Learning correct ukemi is a very important part of training.

It is almost always relagated to the realms of the beginner, but ukemi can also be an important weapon as well as a means of protection. There are many different types of ukemi depending on what Ryu you are studying This article is from a 1986 NINJA magazine, written by Hatsumi Sensei on the subject. Enjoy .

In order to become a ninja, one must learn and fully comprehend the unique concept of ukemi. Although it is extremely difficult to translate, ukemi involves rolling or falling movements in different directions in response to an attack. This is done not only to escape danger, but to assume a new position that will confuse or distract your opponent. In ancient Japan the ninja were always in danger, no matter what the environment or the situation. If they did not totally understand the real meaning of ukemi thev could not have survived nor left the legacy of their extraordinary accomplishments to posterity. In the old days the ninja were referred to as masters of escape, sometimes thought of as superhuman beings because of their awesome ability to avoid danger and, whenever possible, elude confrontation completely. Today, however, there are those who do not have a true understanding of the ninja; they have the wrong impression that ninja are weak, afraid and run away from danger. This is most unfortunate because, in reality, it is just the other way around. It takes courage and cunning and great wisdom to know just when and when not to fight . If you know only winning and you do not know losing, there is much to learn. Samurai who know only attacking, moving forward with aggression, are called inoshishi musha (boar samurai), because they only know how to go forward like mindless animals. If you do not know the essence of ukemi, you might as well be a mindless animal for you will not survive many combat situations that require more than just brute strength. Even budo masters, when attacking. will lose in the end without this knowledge.

Our school of ninja stands on 900 years of historv and, unlike those who knew only how to go forward and ultimately lost like Napoleon, for instance. we have survived all these centuries because we understand and have mastered the principle of ukemi and, with that, the truth. In the following photographs and text, I will illustrate and explain some of the concepts and techniques of ukemi, one step at a time. All rolling/tumbling techniques must be executed silently and painlessly. Whether rolling forward, backward, to the right or left, if there is sound, it not only alerts the opponent, it also means you are making hard contact with the ground. You are therefore subjecting your body to pain. These techniques must be practiced again and again until they can be performed without sound or pain, even on concrete or other rough terrain.








The action of this technique is extremely swift. Accuracy and control, as a result of countless hours of practice, is absolutely essential. As the opponent begins his downward strike (1), Dr. Hatsumi quickly falls backward, blocking the sword at its hilt with his right foot and striking his opponent's right knee with his left knee. Hatsumi lets the attacker's momentum carry him just a little forward and off balance(2,3) at which point Hatsumi slaps the side of the sword, guiding it away from him, while pushing his left knee against the attacker's right leg (4). Hatsumi lunges with his left shoulder/elbow against the man's sword arm and body (5), causing him to fall backward while Hatsumi grasps the sword (6). His left leg pinning the opponent's right, Hatsumi, with sword in hand, is now in complete control (7).

KATA NO OSHASITE ZENPO KAITEN (tumbling with sword).







From the standing position (1), Dr.Hatsumi swings his sword in front of him, at the same time moving his right arm out (2) then down in front (3) for the momentum that will roll his body over his right shoulder (4). The side view shows the completed roll, hands on sword (5) and then the drawn sword ready for action (6).

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Training with Hatsumi's Best A diary of an american ninja in Japan By Chuck Dervenis Flashbacks and Jutaijutsu Memories of Japan . of course. there was plastic flow. "We did a technique!" he exclaimed." he said grinning as usual. the behavior of the steel as it broke did not follow normal guidelines." he said in fluent English. Ishizuka?san dodged with graceful ease." Tetsuji Ishizuka. 9th dan shihan instructor. I was raised. For this student. . The scene was the Ishizuka dojo on Friday night. It was a very good lesson for me. Ishizuka's grin became much wider..) as I realized (too late!) I was being slammed onto the tatami mat Ishizuka was doing a headstand next to my face. "so sorry") and applied a painful elbow lock. the broken sword had been one more in a series of never-ending lessons. the victim. The Japanese roared with laughter. is a sword broken neatly in half. We had been called upon by Sensei to demonstrate a technique. Ishizuka walked over. There was a whirl of movement and I took ukemi (rolls. "Sensei broke that sword with a stick when we were making a book. site of Hatsumi Sensei's instructors' training. Japan. "I'll give you 15 minutes. We were having a party. Resolving to one day take a closer look under an electron microscope. sheepishly grinning." I'm a metallurgist. I asked lshizuka-san what the sword represented and how it had been broken. . Chiba Prefecture. the system that stresses the grappling attack of weakpoints in our bujinkan dojo ryu: " "But I really don't want to right now. and one very drunk Greek was having a good time. I couldn't resist taking a look at the blade. the almost always grinning face touched now with a look of deep thought. I let the matter go. etc. arms folded across his chest. breakfalls. "It's time for you to learn the basics of Takagi yoshin ryu jutayutsu. "Ah. too. I stood up. I looked at the fracture surface. . The sword was definitely forged ? heavy cold work. On the wall of the bujinkan dojo in Kashiwa City.to the very tips of my toes. Here was a shearlip. said as he approached me on the dojo floor. Nothing made sense to me." I groaned. and flipped away. knowing what was coming. "What happened?" I asked the upside?down.. pushed my attacking arm to the side with a small movement (unbalancing me as he moved. I was. ever?grinning Ishizuka. I punched. "Let's go for it.

These anecdotes are very typical of the training atmosphere in Noda City. From a grappling situation. Attacks against weakpoints or blows in midthrow are also an integral part of the jutaijutsu concept. Hatsumi Sansei showed the then teenage Ishizuka a totally different type of martial art. The intent is to slam the attacker into the ground in the most injurious manner. shidoshi Ishizuka first unbalences his opponent with painful weak point attacks(leg & He then shifts his grip to secure his opponents throat) elbows. Israeli Doron Navon (who. where students from all over the world train under the tutelage of Grandmaster Masaald Hatsumi. Japan. along with his close friend. was Hatsumi Sensei's first foreign student). throws are performed with a lifting and slamming motion rather than the stylized circular motions of judo and aikido. Almost all foreigners studying Dr. . Moshi: " Ishizuka is well known as being the shidoshi instructor most closely associated with the bujinkan training groups in Europe. Hatsumi's bujinkan ninjutsu in Japan will train at one time or another at Tetsuji Ishizuka's dojo in Kashiwa. In bujinkan dojo ninjutsu. forcing him up onto his toes. as is well known. A former judo champion. it is the only dojo where the telephone is answered on a regular basis with a loud "Hello!" as well as the traditional "Moshi. Hatsumi for the first time when he went to the doctor's office for treatment of a shoulder injury acquired during judo randori training. Indeed. It was an easy transition for the young judoka to develop proficient throwing skills following the principles of ninpo jutaijutsu rather than those of judo. Ishizuka enjoys throwing. one that claimed his loyalty for the rest of his life. Ishizuka actually met and trained with Dr.

the defender fades back to the inside and gently grabs the attacking hand. is rakurai (thunder). Applying an omoye gyaku wrist attack and simultaneously slamming an ura shuto strike into the attacker's neck. By the entrance of his Kashiwa dojo Ishizuka has incorporated a solid oak beam. only one has made even the slightest dent in the beam (Ishizuka has circled the area in black ink and signed the particular student's name after it). hover.To end the technique. which he invites students to strike as hard as they can. Another of Ishizuka's favorites are the very effective weakpoint attacks. For those of us who do not have 25 years training in ninpo taijutsu. roughly 8x8". The beam has an area that is gouged in by dozens of four?indentation patterns. is the equally obvious zest for life and barely contained happiness this man radiates at every instant. Ishizuka?san is a primary example of an excellent combination of both these abilities. As the aggressor strikes the ground. which inflict the maximum shock effect on impact. there are fortunately standardized and historic technique sequences in the bujinkan dojo by which we can develop proficiency in the flow between striking and grappling. for example. The ability to flow constantly back and forth from a striking to a grappling situation is one of the key criteria to competence in ninpo taijutsu. This is a major part of Dr. over and above his obvious martial abilities. who has used his weight to slam elbow and hip into the opponent. The other fortes of this shidoshi instructor are extremely penetrating blows and devastating "pressure point" attacks. representing extended knuckle strikes pounded by Ishizuka into the wood. following the principles of takagi yoshin ryu (the "weakpoint" system of the bujinkan dojo). One reason why Tetsuji Ishizuka was chosen for the focus of this article. . the defender steps in to drop the opponent with taijutsu. The throws of taijutsu are not exaggerated and circular. usually with an irritating grin about a mile wide. As the opponent attacks. Of the many hundreds of people with various backgrounds in many martial arts who have made the attempt. he is crushed by the defender's body. Ishizuka flows into a throw designed to slam an opponent onto his back. His favorite method of countering throws or grappling attacks is to use this method to very painfully control or suppress the attacker's motion. One such sequence. they are more like lifting and dropping movements.

Ishizuka drives his opponent to the ground. patting me affectionately on the shoulder.. stacks of bricks and layers of boards I had broken in my previous martial arts training. immovable piece of wood and turned to my friend. this author would like that point to be the major emphasis of this article: Be happy! From grappling range. which has many target points. . ." the dojo instructor said. "You haven't hit my wood yet and you're leaving in two days.Stepping in with a push-stomp to the ankle. Any pointers on technique notwithstanding. "But I really don't want to right now.. I thought of my right hand. .. The weak point attack to the ear coupled with an arm lock. so crucial to any success whatsoever with taijutsu. . I thought of how 1 had once punched through a wall during a particular incident. that piece of oak sure hurt . He follows with an attack to the ear. Tetsuji Ishizuka grinned.Hatsumi's training that somehow seems to be missing from ninjutsu training in the West: Enjoy life! Be happy! Somehow between left and right we have neglected that basic principle." I said. shidoshi Ishizuka demonstrates a weak point attach to the throat.. holds the opponent in submission. Boy. well?muscled and conditioned by a decade of martial arts training.. Then I looked at that huge. I thought of all the cinder blocks.

However. .Memories and Proper Feeling "Good condition?" Isamu Shiraishi. On the wall of Shiraishi's dojo is a simple calligraphy painted by Dr. before training and while training. under the tutelage of ninjutsu Grandmaster Masaaki Hatsumi. only with good condition. enjoy training so much that for every instant spent in training. his vision is improving constantly with time. Of the horrible bums that covered his body only a small strawberry mark remains on the underpart of his right bicep. The missile hissed through the air and buried itself with the faintest of "chuffs" into the straw makiwara 15 feet away. Shiraishi san still wears glasses and probably will for life. "You must use everything together. plus?plus?plus. did I have the proper spirit at the moment to really enjoy training? Shiraishi?san had often stressed to me that I should never train while in a negative mood. Was I in the right frame of mind. I knew exactly what he meant. and the reader may believe it or not. arms. the most important factor of all in any martial arts training." The Shidoshi instructor let fly with a needle?pointed bo shuriken. within two weeks he began to regain his sight. melodious English as I strapped my belt loosely around my waist and readied for training. One night Masaaki Hatsumi stole into the hospital room of his student and left a simple calligraphic painting with an even simpler message: "Please open your eyes." he said. He did not mean that if I were feeling angry or tired I should walk away from the dojo until a better day. Hatsumi during a period of crisis. body and heart. asked me in broken. 6th dan shidoshi instructor. all troubles are forgotten and the heart fills with joy. placing another small dirk next to the first one he had thrown. Isamu Shiraishi possesses this feeling. What he had drilled into my skull on a repetitive basis was that. I should always bring myself to my most pleasant state of being. Surgeons at the hospital where he was rushed for emergency treatment gave him very little hope of survival and certainly no chance of ever regaining his sight. and I understood. There was a time when Shiraishi san (whose name means "White Stone") was caught in an ex plosion in the powder metallurgy factory where he is employed as an engineer. Perhaps this feeling is. in other words. Training should become an ultimate form of relaxation that brings peace to the spirit of the martial artist. to throw a shuriken correctly. Japan. indeed. as he or she wishes. One should." Within two days Shiraishi's bums were healed. "Proper throwing for shuriken. Shiraishi?san let fly again. His body was horribly burned and he was blind. It is this feeling that is one of the most important things this author was taught in Noda City. Quite the contrary. The following story is verifiable and true.

ninja style. It is not something that can be seen in pictures. these things are very important. Then pivoting around. looks like an aikido or kujutsu throw at this stage. yes. but if the student does not capture the con?ect feeling of ninpo taijutsu then what he is studying remains a series of blank movements.It takes proper feeling to understand taijutsu. The wrist-torque throw. the defender deflection up and across the technique called omote shifts to the inside and attacker's body to break his gyaku. Technique. deflects the blow. . timing. the defender adds a snapping pull back motion to shorten the ukemi's arc. stability. using the attackers wrist as a fulcrum. balence. Stepping in. flow. But since ninjutsu throws are designed to inflict maximum shock. the defender From a grappling situation. It is something that must be experienced and freely given to the student. the defender begins to throw his unbalenced opponent. This is one of the biggest problems with ninjutsu training in the States. few people have and convey this feeling. It is not something a video will illustrate or that can be read in a book. As the attacker punches with continues the arm the defender will use a his right arm.

as most readers would agree." (Incidentally. a demon and a butterfly engaged in battle. the butterfly fit completely into the demon's motion. It was an endless pleasure to watch him move. His strength useless." he said. hmmm. More often than not. it easily avoided his charges. quite an uneven conflict. too. The butterfly was small and appeared to have no capabilities other than those of the average insect. to make good condition. when the enraged demon attempted to swat the flitting butterfly. Shiraishi?sans dojo is conveniently located behind his house. in other words." This. and subsequently (to the endless chagrin of his wife) jump in and spend an hour or three training with us. had a dream one evening which proved to become the foundation of his philosophy in the martial arts. The first time I saw this high?ranking martial arts instructor exit the back door of his house with a huge platter of food and drink I confess to having been a bit stunned. And yet. free and unharmed. huge. and choking on his own anger. it just dawned on me that when you speak to someone in broken Japanese and they answer you in broken English . The demon was strong. or ultimately. This is taijutsu. Shiraishi?san would return home from work. In this dream. this combat strategy brings to mind the rhymes of a once famous heavyweight boxing world champion. to affect you in any way. the demon fell to the ground dead while the butterfly floated away. . most dojos offer tea and sweet biscuits to relax the student and help him regain his energy. In the afternoon hours my friend Pierre Dahl. To be able.) . After training. Once Masaaki Hatsumi was asked: "What would you do if a sniper shot at you from half a mile away while you were going out your door7' The answer was simple: " I would never walk through that door at that time. break in.The throw ends with the attacker slamming on his back. and I would often go to the Shiraishi dojo. The pinnacle of this ability is to simply not be there whenever any action potentially harmful to yourself is carried out. Shiraishi always took that practice one step further: he usually brought out dinner. Takamatsu Toshigutsu. is taijutsu. Hatsumi's teacher and 33rd generation Grandmaster of the togakure ryu. Dancing here and there. . and subsequently work out in whatever fashion the mood of that particular day brought on. I asked him why he was fattening us up for the slaughter. Dr. "Ah. see us in the dojo. ever out of reach. Needless to say. let's hold that thought for much later. from Sweden. "for good condition. and had great powers. from where an immobilization arm lock can be applied. to adapt to your opponent's energy and movement so completely that he has no capability to injure you.

. very deep. In this technique the defender first shifts to the inside of the thrust. is one of the most dangerous situations a ninja can find himself in." Hatsumi Sensei had at one time said to me. my body adjusted to his movement. flitting away from the demon. his body was tense. it is very important to do it as pleasantly and with as much dignity as possible. with nothing but your empty hands. Facing a knife attack. no matter how diligently you condition your mind and body. proper training for the student cannot begin until he has demonstrated the ability to not be injured by the training itself. 1 grinned and stepped away. can appear quite brutal. It is for this reason that ukemi is extensively taught for long periods of time to beginners in the Bujinkan dojo. I was part of an audience that watched in complete silence as Hatsumi Sensei threw Shiraishi for five minutes nonstop onto a wooden floor and into the surrounding walls to better satisfy himself with his student's ability to take a fall. Soon his struggles ceased and I stood over him. stepping into another technique effortlessly.Through Shiraishi?sans example I learned something very important about proper training: ho matter how hard you train. Indeed. The student was either relatively new or he did not enjoy working with a foreigner. If you are so skilled in the ability to recover from and/or escape from your opponent's attack that he cannot injure you no matter how hard he tries. Whatever. flowing into yet another grappling variation. As this student (a rather large Japanese) sought with ever-increasing strength to make the foreigner look foolish. by applying the 'wave concept. Then. then you. completely in control of the situation. The art of ukemi goes back to the principle of the butterfly in Takamatsu Sensei s dream. every action resisting my motion. the defender checks the attackers momentum with forearm shuck and a wrist gra He then drives the knife man to the ground The engagement ends as the defender by twisting the knife as he pivots his body turns the attackers weapon against him. to the untrained eye. (yo one exemplifies that quote better than Isamu Shiraishi. have become like the butterfly. whose flowing and graceful ukemi are an extension of his effortless taijutsu. Again he tried to muscle his way out and again I turned his energy back into him. too. which. "True meaning of ukemi.

"Good condition." said my friend and I understood. This document maintained by Webmaster Mahoutsukai Dojo Material Copyright © 2002 .helping my training partner up as l saw the new respect in his eyes. The shidoshi instructor nodded his head and pointed at me with a smile.

. few individuals have an accurate concept of ninjutsu. personal nature. you will learn much. fill up along the way. and the strengths of justice. better known as the shadow side of human nature. immoral and dishonorable assassins for hire. These are years for training in the concepts of honor. The forty years bring you full circle. Hence all the maligning tales condemning ninja as low class. all of your years in training with me at my home dojo have given you a knowledge of the true ninja ways. and return empty. Forty years of training is no guarantee that you will ever be a master of the art. Fortunately. The ninja. I am confident that you will do a good job in bringing the art of ninjutsu out of the shadows of misunderstanding and into the light of truth for all of your followers in the Western world. and for looking at realities in which true justice and benevolence are given appearances that confuse the masses who lack the enlightenment of perspective. I encourage you to keep right on going in your challenge of unfolding all the secrets and mysteries of the ninja art and lifestyle. diligence and discipline in the training. respect for superiors and parents. gather the stains of worldliness. and love can be twisted out of shape and used against you. You will become a ninja in all the power that the word implies if you were meant to be such. This is understandable to some degree. obvious or "frontal" aspects). the art was hidden from all but the innermost circles of the ninja clans. In teaching others. not obvious or readily seen aspects). The first twenty years are spent in learning the omote of life (the surface. These are years for training yourself in the ways that honor. having taken you through the full realm of human growth and awareness. however. You begin with the freshness of innocence. For reasons of personal survival through hundreds of years of social and religious persecution. hidden. It merely readies you for the potential of total development. From there it is up to your own character. and return with the wisdom of innocence. When the true facts cannot be known. must progress onward through the full experience of life. the birthplace of the art. Do not fear the strength you gain. guidance of your juniors. Your personal progress will be inspiration for all of our students there". The second twenty years of your life are then spent in exploring the ura realm (the inner. To fully mature as a warrior in all aspects of life requires forty years of study. You begin empty. and life destiny as to how far you will advance. honesty. and forthrightness. Even in Japan.Forty Years of Ura and Omote By Masaaki Hatsumi "Today. Weaker souls are quick to label such wisdom as "evil" or "pessimistic". respect. The vast majority of martial arts systems stop at this level. people will often make up their own versions of the unknown stories. in that the art was held in secret by a few families in central Japan for many generations. few people understand the true scope of what ninjutsu really is.

. It is not so much a static state as a fluid process. When you follow this code. still and centered. Stillness is first a matter of physical arrangement. It is this second level that is ceaselessly moving and changing. Invulnerability is an attitude. 1. To divide your attention among past. relax and enjoy what life has to offer. "Arise every morning. The centered person. stillness and calm are fragile conditions. present and future is to weaken yourself. but is not what you think it is. Calmness results from stillness maintained over time. 2. The key to present focus is full awareness. You can either stick your head in the sand and play dumb like Homer here or you can learn. adding fluidity and unpredictability to one's life. operates at a minimum of two levels--one visible and apparent to others. ready to die". I find reading things like this can sometimes put a new perspective on Life. therefore. Although these rules of the Dojo are widely pubished if you have not heard of them please e mail me and I will send them onto you. Be calm. Here are ten steps to achieving invulnerabiliy in your life. you will see a few headings which are very close to the 5 Dojo rules of the Shinden Fudo Ryu Dojo and these rules beat the copyright by 70 years. The ronin's code. I.-) Although this was written in 1966 and copyrighted.-). To focus exclusively on the present is to vastly increase your powers of concentration and execution. I hope you do to. a way of being. . represents an extreme example of internalized present focus and a major element in attaining practical invulnerability. a second hidden and invisible. though outwardly still and calm. By themselves. then of mental quietness. I have found that as I have gotten older I find that Life should be enjoyed at a slower pace. There is no such thing as absolute physical invulnerability. a quality. Centeredness is a function of motion and centricity. there is an implicit obligation to "keep the ledger balanced" with all others on a daily basis--a not inconsiderable . Be present focused.10 Steps to Attaining Invulnerability The title of this sounds so attractive. enjoy reading things such as this which try to show us that Life need not be so fast and reckless. To become invulnerable is to become inaccessible rather than indestructible. Centeredness is stillness and calm in the face of outwardly chaotic or threatening conditions.

task. Present focus enables you to experience the process fully without being preoccupied with the result.

3. Be open to experience.
Experience is a chain of significant events. So there are two elements here: openness, and the capacity to discriminate between the significant and the trivial. This form of discrimination arises naturally from full awareness, particularly of the "still small voice" of intuition. Openness is true power, for only as you are open does it become possible to join, blend, and redirect.

4. Touch the earth gently.
Experience should be savored rather than devoured. Think of touching a cloud, holding a newborn in your arms, or laying a needle on the surface of the water so gently that it does not sink. The secret of eliciting a positive response to life lies in touching it gently. Gentleness is true strength.

5. Become a warrior.
To become a warrior is to be totally committed to what you are about in this life-to discover your own truth and live by it. Nothing less than total commitment results in mastery. Warriorship is neither a religion nor a philosophy. It is a way of life that demands everything you have to give, and rewards accordingly. But it is important to understand that neither the paths nor the rewards of warriorship are necessarily the "world's". Warriorship begins in transformation and ends in transcendence.

