skills needed to face an almost certain painful death are useful in our day to day dealings with the world.
“Overcoming our fears is necessary for growth and well being.”
It has been said, is it not a happy person that does not fear death? Our personal experiences in pursuing the warrior arts, tempered with our own moral and ethical guidelines, as well as intellectual and cultural pursuits help us to become a person that can live and enjoy life, rather than seeing our existence as one obstacle after another. We learn to avoid obstacles, recover easily from falls, and overcome insurmountable odds in order to continue to live as we wish: happily and without fear.
What is the Bujinkan?
Masaaki Hatsumi of Noda City, Japan is the Soke (Grandmaster) of at least nine separate Japanese martial traditions (ryu-ha) passed to him by his personal teachers including the late Toshitsugu Takamatsu. The Bujinkan is the organization created by Hatsumi-soke to disseminate the teachings of the ryu-ha throughout the world. The traceable development of these arts spans the last 1,000 years. The preservation of these traditions is a critical difference between Bujinkan arts and recently developed Japanese disciplines taught in the United States, such as Karate-do, Aikido, and Judo. The “do” arts were created largely after World War One and are derived from battlefield traditions. The meanings of “do” techniques are still rarely taught outside of Japan. However, our Bujinkan education takes into explicit account battlefield and combat scenarios that are considered “bunkai” (possible applications), at best in most modern disciplines. While recognizing change and modernization, Bujinkan training remains firmly rooted in the past. Rather than attempt to make old techniques into new, we learn form the old and seek the universal and lasting truths which have stood the test of time within the traditions which have been passed down. Alone, it doesn't make Bujinkan better, only closer to the original warrior traditions. The nine traditions of the Bujinkan are: Togakure-ryu Ninpo Gyokko-ryu Koshijutsu Kukishinden-ryu Happo Biken Takagi Yoshin-ryu Jutaijutsu Gikan-ryu Koppojutsu Koto-ryu Koppojutsu Shinden Fudo-ryu Daken Taijutsu Gyokushin-ryu Ninpo Kumogakure-ryu Ninpo
The above systems each specialize in a specific set of combat skills. When combined, as they are in the Bujinkan, They provide comprehensive set of martial skills that enable the practitioner to adapt to any situation and give the practitioner a large body of principles and techniques that, when porperly applied, enable the practitioner to survive and succeed where others fail.
About Our Grandmaster
Masaaki Hatsumi is, in his consideration, an artist, writer, film consultant, actor, martial arts historian, bone doctor, and martial artist. He is also the world authority on the ninja arts and is one of the last remaining verifiable ninjutsu practitioners that can claim direct lineage from feudal Japan. Hatsumi-Soke began his training as a child and earned teaching licenses in Judo, Kendo, Karate, Aikido, and Kobudo. Dissatisfied with these systems, he began to study under Toshitsugu Takamatsu and was passed the Grandmastership of nine martial arts. These systems have a recorded lineage and later became consolidated under Hatsumi-Soke's Bujinkan Dojo. Hatsumi-Soke has been the recipient of many honrs besides those above. He is a graduate of Meiji University, Theater Arts, holds a Ph.D. of Human Science, and a Ph.D. of Philosophy. In addition he has been granted a Knighthood by the country of Germany, and was named Instuctor of the Year by the Black Belt Hall of Fame (1988). Hatsumi has traveled the world, providing training for his students at annual Tai Kai training events. Aspiring martial artists from many nations have heard his guiding words to his students, “Go Play”.
In this, or any, martial arts class, we are dealing with a potentially dangerous subject that must be treated with great respect. In keeping with this spirit of respect, we should treat our school and fellow students accordingly. To this end, there is a prescribed manner of behavior to be followed while in this dojo. 1.Students should bow upon entering the dojo and prior to entering the matted area. 2. Students should greet each other with “Onegaishimasu” when beginning training and “Domo Arigato” when completing practice or changing partners. 3. Students with questions are directed to ask the instructor. If a beginning student and intermediate/advanced student are working together, the senior of the two should not give unsolicited direction until the junior student has tried the technique a few times. Advanced students are directed to give silent resolution of the problem before requesting asssitance. 4. Do only the technique shown. No alternatives are to be done unless instructed to do so. 5. Do not handle the training weapons of others unless given specific instructions to do so. 6. Beginning students give and receive NO resistance to techniques. Advanced students may give slight resistance (meaning only moving when moved properly) when training with each other, when explicitly permitted to do so. Advanced students may only give greater resistance with the permission of the instructor. This is a matter of safety and failure to observe this may result in expulsion form the class. 7. If you cannot see a technique as it is demonstrated , move so you can. Be careful not to interfere with the space of those demonstrating the technique. 8. Remember to respect others and their possessions and they will respect yours. 9. Never forget that you are part of a long tradition and there is a reason for everything you are shown.
Bujinkan Class and Seminar Etiquette
These are 10 unwritten rules of training that are being practiced in Japan. Adhering to these rules will ensure fun and safe training for everyone.
1. Always address the instructor as Sensei: Man or female, addressing your teacher or anyone teaching a seminar or class you attend, the instructor should always be referred to as Sensei. Depending on Rank, the following are appropriate “Sensei (Reserved for the head of your dojo), Last name Sensei, Last name Shihan, Last name Shidoshi” Example: Sensei (Masaaki Hatsumi), Nagato Sensei, Noguchi Shihan, Senno Shihan, Oguri Shihan. 2. Show up to training on-time: During which you should pay for the class, then get changed and stretch before training begins. 3. Show up with the proper training attire: Everyone should bring the following to training every time. One t-shirt to be worn under one black Gi top; showing proper rank whenever possible. One pair of black Gi bottoms. The proper color belt and indoor tabi. 4. If you are not teaching, you should be training: The reason for going to someone’s class or seminar is to learn. Therefore, everyone should be training during the seminar. No one should be walking around and trying to teach people what the instructor is doing. This is the job of the instructor. 5. When asked to show a technique: If you are asked to show a technique, the proper etiquette is to go to the middle of the floor, show a technique without speaking, and then sit back down, unless otherwise specified by the instructor. 6. Mimic the instructor’s movement: In order to learn, you must be able to follow what the instructor is doing. If not, you are only doing your own technique. Doing this is no benefit, because nothing new is being learned. After one goes back to his or her dojo, they can then explore the techniques they learned with their own taijutsu. While the teacher is teaching, you should sit in seiza. After the techniques are shown, you should bow once. By doing so, this indicates to the instructor that you are listening as well as paying attention to what is being taught.