6. Live tactically.
To live tactically is to deal with the issues of life and of this world wisely, effortlessly,and purposefully. Effective tactics are based upon overriding "strategies". A warrior lives tactically, a master lives strategically. Tactics are personal and situational; they depend on the person employing them and they can vary according to the situation. Here are seven examples of tactics: (1) Make decisions so carefully that nothing can disturb you or cause you to lose your balance (Don Juan) (2) Become inaccessible or accessible only by choice (3) Choose your time and your turf (4) Learn the wisdom of not-combatting (5) Know your enemy (6) Allow (and arrange) the facts to speak for you (7) Don't allow others to make you part of their problems.

7. Recognize paradox as a condition of this life.
Paradox--when things are not as they seem to be, or when two truths appear inconsistent with one another--will always attend residence in the human body

and in this world. Paradox is part of the "cloud of great unknowing" and evidence that the human and divine order are quite different. To admit the existence and legitimacy of paradox in your life is to increase your openness to new learning.

8. Acknowledge a higher power.
This is faith put to the test, and it makes a difference between an ordinary and an extraordinary life. The key to acknowledgement is letting go--of your prejudices, your favorite positions, and your obsession with being "right". Faith is evidence of openness.

9. Be willing to act on faith in the absence of fact, and the presence of doubt.
Faith can be "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Faith is acceptance of what you know even though it conflicts with your logical/factual mind set.

10. Practice loving unconditionally.
Along with faith--unconditional love--can "move mountains", repair damaged relationships, heal wounds, and bring harmony into your experience as no other quality can. But, not only is it the final step in attaining invulnerabily; it is the most difficult. About the Submitter This piece was originally submitted by Shale Paul, Coach, who can be reached at shale@shalecoach.com, or visited on the web. Shale Paul wants you to know: I work with individuals who are committed to getting ahead, changing direction, or simply growing! The original source is: Adapted from THE WARRIOR WITHIN, by Shale Paul. Written by Shale Paul. Copyright 1966, Coach University. May be reproduced or transmitted if done so in its entirety, including this copyright line.
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An Introduction to Kusari Fundo As far as I am aware, there are no formal kata of kusari fundo within the Bujinkan. I have seen techniques performed with the kusari only as henka for another form. An example of which I have included here. In this sequence Hatsumi Sensei replaces metsubushi with the kusari fundo. I have also included some pictures Hatsumi Sensei took showing how to hold the Kusari Fundo. As I get more solid information I will post it here The kusari fundo is a weighted chain ranging from 18 to 30 inches in length. The kusari fundo ( also known as manrikigusari and many other names) was reportedly invented by Dannoshin Toshimitsu Masaki aroung two hundred years ago.Masaki was head sentry of Edo (Tokyo) Castle. He was aware that any attempt to breach the castle walls would result in heavy loss of life and so tried to develop a means of defending the castle without drawing blood as he felt blood should not flow before such a scared place. For reasons only known to him, he decided to develop the use of the chain. He found that this could be used successfully against opponents both armed or unarmed. From these techniques he developed Masaki Ryu Manrikigusari. In Hatsumi Sensei's book, Ninjutsu History and Tradition, he mentions four striking technique's. These are : Tenchi Furi - Rising or falling vertical strikes Yoko Furi - Inwards or outwards horizontal strikes. Happo Furi - Inward or outward diagonal strikes. Naka Furi - Forward shooting strikes. It is my intention to discuss Naka Furi on this occasion. This is illustrated below by Hatsumi Sensei.

The kusari is held in one hand by a weighted end and gathered up in thepalm of the hand until the other ed is grasped in between the fingers. Youshould now have a hand full of chain with on weight protruding from the palm by the little finger and the other weight from between the index and middle finger. The kusari can now be thrown forward by punching towards the opponent and pointing the index finger to release the kusari fundo at the opponent, keeping the other end grasped firmly with the little finger. If aimed at the face, it will accomplish the

Immediately release the 'fundo' in your left hand. (sorry I'll post that article next.(Dec/86). Mahoutsukai Dojo Material Copyright © 2002 . which could be very dangerous. This time throw the 'fundo' in such a manner that it scoops under and around your opponents forearm. Please remember as you practice to employ the variety of body movements I explained to you in my earlier article on metsubushi. I recommend you use a string with knots tied in at both ends. Once the kusari has reached the end of it's flight it may be swung down and back into the opponent in one of the other strikes mentioned above.'' This document maintained by Webmaster. before Hatsumi sensei stopped contributing to it and it went to seed (these photo's are from a 1987 issue) ''This is a lightning fast metsubushi technique.) (1) Here Dr Hatsumi assumes the yoko ichimonji no kamae with a knotted string rather than a kusari fundo. draw your left leg diagonally back so that the attackers sword will hit nothing but air. For practice purposes.same task as metsubishi (blinding powders). (3) As you practice you must try many different things. whipping it out at the opponents neck/face area. I have included below a set of photograph's of Hatsumi Sensei performing a kusari techniques. These pictures are taken from an old issue of an american magazine NINJA. (2) As the attacker moves in. rather than the kusari fundo.

binding an enemy and many such other uses. 2/ The ring is held in the left hand with the Shoge and rope. The long range of the weapon combined a cutting tool with the capability to strike or entangle an enemy at what he perceived to be a 'safe' distance out of the way. "Hatsumi Sensei held the Kyoketsu Shoge loosely coiled in his left hand. so those who are unfamiliar with the weapon may gain a little insight. was thought to have developed before the more widely known kusarigama (sickle and chain).5 feet from the end of the ring. ensnaring an enemy. He moved to the corner of the training hall opposite me. It appears to be a weapon that is often dropped into a technique just the same as Kusari Fundo. For example at the 1992 UK Taikai he demonstrated some kamae with the weapon . The Kyoketsu Shoge is a double edged blade with another blade attached at 90 degrees to it. I have a little information on this weapon which I present here. The blade could be used for pulling slashes as well as thrusting stabs. but little studied weapon. strong and resilient. with the right hand holding the rope about 2. which means "to run about in the fields and mountains". 1/ The Shoge and coiled rope are held in the left hand. the kyoketsu shoge had a multitude of useful applications. As far as I am aware there are no formal kata for the Kyoketsu Shoge. To one end of the cord was fastened a steel ring. Perhaps the most well known technique with this weapon is one called "Torite Baai". Hatsumi Sensei has shown the weapon at several Tai Kai's. This is attached to roughly 18 feet of rope. tree limbs. The chain or cord. In "The Ninja and their secret fighting art". Almost exclusively used by the ninja. chain or hair which then ends in a large metal ring. The Shoge can then be thrown and the ring kept held in your hand. Steven Hayes best describes this technique . The narrow cord was approximately 12 feet in length. sometimes made from women's or horses hair for strength and resiliency. leisurely swinging the ringed end of the cord in his right hand. which could be tossed over the ends of roof beams.An Introduction to Kyoketsu Shoge This is an often seen. The Kyoketsu Shoge. could be used for climbing. or suitable hooks to form an anchor for .

You never know what's coming next. was in turn replaced by another. He yanked on the cord and I felt a knotted coil dig into my wrist. of course it was a trick. and I had outmaneuvered him. I felt that I should have been more thoughtful. they told me. The cord went out to the master's right and snaked its way to the left of my head in a broad arc. The master was smiling as if to say. I felt annoyed and let down. I wished I had not made the catch. I held a defensive position as Hatsumi Sensei circled me and lectured the class. He had somehow tied up my arm from across the room." I thought he meant my catching the weapon.climbing the rope. helplessly lassoed . Everybody falls for that set-up. it was replaced by a feeling of regret. Hatsumi Sensei held his position for the second or two that it took those thoughts to cross my mind. I felt a rush of excitement and pride. and sent some sort of loop over my clenched fist. He twirled the ringed end of the cord in a small loop and explained how the ring could be used to snag the adversary or knock him unconscious. I was suddenly very disappointed that I had been able to catch the weapon so easily. more considerate of his rank and position. The other end of the cord was attached to a unique hand held blade. As the ring came within reach. Now I was the one facing the unexpected as I flew across the floor. this couldn't have happened. The master jerked the cord and ring back into his grip. His weapon had been so easily intercepted by an inexperienced student from America. From the wooden handle protruded two-edged spikes of steel. He spoke briefly about "the unexpected. holding the other end of the cord. though I still held the ring firmly. I had foiled the attack of the master of the ninja. Do not deliberately throw it. He was about ten feet away. If he really was the teacher I had hoped he would be. too. His expression hadn't changed. This feeling. I was stunned. That's what makes this Ninjutsu. and commented that the adversary would be easy to finish off in such a situation. The ring left his grip once again. I threw up my left hand and snatched the ring from the air Upon catching the ring. the rest of the class was amused. They shook their heads and laughed out loud. Hatsumi Sensei snapped his arm up and down briskly. The master made a slashing motion with the blade as I floundered toward him. This man was supposed to be the supreme master of the last ninja school in Japan. As suddenly as the feeling had come. This time the master did not pull it back. at right angles to each other. and had not made him look foolish in front of his students. He continued his teaching: Let the ring fly as a natural extension of the swing. It's so easy for Hatsumi Sensei and it always works. I was deeply embarrassed for the master. He continued to lecture. He didn't mean that at all. looking at me." .

co. Shidoshi who has researched this quite a bit.I do have more information on this weapon. The sources of infomation presented here are : My friend Steve Greenfield Godan. "The ninja and their secret fighting art" by Stephen K Hayes published by Tuttle. Mahoutsukai Dojo Material Copyright © 2002 .uk or if you would like to discuss anything publicly please leave any message on the message board and we'll discuss it there. This document maintained by Webmaster. please email me at merlyn@mahoutsukai-dojo. "Ninjutsu History and Tradition" by Hatsumi Sensei published by Unique Publications. but consider it inappropriate to post it here. If you would like to discuss the weapon or any techniques.

or in the early years of the 18th century. Relatively early in each style's history. Japan. a strong bond was forged between their contemporary soke or headmasters. This probably occurred around the end of the 17th century. According to traditional lore of the Hontai Yoshin Ryu. This point was emphasized to me on several occasions by sensei of Hontai Yoshin Ryu-Kukishin Ryu bojutsu. which is round. The latter. (Despite this overlap in soke and exchange of techniques. as is commonn among many actual kobudo (older. or active handwork along the entire length of the staff.) Although many practicioners of modern jujutsu associate the Hontai Yoshin Ryu jujutsu exclusively with weaponless joint locks and throwing maneuvers. These . tends to emphasize a hands positioning near the center of the staff. Ohkuni Kihei Shigenobu. especially in comparison with their perception of Okinawan cho bo style. and for the Kukishin Ryu this was the fourth soke. The co-author and current soke of Kukishin Ryu. specific stylistic differences in traditional schools are quite diagnostic. whereas Kukishin Ryu cho bo emphasizes a more ample te sabaki. These masters taught each other their respective arts. both Hontai Yoshin Ryu and Kukishin Ryu have continued to develop exclusive of each other. by Quintin Chambers and Masaaki Hatsumi. classical budo). Fabian (All photos in this article are printed courtesy of the author. Nishinomiya. The modern hanbo techniques of the Kukishin Ryu are covered in the book Stick Fighting: Techniques of Self-Defense. they claimed. involves the mastery of various traditional weapons. who is featured actually applying the techniques. shaku bo ready position. Hatsumi Masaaki. Takagi Gennoshin Hideshige. always round and straight-sided) and the three-foot "stick" or han bo (the "half" staff. published by Kodansha International. Although similarities certainly exist. one is devoted exclusively to training in bojutsu. precisely three shaku in length. is better known as a ninjutsu instructor. an important part of the repertoire of the art. Most prominent among the weapons trained in the The author in the standard roku Hontai Yoshin Ryu are the roku shaku bo or cho bo (the six shaku or almost-exactly-six-foot staff. may be straight-sided or slightly tapered at one end.Bojutsu: The Staff and Stick Arts of Hontai Yoshin Ryu Jujutsu by Stephen M. and is thinner than the cho bo). For the Hontai Yoshin Ryu this was the third soke. During three regular training sessions a week at the Hombu dojo in Imazu. the bojutsu style it incorporates was originally characteristic of the Kukishin ryu bojutsu.) Training With the Roku Shaku Bo What is impressive in East Asian martial arts is the variety of styles that have developed for the effective use of the simple six foot staff. Ohkuni then subsequently became the fourth soke of the Hontai Yoshin Ryu.

that also varied much more dramatically the effective length of the staff.) In this stance. side-to-side. to the front. a strike to the knee (hiza uchi) and an upward diagonal slice (simply called nagi). one needs to slide the cho bo backwards through the hands in an easy. In order to return to the (now reversed) ready stance. this can be downwards onto the head. all emphasize this action in movements that are respectively strikes directed from up-down. they would slide their fingers up and down the length of the hashi for the Kukishin bo. a stance which takes its form from the powerful image of the Buddhist deity figure Fudo Myoo. called furi-bo. or swept upwards in nagi in a motion that with the naginata would slice open a body from below the rib cage up through the opposite collar bone. fudo kamae. and tsukue. or the front hand can be palm-up. Japan's famed swordsman and artist has left a tsukeiri technique of bo carving of Fudo Myoo which resembles the Kukishin awase. The first three formal basics. Both strikes are performed while stepping (all kihon strikes can be practiced while moving forward or backward). although hands may either be both palm-down. which created a sort of fluttering of the ends of the hashi. feet are angled at about 90 degrees to each other (front foot pointing forwards). staff held near its front end about waist-high with both hands palm-down (see photo 1). uchi komi. demonstrate the Musashi. one of the first three kihon strikes is made. and overhead. These basics are applied from fudo-no-kamae. harai. (This carving is pictured in the Overlook Press [1974] edition of Musashi's A Book of Five Rings. and alternate its ends-with the hands located nearer the opposite or "back" end-for striking. sideways to the temple. The longer upper end of the staff is swept diagonally downwards towards an exposed knee in hiza uchi. In addition. Although this figure is most commonly shown with a sword in Nakai (left) and Suhara his right hand and a rope in his left. Kihon are generally practiced in a walking format. As the right or rear leg slides forward. The student assumes the ready stance. left foot forward and both legs bent with the body slightly crouched. or upwards under the chin). creating more of an end-over-end action. and is emphasized in the style's kihon or basics. An alternative ready stance is used for the last two formal kihon. bringing the longer part of the back end of the cho bo forward (again. the legs are bent. These include circular motions made to either side. on page 32. smooth motion.differences were even demonstrated to me by using hashi ("chopsticks") at the dinner table. and the cho bo is held vertically at the rear shoulder. This same stance is used for thrusting. This sliding of the hands along the entire length of the cho bo is characteristic of the Kukishin Ryu. and from down-up. who is the fierce protector of law and chastiser of wickedness. where a sensei's scissors fingers (the index and middle finger holding the wood between them) of both hands would manipulate the chopsticks from their middle for their rendition of the Okinawan style. Kihon training also includes varieties of flourishing the cho bo. and movements that show influences of the halberd-like naginata also tend to emphasize the entire length of the cho bo. In contrast. a straight-forward thrust (tsuki). Miyamoto (right). and besides .

right leg forward). and each is ended with the participants in the state of heightened awareness called zanshin. students are paired. then both kneel on their right knee. with his right hand midway on the cho bo. after a sharp thrust to the swordsman's midsection. Inoue Kyoichi Sensei (sword) demonstrates the kata angled down. sword kata. In two forms the bo wielder. Both of these defensive techniques are also applied by an . actually drops the bo and locks up the swordsman's arms by encircling them at/above the elbows. All of the kihon mentioned above are trained in this manner against appropriate defensive motions. One of these. the formal meeting and bow. and to prepare for the formal set of kata or forms which pit the cho bo against the sword. resulting in an effective double arm/elbow lock. sliding their weapons straight New Year's demonstration. and the bo wielder in the basic ready position from which most kihon are performed. are always used in bo kata). and thrusts. in which the cho bo is paired against a sword (bokken/bokuto. The ten formal bo kata depict brief. front end Here. with one designated as having an offensive role. Bo techniques include a variety of blocks. the "meeting" of two cho bo. In the last kata known as tsukeiri. this elbow lock is followed by a near-simultaneous disarming and throwing of the swordsman (kuguri nage is used. wooden swords. which is the first throw in the Hontai Yoshin Ryu nage no kata series). though excellent exercises in and of themselves. Done at full speed-once proficiency allows-this is not only great training. it is great fun! Both the kihon and bo awase training. and another bow is executed from this position. The swordsman holds the bokuto at his right side (as if it were a scabbarded katana [actual Japanese sword]). To help in acquiring proficiency in the kihon. which generally result in the bo user's advantage. Roku shaku bo vs. accuracy. holds the staff at his waist. Most of the kata assume the swordsman as aggressor. results in non-stop repartee between partners where defensive and offensive roles shift quickly and smoothly. called funabari. rapid encounters between the cho bo and sword (see photo 3). between them until their ends overlap by about 20 centimeters. with the swordsman in the classic chudan no kamae (sword is held in a mid-level position. interspersing head strikes and body thrusts with deft blocking actions. In bo awase exercises. the other as defensive (see Photo 2). Then the weapons are retrieved and both stand. striking from a jodan no kamae (sword held over the head) in a forward and downward cut (shomen giri). cutting edge down. strikes. From about two meters distance the with his son Hirohide (bo) at a two execute a formal standing bow. The right hand is placed fingertips to the ground. thereby showing some Hontai Yoshin Ryu influence on the bo kata. and the bo wielder. The set of kata begin with kumi dachi. and timing. are used as preparations for the ten bo kata or forms. one trains in the intermediary practice of bo awase.being visually impressive-in competent hands the staff becomes a blur-such flourishes are intended to forestall and confuse an enemy. In addition there are several more complicated exchanges between the cho bo that train improved control of the weapon.

especially in kata. the participants bow by reversing the kumi dachi procedures described for the opening of the kata. although here the swordsman and hanbo wielder. squat on the balls of the feet. with han bo). counters with a tsuki (thrust) to the midsection. There are ten more commonly practiced kata.unarmed defender against sword attacks in Hontai Yoshin Ryu tachi dori. since the strike is to be made with full force and focus (and without residual motion). after facing off about two meters from each other. Hanbo kata are also begun with formal kumi dachi. Apparently opening the bo wielder's head and upper torso to the swordsman's cutting edge. this small movement requires superb timing and control of the hanbo. and deceptively simple. but . draw their weapons and. One has the impression. Though apparently simple. Responses to the swordsman's forward-stepping down cut are quick. When performed well. This seems corroborated by the work mentioned earlier (see Stick Fighting) in the Kukishin Ryu itself. or "walking stick"). and bow from this posture. and its practice is more typified by innovations. Like all formal kata. who virtually simultaneously brings the hanbo up executing a sharp strike with its point directly to the swordsman's left temple. knees splayed outwards. afterwards assuming a formal chudan no kamae. Han bo kata. and the fact that at least one Hontai Yoshin Ryu sensei-Inoue Kyoichi-actively experiments with hanbo applications. the forms are characterized by non-stop flow. this soon changes: once the swordsman reverts into a jodan no kamae with sword held overhead. the ten bo kata require considerable skill to work smoothly. At this stage the hanbo is held exactly as if it were a katana. that the hanbo is a more "living" weapon-with direct street-applicability-than the other traditional weapons. In ipponme--the first form--for example. Hanbo Training Although one can practice specific hanbo techniques as basics. For the first five kata. where space vacated by one weapon is seemingly magically filled by the other. the down cut is narrowly evaded by a slight movement to the right by the hanbo wielder. the hanbo wielder slowly sinks both stick and body into a crouching gedan or low position. or jujutsu forms against the tachi or katana. in which Inoue Kyoichi Sensei (right. Once the ten bo kata are completed. holding them at a chudan or middle position. having evaded Nakai's sword. perhaps because of the hanbo's more practical length and size (it is commonly referred to as a suteki. effective. although this does not exhaust the full set of hanbo techniques. The impression is strongly reminiscent of the same ju or suppleness that characterizes Hontai Yoshin Ryu weaponless kata. and emphasize a variety of abilities including control of ma-ai (distance-timing) and specific techniques. the hanbo is most frequently trained directly in kata against a sword. this lowered position is intended to lure the swordsman into an attack.

in which both participants draw back from each other. this is essentially a chiburi -"blood cleansing"-motion and posture). is incredibly strong and effective in these bouts despite being in his sixties. and thrusts to the attacker's body (see photo 4). actively attempting to strike-or defend against incoming strikes from-the "opponent. and sharp strikes to head or sword. in which Inoue kodachi). All the kata end in formalized zanshin. the current head of the Hontai Yoshin Ryu. and the latter. Nearly identical techniques can be traced from the weaponless jujutsu forms-the core of the system. and aesthetic of appropriate action. Practitioners will pair up and bow. jujutsu and bojutsu styles in a harmonious system of coordinated effort. but more frequently such bouts are open and flowing without such point tallying. the blow is so sharply focused by a hanbo expert that it will literally stir the hair at the swordsman's temple. Not meeting the sword attack directly is quite characteristic of Hontai Yoshin Ryu response to attack. speed. and excellent training for coordination. reminiscent of his competitive form in twice winning gold medals in all-Japan jukendo (the bayonet art trained with a rubber-tipped wooden gun) tournaments. The first five hanbo kata are extremely similar to Hontai Yoshin Ryu kodachi (short sword) kata in both structure (stance and positioning) and actual movements." Occasionally such matches will take the form of actual competitions with scoring and winner-loser results. expressive of an underlying philosophy. weapons held in more neutral positions in right hands to the side (for the swordsman. then spar. theory. . timing. Characteristic of the hanbo kata is evasion of the sword blow. at least as it is practiced today-to weaponless defenses against both long and short swords (tachi and Han bo kata. Although Hontai Yoshin Ryu training is most characterized by formal practice of kata. The former ends with the hanbo being used to lever the attacker's right arm with an immobilizing elbow lock (see photo 5). and cardio-vascular fitness. For nearly three Kyoichi Sensei applies an arm hundred years the master instructors of the Hontai lock with the han bo to Nakai's Yoshin Ryu have integrated techniques from both (with sword) right arm. and perhaps further influence of this jujutsu style is seen in especially kata five and six. Such sessions are great refiners of applicable techniques. much like a well-focused punch by a skilled karateka can blow out a candle by being focused-and abruptly stopped-immediately in front of the flame). both the weaponless and armed systems are occasionally applied in randori or matches. For both staff and stick this involves the use of kendo-like safety equipment and special padded weapons (for example. This is important to recognize in understanding Kukishin Ryu bojutsu as actively incorporated in the Hontai Yoshin Ryu.stopped abruptly at about a hair's breadth from the actual temple (in fact. Soke Inoue. has the hanbo wielder close in behind the swordsman with a partial choke hold. once the hanbo is used to trap the sword hand from actually drawing the blade. bamboo poles with thickly-wrapped ends). and to bo and hanbo kata.

the spontaneity and accuracy of action that denotes mastery. This article first appeared in "Furyu. There are also nuances based on individual practitioner.As with other components of the Hontai Yoshin Ryu. and even continuing evolution in the ways both weapons are used. there are various levels of proficiency and competence in the use of staff and stick that help in one's understanding of the techniques and in their application from form or kata to actual encounters. the path to true mastery of staff and stick lies in years of dedicated and applied training. What matters most in the use of both weapons is the development of a smooth naturalness." Issue #2 . during the course of which the student should also be learning mastery over the self. Although some specific techniques may be easily acquired.



Martin The author is assisted by Rober The ninja were faced with the problem of survival. in reality. The chigiriki consists of a staff that is three or four feet long with a weighted chain of about equal length to one end. Pennsylvania Bujinkan Dojo Chain Reaction By Ed Martin Photos by Cheree C. a type of Japanese mace. Araki is just a few short train stops past Kashi the Tokyo-Kashiwa line. In this article I'd like to discuss two of these chigiriki and the kusari gama. A chigiriki is. This ryu is still famous today for its use of jujutsu. Later he changed his na Araki Mujinsai and founded the Araki-ryu. the kusarithe chigiriki. Amwell Jujutsu.I recently received an old NINJA magazine from a friend James Farthing. . First let us consider the former. There are a number of traditions associated weapon. Their opponents were seasoned and experienced in ba The ninja made use of a large variety of weapons in their art. Hidetsuna saw combat in t Japanese-Korean War (1592AD-1598AD) and was given special commendation. the most famous being the Araki-ryu. The Araki-ryu was founded by Minamoto Hidetsuna. To this day. Here is an interesting article from it by Ed Martin.

. His attacke weaponless. Quickly closing the distance.The author. faced with the threat of a sword attack. he strikes to to finish his defense (7). Enta the attacker's hands (2). sw weighted end of his chigiriki at his opponent (1). entangling his enemy's right ankle and dropping him t ground (6). Martin quickly pulls back on weapon. disarming the swordsman (3&4). the author again swings the chigiriki (5).

but despite examples such as the famed ninja sharpshooters of Satsuma. Even if the ninja had the financial re to do that. The Kukishinden-ryu is one o oldest fighting systems in Japan. an early member of the Gyokko ryu. takes a lot of time and effort. The traditional answer to the ninja's problem would have been to spend an equ amount of years with those same teachers and in those same schools. these opt didn't solve their problem. their samurai opponents had the advantage of many years training from the best teachers and in schools of swordsmanship.automatic weapo been invented. Other options were employed. This weapon consisted of a knife connected to an iron ring by a long r Over a period of time the rope was replaced with a chain. inv weapon known as kyoketsu-shoge.Another ryu associated with the use of the chigiriki is the Kukishinden-ryu. a man by the name of Hachiryu Nyudo.e.even at close range. In this c are at least two very valid reasons. . the Kukishinden-ryu has a number of techniques that use a staff with a weighted ch attached.e. It thus became the kusarigama. Here is where we get our insight into ninja problem solving. Why. the traditional answer was not one of the ninja's options. It is also very unlikely that the student would ever be faced with an oppo armed with one of these weapons. being rendered useless by such simple thing firing cords. The first of these reasons is in the understanding of the ninja's mind set. then should these weapons be studied? Obviously for a student to the difficulty and direct the extensive time necessary to acquire skill there must be valid reasons. It was formalized in its current state by Izumo Kanja Yoshiteru. firearms. . the chigiriki. The kusari-gama probably had its origin in the Gyokko-ryu. It is possible to gain an insight in way ninj a sought to solve problems and. The firearms of that day were very unreliable. i. The result of such a miss was usually fatal. they probably ddn't have the social standing. and so would have been prevented from attending same schools. Training with chained weapons. A new weapon was needed would cancel the samurai's advantage in swordsmanship. The questionable reliability of firearms combined with the very real stress of combat. and the knife with a kama. While b known for its bojutsu. in so doing. aid ourselves in finding answers to our own difficul The ninja were faced with the problem of survival. so firearms w a viable solution. Skill in the use of such we does not come quickly or easily. increas chances of mi§sing a target . i. another ryu associated with the use of chain w According to its history. Quite simply. Around 1550AD an Uzi could not be purchased at any price . Their opponents were seasoned and experienced in ba addition.

Its surprising range negated the famed sword skills of the samura enabled the ninj a to fight the samurai with an advantage. the author prepares his defence (1). least two very important reasons for the study of chain type weapons. for the study of chain w to enhance the critical skill of judging distance. From thi extraordinarily unusual approach. The ability to accurately and judge distance is crucial to the ability of either defending or attacking. the weighted chain becomes useless Strikes to the opponent come at the precise time when the distance correct. it was and is today a way of life. the a chokes while controlling further movement by pinning him with his knees (4). non-traditional approach to the problem. the chigiriki was born. I said there were at. Obviously. Our second reason. Training with the chigiriki sharpens our skill at judging dis makes it possible for us to know with certainty when an opponent close and can strike us. if the opp allowed to get too close. Martin blocks with the staff (2) and quickly encircles the attacker's neck with the rope (3). as th chigiriki could be held in such a way as to appear to be only a wooden staff.Threatened with a sword attack. At th time the practitioner moves back and forth controlling the distance to the opponent. then great value to be gained from an openminded approach to our own problems. Dropping his opponent. When weapons are u full understanding of this basic concept becomes absolutely critica method of training we can find that helps us to improve this skill e our art. As a cut is attempted. It also allows us to know when we can car attack of our own. Ninjutsu has always been more than a fighting art. then. Our first lesson. It's use was also built on skills the ninj a already had. especially for that time. . the chigiriki and the kusari-gama are usually employed by swinging the weighted chain. It was a simple weapon inexpensive material and was easily replicated. Skill in this new weapon had to be attainable in months rather than years. Let's discuss th reason Any student of a fighting art must have an understanding of proper distance. The ninja's use of surprise an subtlety blended well with the chigiriki. What w required to find this new weapon was an open-minded. In practice. The chigiriki and the kusarigama are excellent t honing this skill. and it had to be reliable. This understanding of time and distance is one of the mos important basic concepts in unarmed combat. The use of any chain type weapon directly to this proper judging of distance.

The author moves with the blocks a sword strike with the bladed end of his w (5). the swordsm the rope and pulls (4). Looping the rope around his attacker's neck (6 Martin brings him down. In response. controls him with his kn chokes and delivers a finishing cut with the blade . Martin ensnares t swordsman's hands (3).The author faces a swordsman armed with a kyoketsushoge. the kusarigama's predecessor (1). Swinging the weighted ring (2).

but that of your train partner. When making training weapons. runs a a great risk of injury to one and was training time to the other. Met used should be designed to prevent injury and build confidence. it will never be able to supply t accuracy when speed is required. a soft rope instead chain. The speed of your movements must be determined not only by your skill. Relax. For the chigiriki use light-weight wood for the staff. enjoy your training and have fun! This document maintained by Mahoutsukai Dojo Material Copyr .The methods and tools we use in training can either greatly speed our learning or inhibit the process. use mat that are not likely to cause harm. I have heard Hatsumi Sensei tell us many times that the biggest mistake make is to train too fast. A tennis ball works very well and can be held in place with co duct tape. Any training. Unless the body learns by slow careful training. that does not consider the skills of both. and a soft weight for the rope's end.

people will often make up their own versions of the unknown stories. few people understand the true scope of what ninjutsu really is. respect for superiors and parents. must progress onward through the full experience of life. better known as the shadow side of human nature. You begin empty. and the strengths of justice. In teaching others. respect. You begin with the freshness of innocence. I am confident that you will do a good job in bringing the art of ninjutsu out of the shadows of misunderstanding and into the light of truth for all of your followers in the Western world. The vast majority of martial arts systems stop at this level. This is understandable to some degree. and return with the wisdom of innocence. guidance of your juniors. The first twenty years are spent in learning the omote of life (the surface. and life destiny as to how far you will advance. Fortunately.Forty Years of Ura and Omote By Masaaki Hatsumi "Today. From there it is up to your own character. the birthplace of the art. and love can be twisted out of shape and used against you. The second twenty years of your life are then spent in exploring the ura realm (the inner. Do not fear the strength you gain. and for looking at realities in which true justice and benevolence are given appearances that confuse the masses who lack the enlightenment of perspective. all of your years in training with me at my home dojo have given you a knowledge of the true ninja ways. few individuals have an accurate concept of ninjutsu. obvious or "frontal" aspects). For reasons of personal survival through hundreds of years of social and religious persecution. To fully mature as a warrior in all aspects of life requires forty years of study. The forty years bring you full circle. Forty years of training is no guarantee that you will ever be a master of the art. however. It merely readies you for the potential of total development. The ninja. You will become a ninja in all the power that the word implies if you were meant to be such. in that the art was held in secret by a few families in central Japan for many generations. When the true facts cannot be known. . not obvious or readily seen aspects). honesty. Weaker souls are quick to label such wisdom as "evil" or "pessimistic". These are years for training yourself in the ways that honor. you will learn much. immoral and dishonorable assassins for hire. I encourage you to keep right on going in your challenge of unfolding all the secrets and mysteries of the ninja art and lifestyle. Even in Japan. gather the stains of worldliness. diligence and discipline in the training. Hence all the maligning tales condemning ninja as low class. personal nature. hidden. Your personal progress will be inspiration for all of our students there". fill up along the way. and forthrightness. and return empty. having taken you through the full realm of human growth and awareness. These are years for training in the concepts of honor. the art was hidden from all but the innermost circles of the ninja clans.

the person you trust might someday betray you." I loosened myself up after I felt he was gone. Later I was told that this was Juji Giri Mumei no Itto. he got the secret. amongst a pile of info. I attack with menace from behind the student who is sitting with his eyes closed. Being unbelievably calm. I've been training hard and lately. but if he couldn't. then some kind of sense is important. then that was it. In human relations. As the process of learning this secret. If he dodges. . but one failed. This kind of mentality makes a distance between you and the truth of life. he passes. that caught my eye as I browsed through the other day. Sometimes you have to know the other side of the world." Nine years since he passed away. in the test for Godan in the Bujinkan Dojo." I saw Takamatsu Sensei standing with a sword in his right hand. Even then you can realise the courage which keeps the peace through this training. which lets the student learn this strange technique. I can assert that this is true Budo.. The student dressed in white clothes sits motionless in an open room. attacks the student with a sword. and do not open them no matter what happens. When I recovered to the position of shizen fudoza. There is a similarity between this and the ceramist who destroys his new work if he doesn't like it. but still makes excellent reading. like a shadow and without making any sound.Shinden Gokui -Secret method transmitted from God I found this. you can open your eyes. There was nothing on the page to confirm where it came from. and ruins life. One of Christ's 12 followers was a rebel. I then received the sword from my master. like a floating boat. If the student managed to dodge the sword. By the way. One day I was sitting in my master's room when he said to me: "Wait here with your eyes closed. That kind of mentality is the cancer to correct growth. It can also be said that one should stop teaching the person who should not be taught. When you teach a lot of students. I realised that this was the spiritual technique by the sixth sense. The relationship between the teachers and students in a modern school system is bad. This is not just a dodging of an attack from behind. In these situations it is the most important principle which keeps: to learn the true martial arts mind. A year before Takamatsu Sensei passed away he said to me: "I leave the martial arts in your hands. there is a ceremony of the initiation by the sixth sense. In this sense Juji Giri Mumei no Itto is the operation to remove this cancer in the early stages. Even a relationship between the master and pupil has a failure. which permits you to dodge an attack from behind. I think this text is written by Hatsumi Sensei as part of Hiden no Togakure Ryu Ninpo. Buddha taught the ten followers. This is the beginning. I opened my eyes to his voice saying: "Well done. Next I did a front ukemi after I felt that my head would fly away. It is just a trick to cultivate only the sense. The master. Soon. I did a side roll after I had felt certain heaviness and saw a shadow as if my body had been split in half.

" I was half in doubt. There is no other way than to study under a master and do what he says. As Takamatsu Sensei said. they wouldn't be able to pressure the strange techniques of the zero without reaching the stage of the consistent martial arts-like power. I introduce for your information the part of the book. One day. nobody will truly learn.When you pass the test for Godan. Even if it did. This is martial arts. On the occasion of publishing this book. it wouldn't be able to calculate the zero. . It would be the instruction of incomprehensibly strange techniques to them. A few minutes later he got up with blood coming out of his mouth. Myself. It changes to invisible training. Taking pictures or writing down is useless. They might understand but they don't really understand. One day. So writing this book is against my will. I have been asking myself for nine years. writing down is forbidden. along with the student and four other students went to a place that had a video camera. the way of training will change necessarily. They understand. The martial arts will be the secret without limitations. incomprehensible training. Like this. "Learn with hard training." "You won't understand. which Takamatsu Sensei had taught me As a rule of this Ryu. The dreamlike martial artist is living in such a place. Takamatsu said to me: "You are a fine martial artist now." "Rest of you understand?" "No sir. they are Superman. Even if a computer were developed to hold all the information. because I'm teaching incomprehensible techniques. about the expression of the martial arts by writing is just like a sheet of music. which allows us to throw an opponent without touching him. " I told them." We passed each other. which was maintained in the paper. " One year before his death. I've been rewarded the favours of my masters. Martial art has grown from the space of the unlimited zero. strange techniques start breathing. the depth of its essence comes to an end. even if you showed your techniques on a scroll and it is stolen. I talked with a conductor who was living in the USA. Even if I write with explanation for later study. Nine eyes are staring. but none of the students could catch the picture in their eyes. If they understand. We watched the video. I teach students who have been training for more that 20 years. one of my senior students came up to me and said: "I heard there is a technique. but only cordially. My senior student flew by me and fell down. It is impossible to learn the strange techniques with taking pictures and writing down notes. and now I decided to publish this book." I decided to try and teach this without letting my students get hurt. Because if you write down. In another way of thinking about this. This is the essence of martial arts. "Understand? " "No sir. They will improve because they don't understand. but we think we will understand with the video which we will watch later. It's OK with me if they don't understand. but they can't do it. that's OK. This document maintained by Webmaster. So since the master passed away. "Come on!" "Yes sir. I believed that you could master the essence of the martial arts a few years after you are taught.

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" . skill [gi] and body [tai]..." "I am teaching 'shin gi tai ichi. "Your life is on the line.Sensei's Online Journal Hatsumi Sensei Speaks. You are fighting the unknown. into one [ichi])." "You must not stop in the middle of waza.' (Bringing spirit [shin]. Practice well. The first priority to the ninja is to win without fighting. make your waza alive." "You are not just fighting one opponent." "The enemy who is against the laws of nature will lose his battle before he begins to fight. without a natural flow your waza cannot be alive.

succeed. My teacher. creator of the creatures. he will. To respect something or someone which / who is important to you. In Japanese. one's boyfriend or girlfriend. the first anthropod and the first of the other earthly animals who \ which used weapons. I found this in a magazine I have over looked for years and enjoyed what I read. I was able to will become a ninja master because I worship my "kami". let us begin to think about the first Homosapien. what were his intentions for making weapons seem necessary? In Japanese paintings of Gods. kanji character's the word worship (shin-ko) is written as a compound of two characters: to believe and to respect.a homonym to the word God. But most of you probably think of "worship" in the terms or religion. often said that if one does not worship someone or something one will not be able to succeed. But if one holds something /someone so dear that he worships him /it. It is impossible to give just one theory as the correct one. To respect one's parents. In this world. all of you know of the word "worship". Takamatsu-sensei. But by imagining these things I want you to think freely about the existence of your God.The one good thing to come of these pages is that I am starting to shift through the infomation that I have looking for interesting things to share and finding things I never even knew I had . 1/ 2/ 3/ . I am not leading you into a world of delusion. we sometimes refer to someone superior to us as "kami". without exception. we often see the gods are leaning on sticks like the ones used in hanbo jutsu. then perhaps the word "love" would be more sufficient. Takamatsusensei. Of course. If the word respect holds negative connotations for you. The God. In Japanese. instructor and one's spouse: these are my examples of worship. there are many theories about when human beings started to use weapons. My thoughts continue on to the first cosmic being to use weapons. I hope you do to. Instead of a deciding upon a theory.-).

To put the action into a ninjutsu term. swung at the Prince with the wooden sword. there were only 300 peaceful years. Prince Yamato went to visit the warrior and sought to shake hands with him to show Izumo his good will and friendship. one of the princes retainers carried out the princes plan. One would tell the other about a foregone battle and how he won it by using this or that technique. a historian. The Prince then invited Izumo to take a cold bath with him. Because of this horrible probability. The Prince and Izumo were absorbed in a heated discourse on combat strategies. Prince Yamato Takeruno Mikoto planned to defeat a brave warrior of Izumo. I break Steven's balance and then throw him over me. 2/ Stephen grabs the staff with his right hand and prepares to punch me with his left. In this fashion.) while the Prince and the Izumo warrior were bathing. 5/ & 6/ Differentiating the distance between our bodies. some have said that culture and civilisation have developed by the stimulus of violence. This battle. saw that they might speak of battle strategies in they're nakedness (Japanese have a saying "naked companionship" which means to hide nothing from each other.4/ 5/ 6/ 1/ Now let me show you a waza technique using the staff in a vertical position. Another theory says it was first used to direct to the troops. Let us now consider what a Raymond A. They got up out of the water to fight. The half staff is said to have first been used in a sword like manner with only the handled part scraped down. Let me now give a few examples of the battles fought with the half staff from the golden records of a Japan. Izumo Takeru. 3/ At this point I drop back and kneel on my left knee to avoid Steven's fist. The most important point to remember when using the half staff is commanding the staff as part of your body.D. The steel sword of the Prince was broken in half by Izumo's wooden sword and the Prince was soon sadly defeated. Then the other would say in that circumstances another technique would have been a more efficient. he used "mokoton no jutsu" (a technique practised by the use of wood). Humans have been at peace for only one out of 17 days in the course of history. the Prince led Izumo into a trial at physical confrontation. In this way a . This means that a through 5000 years. found out through his research. recorded in the Nihon Shoki and Kojiki (which are two of typical chronicles of Japan ) occurred in a the 8th century A. Dart. Izumo unaware of the Prince's plan. 4/ I now put my thrusting a body in to nagashi gata (flowing style). I gain the advantage over him. While falling. he exchanged Izumo's steel sword for a look alike akagashi (red oak) would sword (which I suppose looked like an iron sword).

They do not seem to control Steven's body. 2/ As Stevens hands come close. I work it against his elbow using my knee. 5/ Now both of my knee's work at breaking his a balance.warrior. 6/ Now I thrust the stick into Stephens left side. I can make him a let go with slight body movement. . My left knee takes Stevens left knee to destroy his a balance. 10/ Depending on the direction that Stephen falls down. 8/ Regaining hold of the staff with my right hand. pushing his right arm. parallel to my body. 7/ Taking Stephens left hand with my right and holding the butt off the staff with my left. through cunning and guile. I grab the outer end of the staff and a strangle him. I strike his left hand with the right side of the staff. but indeed they do. 11/ My hold can a change in many ways. 3/While still in a that position. 13/ I change my position and hold him a lightly but he is not able to move. used a wooden sword to defeat another warrior who originally had a steel sword. 1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5/ 6/ 7/ 8/ 9/ 10/ 11/ 12/ 13/ 1/ Stephen goes on the offensive. I tighten my hold by grabbing a the stick with my left hand again. I hold the staff at hira no kamae. 9/ If Stephen moves. I'd put my right foot forward and lead the staff to the right side of the Stevens neck. I hold him on his back or his side. I make my move according to Stevens movement. 4/ Releasing my left hand. If Stephen a tries to grab the staff. 12/ Look carefully at my legs.

Ookuni Taro Takehide battled with "Gooketsu" (an extremely strong and unusually large man) of the Ashikaga army. Defending the city was Yuuki Chikamitsu and his troops.armor and all.blade. "metsubushi powder" (sight removers) into the staff. This document maintained by Webmaster. Mahoutsukai Dojo Material Copyright © 2002 . Since these olden times the ninja developed the " shinobi san jakubo jutsu" (ninja's half staff technique) by hiding "kusari fundo". Ookuni remained calm. angered by the boldness of Ookuni. In the return stroke of the staff after throwing the armor off. Ookuni held the stick in one hand spread his arms in the "Hira no kamae" and then bid the " gooketsu " to attack. Ashikaga Takauji and his army attacked Kyoto. raised his "tachi" high in the air and brought the blade down with the power that would have split the warrior in two. This story is one of the theories of the origin of the half staff.cracking his skull. In January of the third year of Engen(1336-39). he struck the top of the Gooketsu's head. The Gooketsu. I hope this lesson will help in your training period. another story involving another possible origin of the half staff was recorded in the battle journal (Senki) of Japan. Ookuni was using a tachi (a fat sword) over three feet long. One of Yuuki's retainers. he used "Taihen jutsu" to avoid the blade and forced his staff into an open space in the Gooketsu's armor to throw it off.In 1339. The "tachi" came down on Ookuni's spear with the power of a giant axe and left only a three feet long stick.

. do not get to travel around and visit other dojo's both within Ninjiutsu and other styles. lets look at what one does when "training from birth". because of dojo obligations. Ninja : How is this possible? After all. perhaps in the teenage years. Interestingly. I have never met. and this is far more important. so I thought it might be interesting to read this interview with him. ninjutsu really came to America sometime in the 70's. There is nothing unusual about this and this may help explain why ninjutsu has such a large following. Also. Since I came back from Germany in 1984 I have spent more time with instructors of other styles than I have with ninjutsu practitioners. I grew up playing a variety of sports such as football. before ninjutsu I was training in Hapkido. special skills such as fighting would be learned. Later. Dr Hatsumi has a variety of ranks in martial arts.Will Travel I have started to post a few of Charles Daniels articles. Major Manaka has travelled the world . trained or even seen him train so I am unqualified to comment on him. You know.Have Sword. baseball and basketball. This might sound strange. children thus trained have to start out playing games that will help them in later life. Daniel: Well lets look at what one means when they say trained from birth. I often hear people say the the historical Ninja were trained from birth and anyone not trained in this way can not really be able to do the techniques of Ninjutsu. Ninja : What about other martial arts? Have you studied others ? Daniel : Yes. Balance games. but he has alway's struck me as a weapons man (which makes him OK in my book) . special games to develop hand-eye skills and of course endurance and strength are all important. Later I learned to box and I wrestled in competition. then how can they have any real confidence in what they are doing ? This is not unusual for many practitioners of ninjutsu. but there are many experienced martial artists who enjoy exchanging techniques and idea's. Ninja : Can you tell us something about your training ? Daniel : I have been lucky enough to train with most of the better known instructors who. Like many Americans I learned to shoot so early in life that I can not ever remember a time when I did not know who to use a gun. First of all.. The more I thought about this the more I have come to the conclusion that there are many people who have in effect been trained from birth. many children in America grow up playing sports and games that are not all that different from this. If one has not done some hard training with a variety of styles.-).