7. Shut up and train: Talking should be kept to a minimum. Only share your thoughts or feeling if told to do so by the instructor. Never just shout out your own thoughts or feelings. This is very disrespectful to the instructor. The dojo is a place for training. The more talking one does, the less training they are doing. Learn how to train while keeping talking to a minimum. This will also ensure that you are training and not just hanging around. 8. Do not ask the instructor to show you a technique: The Japanese learn by using the eyes. Techniques will be done to the uke the instructor chooses. One must be at a good level in order to receive these techniques. Uke’s will be picked according to the level they can receive a technique. 9. Clean up and pay before you leave: When training is over, and before you change, everyone should pick up any garbage around them. All weapons should be placed back where they were taken from. This should all be done before any goes to change their clothes. Make sure that if you were not able to pay in the beginning that all money is paid before changing as well. 10. No photography or videotaping allowed: Photo and video taken is prohibited unless permission from the instructor has been received. The reason for this is because video taping and photography disrupts and interferes with everyone’s training Respect the dojo, the instructor, and your training partner: By adhering to these rules, it will ensure that respect is being shown at all times. Although there are more etiquette than listed above, adhering to these rules listed will be accepted in all dojos across the globe. Therefore, it is important to practice good etiquette in order to cultivate a good budo spirit. Although each dojo does things slightly different, you should follow the etiquette of the class or seminar based on the teacher.
The following is a description of what elements are included in a typical class. This is no means a strict agenda and variations may be made at any time. It is only a guide to help you know what to expect. Class opening: Opening occurs when the instructors kneels and sits in seiza. Students should kneel in a straight line facing the instructor the senior most student farthest from the door, line up according to rank. The students of the most junior ranks are closest to the door. Upon the instructor's cue, students are to place their hands in Gassho no kamae (palms together and in front of breastbone, one hands width away from body, elbows down) Instructor says: SHI-KIN HARA-MITSU DAI-KO-MYO Class repeats: SHI-KIN HARA-MITSU DAI-KO-MYO Everyone claps twice Bow with back straight to about three inches from the floor, straighten back up to Gassho no kamae Clap once Bow again Instructor will turn to face class Senior most student will say: SENSEI NI-REI Everyone bows and says: O-NE-GAI-SHI-MA-SU With in a few classes, claps should be simultaneous. Junan Taiso: Stretching exercises as described in student guide Various strength exercises
Ukemi and Kaiten Waza: Rolling (forward, backwards, sideways) Falling (forward, backwards, sideways) Leaping (all directions) Walking Sanshin no Kata Concentration on proper performance and details of movements, flow and proper footwork Chi no Kata Sui no Kaya Ka no Kata Fu no Kata Ku no Kata Kihon Happo Concentration on proper performance and details of movements Ichimonji no Kata Hicho no Kata Jumonji no Kata Omote Gyakku Omote Tsuki Ura Gyakku Musha Dori Ganseki Nage Students should also know Musho Dori and Oni Kudaki
Lesson of the Day: May consist of continued explanation and practice of Ukemi, Sanshin no Kata, or Kihon Happo , weapons training or henka (variations) of techniques from above. Discussion: Questions & Answers Upcoming training opportunities Dojo business Class Closing: Class forms in lines in the same manner as the class opening. Instructor says: SHI-KIN HARA-MITSU DAI-KO-MYO Class repeats: SHI-KIN HARA-MITSU DAI-KO-MYO Clap twice Bow Clap once Instructor turns to face class Instructor says: DO-MO A-RI-GAH-TO GO-ZAI-MA-SU Everyone bows and says: DO-MO A-RI-GAH-TO GO-ZAI-MA-SU Class dismissed!
This collection of stretching exercises is intended for daily practice. If already following a regular exercise regimen, these should be included after your workout (warm, fatigued muscles are more receptive to stretching). These exercises should be preformed smoothly and slowly. Bouncing as you stretch can cause injury and lost training time. The total time for these exercises should be 20-30 minutes if done properly. The goal of these techniques is to promote flexibility and muscle endurance. Flexibility reduces tension. Tension causes injury. The key to progress is practice. Don't worry about initial lack of flexibility or seeming slow progress. Keep going and enjoy the ride. Exercise one: Stand in Shizen no Kamae. Relax and settle your weight evenly to both feet. Place your tongue lightly against the roof of your mouth where the upper teeth meet the gums. Take a deep breath in through your nose and hold it. Let you body relax around the air. The breath should be taken from your diaphragm and held deep in the abdomen. Take a few moments and see if you feel totally and naturally upright. Quietly let the breath go out your mouth. Do this three times. Exercise two: Continuing from Exercise one, reach up and out with your arms as far as you can as you breathe in. Breathe out deeply from the abdomen, pushing your hands together and forward to full extension. Be sure your knees are relaxed and not locked. Feel as if your whole body is required to perform this movement. Do this three times. Exercise three: Kneel down into Seiza no Kamae. The spine is naturally straight. You should feel as if you are being lifted by the ears to keep your neck and spine extended and straight. Your weight should be equally supported along the line from you knees, down the shin, and down the ankles to your toes. Tongue up; take a deep breath
through your nose and into your abdomen. As you let the breath go, twist from the waist, through the shoulders and neck, feeling the stretch through the entire upper torso. When the breath is gone, inhale slowly, returning to the starting position. Repeat in the opposite direction and then go to the front and back. Repeat this whole series three times. Exercise four (rotation series): From Seiza no Kamae, sit upright as in the previous exercise. Rotate your neck to the right nine times, slowly. Repeat to he left. Remember to breathe and relax your shoulders through the exercise. Your head should feel heavy. Rotate your shoulders as you relax your arms. Do this forward nine times and backward nine times. Twists your wrists to the inside, to the outside, and then straight down. Three times with each wrist. Relax and exhale slowly as you apply steady even pressure. Stand up, move your feet twice shoulder width apart. Place your hands on your knees as you flex them deeply. Take a breath. Keep your tongue up. As you exhale, twist your entire torso to the limit, pivoting on your spine. You should feel the stretch in your hips, neck, and back. When the breath is gone, relax back to starting position as you inhale. Turn to the opposite direction. Repeat the whole series three times. Stand with your feet and legs together. Flex your knees slightly and place your hands on them. Roll you knees nine times to the left and nine times to the right. Keep your weight centered over your legs. Keep you back straight, bend from the hips. Remember to breathe, tongue up. This next exercise is the most important in the series! Sit cross-legged on the floor and hold one foot (it should be bare or in indoor tabi) in both hands. Massage the sole from heel to toes thoroughly. Rotate your toes, starting with the big toe. Next, rotate your foot at the ankle using your hands for movement. The ankle should be relaxed. Rotate your ankle nine times in each direction. Repeat on the other side. Again, breathe.
Exercise five: Stand with your arms relaxed at our sides, feet shoulder width apart. Slowly and smoothly bend forward at the hips, arms hanging toward your feet. Exhale as you move through the stretch. Keep your knees slightly flexed. Relax your body and let gravity do the work. In hale as you slowly roll your body back to the original position. Repeat three times. Exercise six: From a standing position, flex your knees and squat. Keep your feet flat on the floor and exhale as you lower yourself. Hold your arms in front of you to keep your balance if necessary. Keep your spine as straight as possible. Hold through nine slow breaths. Exercise seven: Sit on the floor with your legs out in front. Keeping your back straight and your head in-line with your spine, reach forward slowly for your toes. Exhale as you stretch. Hold until the breath is gone and return upright, inhaling as you go. Repeat three times. Spread your legs as far as is comfortable, toes up. Slowly reach with both hands toward the right foot, exhaling as you reach. Hold until the breath is gone. Return upright, inhaling as you move. Reach for the left foot. Return upright. Reach forward as far as you can. Repeat this series three times. Remain seated and bring your feet together, soles touching. Pull your heels back toward your crotch. Using your hands, press down on your knees with slow, even pressure. DON'T BOUNCE! Exhale as you push on your knees. When the breath is gone, inhale as you sit up. Repeat three times.
Exercise eight: Sit with your legs in front of you. Spread your feet slightly over shoulder-width apart. Turn at the waist and place you hands on the floor behind you and slowly lower your upper body to the floor, exhaling slowly. You should feel the stretch in your lower back and you may feel vertebrae pop back into place. Relax and return to a sitting position. Repeat to the other side. Repeat the series three times. Exercise nine: Lie flat on your back, arms extended above your head with your feet separated. Feel your spine stretch longer. Your lower back should naturally be slightly off the floor. Close your eyes and breathe slowly. Release the breath as you push your legs and arms away from your body. Feel the stretch in your main joints (shoulders, hips, and spine). Feel any spots of tension and concentrate on relaxing them as you breathe slowly and deeply into you abdomen. Keep your tongue up. Continue until the tension is gone.
Ukemi, or ground hitting/receiving skills, are essential to the learning and practice of the Bujinkan arts. A part of the greater area of Taihenjustu (body changing techniques), ukemi involves learning to move the body to the ground while minimizing or eliminating injury to one's self. Ukemi will be practiced during class and much of the technique will be passed on orally and by demonstration, as a great deal of these techniques, and all techniques, must be performed repeatedly in order to be learned and understood. Below is a general list of the skills to be learned during your training. This list is not complete by any means, but these are essentials for safe training. Ukemi: Mae Ukemi-Forward standing breakfall Koho Ukemi/Ushiro Ukemi-Backward breakfall (many variations) Yoko Ukemi-Sideward breakfall Kaiten (rolling): Zempo Kaiten-Forward rolling breakfall (kneeling, standing, and walking) Koho Kaiten-Backward rolling breakfall (kneeling, standing, and walking) Yoko Kaiten-Sideward rolling breakfall (kneeling, standing, and walking) Yoko Nagare-Sideward flowing from standing and walking Gyaku Kaiten-Reverse rolling (kneeling, standing, and walking) Tobi (leaping/jumping skills): Zempo Tobi-Forward leaping Koho Ukemi/Ushiro Ukemi-Backward leaping Ten Tobi-Leaping upwards Chi Tobi-Leaping downwards Yoko Tobi-Sideward leaping
Other Taihenjutsu Waza: Hicho Kaiten- Diving breakfalls for height and distance O Ten-Cartwheels
Sanshin no Kata
These five exercises are derived from Gyokko-ryu Kosshijutsu and are intended to aid the student in learning proper body dynamics and the basic movements for our martial arts system. They are not techniques for application in combat, but will help to develop flow, balance, and internal energy. Attention should be paid to proper form and the techniques showed be performed slowly and smoothly, at first. With time power and dynamic movement can be added. They are intended as solo exercises and should be practiced daily. Students are encouraged to make their own notation for personal clarification of the dynamics of each technique.