.. In order to understand how one can dodge or even take an opponents sword.. the ninja parries the downward cut straight to the ground The ninja then drops his opponent by smashing his right leg with his knee rising. Squared with his attacker. a sword is very important because every hand held weapon is . I was fairly lucky in that for a long time when Taro Yoshikawa and I trained together.with elite military units all over the world. one must of course know something about how a sword is used.. Dr Higuchi has an open door policy and even encourages his students to study a variety of styles.. I was his only student. During that time he stressed muto which involves unarmed technique against the sword.. For this type of training. How did you get interested in swords ? Daniel : Actually. Ninja : At the recent Ninja Summit you gave a talk on the historical development of western fencing.. that all started as a part of my training in ninjutsu.. the ninja finishes his man with a powerful blow.

not at all. In taijutsu many of the principles used to perform unarmed technique carry over to weapons. like most people in ninjutsu. And often people who have a little skill in this area are totally ignorant of how armor can influence cutting. Of course one could always claim that no one wears armor anymore but in that case they would look rather silly training with a sword in the first place. I branched out and began doing research in old weapons books written in the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe. Basic techniques do not have to have any relationship to real fighting that a non-expert can see. Daniel : One of the main components of my training is that it stresses the proper use of basics under a wide-variety of situations. Ninja : Could you say something about the way you train. distance and timing drills receive a lot of attention. However it is shocking for most people to find out that many people that practice kenjutsu and kendo do not know how to cut with a sword.the cutting down an opponent. Everyone knows that the Japanese sword art of kenjutsu is concerned with the combative use of the sword. However. So stance. but let me give you just one example of just how difficult basics can be. but the effort has paid off. timing and very basic techniques make up the majority of how I train myself and others. nonsense. Of course there are people out there who know such things and they probably should be considered expert swordsmen. Ninja : Do you consider yourself a specialist in the sword? Daniel : No. However. Ninja : What do you think about the element of mysticism that is often associated with ninjutsu? Daniel : Personally I think a great deal of it is just done for the sake of marketing a product. But even these weapons have a line of attack not unlike a sword cut or thrust. This same thing . Much of it is along the lines of "I have a secret" which is. For this reason. but these are based more in hard training and proper understanding than in any particular secret. Thus if one trains against a variety of weapons when unarmed then they will naturally come to a wider understanding of distance and timing and learn how to apply their techniques in situations where they are at a disadvantage. These books were rather difficult to find and translate. There is definitely a process of (for lack of a better term) mental of spiritual strengthening or training that goes on in all martial arts. of course. Proper footwork to avoid an attack. distance. except of course projectile weapons such as pistols. I have studied the sword because it is one of the more difficult weapons. I have trained with a large number of weapons. It is only natural to speak of weapons as giving an advantage to the armed party.contained in a sword. I firmly believe that one never finishes the basic techniques of any martial art. At the beginning I spent more time studying Japanese sword technique. Also. there are a large number of techniques that the Japanese do not have because of the design of their weapons or their particular way of fighting.is found in most martial arts. The process of training day in and day out has much more to do with how skilled someone is than . footwork. I trained at the Atlanta Fencer's Club. This may sound simple at first. I personally look at weapons as nothing more than tools to help my taijutsu or unarmed technique. However.

except perhaps on what I call an encounter basis. If one spends too much time with an instructor then they will lose the habit of finding answers for themselves. Of course proper understanding is just as important because without that. Ninja : I think that there are a number of people who would say that you sound like you don't think instruction is all that important. That is if one is training properly then they probably need to see an instructor more on a fine tuning basis than on a day in and day out basis.who trained them or what style they practice. Mahoutsukai Dojo Material Copyright © 2002 . one will not train themselves correctly. Daniel : Well after one has learned the proper basics it really isn't. This document maintained by Webmaster.

hordes of Chinese warriors. conscripted by the Mongols for the invasions. These types of Yari are called Kamayari. Spears were rarely thrown. met their fate at the hands of skilled bushi wielding razor sharp swords. Japanese Spear is mostly a two handed weapon designed for piercing or stabbing attacks to exposed areas between the plates of the Samurai armour. a new interest in the spear arose among the bushi. This allowed the opposite end of the spear to be thrown at the opponent with considerable weight. Perhaps another simple use is when the opponent is below you. but perhaps one origin comes from the Mongol invasion of Japan where the Japanese tactic of single combat almost cost them their country in the face of the Mongol tactic of a mass engagement. In a recent archaeological excavation of a medieval Japanese battlefield. or a ship's side becoming a climbing tool. As a fighting weapon. which contained a weight to counterbalance the blade which was called an ishizuki. As well as being used as stabbing or piercing weapons Kamayari could also be used for a variety of other purposes. castle wall. however. Long wooden shafts were tipped with a straight double-edged or triple edged blades. Traditionally Japanese fireman in the Edo era used the Kamayari to pull down the eaves of a burning building . These took up the characteristics from the spear and hook or sickle weapons. a spear gave them an advantage compared to a sword. the straight edge could be used to stab. Below are some quotes from Hatsumi Sensei's So Jutsu book: "when soldiers would battle with an opponent who was protected by armour and helmet. while the hooked section of the blade could be used to snare clothing or hook limbs. There were other varied types of Yari as well. were formidable Spearmen.This is a short introduction to the art of So Jutsu. cut or pierce the opponent. The exact origin of spear technique will probably never be known. During these battles.to help stop the fire spreading to nearby buildings. The Chinese. past the opponent and catching them in a the neck from below. As a result. Another important part of the Yari is the opposite end of the shaft. The hooked end could be extended up over the tree limb. The Kamayari could be lowered blade first. It was difficult for a . one of the most common causes of death was from a fractured temporal bone (which is located at the side of the head) which is believed to have been caused by the ishizuki striking in to the head.

With a spear it was easy to stab between the gaps in the armour. looking in the opponent's eyes one sees fear there. keeping the enemy guessing while maintaining a calm mind. There are other records in the Amatsu Tatara Kushin Hibun which is said to have two scrolls on secret views of the sword and the spear.. He also excelled in the lai (art of drawing the sword) of Shinden Fudo Ryu. to win one must first have the spirit to win. This is the first reference regarding this ryu that can be found. and Sojutsu. If one keeps going with this spirit he can win even a crucial fight.. If. Jan 21st Written with blessings on the Day of the Tigers snowing outside. with power you must have adaptability. Shinmon Kokanja Yoshikane started the Kushin Fudo Ryu Dakentaijutsu. Swordmanship. the soldiers soon realised that the spear was 10 times more effective than the sword". Haku ryu Hiso: Record of the Secret Spear This is not only speaking for Sojutsu but as a general rule regarding the way to defeat an enemy: in manner you must be disciplined. and his sword could not be seen by the naked eye. If you find fear in his face you should charge and fight.sword to a deeply pierce an opponent protected with a helmet and armour. or trip his legs. etc. Taijutsu should be moving freely. Crisscrossing like a flying bird. success requires inner spirit. A person with this attitude can charge and attack the enemy with correct timing. You should not be afraid of the enemy. in battle always keep the mind on winning. So. etc. " According to Shinden Fudo Ryu Dakentaijutsu: it originated with a native of Shinmon Izumo called Izumo Yoshiteru during the Eikyu period. Sojutsu. maintaining a fighting spirit throughout techniques. but a spear could penetrate through the armour and strike the opponent down. Bajutsu (horsemanship). Swordmanship." Showa 59. This is the essence of the Secret Spear and Sword. Around the year Kankyu 7 (1197). in technique you must be precise. he was reputed to be an authority of Dakentaijutsu. Mizuhara Kuro Yoshinari was a lord of Mutsu Mizuhara Castle and he is rumored to have been a descendant of Yoshitsune. By taking the opponent in too casual a manner one runs the risk of . One should change techniques variously. During the Seicho era. then one will manifest the same fear in oneself. to achieve the absolute requires unification. As a general rule. Hisojutsu: Record of Secret Spear Technique A person who practices Sojutsu should not lead an irregular daily schedule.. He should neither eat too much nor should he eat too little.. In general the method of Sojutsu is based on logic which shows a weakness when expectations are applied to it.. charging with courage. retreating silently.

Both ways will lose the fight. One must keep the mind focused and the body prepared. In this well balanced state one is in the proper condition to fight. and by fearing the enemy unnecessarily one will not win the battle either. Mahoutsukai Dojo Material Copyright © 2002 .losing the battle." This document maintained by Webmaster.

The tender situation in the Middle East those days. some unsavory characters who wanted to use . "This also might be useful for you there. however. Where else in the western world can you find more than a dozen black belts getting shihan?level instruction on a weekly basis? Where else can you feel the rich. but human. But enthusiastically he started the dojo in a small garage of a friend's house. ninjutsu wasn't even heard of in the western world. and some of them could only endure a certain amount of pain. and form an appropriate densho (curriculum) that would include all the elements he himself had studied in Japan. The unique dojo that Doron Navon. It mirrors what the grandmasters must have had in mind so many centuries ago. now bears witness to the rapid growth and development of yet another sovereign state: Ninjutsu. but nothing could be changed. gather some students. barren land that not too long ago was miraculously transformed into the lush. The first students were friends who had known Doron before he went to Japan. Friends they were indeed. "This is for your country. vibrant atmosphere of the Japanese dojo? In the summer of 1974 Doron informed Hatsumi Sensei that soon it would be time for him to return home. Less than 10 people were practicing with the grandmaster at that time. to Israel. Friendship was maintained. and from the day he learned of Doron's departure from Japan until the very last training session. When Doron returned to Israel in November 1974. Hatsumi. This was one of Doron's hardest years. and respect was there. He had to start everything from scratch: find a suitable place to teach. He did not advertise. too. expressive." he would say to Doron while executing a powerful armlock. Hatsumi Sensei demonstrated special techniques and maneuvers he thought would be suitable for the martial conditions that existed in Israel. nearly tropical paradise called Israel. a little after the "Yom Kippur War". And while the importance of its existence may not shake the political foundations of the world at large. Even the Japanese hardly knew anything about it. And as might be expected. 7th dan in Togakure ryu ninjutsu. to its dedicated students and devoted instructors it is ample reason to celebrate." he added on many other "painful" occasions. The sayoriara (goodbye) party was a little bit sad. but not many stayed to practice. was well known to Dr. just outside Tel Aviv.Israel's First Dojo The dry. Hatsumi Sensei had given Doron his Instructor's certificate as well as his blessing for founding the first ninjutsu dojo outside Japan. formed in Israel more than 12 years ago is the closest to the original outside Japan.

Gikan Ryu Koppojutsu. The small garage could house only eight people at a time. and Komugakure Ryu Ninpo. Koto Ryu Happojutsu. and inspired everybody with his charm and his excellent ability. In fact. The cover was similar to the tatami in Japan. There were no real casualties. the 33rd soke. just the need for a good wash! In the summer of 1975 a guest from Japan arrived. as they obviously lacked the inner discipline necessary for true ninjutsu training. had his picture taken demonstrating some techniques. that they were in a "minefield". came to see his friend Doron. the situation provided a great opportunity to train in a field nearby. The terrain was ideal: Loose ground. He taught a few classes. gathered from the eight ryu of ninjutsu. describing the adventures of "The Mongolian Tiger". Kukishin?Den Ryu Happo Hikenjutsu. however. One training session was particularly memorable.the techniques for wrong purposes came along to practice. not too steep. His visit was something to remember. A new place was sought. Training went on. A herd of cows had been there not long before but the smell was not noticed at first. known as Toshitsugu Takamatsu. Their arrogant questions were answered with some very painful replies. the empty?hand techniques. but they were quickly spotted. with emphasis on taijutsu. then 7th Dan. Those consist of Togakure?Ryu Ninjutsu. again in Tel Aviv. and it was fun to practice in the dark. Shinden Fudo Ryu Daken Taijutsu. and when they realized the atmosphere was not in their favor. a few bushes. . This time a larger garage was found and a genuine tatami (mat) was put wall to wall. it could not take the humidity and deteriorated rather quickly. and it also started a wonderful relationship between him and Doron's students who at that time were not fortunate enough to go to Japan. Training of course did not stop each time the mats were replaced. they simply stopped coming. and the dojo. brought more people to train. but since the filling was not rice?straw. An article I wrote in the weekly magazine of `yedith Ahronoth" national Daily. GyokkoRyu Koshinjutsu. Takagi Yushin Ryu JuTaijutsu. Only after a mistaken step in the disaster area did everyone realize. and in summer the heat was unbearable. Shihan Tetsuji Ishizuka.

although big guys could learn many of its useful techniques as well. emphasizing the basic movements necessary to develop skilled warriors. When ill. Fudo Ryu was easier for smaller people. Koichi Oguri. Hideo Seno and Tsunehish Tanemura. Today. sometimes they were totally different. Doron painstakingly developed a well?balanced program containing all the elements from each of the ryu in the Bujinkan Dojo System. After group training with Hatsumi Sensei. but they also varied. but there he had been under the guidance of the master. Doron saw that the book was written along the same lines. His body was worn out from excessive workouts and too much practice. there wasn't a complete densho for the whole system. In his years of study in Japan. He had had experience teaching children in Hatsumi's dojo. When Doron arrived in Israel. Gikkan Ryu. Sometimes the same techniques had different names. Eight years later. they all bear 8th Dan rank. Now he had to use his own initiative. and to prevent the loss of all his knowledge.All these styles of ninjutsu were similar in many ways. of course. emphasized the breaking of bones. Doron had been teaching. encouraging the same style and the same system of instruction that. He feared he would not be able to practice or teach. Doron usually continued his practice with one of these five in order to learn more of their own repertoire. Hatsumi went on practicing very slowly and very gently with Saito Shihan one of his students. Practicing with them revealed that their knowledge was not identical at all. but each of them had also received something different in the way of instruction from Hatsumi. for example. Each contained most of the elements of the others. he. loving care of his wife and the help of his students he managed to recover. Tetsuji Ishizuka. At that time Hatsumi Sensei was not well. Then he completed his students' knowledge in all the ryu they were not specialized in. . It confirmed what Doron had known instinctively all along: that he had been correct in his approach to teaching others. much in common. but also from the five Master teachers: Fumio Manaka. but each had its own special techniques. Doron took the initiative to learn not only from Hatsumi Sensei. by the way. when Hatsumi Sensei published his taijutsu book (in Japanese). with the tender. There was. he taught each of his senior students one or two of the eight ryu that are combined in ninjutsu today. After a while. He had to summarize everything and make a syllabus for his Israeli students. A dangerous fatigue was setting in.

wrestling. however. The teaching structure is based on the original Japanese densho that Hatsumi received from his teacher Takamatsu. His unit was sent forward to capture one of the summits. Spectators who come merely to watch a training session will never be able . To the ninja. 3rd Dan. kung fu. The Japanese densho with the additions of master Hatsumi is further enhanced by the experience of Doron. boxing. Shidoshi?ho Moshe Zouler. The mystic aspects of ninjutsu and their related theories are stripped to the bones. as Doron says: "Many of the myths of ninja with supernatural powers were created purely for the superstitious outsiders. It resembles a mixture of jujutsu.The same system has been working for more than 11 years. these "supernatural" powers were nothing but simple and obvious knowledge. tae?kwon?do. elements of all the above are indeed a part of ninjutsu. is proof to the system. Most of the awareness and the so?called "supernatural" knowledge of ninjutsu are acquired naturally while training in taijutsu. He was ranked 1st?kyu at that time. Some of the drawings of the late master are pictured in Hatsumi's books in the Japanese language. awareness and insight on the ninja's part. aikido. to the uninitiated it was beyond comprehension. to . gathered during his many years of teaching. judo. written on many scrolls. and he remained with two more soldiers. to tell what ninjutsu is all about. karate. with certain changes and innovative additions according to Hatsumi's instructions. ballet ? and as a matter of fact. sumo. just finely trained senses. There was no magic involved. Combining this with his ability to utilize all elements to his advantage. While serving in the army he was sent to Lebanon in the 1982 war.

(Anti?tank Rocket Launcher) ready to fire. two for the women. he was a simple soldier and did not possess any particular strategic knowledge. Other places where he had felt relatively safe. and only after the lesson would they go home. What might be called "ninja tactics" of stealth and survival training are part of the curriculum. still dirty from their army training. were full of terrorists. There he found hiding 50 yards away.cover for them. it should be remembered.G. The places that he had felt the danger in. he learned that his inner feelings were right. When it was almost dark. Still. But later. They had been facing south all the time. a terrorist armed with an R. Zouler suddenly felt something strange. still in uniform. and soon his legs followed. when the war moves were analyzed publicly. so it is not due to joy and happiness that these young people go into the army. The ensuing battle was short ? and Zouler is alive and well thanks to his razor?sharp instincts and the good sense he showed in following them. it turned out. Awareness and openness are stressed. The three years of military duty tears most young students away from ninjutsu training. have found it useful during their army service. but as soon as they have army leave they rush to the dojo to train.P. proved to be areas of little or no incidents. there is a lot to learn outside the army about the individual fighter. Hence. Ninja training is directed in such a way that it can be applied in all aspects of life. Zouler recalls that during the whole war he felt danger sometimes. The three found cover in a seemingly peaceful area and stayed there for a few hours. Those who studied ninjutsu in their youth. usually to sleep for the whole weekend or until they had to go back to thbir unit. and a lot of bloodshed took place there. as army training is designed for groups. but Zouler's eyes were suddenly drawn eastward. as are independent thoughts and ideas. Some even come to the dojo first. actual fighting is the last thing to do. Some of the more exciting practice sessions are left for the annual month "milu'im" (reserve) in thearmy. also compulsory for each Israeli citizen until he reaches age 55. At that time. but because of the circumstances with the . all the elements of basic ninjutsu concepts are taught in the Bujinkan Israel Dojo. In ninpo. Army service is compulsory in Israel: Three years for the men. They train in their army uniform. and more secure on other occasions. while geared for the individual.

Mahoutsukai Dojo Material Copyright © 2002 . At the back of the surrounding area there's a deserted army camp. an ideal site for survival and other ninjutsu training. This document maintained by Webmaster.neighboring countries. It is considered a very special session and all the instructors do everything they can to attend. One other very much loved spot is the Mediterranean beach. It is often used for meetings that bring together all the Israeli ninja practitioners. innovative atmosphere he has created inspires all students in all classes. The Israeli Bujinkan Dojo is structured like a school with several levels. but they know what to expect. and most of them end up joining in just for the fun of it. the advanced for another three. Basic taijutsu is essential for proper usage of any weapon in later training. sandy beaches. Knives. It is sometimes difficult for martial artists of other disciplines to watch a class which does not go according to "the book" demanding strict orders and complete silence. Tel Aviv is right at the center of the country. Beginners have to stick to the basics and develop their taijutsu and taisabaki before weapons are introduced. . and the instructor's class which consists mostly of black belts. On the contrary: a class without a good joke will always be somewhat incomplete. The current dojo radiates a special atmosphere. sincere personality of Doron and the trusting. and there's hardly more than two hours drive to each corner. . In summer ?and almost ten months a year are summer in Israel ? training is on the long. But the laughter and joy do not detract from the seriousness of the training. Each student in any group would tell you. Most beginners are not allowed to touch them. even those who are not related to the martial arts. for the first three years. They are permitted to watch some of the advanced training given by Doron Navon. long and short sticks hang invitingly on the wall. Any stranger can feel it. The happy. swords. An unpaved road leads to the building which was originally designed to serve as ninjutsu training is more often a chicken coop. But not only this class is special. and from that aspect there is a lot to see and a lot to learn. The warm. The small size of Israel makes this unique class possible. Sometimes joggers stop by to watch the "crazy people" rolling in the sand and splashing in the water . healthy atmosphere in the dojo inspires almost everybody. Many of the students at the time worked extremely hard for almost four months to transform the coop into a beautiful dojo with flowers and trees all around it. away from the crowds. When Doron is away it is taught by one of his shidoshi students. he wouldn't give it up in exchange for a million other classes anywhere else. The beginners.

ca 1869) but is much older. little to recommend it. It did not develop during the Edo period (ca 1600 . As a downward cut is releasing the weapon . by Charles Daniel The weapons of old Japan were many and varied. was supposed to have been an expert with this weapon. in all probability. and the jutte was particularly effective against the sword when the conditions were right. The jutte is exclusively a close combat weapon and. The association of the jutte with authority did not come about overnight. and thus limits its user to mostly defensive techniques. it is really little more than a glorified stick made of iron or steel. and momentarily hold. It should be noted that such back-up weapons were of more importance once one moved indoors. the simple (some would say even crude) cross guard is what makes this weapon more potent than expected. but the sword was usually associated with the upper class. To what extent the father's skill with the jutte influenced Musashi in later life is unknown. It is short. became a symbol of authority. However. Generally. many weapons came to represent different social classes and ideas. a generalization. but it is doubtful that young Musashi did not receive some instruction from his father.Juttejutsu . its potential can be clearly observed. This is important. of course. while the naginata became thought of as a woman's weapon. The weapon itself has. the jutte became one of the weapons of choice among the police of that era. or where they were too long to be used freely in a limited space. During Musani's lifetime. The jutte is designed so that its user can trap. It probably fell into the group of weapons such as the shuriken. just another small weapon that was carried by some samurai that had developed a taste for it. because after the arrival of peace in Japanese society. on first inspection. the famed swordsman Musashi's father Musani. that weapon is a sword. Even the spear was to a certain extent associated with religious classes. In fact. This is. Contrary to what some authors have claimed. manriki kusari and some forms of stick fighting that were intended as back-ups to a sword or spear. where swords were not usually worn. and with the exception pf the cross guard attached next to the handle. the jutte is not a "new" weapon to the Japanese. As time passed.Ninja weapon of authority. The jutte however. the jutte was. an opponent's weapon. in cramped quarters.

one had more time to stay at home. The reason for this is much the same as why the sword became more important than the spear (in Japan anyway). All of these weapons were mounted on long poles. it is possible to close with the opponent and down him with either blows or joint locks. if not always healthy. Some authors have cited this change as evidence that the swordsmanship of the period was on the decline. As the need to be constantly on the move from one battlefield to another changed to the need to stay in one place and administer estates. the Japanese warrior moved inside. The jutte and the manriki kusari were both too short to be effective if the swordsman had room to move about. The house's interior simply got in the way. During this short interval. the long sword which was the favorite of the upper class was not as effective when one was unable to swing it freely. meant that more and more police arrests would also take place indoors. Also. and began spending more time indoors. The other choice would be to use a kodachi or short sword. the rise of the jutte as a symbol of power and position could in all probability be traced to the Samurai moving from the outside of their houses to the inside. As to whether the use of the ninja as policemen by the Tokugawa influenced what weapons were used is not known. The real key is the amount of time such a freeing action takes. and the mojiri (the sleeve tangler). The techniques of the jutte are very closely related to those of taijutsu or jujutsu. only the roshakubo would be more than an equal to a katana. Thus. one often just avoids the sword cut and smashes the opponent's hands with the jutte. Needless to say. This is because contrary to popular belief. The relationship of the jutte to the ninja is made clear when one realizes that the men who acted in the role of police for the Tokugawa shoguns were often hired directly from the families that had one time served as-ninja. the rokushaku bo (six foot staff) and the jutte. This of course.delivered. This last statement seems to have been overlooked by a number of writers who have attempted to explain just how such weapons as the jutte became more important than the far more deadly sasumata or kumade. bojutsu would seem to have a central place of importance (along with taijutau and shuriken) in the ninja's fighting skills. With no battles to fight. if at all. It should be noted that the butt end of the handle is also used to strike. and were designed so that it was possible to take a swordsman prisoner alive. but it is interesting to wonder about such things. and it would just be a match for any of the weapons mentioned above. weapons with very long handles would not be all that effective in the often cramped Japanese houses. the kumade (a sharp rake). This would be consistent with the many other weapons used by the ninja in that many of the weapons were designed to defend against the sword. Also. and the sharp edge of the cross guard . Charles stops the blade in the Jutte's prong Sliding the Jutte down to the blade to the sword's tsuba Charles gains and dropping the man. it is not very difficult to free a sword or other weapon from the jutte once it is trapped by it. These were the sasumata (a type of war fork). because in open conditions. After the arrival of peace. these three weapons were replaced by the manriki kusari (a weighted chain about three feet in length). the police of the time had used three long weapons to deal with a swordsman. control of the sword's handle with his free hand as he kicks out at the attackers knee During the warring states period. Also.

one of which is about the same length as a jutte. This sport allows for sparring with a number of weapons. This document maintained by Webmaster. it can be very useful in giving one the feeling of what it must have been like to have confronted a swordsman with this short weapon. There is. The basis of all juttejutsu is good taisabaki (body movement). Often. Without this. Although the taihojutsu weapon does not have a cross guard. Mahoutsukai Dojo Material Copyright © 2002 . the sport of taihojutsu which is practiced by present-day Japanese policemen. one will hold the jutte down so the opponent does not see it until the block is made. Training with the jutte is normally done through the kata method in which techniques are practiced in exact fashion. however.can be used to cut an opponent. one cannot hope to avoid the opponent's attack or trap his weapon.

I leave it to the reader to decide which is the better explanation. I will hint at this during the description of each cut. For instance the meaning of RIN for one student may mean being very strong and capable of executive decisions while for another it may be as simple as being physically well and having a positive attitude.HEALING of self and others KAI . I have chosen only to show the basic form as I believe the secret forms should only be passed on to ones highest ranked students. The Nine Levels Are :RIN . Below you will find a series of pictures showing the hand and finger positions for the "popularised" version of the Ninja Kuji~In.PREMONITION of danger JIN . It is a good idea to use the breathing exercise mentioned on the meditation page when you practice the Kuji~in as without the correct breathing you will . Each cut represents one of the Nine levels of power.ENLIGHTENMENT When you practice the cuts you may wish to concentrate on one at a time or you may feel able to string all nine together. The Kuji~In is more a way of concentrating the mind than weaving magic with ones hands despite many Sensei and Movie companies attempts to prove otherwise.KNOWING THE THOUGHTS OF OTHERS RETSU . I leave it to the student to decide what is meant by "power" but it has been proven to me time and time again that as a student progresses so does his level of thinking. Where it came from no one is sure but it does have similarities to Hindu and Tibetan Mundras. It should be stressed that it is more important to get the mind correct than it is to have the exact finger positions.CONTROL of the elements of nature ZEN .MASTERY OF TIME AND SPACE ZAI . The meaning will be different for each student. It is suggested that once you are comfortable with the finger positions that you take each cut one at a time and contemplate the meaning of that particular cut. As usual.STRENGTH of mind and body KYO . There are several different versions of these finger symbols that are used by the Ninja and Samurai.The legendary Kuji~In (Kuji~Kiri can be found here) The nine finger "cuts" that give the Ninja their power.HARMONY with the universe SHA .DIRECTION OF ENERGY TOH . Although believed to be a Ninja secret the Kuji~In was also used by the Samurai.

but could you watch one die?" Index fingers and thumbs extended.A word to those that would use their powers to harm others "It is easy to kill a man. others interlocked KYO DIRECTION OF ENERGY To begin this may seem to refer to directing your energies into work but later it could be that you see it as a way of directing your internal energy to increase your inner power. middle fingers curled over index fingers. Thumbs extended. Last two fingers extended to form a V (tips touching). Index fingers and thumbs extended.not realise your full potential.When you sense your inner power you will no longer succumb to viruses and other ailments. Middle fingers extended. Others interlocked TOH HARMONY WITH THE UNIVERSE This can work on many levels from learning to live in peace with mankind and the animal kingdom to being at one with yourself. RIN STRENGTH OF MIND AND BODY At first this may appear to be physical strength and mental intellect but maybe we can think of this as being physically well and having a positive outlook. others interlocked KAI PREMONITION OF DANGER If this cut is fully achieved you may find that you can feel the emotions of others (even at a distance) which can aid in knowing how others will react in a given situation. others interlocked SHA HEALING OF SELF AND OTHERS The ability to heel is more powerful than the ability to kill. All fingers interlocked JIN KNOWING THOUGHTS OF OTHERS .


At one time it was converted into the weapon konpei.Kusari Fundo By Hatsumi Sensei Translated by Masaru Hirai The kusari-fundo is a short length of chain with a steel weight attached to one or both ends. for example..tundogusari. manrikigusari and kanarnari. each of which was developed into a certain art of its own. Some .). Kinshinryu. There is a kind of kusari-fundo called the konpi (kon means "iron". pi means "to fly"). Gyokushinryu. According to a historical document the konpi was put into use as a weapon in the era of the Yoshino Court (around 1350 A. device at the end of the The Kusari-Fundo The length of the kusarifundo is usually between 1. There are also various theories about the origin of the kusari-fundo.D. shape and weight of the fundo (weight) usually varies according to each school.5 and 3 feet. if any. is well-founded because there remains very little literature on the kusari-fundo which was handed down from generation to generation as a secret weapon. etc. 1) Some argue that leather straps or ropes employed in stonethrowing techniques were replaced with newly invented chains. so did the konpi. Each school of ninjutsu has its own name for the unique weapon: tamagusari or manrikzgusari. However. tarnagusari. Click on these for full size images The Konpei The Konpi The konpei has a hollow Once a chain and bullet handle which allows the with an Iron hand or some chain to run through freely. sodegusari. The size. The kusari (chain) has its different size and thickness as well. 2) Some say that it has its origin in the ninja's shinobinawa no jutsu (rope techniques). Syuchinryu. 3) Others insist it was invented for the "police" in feudal days to arrest criminals. Hoenryu. But let me try to find a clue to its historical background out of the existing literature. At other times individually devised kusarifundo were made. As the times changed. there are many variations on this theme. Naturally the names of these arts survived their founders. Among those that are on historical Fccord are: Togakureryu. It is difficult to say which. Masakiryu. including gekigan.

a treasured weighted chain of Masakiryu. konpi. As was the case with any weapon. then striking his vital area with the kakushi. also fundo are often called called kakude) at the other. It is said that Masaki worked out 24 arts of the tamagusari. te or de while the ones with means hand. pledging to use them for the purpose of saving others or protecting themselves. to fight the ruffians with? His pride would not allow him to do this. should he be confronted by ruffians in front of the gate and was obliged to kill them with his sword. at the time of the Genruku era. . So. the ruffians or madmen who might rush the gate wielding their swords. Kaku means horn. however. there lived in Oogaki. end of the chain. We can rely on a certain historical record as the origin of the tamagusari: Nearly 300 years ago. This should not happen under any circumstances. They used to offer their weapons on the altar.shintoshimitsu (Masaki Toshimitsu for short) who held licenses of both Seniryu Halberd and Kotoda Ittoryu. the gate would bt defiled with bloodshed. Wearing the kakushi called fundo-kusari. Finally he hit upon a capital idea which would enable him to confront. many people visited Masaki's home asking him to give them one. shi means rectangular shapes are finger. Later. Masaki went on thinking. you capture your attacker by throwing the fundo and entangling him in the kusari. warning even them that wrong use of the weapon would be of little good service. As a weapon.) What should he do then? How about borrowing a long wooden stick from an ashigaru. But Masaki gave his tamagusari to only a few select people. on your finger and grasping the handle. without bloodshed. hearing the rumor that the tamagusari. (In those days blood was considered to be filthy. One day Masaki Toshimitsu stood guard at the Ootemon Gate of Edo (present-day Tokyo) Castle under orders of his lord Toda. the tamagusari. He thought that. a rope chain and the kakushi (a ring Those with round shaped or stick was attached to the with sharp iron horns. use combined for use as the (weight) at one end of the shorter or longer ones.chain was said to be It also has the fundo schools. That was the weapon "kusari-fundo" or. Mino (which was the fief of the Toda clan and was situated northeast of Kyoto) a master swordsman called Masakitarodayu Danno. a samurai of the lowest rank on guard. could protect one from evil. in this case. the samurai didn't want them to be used for the wrong purposes. of course. tamagusari or gakikan.

sandwiching the chain between them (3).in front of him (7) driving the attacker to the ground. he made another attempt to lift Masaki with might and main.1/ 2/ 3/ 4/ 5/ 6/ 7/ As an attacker throws a punch. the three-quarter mark or the center of . Ayakawa was obliged to put his opponent down. seemingly making use of the art of kusari-fundo. trapping and unbalancing the attacker (5). he was also concerned about being struck at his vital parts the moment he would fling him away. (Note: A koppjutsu bone breaking technique can easily be applied here. Ayakawa admitted his defeat and became Masaki's pupil at once. however. and becoming exhausted from his efforts. Hatsumi braces the left arm on his left shoulder (6). He now pulls both ends of the fundo taut (4). This would be a competition between sumo wrestling and taijutsu.) Quickly moving under the attacker's arms. He could not move him an inch. Hatsumi releases the chain over the incoming arm (2). One day a sumo wrestler named Ayakawa came to his home demanding he have a strength contest with him. Unable to find the right opportunity. Hatsumi grabs the attacking hand and strikes the offending wrist with the hand-held fundo (1). Ayakawa. ninja practiced their shinobi tenugui no jutsu (one of the ninjutsu techniques of employing a short towel as a weapon) by wrapping a stone into the end.pulling the arms down . although it does not involve the kusari-fundo: Masaki was extremely skilled in cutting down large pine trees with a long sword or large axe (ono or masakari in Japanese) and taijutsu as well. lifted Masaki into his arms with ease and made ready to throw him down. but to no end. A little while later. However. Meanwhile. As a second strike is thrown. One other story about Masaki Toshimitsu I think you might be interested in. From here he can apply a shoulder throw or this variation . Hatsumi then guides the attacker's right hand over his left. Completely exhausted. a man of muscle. It was as if Masaki's legs had taken root in the ground.

Mahoutsukai Dojo Material Copyright © 2002 . Incidentally. This document maintained by Webmaster.the towel. it is said that this kusari-fundo is called sangiri in India. I hope the following specially prepared photographs and instructions will be of good service to your training. The ninja carried this weapon by wearing it around his waist or concealing it inside his kimono.

I would like to point out that when one decides to study ninjutsu one must also realise that the true study involves many. television shows and books as little more than a ruthless assassins and spies for hire.Learn to walk before you run ! An article by Hatsumi Sensei. and for this reason alone. can be deceiving. as you must know. But these were minor compared to the whole. This is another article from Hatsumi Sensei. . not black magic. this is an unfortunate magnification of isolated cases. We tried Shinden Fudo Ryu Ukemi the other day and I failed miserably. Never mind this is for the more acrobatic bugeisha amongst us. Certainly there were "rogue" ninja. including tradition and history. of course. Ninjutsu: History and Tradition. LOL. as there were rogue samurai or sailors or anyone who went awry of the code of justice they had sworn to. will probably recall that portion dealing with this aspect. Rather than seeing themselves as mercenaries or thugs. who can walk on water or predict the future. There are. those ninja who can execute their craft so well that they give an appearance of being able to perform these super human feats. Before discussing further techniques. the ninja "considered themselves to be merely practitioners of political. They are portrayed as black clad magicians with supernatural powers who can appear and disappear at will. Ninjutsu developed as a highly illegal counter culture to the ruling samurai elite. many aspects. Those of you who have read my book. Ninpo is a science. especially in the West where they are characterised in sensational movies. It is not enough to concentrate on just the physical techniques or the weapons.All I can say is that I wish I could do the things included in this article. who can swim like fish or fly like a bird. but appearances. As for the ninja have being depicted as mere mercenaries. There are so many misconceptions about the ninja. religious and military strategies that were cultural opposites of the conventional outlooks of the times.

" The history of the Ninpo. This is just one of the countless reasons why the study of nature is all important when learning ninjutsu. willing to defend justice without selflessness and without fear of death. So. must the ninja learn not only to jump and elevated himself. but how to land from various heights in various positions. The flying bird also tumbles Hicho kaiten is a very special. not violence. In real life birds not only fly. exposed to the different ways of thinking and the customs of different types of people · He must also be a man of virtue and commitment. secret technique with many variations. is marked by a strong code of moral and just behaviour that applies not only to the fighting or military aspects.too. the perfect gentleman-kind hearted. bravery and trustworthiness. · He must not engage in petty arguments or have double standards. Then there is the understanding of the spirit of Budo.the origins of the art were shrouded by centuries of mystery. · He must be fair minded. Some facets of the moral code are: · Loyalty. how to "blanket" his fallen opponent or to elude the night stalking swordbearer and his cohorts. understanding and devoted to his training. like being called a great samurai. to the everyday life of the ninja. And learning to attain sei shin (or right mind) is essential to becoming a ninja. Conditioned reflexes . in fact. concealment and deliberate confusion of history. they land and walk and run in particular ways. Being called a ninja is a great honour. the samurai. One who seeks peace and enlightenment.

1/ Hatsumi Sensei stands composed while being held by two would be assailants 2/ he then quickly and unexpectedly drops straight down 3/ and backward. At times the ninja out must elevate quickly without warning. to exercise and stretch properly. he can continue his backward roll 6/ maintaining his wrist holds to force them into submission . the student must be certain to condition himself. There is. So you see. or sideways out of the swords slashing path. supple muscle tone and resilience are key factors for avoiding injury. intelligent work involved. breaking their hold while at the same time grasping they're wrist. Hatsumi Sensei can to either side.To be able to perform the many twisting. or dive headlong that the ground. blinding powder or a handful of dirt can be brought to into instant play as an added measure of defence. instead. Good. striking his opponents at the neck or head. 4/ From this basic position. always the the ninja must have the presence of mind to act with control and understanding of the situation so that shuriken. Flexibility of the hip joint is an absolute essential to ensure mobility. quite a lot of hard. there is no "magic" in being a ninja. if Hatsumi Sensei prefers. turning leaps and rolls. 5/ or.

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however. of course. on a city bus or in a large body of water. fields and streams that my base leg. under.water tube breathing. a true warrior must find ways to overcome obstacles in a direct confrontation. water purification (for drinking). concrete. There is a time to use the feet. Traditionally. moats. we both held black belts in Korean fighting forms. While working out at my academies. and then allow him to grow in file:///C|/Documents and Settings/Uli/My Documents/My eBooks/Martial Arts/Martial Arts . The ninja must be able to respond without thought or hesitation. as well as elbows. it would be more pragmatic to feature various hand strikes. Needless to say.Ninjutsu Water Training Ninjutsu Water Training The Wave of the Future? By Robert Bussey On a winter day many years ago. a time to apply joint manipulation. it is not uncommon to teach training techniques in the Midwest's bountiful lakes. During the summer. Students of the Nebraska ninjutsu system are taught to develop abilities in combat that will enable them to turn potentially dangerous situations to their advantage. To survive in combat. conditioning (for health and survival). Swamp and other water confrontation scenarios also were integral parts of World War II. Kicks won't work as well because of the slippery surface. there were many hand-to-hand water-fighting examples. and a time to grapple. Sometimes. for example. the Vietnam War. water safety. I ended up bruising both my funny bone and my came in to Play during battle." they explain. the Korean War and.Ninjutsu Water Training. jagged rocks or even water. Other martial artists.mats. The same holds true whether he's fighting among trees. I threw a roundhouse kick while pivoting on or around the lakes.htm (1 of 3)12/1/2004 8:10:30 AM . A ninja's cleverness in responding to any situation is based on his skills of adaptability. The practitioner is taught to realize the vast capabilities and alternatives available to him as a water warrior. my brother and I attempted some martial arts Ninja were known to use their sparring on a frozen lake near our parents' resort home in Nebraska. pride. frustration sets in when it becomes impossible to execute an attack or defense move. the martial artist cannot rely solely on a set of fighting principles. fields. are right at home when training on mats. In those unique water-fighting skills in days. The ninja's physical arsenal must be wide enough to give him total body/terrain unification. When fighting on ice. however. Some of the key study areas include: above and below surface traveling. your inability is caused by an opponent's superior ability. and grappling techniques. and in water combat fighting. Although the later examples made use of more sophisticated weaponry. invisibility. ninja were known to use their unique water-fighting skills in or around the lakes. "I am used to working on carpet. moats. dirt. But the ninja must be equally prepared for battle among a variety of locations . especially among elite troops and escaping prisoners of war. ponds. and utilize skill which is equal to or better than the enemy's. ponds. One cannot hope to teach a student the ins and outs of every combat situation. and streams that came into play in Japanese battles fought between the 12th and 17th centuries. Determined to kick my older brother in the noggin. Regardless of the reasons. can guide the student toward general circumstances of self-defense. and other times it can be linked to specific terrain or circumstance. Practitioners from other styles have exhibited difficulty in moving on floor mats. A ninjutsu instructor. knees. For the typical martial artist.

with the exception of mot bility. including kicks. the ninja can better position himself and actually gain power by balling up during the execution of his technique. the ninja can temporarily stun or paralyze his foe long enough to stop the intended attack. many of the typical kick/punch/ throw techniques are less effective. A strike to the solar plexus during a deep-water fight can result in drowning. In waist-level water. a on a new approach to combat. In head-level water. When called upon. By pinching nerves or applying pressure to the sensitive areas of an opponent's body. face. Through an understanding of ninjutsu's joint-lock techniques.htm (2 of 3)12/1/2004 8:10:30 AM . and joint manipulation can become the best weapons for water fighting. wrist. will work well. There are skills using pressure points. the pain will quickly leave. pressure-point control. the stronger individual usually swims to safety because a person's striking skills are neutralized. the warrior must rely on more aggressive tactics of personal defense such as joint manipulation. The decision. Unless his weapons (in most cases the arms and legs) are above the surface of the water. When attempting to escape the grip of an opponent. The primary effective striking techniques used in the water are those of the short-range variety. In ankle. In waist level water. it is often more practical for the ninja to allow his head to go under the surface. By taking a deep breath (fill the lower stomach first). strikes. In mastering the art of water fighting. But by using the ninja methods of water fighting. thighs. obviously. They are: the head (for butting. Escaping from an opponent's grip while in the water requires the use of body twists. After breaking free. elbow. once the pressure has been removed. Techniques such as scratching the face and body. Against a throat choke. will work well. and the instep (used mainly for groin attacks). However. it is best to have someone around who is certified in lifesaving training. all of the upper body tools. with the exception of mobility. The prescription for self-defense in water fighting depends greatly on whether the warrior wants to: a) escape from his opponent(s). or c) kill his opponent(s). it is much more practical to apply four basic weapons. I say this for a good reason. b) injure or maim his opponent(s). thrusts. chest and legs. One evening during a routine water-training exercise. By using a particular pressure point with a thumb. To incapacitate an enemy. his knowledge can be put to the test. the defender can either flee or take advantage of his enemy's incapacitation. all of the upper body tools. virtually all weapons. It is when the ninja and his opponent get into chest-level water and above that special approaches need to be taken.Ninjutsu Water Training his ability to respond naturally. forearms. dislocate his enemy's joints. No matter how basic or advanced the file:///C|/Documents and Settings/Uli/My Documents/My eBooks/Martial Arts/Martial Arts . There are six basic target points just on the neck. the knees (to drive into the groin. biting. Other primary targets can be found on the hands. choice "c" or death would be a last resort. and spitting). the ninja might squeeze the skin on each side of the enemy's rib cage and then follow with a push-kick against his stomach. the ninja can easily: pin or lock out his enemy's joint. Pressurepoint techniques are very painful. I ran into complications during the exercise and almost drowned. pressure points. Specific techniques used to drown the opponent will not be discussed for obvious reasons. would vary greatly with each situation. I had a large group of ninja students practicing various tactics. for example.Ninjutsu Water Training. But in all cases.or knee-deep water. eye poking and the pulling of hair will help defeat the opponent. If you decide to practice any water combat skills. shoulder and knee. Skin pinching. for example. or break his opponent's joints or bones. the elbows (for horizontal and vertical strikes). or joint locks. and chokes that are practiced in various dojo (training halls) at the more advanced levels. By gaining control of an enemy's joints. will be effective. face). Because of the resistance offered in the water against full-extension strikes. The five key areas for dislocation and breaking in water fighting are: the fingers. one is actually capable of holding the opponent under water. even the smaller or weaker person can gain the upper hand. the warrior can control and/or injure his enemy.

virtually all weapons (kicking or otherwise) will be effective. Remember that a wet uniform will be heavier when you are out of the water. play it safe. Nebraska.Ninjutsu Water Training techniques.Ninjutsu Water Training. Remember to be natural and relaxed. flying sand. In ankle. mud or dirt can easily get into your eyes (as well as your enemy's). file:///C|/Documents and Settings/Uli/My Documents/My eBooks/Martial Arts/Martial Arts . About the Author: Robert Bussey is a ninjutsu instructor in Fremont.or knee-deep water. Also. He also is a student of Masauki Hatsumi. Panic and fear are not water soluble.htm (3 of 3)12/1/2004 8:10:30 AM .

grudges and hatred. and have your mind deeply set on bujutsu. luxury.a blessing given by nature. You should accept sorrows. ... and consider them a chance for trial given to you by the powers.Sensei's Online Journal Masaaki Hatsumi . you should lead a life worthy of a man. anger. Do not be possessed by greed. sadness and hatred as they are.Gambatte . Have both your mind and your time fully engaged in budo. or your ego.Keep Going! Forget sadness. Let them pass like smoke caught in a breeze. You should not deviate from the path of righteousness.