Chi no Kata: -Begin from Shizen no Kamae. Visualize and attacker of equal build, in front of you. -Imagine the attacker punches toward your head. -Step back with your right foot, as you pivot your entire body 90 degrees around your spine. Your head should remain connected in a natural position atop your spine and turn as if your shoulders and head are one unit. Assume Shoshin no Kamae. -Drop your rear hand and let it hang, relaxed, at your side. -Pivot back to you left, 90 degrees, and swing your rear arm low and up as you
step forward with your rear leg toward your attacker. Hatsumi-sensei has said, “the movement should feel natural, as if reaching for a door knob”. Hand and foot should move together as if connected. Striking hand is held with middle three fingers extended, thumb and little finger clasped across the palm. -Rock forward with your lead knee after the foot contacts the ground and continue the strike. Do not flex the knee beyond the foot. Keep you spine aligned and your foot and knee pointing at the attacker. -After the strike has reached it's mark, shift back, using your knees, to Shoshin no Kamae. -Repeat three times on each side. Sui no Kata: -Begin from Shizen no Kamae. Visualize and attacker of equal build, in front of you. -Using your right foot, step back into Shoshin no Kamae. -Imagine the attacker punches toward your head. -Using your rear foot, move off of line of attack, 45 degrees to the rear. As you move off-line, perform a Jodan Uke (circular upper block) with your lead hand, rotating the arm from the shoulder. Keep your elbow slightly bent. Maintain the contact with the attacker's arm. (Note: as you move off-line, simultaneously raise your rear hand to a position next to your eye, the elbow down and held close to the body to cover. Also, be sure your whole body is out of the line of attack.) -Step forward with your rear leg, again using the knees to complete the movement and simultaneously strike as you step. Strike with Omote Shuto (open hand, palm up) to the outer side of the attacker's neck, taking the spine with the strike and whole body movement. Maintain contact with the blocking arm and use it to move the attacker as you strike. -The strike should move upward as you make contact, the feeling is of lifting the head from the spine as you move the attacker off balance toward his fall line. -Recover to the direction of original attack by moving the rear leg and rocking back with your knees to Migi Shoshin no Kamae. -Repeat three times on each side.
Ka no Kata: -Begin from Shizen no Kamae. Visualize and attacker of equal build, in front of you. -Using your right foot, step back into Shoshin no Kamae. -Imagine the attacker punches toward your head. -Using your rear foot, move off of line of attack, 45 degrees to the rear. As you move off-line, perform a Jodan Uke (circular upper block) with your lead hand, rotating the arm from the shoulder. Keep your elbow slightly bent. Maintain the contact with the attacker's arm. (Note: as you move off-line, simultaneously raise your rear hand to a position next to your eye, the elbow down and held close to the body to cover. Also, be sure your whole body is out of the line of attack.) -As you move forward, shift your rear arm from along the head to inside next your blocking arm shoulder. -Move forward to strike as in Sui no Kata, but attack the inner side of the neck, taking the spine with a downward Ura Shuto (open hand, palm down). -Return to Migi Shoshin no Kamae. -Repeat three times on each side. Fu no Kata: -Begin from Shizen no Kamae. Visualize and attacker of equal build, in front of you. -Using your right foot, step back into Shoshin no Kamae. -Imagine the attacker punches toward your stomach. -Using your rear foot, move off of line of attack, 45 degrees to the rear. Block the attack with a left Gedan Uke (circular lower level block), rotating the arm from the shoulder. -Step forward with the rear leg, striking simultaneously with an upper swing of your rear arm. The strike should make initial contact with the attacker's groin area and drive straight up the attacker's mid-line. The strike is made with Boshiken (clenched fist with thumb on top) and the striking surface is the tip of the thumb. The strike ends at the attacker's face. -Rock back on you knees to return to Migi Shoshin no Kamae -Repeat three times on each side.
Ku no Kata: -Begin from Shizen no Kamae. Visualize and attacker of equal build, in front of you. -Using your right foot, step back into Shoshin no Kamae. -Imagine the attacker strikes with a Sokuyaku Geri (forward stomp kick) toward your stomach. -Using your rear foot, move off of line of attack, 45 degrees to the rear. Block the attack with a left Gedan Uke (circular lower level block), rotating the arm from the shoulder. -Simultaneously raise you rear hand, palm forward, toward attackers face as you raise your rear leg, knee to chest. -Kick forward, toes up and back, contacting with the sole of the foot to the middle of your attacker as you continue you open hand toward the attacker's face. Use whole body power to attack. The open hand acts as a distraction, leaving an opening for the kick. -After the kick makes contact, lower the foot to the ground next to your supporting leg. -Move to Migi Shoshin no Kamae. -Repeat three times on each side.
This collection of techniques, known as the Kihon Happo (the basic eight methods) is derived from Gyokko-ryu Kosshijutsu. It incorporates small circular movements. There are differences in the kamae from those practiced in other ryuha in the Bujinkan and will be demonstrated by the instructor. The techniques can be divided into two sections: the first three techniques (known as the Kosshi Sanpo) center on striking, while the remaining five (known as the Torite Kihon Gata Goho) concentrate on grappling applications. There are infinite variations to be drawn from these eight techniques and can provide limitless content for training. Take a look at the number 8. Turn the number on it's side at it becomes the symbol for infinity.
“Look for the unlimited possibilities in your training.”
In their basic form, these exercises are not Shinken Gata (combat applications). They are intended to provide practice in the basics of timing, distance, and balance, as well as give exposure to proper and relaxed body dynamics. A partner, while not required, will be used while training in order to give each person the feeling of the technique.. Emphasis, as in the Sanshin no Kata, is on proper form and body dynamic. Practice these techniques on both sides of the body with different training partners of different builds. Not all attackers are cut from the same mold and not everyone is right handed. Some of the dynamics care difficult to describe in writing. Students should make their own notes for clarification. Each instructor in the Bujinkan dojo teaches his or her own variation of these techniques.
Ichimonji no Kata (Number One Technique) Tori: Begins from Gyokko-ryu hidari Ichimonji no Kamae. Uke: Attacks with a migi men tsuki with a Fudoken (closed fist). Tori: Pivots to the inside of the strike and counters with a hidari Jodan Uke. Step through with the rear foot and strike with an omote shuto to the attacker's neck (hidari side). Uke : Receives the technique with koho ukemi or koho kaiten. Hicho no Kata (Flying Bird Technique) Tori: Assumes Gyokko-ryu hidari Hicho no Kamae, as demonstrated. Uke: Attacks with migi mune tsuki with Fudoken Tori: Blocks the punch to the outside with Gedan Uke and immediately kicks with the lead leg into the attacker's suigetsu (the area between the navel and the solar plexus). The tori then lowers the foot to the floor, next to his other foot, then steps forward with the other foot and with an ura shuto (open hand/palm down) strikes to the migi side of the attacker's neck. Uke: Receives the technique with a zenpo kaiten. Jumonji no Kata (Number Ten Technique) Tori: Begins in hidari Jumonji no Kamae, as demonstrated Uke: Attacks with migi men tsuki with Fudoken Tori: Moves inside the strike and off line, striking the inside of the attacking arm using Jodan Uke. Tori then rocks forward (using the knees), sliding a Boshiken along the underside of Uke's attacking arm to strike the upper chest. Tori recovers, flipping the lead hand toward Uke's eyes while rocking back into Ichiomonji no Kamae. Return to migi Jumonji no Kamae. Uke: Attacks with hidari men tsuki with Fudoken. Tori: Repeats the same technique from migi.
Torite Kihon Gata Goho
Omote Gyaku (Outside Reversal) Tori:Standing in Shizen no Kamae Uke: From Shizen no Kame, steps with left foot forward and grabs tori's lapel with left hand. Tori: Covers uke's grabbing hand with right hand and step back 45 degrees with right foot, pulling uke off balance. Tori then brings the left hand along uke's arm as the right hand peels uke's hand off of the lapel, brings uke's hand up, over head and grasps hand with both hands. This is done while tori lowers his body. Turning uke's hand, palm outward, tori steps backward with right foot again at 45 degrees, pivoting towards the outside, using the whole body to turn uke's wrist. Continue turning while lowering the whole body (by bending the knees) until uke is off balance enough to fall. Omote Tsuki (Outside reversal with a strike) Tori:Standing in Shizen no Kamae Uke: From Shizen no Kame, steps with left foot forward and grabs tori's lapel with left hand. Uke then preforms a migi men tsuki. Tori: Covers uke's grabbing hand with right hand and simultaneously preforms a hidari Jodan Uke against uke's punching arm while stepping back 45 degrees with right foot, pulling uke off balance. Tori then brings the left hand along uke's arm as the right hand peels uke's hand off of the lapel, brings uke's hand up, over head and grasps hand with both hands. This is done while tori lowers his body. Turning uke's hand, palm outward, tori steps backward with right foot again at 45 degrees, pivoting towards the outside, using the whole body to turn uke's wrist. Continue turning while lowering the whole body (by bending the knees) until uke is off balance enough to fall.
Ura Gyaku (Inner Reversal) Tori: Standing in Shizen no Kamae Uke: From Shizen no Kame, steps forward with left foot and grabs tori's lapel with left hand. Tori: Covers uke's grabbing hand with right hand and step back 45 degrees with right foot, pulling uke off balance.and moving left hand to uke's face in the same motion. Tori then slides left hand along uke's arm, grasping hand, turning uke's hand to the inside (turning it over 180 degrees), while using the legs to lower body and move uke off balance. Stepping back with left foot can increase lock, but emphasize the use of the knees first. Musha Dori (To Capture a Warrior) Tori: Standing in Shizen no Kamae Uke: From Shizen no Kame, steps forward with left foot and grabs tori's upper outer sleeve with left hand. Tori: Stepping back 45 degrees with right foot, right hand hooks inside of uke's left elbow. Bring elbow towards inside, maintaining the bend in uke's elbow. Tori's arm slides deeper while tori's arm circles under the arm. The hands are brought together into Gassho no Kamae as tori moves shoulder to shoulder (both chest facing the same direction), yet slightly behind, bending uke's upper body backwards. Uke's left leg can also be kicked out with tori's left (at the kyusho behind the knee) to bring uke down, while maintaining the lock on the arm/shoulder.
Ganseki Nage (To Throw a Big Stone) Tori: Standing in Shizen no Kamae Uke: From Shizen no Kame, steps forward with left foot and grabs tori's upper outer sleeve with left hand. Tori: Step back 45 degrees with right foot. Simultaneously strike with ura shuto to the left side of uke's neck and with right hand strike with shako-ken to the back of uke's right elbow (loosening the grip on the sleeve of tori). Tori brings right hand upwards to the outside of uke's arm. Tori turns his hips counterclockwise at the same time to lock uke's elbow (wedging uke's forearm behind tori's head). Tori then steps with right foot across the front of both of uke's feet. Continue this forward motion intensifying the lock on the uke's elbow, until uke falls. Maintain contact with uke's arm through the fall. Use the knees for extension.
(in and out of the dojo)
Awareness training is often a subtle aspect of what we practice. As states in earlier portions of this guide, we train with intent. Ukes strike with intent to make contact. Tori's move with intention, as well. It is this intent we are striving to train, not only to move with intent, but to sense the intent, as well. At times we will be using exercises specifically to train intent, but for the most part we will just train. Awareness in the dojo is very important, not only for safe training, but also in discerning the proper application of technique, our partner's movement, and our own movement and balance. Attention must be paid to all of these aspects. This is why we train and practice slowly. Safety in learning is paramount and safety is achieved through awareness of all activity, and inactivity, in the dojo.