. however.Master of Masters (I know there are many errors contained here. of course. Masaaki Hatsumi to our magazin Dr. the title having been passed down to him fro master. is the 34th Soke (Grand Togakureryu ninjutsu. today's martial artist can not hope to progress any further than. the late Toshitsugu Takamatsu. Hatsumi. Personal enlightenment can only come about through total immersion in the martial tradition as a way of living.. Soke Hatsumi states: I believe that ninpo. originally founded by Izumo Kanja Yoshiteru 28th Soke of Kukishin ryu happo hikenjustu.a. instead article as it was published. originally founded by Izumo Kanja Yoshiteru 28th Soke of Gyokko ryu koshijutsu. I have not corrected them. do not describe the man entirely. by the way. originally founded by Hakuunsai Tozawa. originally founded by Oriuemon Shigenobu Takagi 18th Soke of Gikan ryu koppojutsu. mere proficiency in the limited set of muscular skills that make up his or her training system. NINJUTSU: HISTORY AND TRADITION (Unique Publications). What many peop aware of. was originally founded by Daisuke Togakure. . A deeper insight may be had by reading his own preface in his widely?acclaimed book. The physical and spiritual survival methods eventually immortalized by Japan's ninja were in fact one of the sources of Japanese martial arts. Titles alone. and only barely touch upon the universal approach to life that he so eloquently embodies. Togakure ryu ninjutsu. originally founded by Sonyu Hangan Gikanbo. lord of Kawac 18th Soke of Koto ryu koppojutsu. Without complete and total training in all aspects of the combative arts. the higher order of ninjutsu.k. 33rd Soke.. should be offered to the world as a guiding influence for all martial artists. is that the venerable Takamatsu also bequeathed student the authority and position of headmaster in seven other mar • • • • • • • • 14th Soke of Kumogakure ryu ninpo (originally founded by Heinaizaemon Ienaga Iga (a. as many of you know by now.Merlyn) It is with much respect and admiration that we welcome the literary philosophical contributions of Dr. originally founded by Sandayu Momochi 26th Soke of Shinden fudo ryu dakentaijutsu. Kum Hoshi) 17th Soke of Takagi yoshin ryu jutaijutsu.

Otani." Mr. . Dr. Many (others) claim to know what ninjutsu is. portion of them would entail the addition of countless pages to th or warrant a special edition devoted to that subject alone. his birthplace and current residence. " citing Ueshiba Morihei Sensei of Aikid Mikune Kyuzo Sensei. a re his time. Otani considers him " . the transcendence of fear or injury or death. the editors. we have produced only a ha major grandmasters. the practitioner of ninjutsu can gain strength and invincib permit enjoyment of the flowers moving in the wind. "is Hatsumi Sensei. Hatsumi that. So many testimonials have been written about Dr. The worldwide ninja movement is upon us. In this. Barring enterprise for the moment. After so many generations of obscurity in the' shadowy recesses of history. Jigen-Ryu. the first of what we hope will be many articles. a modern ninja without equal. . Under these circumstances I must explain the reason for my taking up a pen to write about this art. and contentment w presence of peace in society. During my 45 years of study in martial arts and 30 years as a teacher. 10th Dan of Judo.By experiencing the confrontation of danger. . or "benevolent heart". as two from the moder "Standing with them. I have not met a man like him in any country. and a working of individual personal powers and limitations. because once again. Masaaki Hatsumi is a treasure of information whose wealth can be shared by all. Learning that his friend and teacher for 25 years embarking on a series of articles for Ninja Magazine. Otani asserts." Mr. I know that by reading his artitles your readers will learn by his instruction and be inspired by his spirit. . have no doubt that that will be the case. the benevolent heart is capable of encompassing constitutes universal justice and all that finds expression in the unfolding of the universal scheme. we can happily accommodate the wor Yoshiteru Otani. Because of this. Founder and President of New York Iaikai acknowled "In the martial arts history of Japan. not only the greatest martial artist alive." "His dedication to the art of ninjutsu and his devotion to his prof chiropractic doctor creates an example of a man who has harmo and spirit. Stronger than love itself. he is also a master of kindness and spirit. The attainment of this enlightenment is characterized by the development of kokoro. the life philosophy of the ninja once again emerging. " We. May prevail so that mankind may continue to grow arid evolve into the next great plateau. ninpo's benevolent hear to finding harmony and understanding in the realms of the spiritual and natural material worlds. Born o insight attained from repeated exposure to the very brink between life and death. many people have decided to call themselves' "ninja". Mr. . it is the time in human destiny in which ninpo is needed. appreciation of the love of others. Dr. Hatsumi briefly discusses his reasons for speaking to us from Japan.

is~moving in the wrong direction. To discover the truth. was not exposed. to love people understand nature and animals. and to love the universe. This type of love I speak of must have a kind of it: It is not only give and take. a mind o a state of mind that must be kept in order to live a straight. it is also give and return. not my sword. It is therefore often thought that ninjutsu is used for assass and other evil purposes.. to higher spiritual state. to introduce this 900 year old tradition of ninpo to those who are t interested in the ancient art of the ninja. Too many people believe tha what a ninja is because that is the way it is being introduced. a life under the sun . Looking for the meaning of life. as I see it. I am living in the modern world. (Yet). and that those who practice it live in a `dark world'. Being a real ninja means living a good life. 8. philosophy.) NINJA NO SHURIKEN: (This is the art of throwing knives. The introduction of the ninja movement in the West. Why? ninjutsu was originally taught in a secret manner. NINJA HACHIMON: 1. those who just read books.) NINJA NO KEMPO: (This is the study of sword techniques.a special place in the sun. those who never learned ninpo.Today. and this secrecy was kept and observed for many years. mathematic chemistry. 6. 7.) NINJA NO KAJUTSU: (Involves the use of fire.) NINJA NO UGEI: (This is the art of deception and disguises.) NINJA NO KYOMON: (This is the study of religion. 2. 5.) NINJA NO SOOJUTSU: (This is the study of methods volving the spear or lance. one man can discover the order of the universe. . NINJA NO KIAI: (This involves an explosive expression of spirit and energy to others and to one NINJA NO TAIJUTSU:(Involves the study and practice of body techniques. The mind of a ninja is a mind of mercy. 4. physics and psychology. darts and star?shaped weapons. moral life. the pen is stronger than the sword. history. started to even though they had very wrong conceptions. that is the true meaning of ninja. for example. meditation. so as the only true ninja alive must fight with my pen. 3.

I will go in detail concerning this very special martial art and way of life: What we call ninjutsu. Ninja no kyomon. the study of all aspects of religion. medicine. the basics of ninpo. This has been a simple introduction to Hachimon. This document maintained b Mahoutsukai Dojo Material Cop . study of the arts and sciences were as important to martial arts as the study of self de techniques. mathematics and other discip necessary. In the following issues.Since ancient times. for correct judgment and selfunderstanding.

handheld cannons (sodezatu). but in an instant it could be a most effective means of subduing an enemy with a single breath. pebbles. nettle hairs. During the relatively peaceful Tokugawa period in Japan this device was often used by "police" forces to subdue lawless citizens because its contents would not permanently damage their eyes. The hollowed device is usually filled with ground pepperthen plugged with a pencil-thin stopper attached to a thin line. oil. ground pepper. it would not arouse undue suspicion. I have included it as it makes excellent reading in a subject. boy. more often than not the agent was probably outnumbered by the enemy. The latter option often created or reinforced the legendary "mystical" abilities of the ninja to " disappear" . was that fun!!! (also very messy) In the course of carrying out his secret mission. sand. dirt. Under such conditions was the unique art of metsubushi created The technique of metsubushi (sight removers) involves a very wide range of eye blinders. And in that brief momentwhich to the accomplished ninja is more than sufficient time-the ninja has the option of counterattacking or escaping. the ninja had to develop a method that would provide him with time. One particularly interesting and ornate container is called the sokutoku. scabbards. removed the plug and blew hard into the mouthpiece. poison liquids. even if it was only a fleeting moment. gravel. the only time I have ever used metsubushi (powders) was at a demo and. yet was more than enough to stop them in their tracks. water. When attacked the ninja merely brought the sokutoku to his mouth.Metsubushi . smoke and explosives are just some of the many ingredients that may be used. Equally wideranging and diverse are the containers which these sight removers were carried in: hollowed-out egg shells. Often worn around the neck like a decorative pendant. nut shells. the ninja took great care to see that he was wellarmed for any encounter that threatened to prevent his success or thwart his escape if he (or she) was discovered or faced with possible capture. so that he could bring into play other ninjutsu techniques that would ensure his safety.to crush the eyes I have included an article written by Hatsumi Sensei for NINJA magazine from Dec 1986. which perhaps. . Personally. mud. bamboo guns (dokadeppo poison gun). loaded shuriken and so forth. not just powder-like substances thrown at attackers.In order to "equalize" the odds. stones. A cloud of hot pepper would then spew forth into the assailant's eyes. to "take away his sight" however briefly. The object of metsubushi is to make the attacker hesitate. ashes. is not taught as much as it should be.

he stood in my way and demanded money. one of he man's eyes had been plucked from his head I applied the art of resuscitation and he soon came to his senses. ' I saw his hammerlike fists thrusting at me. Immediately after my response of. I flung him down with gyakutenage (reverse hand throw) so powerfully that he hit the ground with a resounding "Yipe!" It was then that I noticed that there was something warm in my hand. I tried to keep out of his way as much as possible. Metsubushi can be thrown in many ways: 1/ forward with the palm up. I suddenly sensed someone watching for a chance to attack me. however. Kin and Sui (Wood. the TenChi-Jin sanjupo no jutsu (thirty methods of Heaven. or the use of neko te iron claws.3/ backward with the palm up. Somehow. word was out that a big man had been hovering around the wharves robbing the passersby. I recognized some silhouettes with long swords and large dogs against the moonlight. No sooner had the burglars broken into the room than they began to assault the mock figure repeatedly with their long swords. but the narrow street made the confrontation inevitable. but the discovery of his lost eye had him crawling away on his hands and knees.One night. There was no response. Mr." When putting taijutsu into practice. poking your finger or snapping a towel in his eyes. The word metsubushi (literally to crush the eyes) brings to mind a technique requiring the practitioner to take the enemy's eyes right out of his head and crush them. Making use of ankoku-toshi-jutsu~ one of the ninja techniques of seeing through the darkness.4/ backward with the palm down. Actually. Toshitsugu Takamatsu. which surprised them very . told me this story about such a technique: "When I was in Shanghai many years ago. he appeared--and how big he was! His being as big as a professional wrestler. the ninja may sometimes unconsciously grab a vital area of his opponent's body. Earth. Then I heard something being broken. except the clashing of kettles against their long swords. I immediately made up my mind to subjugate this big highwayman. such a technique does exist in ninpo's taijutsu. I made a mock figure of a man lying in futon bed by utilizing kettles and books and then hid myself in the dark corner of the room. People in the area were so scared by his presence that they completely avoided that area. This sort of natural reaction is common in the martial arts. I dodged his attack skillfully. Without a moment's delay. 'I've got no money to give you. These would include methods of head-butting your opponent. Fire. Here is another story my teacher told me: "One night when I was having an uneasy sleep in my room. Even reflecting the sunlight off a drawn sword blade into the enemy's eyes is a part of this. goton no jutsu (five ways of escape and concealment) of Moku. With his arms stretched out. Ka. Metal and Water). Earth and Man) and other ways of taking advantage of sight or weak points of attackers. making them different from a sport or game with rules. 5/ Spraying an area with metsubushi is achieved with an arcing motion of the hand. 2/ forward with the palm down. but this seemed to further infuriate him and suddenly he was jumping at me. I lost no time in heading for the place where the mugger would most likely make his appearance. I later sent him a bill for 20 yen for doctor's services rendered. Full of youth. Do. during the short struggle. Soon after my arrival.The metsubushi techniques can be found in taijutsu (emptyhand defense). my teacher.

I struck it on the muzzle with shito-ken (thumb strike) and gave it a heavy kick. This document maintained by Webmaster. Ha-ha! When dogs are about to attack a person. When dogs are growling. it suddenly stopped growling. one must be cautious. However. "the eyes are the windows of the mind." This is also a story of metsubushi in that striking the dog on the muzzle caused tears to run out of its eyes and made it dizzy. one mustn't move an inch. there are other techniques beyond just blinding your attacker's eyes. Then. I was jumped from behind by one of their big.Metsubushi is generally known as one of the techniques in which ninja physically fling blinding powders into the faces of their attackers. I got up and snatched a long sword from one of them and began dropping them one by one. As a Japanese proverb says. it is no good for him to stir. koei-no-jutsu (shadow technique) of hiding oneself in the shade.much. jinton-no-jutsu (man hiding technique) of using futon to make a mock figure of a man. When the dog seemed to be fed up with competing with me mentally. It includes a mixture of several other ninjutsu techniques such as kintonjutsu (metal hiding technique) of using kettles. growling dogs. I tried rivaling the dog with grim determination. Under such a situation. yelling at the burglars. Just after knocking down five of the burglars. Taking advantage of this occasion. It kept on growling with its paws on my back. Mahoutsukai Dojo Material Copyright © 2002 . it was knocked down flat on the ground. With a few sharp yelps. I would like you to know that it is the core of the metsubushi techniques to make the eye stop working." to cloud the mind can be another important way of blinding the eyes.

It is something which should be used when no other choice is available. or to escape personal danger.Sensei's Online Journal Momochi Sandayu "Ninjutsu is not something which should be used for personal desires. for the sake of one's country. the techniques will indeed fail totally." . for the sake of one's lord. If one deliberately uses it for the sake of personal desires.

But one who did manage a deeper glimpse into the man is Doron Navon. yet great substance who frequently prefers to observe from a distance. It's not a case of Dr. And he is called that with much love and reverence." Navon asserts. Very few people have been fortunate enough to spend much personal time with Hatsumi Sensei. Dr. He is a man of subtle. Theirs is a very special relationship that has grown and flourished for nearly 20 years now. but the afternoons and evenings know him as the ultimate master of ninjutsu. " Navon smiles. a natural transformation from one phase to another. Hyde. "Sensei is a very special person. In 1974 Davon returned home to found the Bujinkan Dojo of Israel. "He's very harmonious. Navon speaks reverently of his own true teacher. "Usually he starts his day as a regular person. 34th Grandmaster of Togakureryu ninjutsu. While many of his students bathe openly in the limelight. his friends. " he says.him "Sensei" . It is his choice. "rather. Yet his infectious vitality dominates the big organization behind him. even fewer are able to really get to know him. intricately engaged with the flow of Nature. he remains a complex and intriguing enigma to most of the world. one aspect on which they all agree: They all call . done with logical extension and in . the highest ever achieved by a nonJapanese in the system. Masaaki Hatsumi. "taking care of his patients as hone tzugi (orthopedic doctor). stays quietly in the shadows.My Six Years with Hatsumi Sensei as told by Doron Navon to Ilan Gattegno Like a true ninja. Jekyll and Mr. however. Hatsumi's first Israeli student. When asked to describe Hatsumi Sensei. and of those. his students. even his wife all give differing versions of this multi-faceted diamonds There is. even to us who know him personally. Navon currently holds a 6th Dan ranking issued by Hatsumi Sensei. who trained with him for six years and became more like a son to him than just a student. Said to be the only non-Japanese homonoshidoshi (true teacher).

practicing her art faithfully. many of which were actually used to kill-not by Sensei. as student and teacher she is the ultimate kunoichi (woman ninja). so they give them to Hatsumi Sensei. Hatsumi Sensei has an extensive collection of swords. Hatsumi's-orthopedic clinic is situated on the street-level front of his house. but they're never quite sure what these activities mean. conservative manner. conducting himself in a quiet.complete harmony with himself and his surroundings. . A small room at the back used to be his private dojo. however! Interestingly enough. many Persian and Siamese cats. two iguanas." says Doron Navon. " Even his neighbors in Noda City don't really know who he is or what he does. Hatsumi Sensei prefers it that way. stable homebody. He lives a very modest life. Following a long-standing Japanese custom. . determinedly. drawings and documents adorning the walls. "who is not touched by the evil spirit. She holds the rank of shidoshi and has many times joined the senior students in demonstrations. As wife and loved one she helps him with his orthopedic patients. choosing not to exhibit the enormous martial powers he possesses.and they have said many times with affection and admiration that they . there is always his very special student who seldom leaves his side-Marikosan. The students are always the 'victims'. bringing him all manner of gifts. and two ol' hound dogs he takes for a walk every night-and you get the picture of a very happy. many people turn their backs on swords that were instrumental in the deaths of others. "There is usually at least one of his students around hoping to see to anything Sensei might need. It serves more as a room for martial arts memorabilia with its framed pictures. They know he's engaged to some extent with the ancient fighting arts. he always has an ample amount of gifts to give in return to whomever happens to just "drop in". Hatsumi Sensei is the kind of man to whom many people gravitate. They have become resigned to accept the fact that he is someone who will never be completely revealed to them. "And then. fearing they might bring bad luck. but is now rarely used as such. Add to this assortment of friends and acquaintances a menagerie of pets-including an alligator." Navon says. whom he affectionately calls oksan (which translates literally to "his wife"). and they see many visitors come and go. his wife.

Such a situation among friends. he refused to go in. At the door. but in his own home he prefers whole rice. she is actively independent. however. fraught with such potential danger was not to be taken lightly. One night. Mariko-san is very much into Japanese culture. Hatsumi Sensei is especially careful when it comes to food. fortunately not a terribly expensive one. It was almost a fatal decision. she is not like many Japanese women.(indeed. He avoids foods that contain too much salt or sugar. But for all her interest and activities in tradition. But that may have been his ninja way of getting around the issue. Energetic and resourceful. For one thing. As a guest in someone's house he'll eat pretty much whatever is served. for it undoubtedly awakened the ninja in him. In younger days she was anchorperson on a Japanese television station. Hatsumi Sensei lashed out with a continuous series of strikes and throws that eventually left them all sprawled on the ground. He stopped drinking after an incident in which he nearly killed four of his best friends." says Navon. When he was young. instead. He never leaves the table with a completely full stomach. Hatsumi did not show any outward interest in her. When he sobered up the next morning and learned what fury he had wrought. and when he was very drunk. he rarely touches alcoholic beverages. She is also an excellent cook." She recalls that in the beginning. In a blinding flash. yet diplomatic. like other Japanese youngsters . after a losing battle with several bottles. and occasionally teaches Japanese dancing. They didn't feel like staying out the whole night. his friends brought him home. like young people the world over) -he drank a lot. Hatsumi vowed never again to drink to excess. incidentally.would much rather have any of the other women ninja partipating since Mariko-san executes the techniques with all her heart and ability. Now. her style is very much influenced by America and other western couhtries. but he had learned it well-and . however. fruits and vegetables-in that order. for one day he straightforwardly asked her to marry himand she did. "She is a major hone tzagi at Meiji University where. and so decided to force him in. and adheres to the philosophy that one should consume only about 70 percent of one's capacity. Hatsumi himself becomes a student whenever she assumes the role of teacher.which means that the students experience quite a few aches and pains as a result of her enthusiasm! "She is an extremely lovable person. he confided in her about all his romances with other women. He had learned a lesson. each with two broken ribs as a painful memento. she first met Hatsumi Sensei.

One.it has not happened again The incident is looked back on with some humor. his continuing efforts in the study and instruction of a historical way of life that should not die. it was bonded permanently that night. In his expert hands a "victim" often feels like a helpless five-year-old trying to . Recently he was declared a "National Treasure" by the Japanese Cultural Agency. "He switches from one technique to another with lightning speed and. Moromachi-san. Ribs may have been broken. unlike many other martial arts teachers in Japan then. He is supremely able and uncommonly flexible. he's deadly. still recalls that night at the hospital. however. he sees him. one of those two Israeli students. "I am a man of no country. when humor is called for. and when theatricality is the required ingredient. they were all treated with the utmost respect-as were the Japanse students. but many other martial arts as well. His execution of a technique is virtually perfectand uniquely appropriate to the situation. When he broke the ninjutsu seal of secrecy in the mid-60's. Though some dropped out of ninjutsu. Hatsumi is a specialist. "Hatsumi Sensei is very dynamic when he teaches. In fact. " His nature and behavior is inter national. and is only too happy to remove his shirt and show off the broken rib that did not heal properly. And yet. Hatsumi Sensei has many friends. but not the friendship. He taught the basics of stickfighting to Quintin Chambers of the United Kingdom and accepted two Israeli students in the early stages of his teaching. by his friends. You never really see the same thing twice. instead. an honor that recognizes his intellectual and practical expertise as a master of his special craft and assures. 33rd soke. they nonetheless remain true brothers under the skin. always comes up with an exciting variation." says Doron Navon. when asked to show it a second time. he welcomed all who were interested and accepted those who persevered. Hatsumi Sensei can be hard or soft at different times and hard and soft at the same time. not only in ninjutsu. including non-Japanese. He does not regard a per son's color or origin. Hat sumi Sensei stresses that he is not Japanese by nature. Many foreigners studied with him. he says. some from his school days and some who studied with him under Takamatsu Sensei. he laughs outright. Rather. perhaps because they could not cope with the rigid disciplines involved or because Takamatsu seemed to devote more time to his special student. some for only a few months and. through subsidization. he is without a doubt the best actor around. When he wants to be deadly. As a direct student of Takamatsu. Hatsumi. as a human being. Hatsumi Sensei evokes that kind of loyalty in people.