“If you are learning something, how can it be possible to train too slow?” Nagato sensei
Outside the dojo is where we put what we are learning into practice. Again, awareness is the key. If you don't pay attention outside the dojo, where life is much more unpredictable and dangerous, the results can be much more serious. Imagine stepping off the curb without looking for cars (or buses!). Pretty foolhardy, but awareness goes far beyond just looking both ways. One must look in all directions at all times. An assailant is not going to simply walk up to you and introduce themselves and state their intentions. They are going to take you unaware, if possible. Observe people around you. Notice the way they walk, carry various objects, and move in relation to others. A great deal of information can be obtained just by watching someone walk.
As a training exercise, go to the mall or the park. Watch people walk. Try to discern things about them. What kind of mood are they in? Are they right handed or left handed?Was is their profession? Do they limp? Which side? Where do they shift their weight to maintain their balance? Do they maintain their balance? Are they armed? With what? These are simple things to discover, if you pay attention. Make this type of awareness second nature; you will be harder to surprise and find yourself assessing everyone you meet or see. This can lessen your chances of being a victim as well as help you avoid dangerous situations before they occur. Another aspect of awareness can be considered tactical. Pay attention to your environment, not just the people in it. Have you ever stepped into a puddle you didn't notice until your shoes were wet?
“Ever been caught in the rain?”
These are important parts of awareness, as well. Paying attention can keep you safe from quickly opening doors, people rushing around corners, as well as the attacker who is waiting to ambush you. At night (and during the day), watch for shadows. Listen for sounds (or the absence of sounds). By actively wanting to notice these things, you will become attuned to the world around you and any changes in it will alert you. This will give you a greater opportunity to take action, if necessary. Toshitsugu Takamatsu, 33rd Soke of Togakure-ryu Ninpo, was said to have been able to tell the age, gender, and occupation of a person approaching before they were even within earshot. With this example of what is possible, how aware are you?
The following is a collection of points to remember when training in our system. While these points are applicable to many martial arts, they are of particular importance to training in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu. Keep these things in mind while practicing and soon they will become second nature. General Training: -Intent is key in training and in combat. -When delivering a strike, you must have the intention of making contact with your target. A technique without intent is empty and ineffectual. This appiles to combat, as well as training. -One of the primary aspects of self protection is the ability to sense danger. By striking with intent to make contact with your training partner, they get exposure to this intent and will eventually learn to recognize that feeling involved. As your training progresses, the level of intent increases until one is able to sense and move, almost involuntary, in response to this intent. Postures: -Keep a relaxed body and mind while in posture. -Tension = Pain and injury -Your leading foot and knee should always be pointed toward your target. -Keep your knee and feet in alignment. -Keep your knees flexed in accordance with the posture. -Keep your spine naturally straight. -Keep breathing (this is tougher than you may think!) -Don't focus your eyes on any one thing. See everything at once.
Timing: -Don't worry about being faster. Simply be fast enough. -The time to move is when the attacker has totally committed to their attack. -Too early, they will change direction and follow. -Too late....Ouch! Counter Attacking: -Use total body movement behind your attack. -Do not rely on muscle tension of your attacking limit for power. -Punch/strike with your leg power. -Strike with the intent to move your opponent's spine. -Do not over extend. -Strike any target that is within your effective range with whatever weapon is available. Don't rely on just one strike. Distance: -Optimal distance between you and your opponent is one which requires them to move their whole body to attack you. -When evading or counter attacking, use knee flexing to cover distance. Any evading movement can also be a simultaneous attacking movement. -Study this well. It is one of the most critical aspects of self-protection. Ukemi: -Exhale as move through the fall or roll. This helps cushion the impact. Breathing will continue naturally after ukemi. -Use you knees to get as low as possible before rolling. -When kneeling, keep the toes of your rear foot tucked (on the ball of your foot). This allows for greater mobility from this position. -When executing a backward roll (koho kaiten) extend your body to increase the distance you cover with your roll.
-Do not roll directly over your neck or head. -Ukemi is silent when done properly. Any sound comes from body parts hitting the ground harder than necessary. -Keep your eyes open throughout ukemi. Maintain awareness of your opponent and your surroundings at all times. -Ukemi is one of the most important aspects of taijutsu. It allows for safe practice. It protects from injury in real-life situations. -Relax and have fun! Defense: -When attacked, don't move way out of the way. Move just enough. -Remember the ten directions of tai sabaki. -A kick will be pointed by the raised knee when brought to chamber. -Watch the attacker's breathing. The attack will most often come after they inhale.
(Getting the Most From Your Training)
During much of your training, we will be using partners. This is necessary in our system to learn proper body movement , timing, balance, rhythm, and sensitivity. Because so much of our training depends on each other, it is imperative that one learns to be a good uke (receiver). In the dojo, a training pair is made up of two different roles. The uke and the tori. The uke usually makes the first move and ends up on the ground. The tori seems to be the one who performs the technique and gets to learn. This is not the case. The roles are quite even in importance.
“One must learn to strike with intent.”
To be a good uke, one must learn several important parts and put them into practice. Uke-ship involves learning to strike properly in order for the tori to learn effectively. Learning to punch, grab, kick, and throw correctly is very important. An uke must challenge the tori by slowly increasing the level of attack. The uke must move with the effort of the tori to not only help the tori learn what works and what doesn't, but also to learn how a technique affects the person it is used on. The uke gets to feel it. Knowing how it feels helps the practitioner to know how to properly apply a technique based on the desired results. Last but not least, the uke gets to practice ukemi! To be a bad uke is very simple...resist all techniques until the tori is forced to apply improper dynamics (or a great deal of pain). Attack halfheartedly so the tori doesn't have to move correctly to deal with it (or attack so hard and fast the tori can't deal with it). Refuse to fall so you don't get dirty or have to make the effort to get back up. Don't break a sweat.