. They come to him to drink from the "well that never dries". "Teaching should come from the heart. His moves just seem to get better as the years go by. but the true mastery of their own teacher. keen mind capable of switching from one subject to an other with in-depth association at high speeds. and adjusts to change with amazing swiftness and variety. the students experience difficulty when attempting to execute them the same way. It becomes frustrating when they rudely discover they cannot . at least not yet. leaving no doubt about their efficacy in a given situation. that same ingenuous "openness" is evidenced in their attitude and behavior. supportive. It's one reason why even those who do not study with him directly call him "Sensei". open face and medium build hide a veritable deathtrap for the unwary." Hatsumi rarely teaches now in his own dojo. he manages to live in accord. if not always approval. This may sound like fantasy. although the techniques are demonstrated clearly. a life that provides him with all the energy and balance needed to deal with his many involvements. After training sessions. One thing you cannot do is take him for granted. and he is always there to slake their thirst. but it's the same God that most of us worship. his fingers as capable as claws." he says. His love of the martial arts is the center of his life.resist a stern parent. His instruction always causes just a little consternation among his pupils because. yet each develops in his own way and at his own rate of speed. Hatsumi Sensei's appearance is dangerously misleading. an intuition that prepares him for what's ahead. he calls it "The God of Budo". precision and skill. learning not only the beauty of the true art. Takamatsu. He attacks weak points and pain centers with deadly accuracy. His gentle smile. He has a quick. He's like a patient. Though his students differ in many ways from one another. Hatsumi Sensei believes in one God. it's real. but to those who know him. and an insight that practically enables him to " read" the people he talks to. His one true tie is his connection with God. But the good ones stay with it. approving father to them. . But even more incredible. prefering to visit the dojos of his senior students. . Hatsumi likes to wax philosophical about the deeper aspects of the martial arts. This document maintained byWebmaster. and his body compact and powerful. Very much aware of what's happening in the world today. quoting his own illustrious teacher. One has to really know him well to be able to keep up with him. His delicate hands are as strong as iron. the power of a master of many trades. he has an instinct for danger. Hatsumi Sensei makes it look so easy that they labor under the false impression that they can perform the techniques with equal ease. He looks at life with a view derived from an the power behind and within himself.

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Benki laments: "By the center I firmly grasp My great naginata which 1 have loved so long. the naginata was once a popular and important weapon of the sohei (warrior monks) and bushi (soldiers). a Japanese glaive or halberd. Like the kwon do. which is the counterpart to the Chinese kwon do. exercise and sport applications." and the . Then with leisurely steps. how can he stand against me? So completely. Oh. how I long an adversary worthy of my hand!" The naginata was a major weapon in old Japan. the monk known as Benki brandished his naginata as he stood before his adversaries. By H.L. Bodyguard to Yoshitsune of the Minamoto clan. The skilled warrior needed to be well?versed in swordsmanship before learning the skills of the naginata. The Tales of Heiki. naginata do now is resigned to self?mastery. I lay it across my shoulder.Naginata Do Yesterday and Today Once an efficient method of wreaking havoc on an enemy. Today it is rarely practiced outside Japan. competing in popularity with the yari ( thrusting spear). Kurland How many traditional weapons of Japan and China can you name? One of the most commonly forgotten weapons is the Naginata. do I trust in my own skill. Be he devil or demon. I stride forward. As the saying goes. "know your enemy. In the 13th century epic.

Such was his prowess. reverse dragon fly. naginata do is considered a method of self?mastery.. Then grasping his naginata. while the yari is primarily a thrusting weapon. it was a popular weapon of feudal Japan's monks and soldiers. in addition to being one of the most graceful and fluid of the Japanese weapons because of its circular applications.. slash and thrust in graceful arcs. was an effective and efficient method of wreaking havoc on an enemy. he skillfully sliced. chop. In the Tales of Heiki. The effective warrior used the most efficient weapon to get the job done. and eight sides at once steles to cut down eight more men.D. Like the spear and sword. is less effective in crowded conditions. Its origin is vague. The main advantage a naginata?ka has over a swordsman is the length of the weapon. was superb against horsemen or foot soldiers. A naginata has a long oval shaft and a swordlike blade at the end. The tool was originally made of stone. from a similar looking agricultural implement. Whether or not it would be as effective as a jo or butterfly knives at close quarters or in a crowded area. Used effectively in bamboo forests and wooded areas. Each has its boosters. interlacing cross. 1100 and was effective against both mounted and standing enemies. killing 12 and wounding 11 men. Nonetheless. A master swordsman could take on a warrior wielding a yari with a greater confidence of victory than if he were armed with a naginata. however. Today. Both weapons' shafts and hilts can also be used similarly. or against horsemen. the role of naginata?jutsu was described in one altercation where Benki stages a legendary battle: "Initially Benki shot twenty?four arrows. The naginata. but there are three popular theories. chopped. He snapped his blade on the helmet of the ninth and used his dirk to continue." After all the fighting was over he withdrew with only minor wounds. and slashed six more men He broke the shaft on the sixth opponent so he drew his sword. wielding it in the zigzag style.C. One holds the weapon evolved about 300 B. The yari. exercise and popular sport.weapon opposing the naginata in most cases was the sword. It differs from the yari in that the naginata is used primarily to cut. the naginata could cut through three inches of bamboo timber and still dispatch an opponent. on horseback. water wheel. History The naginata evolved into a practical and common weapon by A. which was . it was said. light and versatile in the open. Employed by both monk and soldier naginata?jutsu or the art of the halberd. the naginata is a powerful and efficient weapon against the sword or spear. Situations arose where the warrior needed to use all his weapons. is debatable. In close quarters one could choke up on the blade and use it effectively. It can clear a large area quickly of enemy swordsmen while keeping them away.

eight inches and the shaft was seven feet. Today's naginata evolved during this period. There were a variety of designs based upon the preference of the user. The blade length was four feet. and the hardwood shaft ranging from five to nine feet long. The last theory says the influx of Chinese immigrants and other contact with China brought the Chinese glaive or kwon do to Japan. and with his whirling naginata cut through the arrows that flew straight for him. On the shaft beneath the tsuba are usually decorative or protective coverings. six inches. The sohei. The Japanese then modified it to their own aesthetic tastes. leaped over the low shots. with the ha (blade) averaging one to two feet in length. From the 14th to the 16th century the blade shortened to adapt to heavy fighting. it is used to hook. sting ray. or double edges. parry. used a powerful weapon of tremendous proportion called the shobuzukuri?naginata. Legends of extraordinary skill with the shobuzukurinaginata remained strong for many centuries. Similar to the sword tsuba. . The blade gracefully sweeps from tang to tip. like the benki. Direct cuts to the shaft are to be avoided. with a ridged blade mounted on one end. One offshoot. copper and iron. At the base of the blade is the tsuba (handguard). with a blade length as long as seven feet but usually averaging between three and four feet. The nagamaki shaft usually was shorter than the standard. and is usually one to four inches in diameter. Gochim?no?Tajima. featuring a blade length of over four feet and shafts of seven feet or longer. A more practical theory holds that an innovative warrior attached his sword to a pole. mother of pearl. hardwood. the nagamaki. Tajima ducked to avoid the high shots. which also gives it structural strength. shape of the blade and length of the shaft. Some blades were straight while others had slight curves.later replaced by metal. Like its cousin the sword. _ extreme curves. One sohei. Description and Anatomy The foundation for the naginata is a long. The blade has from one to four hi (blood grooves). block other weapons and keep them from sliding down the shaft. The shape evolved over the centuries. There were differences in length of the blade and tang. curving upward from the upper third of the blade. silver. had a relatively longer blade and a shorter shaft. was nicknamed "Tajima the arrow cutter" for opposing Heike warriors who fired arrows from every direction. which resulted in a crude naginata. and theoretical applications. As knife afficianados know. technology. the tang gives strength and balance to the weapon by reinforcing the shaft and offsetting the weight of the blade. Materials used to decorate the shaft include brocade. there were many popular versions in feudal Japan. oval?sectioned shaft. at around four feet. The rukago (tang) can be as long as the blade. Unlike today's standard design. Variety not only came in the length but also in the shape of the blade. The type used to repel the Mongol invasion (1274?1281) was over 12 feet long and made famous by Saito Musashi?bo benki. The nagamaki was sometimes likened to the naginata. but was a favorite of horsemen who used a graceful figure?eight slashing pattern to cut down foot soldiers. giving a total length of roughly seven feet. it is sharpened only on one side. This allows the forward hand to slide up under the tsuba and perform various techniques while being protected from an enemy blade.

it was stored in a horizontal position to prevent warping. stamina and coordination to use it effectively. Originally it was a man's weapon since it was quite heavy and took a great deal of strength and stamina to use. for it was one of the most difficult weapons to master. Women's Entrance into Naginata jutsu The 16th century sohei were said to favor the naginata and nagamaki. The total weight of a real naginata depended on its composition and length. A protective bag covered the scabbard and decorated areas. The blade was kept in a decorated scabbard. gold. During the Muromachi period (1393-1573). But in modern times it is thought of as a woman's weapon. . but manv famous bushi used them as well. which is used for striking and counterbalancing the blade. At the end is an ishizuki (iron pommel). When not in use. The warrior needed great strength. or persimmon. 425 ryu (traditions) of naginatajutsu evolved. The bag was usually secured by a himo (cord) and tied with a hanamasubi (flower knot). Japanese women did not always fit the subservient role of today's women.The laquered hardwood shaft is usually colored black.

A fearless horsewoman and master of the naginata. Sporting matches between women were recorded during this time. Itagaki led her warriors into the thick of battle. It was said when the dead were counted. Displaying a last glint of feudal martial spirit. Even though women trained in naginata jutsu since Heian times.During the Kamakura period women trained in bujutsu and were expected to show the same martial spirit as men. Legends arose of women who became feared warriors such as Itagaki and Tamoe Gozen. yaris and naginata fared poorly against rifles. These women warriors went beyond the role of defending the home or self. the women would take their naginatas with them. was a famous commander of 3. Tamoe Gozen of the Minimoto clan "feared neither man nor devil" and was said to be a match for 100 warriors. guided her warhorse with her knees and cut the enemy with a deadly circular slash pattern of her naginata. her kills outnumbered all others. modem weapons brought on the demise of the naginata and led to its evolution as a sport. While rising to a position of esteem from the 12th?17th century. it was in this time frame the naginata became primarily a woman's weapon. Today. After the ban was lifted with the departure of the occupation forces. cannons and pistols. she used circular slashes and strikes (hence her name) to dispatch her enemies while guiding her horse with her legs. Probably the most important reason for the decline of the naginata as a weapon of war was the influx of Western weapons to Japan. 500 women volunteers armed with naginatas were among the revolutionaries who opposed modern weapons during the 1877 Satsuma rebellion.000 warriors of the Torizakayama Castle. From the 17th century. During the Tokugawa period (1603-1868). which wanted to subjugate the Taira clan. young daughters of samurai families were given halberds with golden lacquered handles. . little has changed. The art of the naginata was lost because of governmental bans on the use of weapons in 1876 (Meiji 1868-1912). When they were married. Bows. Itagaki. She fought against the Hojo Regime (1199). swords. the naginata gradually became a woman's domain. who threw fear into the hearts of her enemies. one of Japan's last civil wars. The practice of naginata jutsu was outlawed along with the other martial arts after World War II.

and with it there came a wonderful exhilaration. It is used to unify the technique. George. .. alertness. Kiai (spirit shout) is stressed during practice and is considered vital to the art. concentration and extension of one's energy. it was organized under the All Japan Naginata Federation in 1955. "As I cut. It has been primarily promoted by the Southern California branch of the United States Naginata Federation (USNF) under the watchful eyes of Helen Nakano. Instead of practicing the jutsu form. "Practice makes students more alert and aware of their environment. As Adachi Masahiro said in the Bushido Sosho. the approximate center of gravity of the body when standing with feet together." Nakano feels repetition is the key. body. The United States also has a naginata federation. The aim of the do form is to make one a stronger. Nakano originally learned naginatado in 1966 in Japan while traveling with her husband. bringing together the mind and the body." Subtle personality changes take place from the concentration and practicing control over one's mind and body. feels the practice offers more than just exercise benefits. .. my mind.000 naginata?ka in Japan. At first she declined. who was on the United States Kendo team. Difficult to define. and self?confidence.(I) was completely lost in technique. Practice increases one's concentration. has been promoting naginata as a way of selfmastery for the last 15 years. Ideally the mind that concentrates well can reflect all things clearly. naginata is probably one of the rarest of arts. they had her perform the basic vertical head cut for about 90 minutes. The naginata has to become a living extension of one's body. There was one cut she could feel was correct. After countless repetitions. As with kendo kiai is used during competition to call the targets as the attack occurs. past president of the USNF and head instructor for the Gardena naginata dojo located in the Japanese Cultural Institute. where combat realism and battlefield application were a priority.naginata practice resumed in the do (philosophical) rather than jutsu (fighting) form. she suddenly realized a change in perception. Nakano. After dressing her in the traditional dress.. Another concept is stressed in naginata. for the essence of the art is to become one with the naginata. Only about 10 were men. Sachiko Wada and Yoko Yamao. In 1968 there were over 10. This part of traditional budo is a relaxed extension of energy which can be felt by opponents. develops agility. an assistant instructor.. where the emphasis is on the mastery of oneself on one hand and enjoyment of sport on the other. and place one's feeling into the tip. the majority of practitioners follow the do form. but they were persistent and she found herself learning the basics under Chiyoko Tokunaga. The student needs to extend through the naginata.eyes are not . In the United States. Originally tied to the National Kendo organization. There was a naginata demonstration and three instructors asked her to participate. zanshin is a feeling. a projection of psychic dominance through one's opponent by the use of impeccable technique. She routinely travels across the country to demonstrate and teach naginata's method and philosophy. Kiai comes from the horror. more fully functioning person. and movement were united at one point . Cathy Higashioka. "The student's mind should be calm and undisturbed.

Nakano was matched against a man who placed third in the All Japan Kendo Tournament. body. The importance of kiwi. Happo buri is a body exercise where the student goes through a series of vertical. horizontal and diagonal slashes." Zanshin is an essential part of all stages of naginata do. Modern Naginata Do The development of the naginata over the centuries has led to a weapon with little resemblance to the one of the 11 th century. The negativity associated with fear and anxiety is overcome by the proper practice of concentration and attention in choreographed forms and shiai.5 to 5. and may lead to injury. "This feeling is important during kata (forms) practice . Modern Naginata Training The training session can be divided into four segments. The practitioner needs to relax the mind.. and kiai is fundamental to zanshin. Today. on a practice dummy. as was Benki. resulting in a total length of between 7 and 7. The woman resembled any other mild mannered person in her 50s. It is practiced without excess muscular force. One is made of solid oak and resembles the real weapon in balance and proportion. In feudal Japan naginata against the sword was a matter of life and death. today it is sport. "You could feel the energy flow back and forth between them. to face man. Other matches yielded similar outcomes. random feints and attacks.without it kata is nothing. It weighs about two pounds. A combination of old ryu and new forms. After basic warm?up and stretching exercises.4 feet. with the quality of the unknown. too much fear or anxiety gets in the way of accuracy or proper technique. which is lighter than the real weapon. The shaft is usually about 5. devil. the mind muddled and confused. The other has a blade length of about 20 inches and is made of split bamboo. and counter. An example of such a match pitted a high ranking black belt man against a similarly ranked woman in a demonstration bout. and that prevents improvisation. Vigilant zanshin can intimidate a lessskilled opponent. ranshin. The overstressed reactions become rigid." As Higashioka comments. The striking surface is flat and flexible. winning the match easily. two variations of a training naginata are used. both displaying great spirit. happo buri is practiced. . but with it kata is electrifying." In non?choreographed contests. While some arousal and anxiety can actually help performance.glaring. Repetition of basics while walking across the dojo (training hall) with a partner. but once the match started she demonstrated powerful zanshin. The second major part of the session involves practicing the basic techniques. with the upper third being the proper area of contact.7 feet long. as most students of naginata are women and most kendoists are men. but at the same time the energy is extended and one is ready. the use of too much force will counteract these effects. fixed with the staring bulging eyes of the insane. distance and timing are emphasized. the mind has to stay clear so that actions are appropriate. or on a hand?held baton is the key to learning. The third part of the session is the kata practice. subtleties and application of each technique. In these matches it is common to place man against woman.. a common mistake of some martial artists. block. Commented Higashioka. kata are prearranged forms where two students strike. The study of naginata?do includes training against the sword. or demon. and spirit. allowing no opportunity for attack. In demonstration it is common to pit a kendoist against naginataka. The student is progressively stressed to learn the nuances. all which emphasize continuous flow.

modified arm and finger coverings.Top of the head. Bogu (protective armor) is donned and a kendolike competition is held. called tsuki. side of the head. The targets are: • • • • • • • • Shomen . and shin guards. Tsuki . This document maintained by Webmaster. About the author: A frequent contributor to Inside Kung Fu. called men.Throat thrust with tip. The target must be called with a specific kiai for the point to be valid. Sokumen .Shin. Do .Wrist and forearm.L. Kurland is an Idaho based freelance writer and martial artist. Kote . H. called tsuki. called do. Not always given as a point. In naginata shiai.Side of the trunk. the trunk protector. there are seven targets. The equipment only differs from kendo in the modification of the finger coverings and addition of the shin guards. Mahoutsukai Dojo Material Copyright © 2002 . called kote. which together with hip girdles may have been added to samurai armor because of the influence of the naginata.Solar plexus thrust with tip. called sune. The bogu is essentially the same as kendo armor with the characteristic helmet and mask. The targets are attacked with the upper one?third of the blade or the tip. Tsuki .The next level of training is shiai (combat). Sune . called men.Temple.

Sword Drawing and Slashing
By Masaaki Hatsumi Sensei Translated by Mr. Masaru Hirai Before imparting to his pupils the training of the ninja's iai sword drawing techniques, the master gave them a warning to this effect: You must never draw your sword against an attacker except when your life is at stake or you are going to protect something more important than your life. This warning is a good lesson for the ninja today as well. For those of you who have little knowledge of the ninja's iai, we will begin with some basics; for those of you who are already versed in this ancient art, a brief refresher course will not be too much to bear. As a matter of fact, going back to basics will help to ensure good, sound technique and a right attitude. The ninja ken (shinobigatana) or short sword, had a short, single-edged blade that was particularly useful for close-quarter combat. Compact and easy to carry, it also allowed for quick, silent movement down narrow passageways or through tight crawl spaces. Though it could not compare with the samurai's longer, razor-sharp katana in terms of elegant looks and superior craftsmanship, it nonetheless suited the ninja's needs perfectly. It was an extremely practical and versatile weapon. Certainly volumes could be written on the many unique uses of the ninja ken. However, for our immediate purposes we will concentrate on some of the primary drawing and striking techniques. The reader should bear in mind that the ninja sword fighting method is a total body endeavor. It is the body in motion not just the limbs that propels the ninja ken for effective cutting and stabbing. The following specially prepared photographs will illustrate these important points.

Starting from shizen-nokamae or natural posture

Hatsumi Sensei begins by placing his hand loosely on the scabbard

Releasing the sword from the scabbard with the second joint of his index finger

Hatsumi Sensei then steps forward with his right leg as his right hand loosely grips the hilt

As the sword is drawn, Hatsumi Sensei extends himself forward and loosens his shoulders

As the cut begins, The sword is drawn as if the position of the he were going to throw it knees and away shoulders play an important role in balance

Let s proceed to a variation, the technique of drawing the sword while taking sidesteps. You may move to the rhythm of tango music.

You move your left foot to Now this is the tango. You the right, crossing over take another step to the right your right leg. The way you with your right foot. loosen the swordguard is the same as before, with your forefinger.

While moving your right foot to the left, behind your left toot, you draw the sword. Please be careful not to slash immediately; it will draw you off balance. Act slowly, rightly and gracefully.

Direct the sword to the heavens as if you were dancing with the sword.

Strecthing yourself out, you swing down the sword into a thrusting posture.

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perhaps some of you observed the body motion. the ninja could not wield it in the same manner as the samurai. up among the tangle of branches of trees or down in a trough or a hollowed-out log. And so. especially in areas where the cunning ninja were most often to be found: in narrow corridors and alleyways. After that I have instructed on different ways of carrying and drawing the sword from various positions. blinding powders or explosives. the shinobigatana could be easily carried. . in tight crawl spaces. in conclusion. And because it was short. he relied more on body weight in motion in order to execute effective cuts. it should be put away properly. It was an extremely versatile weapon/tool that often made the difference between escape and capture life and death. I have demonstrated the proper way to sheathe the shinobigatana. in the following specially prepared photographs I have demonstrated the feet of the ninja in the iai sword drawing technique. most of you concentrated your attention entirely on the sword. The saya scabbard was usually longer than the short blade. By Hatsumi Sensei While the ninja did not regard their shinobigatana (short sword) with the same reverence the samurai gave their exquisitely forged katana.Drawing and sheathing the sword. In Part One I demonstrated for you the way of loosening the sword and then drawing it. the extra-long sageo scabbard cord could be used for any number or extracurricular activities. including tying up a captured enemy or as a trip wire across a doorway or forest path. they nonetheless knew and greatly appreciated its incomparable value. After all. I think very few of you noticed the feet. instead. Also. The ninja made better use of his weapon with slamming stabs and thrusts and sawing dragged-edge cuts. And then. the extra space used to hide messages. If I am correct. because the blade was not honed as precisely as the supersharp katana. once a weapon has been drawn and served you well.

Please note that I am holding the sword guard tightly with the thumb of my left hand while keeping my right foot diagonally to the right. 3. First you move your feet sideways. Take a step to the right by moving your left foot before your right one (2). Moving your right foot diagonally to the right backward (5). 2. Moving diagonally to the right forward (7). I am obliged to draw the sword as I shift my body weight and my left foot diagonally backward in order to cripple the attacker's fighting power. 7. Moving diagonally to the left forward (8). Please watch the cross carefully. 5. Moving to the left you move your right foot before your left one (3). However. backward. 8. Moving your left foot diagonally to the left backward (4). Moving straight forward (with the right foot because the ninja is right handed)(6). SHEATHING THE SWORD . 6. THE EIGHT WAYS OF FOOTWORK The iai sword drawing techniques require free movement of the feet. 1. 4. This shows my determination not to draw the sword at random. Now let me show you the shinobi iai happou sabaki (eight ways of footwork of the ninja iai) (1).