It is up to you to decide what kind of uke you will be. Just remember which kind you want to train with when you are the tori. What goes around comes around. Remember as you advance in your training, each of you can offer more resistance. One more important part of being an uke, if you are involved in a real-life combat situation, you must know how to deal with being attacked by a superior technique, being an uke and knowing how a technique works on other person is key to your survival. Uke-ship teaches you how things DON'T work as much as how they do work. It teaches you where the holes are in your balance and the balance of others. It teaches you range, rhythm, and timing. In short, if you can survive long enough in class, you will survive on the street. Don't sell uke-ship short. You could be learning more than the tori...
Budo Taijutsu Philosophy
The following is a short collection of writings by various martial artists that helps to illustrate the guiding principles and moral codes that members of the Bujinkan follow in their training, as well as in their daily lives.
The way to experience ultimate happiness is to let go of all worries and regrets and know that being happy is to let go of all worries and regrets and know that being happy is the most satisfying of life's feelings. Reflect back on all the progress in your life and allow the positive, creative, and joyous thoughts to outshine and overwhelm any sorrow or grief that may be lingering there in the recesses of your mind. Knowing that disease and disaster are natural parts of life is the key to overcoming adversity with a calm and happy spirit. Happiness is waiting there in front of you. Only you can decide whether or not you choose to experience it. Take this to heart! Toshitsugu Takamatsu 33rd Soke, Togakure Ryu
1. Do not use ninjutsu for purposes of entertainment. 2. Do not use ninjutsu to fulfill selfish desires. 3. Attack the mind rather than the body when able. 4. Master the use of gunpowder, medications, and ninja tools. 5. Spend considerable time in practice with the weapons you will use. 6. You must come into direct contact with meteorology, physiography, and
7. Avoid fighting and flee until flight is impossible. 8. Ninja must not kill others, injure honest citizens, or steal money or
9. The ninja must always take car of himself, build a strong body, be swift in
action and study many things as well as master many skills.
10. The ninja must carry out training in all 18 disciplines:
Kosshijutsu, Koppojutsu, Kenjutsu, Bojutsu, Shurikenjutsu, Yarijutsu, Suirenjutsu, Fundojutsu, Bajutsu, Boryaku, Tantojutsu, Choho, Inton, Hensojutsu, Aruki, Tenmon, Chimon, and Zen. Masaaki Hatsumi 34th Soke, Togakure ryu
1. Know the wisdom of being patient during times of inactivity. 2. Choose the course of Justice as the path for your life. 3. Do not allow your heart to be controlled by the demands of desire, pleasure
4. Sorrow, pain, and resentment are natural qualities to be encountered in life.
Therefore, work to cultivate the enlightenment of the immovable spirit.
5. Hold in your heart the importance of family loyalty and pursue the literary
and warrior arts with balanced determination. Shinryukan Masamitsu Toda 32nd Soke Togakure Ryu
The following are terms and concepts used frequently in our training. It behooves the student to become proficient with their pronunciation and usage. This list is far from complete, but will enable the student to communicate more clearly and understand more easily. A course in Japanese language is recommended as an adjunct to training. Counting: 1-Ichi 2-Ni 3-San 4-Shi 5-Go 6-Roku 7-Shi-chi 8-Hachi 9-Ku 10-Ju 20-Ni-ju 21-Ni-ju-ichi 30-San-ju 40-Yon-ju 50-Go-ju 60-Roku-ju 70-Nana-ju 80-Hachi-ju 90-Ku-ju 100-Hyaku
Japanese: Onegaishimasu (Oh-neh-gah-shee-mas) English: “Please assist me/us” Japanese: Arigato Gozaimashita (Ah-ree-gah-toh Goh-zahee-mash-tah) English: “Thank you very much” Japanese: Daijobu Desu Ka? (Dah-joh-boo Dehs-ka) English: “Are you all right?” Japanese: Hai (Hi) English: Yes
Japanese: Iie (ee-eh) English: No Japanese: Chotto Matte Kudasai (Choht-toh Mah-tay Koo-dah-sigh) English: “A moment please” Japanese: Matte/Yame (Mah-teh/Yah-meh) English: “Stop/Pause” Japanese: Hajime (Hah-jee-meh) English: “Begin”
Terms of Address:
Japanese: Sensei (Sehn-say) English: “Teacher” (lit: one who has gone before) Japanese: Shihan (Shee-hahn) English: “Master level instructor” Japanese: Shidoshi (shee-doh-shee) English: “Senior level instructor” Japanese: Soke (Soh-keh) English: “Grandmaster” (lit: Head of family) Japanese: Sempai (Sehm-pie) English: “Senior”
Japanese: Kohai (koh-hah) English: “Junior” Japanese: Dai Sempai (Dah-sehm-pah) English: “Senior most student”
Japanese: Ashi (ah-shee) English: “Foot” Japanese: Hiji (hee-jee) English: “Elbow” Japanese: Hiza (Hee-zah) English: “Knee” Japanese: Kosshi (Koh-shee) English: “Hip” Japanese: Kote (Koh-teh) English: “Wrist” Japanese: Kubi (Koo-bee) English: “Neck” Japanese: Men (mehn) English: “Head”
Japanese: Mune (Moo-neh) English: “Middle/torso” Japanese: Tai (Tye) English: “Body” Japanese: Te (Teh) English: “Hand” Japanese: Yubi (Yoo-bee) English: “Finger”
Japanese: Aruki (Ah-roo-khee) English: “Walk” Japanese: Ashi (Ah-shee) English: “Step” Japanese: Geri/Keri (Geh-ree/keh-ree) English: “Kick” Japanese: Henka (Hehn-kah) English: “Variation/change” Japanese: Kaiten (Kie-tehn) English: “Roll”
Japanese: Kata (Kah-tah) English: “Form/technique” Japanese: Ma-ai (Mah-aye) English: “Distance” Japanese: Shuto (Sh-toh) English: “Knife hand strike” Japanese: Tobi (Toh-bee) English: “Jump” Japanese: Ukemi (Oo-keh-mee) English: “Receiving skills” (i.e. breakfalls)
Japanese: Migi (mee-ghee) English: “Right” Japanese: Hidari (Hee-dah-ree) English: “Left” Japanese: Jodan (Joh-dahn) English: “Upper”
Japanese: Chudan (Choo-dahn) English: “Middle” Japanese: Gedan (Geh-dahn) English: “Lower” Japanese: Ura (Oo-rah) English: “Inner/hidden” Japanese: Omote (Oh-moh-teh) English: “Outer/open” Japanese: Yoko (Yoh-koh) English: “Sidewards” Japanese: Koho (Koh-hoh) English: “Rear/backward” Japanese: Mae (May) English: “Front” Japanese: Gyaku (Gyah-koo) English: “Reverse”
Japanese: Ichimonji no Kamae (Ee-chee-mohn-jee Noh Kah-may) English: “Number one posture” Japanese: Jumonji no Kamae (Joo-mohn-jee Noh Kah-may) English: “Number ten posture” Japanese: Shizen no Kamae (Shee-zehn Noh Kah-may) English: “Natural posture” Japanese: Doko no Kamae (Doh-koh Noh Kah-may) English: “Angry tiger posture” Japanese: Hoko no Kamae (Hoh-koh Noh Kah-may) English: “Bear posture” Japanese: Hira no Kamae (Hee-rah Noh Kah-may) English: “Flat/level posture” Japanese: Hicho no Kamae (Hee-choh Noh Kah-may) English: “Flying bird posture”
Japanese: Bokken (Boh-kehn) English: “Wooden sword” Japanese: Hanbo (Hahn-boh) English: “Half sized staff (½ of a 6 foot staff)” Japanese: Katana/Daito (Kah-tah-nah/Dahee-toh) English: “Sword” Japanese: Ken (Kehn) English: “Sword/blade/weapon” Japanese: Kodachi/Shoto (Koh-dah-chee/Shoh-toh) English: “Short sword” Japanese: Kusari Fundo (Koo-sah-ree Foon-doh) English: 3-foot weighted chain Japanese: Naginata (Nah-ghee-nah-tah) English: “Bladed halberd weapon” Japanese: Rokushaku Bo (Roh-koo-shah-koo Boh) English: “6-foot staff” Japanese: Tanto (Tahn-toh) English: “Knife”
Japanese: Budo (Boo-doh) English: “Martial way” Japanese: Bugei (Boo-gay) English: “Martial art” Japanese: Bujinkan (Boo-jeen-Kahn) English: “Warrior spirit place” Japanese: Bujutsu (Boo-joot-soo) English: “Martial technique” Japanese: Dakentaijutsu (Dah-kehn Tah-joot-soo) English: “Striking technique” Japanese: Dojo (Doh-joh) English: “Training hall” Japanese: Gi/Dogi (Ghee/Doh-ghee) English: “Training uniform” Japanese: Jissen Gata (Gee-sehn Gha-tah) English: “Real fighting” Japanese: Jutaijutsu (Joo-tah-joot-soo) English: “Grappling technique”
Japanese: Keiko (Kay-koh) English: “Practice/training” Japanese: Kihon (Khee-hohn) English: “Basic” Japanese: Kiso (Khee-soh) English: “Fundamentals” Japanese: Koppojutsu (Koh-poh-juht-soo) English: “Bone breaking technique” Japanese: Koshijutsu (Koh-shee-juht-soo) English: “Soft tissue technique (lit: Bone/finger method)” Japanese: Mushin (Moo-sheen) English: “No mind/without thought” Japanese: Ninjutsu (Neen-juht-soo) English: “Art of endurance” Japanese: Ninpo (Neen-poh) English: “Way of endurance” Japanese: Obi (Oh-bee) English: “Belt”
Japanese: Ryu-ha (Ryoo-hah) English: “School/traditions” Japanese: Sabaki (Sai-bah-kee) English: “Movement” Japanese: Shinken Gata (Sheen-kehn Gah-tah) English: “Live weapons technique” Japanese: Tabi (Tah-bee) English: “Soft, split toe shoe” Japanese: Taihenjutsu (Tie-hehn-jooht-soo) English: “Body changing technique” Japanese: Taijutsu (Tie-jooht-soo) English: “Body technique” Japanese: Zanshin (Zahn-sheen) English: “Total awareness” Japanese: Chi (Chee) English: “Earth” Japanese: Sui (Soo-ee) English: “Water” Japanese: Ka (Kah) English: “Fire”
Japanese: Fu (Foo) English: “Wind” Japanese: Ku (Koo) English: “Void/empty”
The following is a list of books that will give you more exposure to the philosophy, history, and techniques of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu. Some may be harder to find than others, but are still worth the search. Hatsumi, Masaaki Unarmed Fighting Techniques of the Samurai, 2008 , Kodansha International Advanced Stick Fighting, 2005, Kodansha International The Way of the Ninja Secret Techniques, 2004 Kodansha International Ninja Secrets from the Grandmaster, 1987, Contemporary Books Essence of Ninjutsu: The Nine Traditions, 1988, Contemporary Books The Grandmasters Book of ninja Training, 1988, Contemporary Books Ninjutsu: History and Tradition, 1981, Unique Publications Lowry, Dave In the Dojo: A Guide to the Rituals and Etiquette of the Japanese Martial Arts, 2006, Weatherhill Book
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