2. 4. 1. Pull the sword forward. This document maintained by Webmaster.Place the back or dull edge of the blade between your thumb and forefinger (BE SURE THE SHARP EDGE IS UP. applying the tip of the blade to the scabbard opening (3). 3.The safest way to return the sword to its scabbard is by gripping the mouth of the scabbard between the thumb and forefinger of your left hand and tilting it upward(1). Mahoutsukai Dojo Material Copyright © 2002 . AWAY FROM YOU!) so that it rests on the mouth of the scabbard (2). BE SURE THE AREA BETWEEN THUMB AND FOREFINGER IS CLEAR OF THE OPENING. then slowly return the sword to its sheath (4).

It mostly covered events at the 1986 USA Ninja Summit. is a hindrance to effective technique. you see. jokes. Hatsumi . Hatsumi is a very funny man . Even though they are not performed at "combat speed" the observer instantly understands that the techniques work . perhaps. literally! He wisecracks. and that the false image of the ninja as a "killer" is what brings about the hesitancy with which most people approach him. what to to when thrust into a combative situation. how he goes about representing the mysterious art he loves so much. . It seems that nothing ignites the imagination of today's martial artists more than the art of ninjutsu. not taking anything too seriously. The happiness of his pupils. not by perpetually trying to imitate one's sensei.than-serious air about him. You must know instinctively. slightlyless. . there is always a light.) Dr. stands at the forefront of his priorities. As laughter subsides between jokes. Even when teaching or demonstrating. I was a little taken aback with my first introduction to Dr.Ninjutsu's Living Legend by David Weis This is an article from Ninja magazine cira Nov 1986. more importantly. but it doesn't breed the ability to improvise that is so essential to the effective application of ninjutsu. one becomes acutely aware of the man as a technician.He lives as he preaches. . Masaaki Hatsumi. makes humorous analogies and relates hilarious anecdotes. This is the article by David Weis who was editor of the magazine at the time. Hatsumi demonstrates a technique once or twice then lets the students practice the move at their own pace. kusari and hanbo techniques are performed with exceptional skill and confidence. and no one person evokes more awe and respect from ninjutsu practitioners than Dr. and.he does . he just does. This is by no means to imply that he doesn't take his art seriously . he explains. In keeping with this unique philosophy Dr. but whatever the reason. I was pleasantly surprised at his a overt friendliness and informality.. actually quite unprepared to be met with such casual acceptance.and work well! I heard him say time and time again that he never thinks when he trains. Perhaps it was the awesome reputation that preceeded him or the strong aura he projects.but he interjects bits of humor with his instruction to insure that his students have the best time they possibly can. through endless hours of practice. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. He doesn't go from group to group pointing out the idiosyncrasies and particulars of the . . His taijutsu. (I was told later that the Grandmaster is the easiest man in the world to get along with. It is hard for someone who has never met the Grandmaster to really appreciate what he stands for. The Grandmaster also stressed that one should train through doing. To think about tactics or to plan a defense.

Through his constant referral to play as a route to better leading and understanding ninjutsu.is his outright happiness. This method decreases student dependence and increases the individuality of the practitioner's interpretation of technique. what did he hope to see accomplished by this gathering of dans and representatives of other martial arts. The WORLD NINJA SUMMIT will give us all this opportunity. It is important to share our hearts and minds from time to time in order to gauge the extent of our journey toward selfperfection. " At the event itself.move. " In this statement we know the opposite to be true. he lets his pupils piece together the technique as they think they saw it. rather. it was an integral part of the art itself. Hatsumi projected his thoughts on the anxiously awaited event: "I am happy that my friend Dr. In a phone conversation just prior to the WORLD NINJA SUMMIT. I look forward to helping him celebrate his first anniversary in America. When questioned about this manner of instruction the Grandmaster simply stated: "I'm a lousyteacher.and at the same time urges it on others. yet all the time stressing the importance of a good heart when practicing ninjutsu. The people are very positive and nice. I asked the Grandmaster what his feelings were. do what you think you saw. amidst the many diverse activities taking place all around him. Together we will train hard with ninjutsu people from all over the world. HATSUMI: I came here to make friends with everyone . He is quick to laugh. By not approaching his art pedantically he insures-his own eternal pleasure with his participation in it . Perhaps the most outstanding feature of the Grandmaster . to joke and play.with the people who practice ninjutsu. Higuchi and the Bujinkan Fellowship are hosting the WORLD NINJA SUMMIT. I don't want people to get the wrong idea about me or .and one of the most infectious . I slowly came to realize that it was more than just an avenue. Dr. I want people to understand that I'm a nice person too. DR.

HATSUMI: Exactly. And perhaps that ability to be soft is the best example of the immense strength Dr. I like to enjoy life. I like these things even more than martial arts. Is everyone here that you"' like to see here? Is there anyone missing? HATSUMI: Everything here is perfect. I suspect he is much more than a master of a martial art. yes? When the American people read what we do.HATSUMI : The feelings here are already very nice. as we understand it.I can be soft. and another reason why I am here. of course. But.) NINJA: Would you like to see events like this occur more often? Once a year? Twice a year? DR. There are many different ranks among the students. This document maintained by Webmaster.) Because I am a writer. . (And then he said with a laugh:) Maybe all the people who practice ninjutsu can all become famous and rich as a. through letters and phone conversa tions they let Dr. Few people have struck me with such genuine charisma.ninjutsu. What would you like to see accomplished? DR. I came here to help people live a little longer. This is very important to me. Let's drink together. we can make a good NINJA magazine. a painter and live comfortably. . say. is to learn the martial arts by enjoying them. (Actually there were several shidoshi who could not attend but. then. two years. DR. it will be good for them. (And with a broad smile he added:) All of us together. For this I am a cute boy. I see all this being accomplished here. Hatsumi possesses. I can speak with confidence when I say this. NINJA: The principle of your philosophy.result! (And in a split second he was serious again. I'm not praising myself. No one is missing. NINJA: There are many people here who don't normally train together. I see these favorable changes in your magazine and the people who read it. I don't travel for little things. Hatsumi know they were indeed there in spirit. I have come to pull all the students together. Mahoutsukai Dojo Material Copyright © 2002 . you have to have the ability in ninjutsu. and I see even more favorable changes taking place. He is a master of life itself. People who take the martial arts too seriously will die very young. Let's be happy together. HATSUMI: I would like to do this once a year. a doctor. but because I can do. NINJA: Where would you like to see ninjutsu in the United States in the next.

"A very important technique is illustrated here that should be noted by martial artists of all ages. One important aspect to remember in the teaching of ninpo to young people is that. throughout history there are cases of the use of young children by ninja to deceive and catch the enemy off guard. I managed to save this article from a very sorry looking copy of 'Ninja' from October 1986. Then there is the use of children as a tool to broaden one's strategy. including the use of disguises and the role of women. Miyuki Kinoshita and Hiroko Murakami seem like very unimposing figures: small. puts one at an advantage.Ninpo and Children by Hatsumi Sensei Translated by Thomas Checchi. "This in . In the series of photos which follow.at first. Some of you may be surprised to learn that young children may also play an important role in the world of ninpo. petite girls in traditional Japanese dress. In ninpo. it is best to start at the youngest age possible. it is important to note that small children can learn very simple but effective techniques to protect themselves. under the supervision of Professor Yoshiteru Otani. both as students and those who help in ninja strategy. but there are also important aspects that can be used directly by the children themselves. for then. Yotonojutsu is the technique or strategy of using small children in ninpo. Miss Hiroko Murakami is the intended victim of a would-be kidnapper (1) As he grabs her bodily to carry her off. as with any art. Of course. but interesting to read anyway. Hiroko raises her arms high and screams (2). Hatsumi." says Dr. In many ways this is the most important aspect of strategy . With the problem of missing and abducted children a problem much more serious its the United States than inJapan. Here. showing weakness. when the opponent is overconfident and off guard. but one must be sure it is being conducted under the proper supervision. Not an awful lot of content. We have talked about many aspects of ninjutsu. you can show your real strength and dominate him.

It is essential." Dr. By doing so you break the man's eardrums and give him a concussion.itself is very important. It is done by bringing the palms of both hands together with great force. "that this is done on both ears at exactly the same moment. Hatsumi advises. can startle or altogether frighten off the attacker. Hatsumi instructs. so it should only be used when you are in great danger." Dr. Hatsumi again reminds the reader that this technique be used "only when absolutely necessary. Hatsumi emphasizes." Dr. and ." In the next photo (3) Dr. "we see the girl employing a technique that is both very important to know and very dangerous. slapping the ears of the attacker. "because the scream or kiai if done with great spirit.

Hiroko delivers a hard knee strike to his groin (4).that it be donf by someone who will perform it cor rectly the first time because. you will no get a second chance. including raking the eyes with the opened umbrella tips . The girl instinctively lowers her body and center of gravity. "if the first technique is successful." as Dr. throwing the man by changing her center of gravity (2) Once down (3). at the same time stomping hard on her attacker's left ankle. This technique involves precise timing. as witE most other techniques. "But. the ninja child is grabbed by the wrist from behind.weight pulls his upper body forward (1) Miyuki quickly turns." As the battered attacker releases her. Miyuki can then deliver any of several techniques." In this demonstration of kasa no jutsu. This effectively roots his lower body to the spot while his momentum and Miyuki's shift of body. Hatsumi points out. the man will fall unconscious (5) and she can walk safely away.

" As the attacker reaches to grab her neck." Dr. "The important elements in technique. Mahoutsukai Dojo Material Copyright © 2002 . she securely wraps it around his extended wrist and turns sharply in the direction of his thrust (2) Bracing his locked elbow over her shoulder and using his own momentum. moving in the same direction as the attacker so you can use his momentum and. Hatsumi states. how the ninja child lowers her center of gravity by changing her posture.(4). "is that your first move is to open the body to the attack. Miyuki lowers her center of gravity (3) and flips the man heavily to the ground (4) This document maintained by Webmaster. or she can simply escape. Miyuki takes a step back and swiftly removes a small piece of cloth that is part of her kimono (1) Holding it with both hands.

Two caged iguna's stood silent sentry over the patients waiting their turns. more than 25 years later. To master ninjutsu you must devote at least 40 years. Hatsumi just tells the stranger to call Ishizuka and gives them the phone number. but I was also. last year. to some. Ishizuka finds it very natural to still be a student of the Grandmaster after so many years and that he hasn't opened his own seperate school.a sincere one that. Once. might belie his stature. "I felt I was strong." Now. who both speak English quite well. and to yourself. Shihan Tetsuji Ishizuka is only one step away from the top."When you look at the world aroung you. A teacher who runs out of teaching material is no good. For years he's been referred to when foreigners call looking for Hatsumi sensei. I just saw it as something real.even into the doctors tiny clinic."he say's. ninjutsu is a very small part of it. but he doesn't necessarily see it that way.Ishizuka is one of Hatsumi's leading teachers. Yoshiaki Hatsumi. that roamed freely . he'd probably say that he is a singer and guitar player in an Hawaiian music band . Sensei (Hatsumi) is very special and ninjutsu is very special. the doctor asked young Ishizuka if he wanted to practice something far stronger than the martial arts he was familiar with. I very curious to see what it was. but have seen him many times on Hatsumi Sensei's videos You can be easily fooled by his smile . and even then you're not sure that . While treating his shoulder. you would never guess that this man is one of the mot highly ranked master teachers of Togakure Ryu ninjutsu in the world. I joined and soon found out that I wasn't strong at all. He was reffered to the local hone-tzugi (bone setter). When you talk to the accountant of the firemen's squad in Noda City.A. Chiba Perfecture in Japan.one step from mastery by Ilan Gattegno I personally have not trained with Ishizuka Shihan. kendo. enjoying all these arts very much. There."If you have this attitude you are certain to have the appropriate perspective to life in general. he received a serious shoulder injury and had to go for treatment. If you asked him about his hobbies.S. he was at his side all the time-always there as the master's right hand. Ranked a ninth dan." He was fiftenn years old when he started practicing Ninjutsu. most of them cats. During Hatsumi's trip to the U. can deal with the newcomer and get him started. "Since this budb (old martial art) has virtually no end. it is always interesting. This strange bone setter. lived in a house full of animals. Until then he was a student of judo. during a training session.hobbies one might not immediatly associate with a ninja master. karate and shorinji-kenpo. Tetsuji and his wife. He beat me up in such a way that I had to go on and learn more.Ishizuka . Dr. Not that I was a masochist.

Israeli. But on the broader meaning. After 25 years I still feel that the future is still ahead of me and it just makes me happy that I have much mom to learn. "We treat everybody equally. ninjutsu is very helpful in all aspects of life." Since he started studying under Hatsumi Yoshiaki many things have changed in ninjutsu. he should seek a good teacher. If you see the master move and you see a teacher following him you can tell who's connected to the source and who isn't. American. you have to experience. If somebody wants to learn ninjutsu. Those who are not sure which is the right way should go to Japan. Swedish. not to get into it. If somebody is practicing seriously and enjoys it . Ishizuka Shihan has a few words of comfort to the many non-Japanese who have been training in ninjutsu recently.you know everything. Hatsumi was announced grandmaster and changed his name from Yoshiaki . Now some video tapes of Sensei are available. enables him to give some advice to those who want to practice and achieve ninjutsu's higher levels. We don't care about the country of origin. and also the master's articles in magazines give the spirit of his teaching. come to think of it . "gi"(technique)and "tai" (body). " The relativly long time that Ishizuka has been involved in ninjutsu. in self-control. This is one of the most important characteristics of the art. Japanese. "I didn't have to learn ninjutsu to fight. " As a "foreign minister" of the Bujinkan Dojo. Without the experience there is no understanding and you can never reach the enlightenment. see how we train at the main dojo and take example. We practice so that these incidents won't happen. and if they ever occur there's no choice and we fight. in living without unnecessary effort. "Ninjutsu preaches to avoid fighting and to avoid the attack. But the aim is to prevent the fight. longer than most practitioners. It gives a lot of interest to life. a teacher with common sense and good judgment who has a good heart and has in him the three elements of ninjutsu: "shin " (heart).that's what is important. Ninjutsu and Sensei are a great combination.in life.

But ninjutsu didn't really change—it adapted to the changing world. This is happening every day. That's why there are so few people in the world who really know the art. I've learned to hang on when necessary. is not looking fortdhe title. and his fluent Japanese enables him to communicate with us and learn everything." This document maintained by Webmaster. there's nothing I can see that is going to change. " Ishizuka sees his long tutelage under Hatsumi Sensei as a valuable experience. Through Budo you can develop and become aware of things so you can enjoy life.to Masaaki for good luck in his new role. He has spent enough time with Sensei. The only big change is in the way of practicing. "Hatsumi Sensei says to forget it all. and to stop myself from doing things which might harm me. I wouldn't do things I used to do before I became aware of ninpo (the higher level of ninjutsu). But Techan. In the Western world. "One should also remember that it takes a long time to know ninjutsu and it isn't as simple as it looks. but it is all linked. I must go on enjoying my time with them and develop together. Beyond that. simply because I was too young then. muri. It doesn't mean that now I understand everything. Mahoutsukai Dojo Material Copyright © 2002 . It doesn't seem to have a connection with the practice. "I want to go on training in budo. but now it's much softer and more gentle. to keep learning what he's teaching now. Theory is not enough. But life is there to practice. as we call it inJapanese. " There is only one step between Ishizuka Shihan and the mastery. and since I have so many students of my own. "Some of the things I've learned from Sensei twenty years ago were very difficult for me to understand. But with the years came maturity and I've reached an understanding. Once it was much more violent and demanded endurance. only eighth dan Doron Navon from Israel has reached the understanding. But the way of thinking is still the same. so let's all enjoy it. as Hatsumi still calls him with a lot of affection.

Sensei's Online Journal Shinryu Masamitsu Toda 1. . pain. 3. Hold in your heart the importance of respect for your seniors. pleasure. Do not allow your heart to be controlled by the demands of desire. Choose the course of justice as the path of your life. 4. Know the wisdom of being patient during times of inactivity. 5. Sorrow. and resentment are natural qualities to be found in life. 2. or dependence. and pursue the literary and martial arts with balanced determination. work to cultivate an immovable spirit. therefore.

Literary and Warrior Arts "Hold in your heart the importance of family loyalty and pursue the literary and warrior arts with balanced determination." .Sensei's Online Journal Shinryuken Toda .Loyalty.

. is the difference between Bo and Senban shuriken. But then again.Shuriken Jutsu Shuriken are primarily weapons of distraction. As you go further away from the target. One such method was taught by Dave Heald (Judan Shihan) while at a course in Liphook. the shuriken is released and flies straight toward the target without a rotation (short distance). keeping your fingers upright. needing considerably less skill than bo shuriken. The shuriken should be gripped in the palm of the hand. To throw the shuriken. To be thrown to escape or to cover other actions such as a sword draw. It involved using San Shin no Kata as a throwing method and was linked to Kenjutsu. It is important not to spin the shuriken at this point. Guildford. Bo shuriken are rods with one or both ends ending in points. This may take some practice to get consistent. Senban shuriken are very easily thrown by holding it in the palm of your hand with a finger on one edge. There are several methods to throwing bo shuriken. I have learned several other methods for throwing shuriken which are also very interesting. so it sits along side the middle and index finger. I have only included bo shuriken in this essay as I consider senban shuriken very easy to throw. The shuriken is thrown by snapping the wrist forward. push your palm toward the target. just that the target tries to avoid being hit. The way described above is the way usually demonstrated by Shihan in demo's in Japan.When the arm is straigh. Perhaps the first thing that should be discussed. you compensate by throwing the shuriken harder. Further distance's are acheived by placing the shuriken point down in the palm and allowing the shuriken to rotate 180 degrees (half a turn). bringing us back to the subject that shuriken are a distraction tool. Senban shuriken are flat piece's of steel. Here are the techniques studied that day. with the hand holding the shuriken well back behind your head. as a weapon of distraction it is not important whether or not the shuriken sticks to it's target. Bo shuriken is a little harder to throw. Start a short distance from the target and stand in Doko Ichimonji no Kamae. The throwing method is the same. This method is effective upto 8-10 feet. have four points and are square shaped. upright.

As shuriken is thrown.) Tori is in Doko Ichimonji no Kamae. After shuriken is thrown. Letting go with the right hand. regrip the daito with the right hand and cut gyaku kesa giri (R-L). right hand regrips daito and cuts kesa giri (R-L). After the shuriken is released.Perform Chi no Kata . These techniques were a lot of fun to do. Don't get to hung up on making the shuriken . releasing shuriken as though striking with san shitan ken.Perform Fu no Kata. After throw the daito was regriped and tsuki at Uke. Throws multiple shuriken with right hand (any of the above methods). Release shuriken instead of striking with omote kitan ken. the left hand moves the sword out to the left. release the shuriken. Ku no Kata (Ku no Kata comprised of throwing mulitple shuriken with both right and left hands. Letting go with the right hand. Letting go with the right hand. As the shuriken is being thrown the point of the daito was lowered to the floor. thrust the daito into Uke's face while drawing the shuriken from obi at small of back.Chi no Kata Tori is in Seigan no Kamae with daito drawn. thrust the daito into Uke's face while drawing the shuriken from obi at small of back. thrust the daito into Uke's face while drawing the shuriken from obi at small of back. Sui no Kata Tori is in Seigan no Kamae with daito drawn. then throws the shuriken in the left hand ( any above method) while stepping with the left foot. with shuriken in both hands. while stepping forward with the right foot.As the right hand swings forward the left hand draws the sword to the left and behind. left hand moves daito to the left side of you head. After the shuriken is thrown right hand regrips the daito and cuts with kesa giri (R-L) Ka no Kata Tori is in Seigan no Kamae with daito drawn.Perform Ka no Kata. ) Tori is in Seigan no Kamae with daito drawn. thrust the daito into Uke's face while drawing the shuriken from obi at small of back. As right hand extends to stike ura kitan ken. As right hand throws.Perform Sui no Kata. Fu no Kata (The throwing techniques for this form was the style as described at the top of this page. Letting go with the right hand.

stick into the target. shuriken can make an excellent tool for escape. This document maintained by Webmaster. (See Hatsumi Sensei's video Togakure Ryu Ninpo Taijutsu for an excellent example. Mahoutsukai Dojo Material Copyright © 2002 . Used in conjunction with metsubushi. If uke flinches or tries to block the shuriken. then that's the opening your looking for to cut him down.

this is accomplished not only because the feet are toughened.Silent Stalker by Hatsumi Sensei This article is from Ninja magazine from December 1985. . it is called zukan no kunetsu. the ninja massage their feet by holding the first three toes and rotating them. Everyone dislikes the cold. In order to increase strength and virility. including ninpo. therefore I will discuss footwork and the background of certain techniques. Japanese socks. personally. This is essential for staying in good health as well as curing illness. Part of the technique includes rubbing the bottoms of the feet to maintain good blood pressure and a balanced nervous system. Very interesting. In any martial art. I. so even in the summer ninja wear tabi. the most important aspect is footwork. It is particularly good for the liver. In Oriental medicine. but because the ninja has learned to walk with perfect balance and lightness. The feet are the key points of the body for retaining heat and health. meaning: " Keep the head cold and the feet warm". More advanced ninja eventually learn to walk on tetsubishi (sharp-spiked caltrops) without injury. Even kunoichi (female ninja) practice this technique to ensure-good health of the whole body. this helps massage pressure points as well as toughens the bottoms of the feet. including the ninja. distributing his weight so that he barely touches the thorny caltrops. pancreas and the entire intestinal system. will always wear tabi no matter how warm the weather. Ninja will also train by walking on beans scattered on the ground. to keep the feet warm.

This is a type of thinking that is important to all martial arts: One should always be training and caring for one's self. the foot is considered the " second heart". when one "walks like a ninja". quick steps. just as walking is an everyday thing. When I heard this. It will leave little chance of your being attacked successfully. In fact. Many of them felt I walked too quickly. always train in the aspect of taijutsu (body techniques). I knew he was a good warrior. Another student. quick steps. Training is an everyday thing. When I walk my three dogs every day. and one can do it anywhere at anytime. Walking is the most important thing in one's life. However. They found it extremely difficult practising the small. You seem to be floating in the air". but I explained that in Japan. I am never pulled too fast or tripped by a tangled leash. one of my students. and to have a strong heart means to have a strong mind. that even while in Japan he always climbed stairs.Walking is an excellent exercise. even on the street for. Even classic Japanese No plays emphasise this. . making sure I take small. be conscious of walking at all times. "Sensei. It is a good lesson to learn. Two years ago I held a ninja seminar in Daytona Ohio. your feet are not touching the ground. one feels as though their feet never touch the ground. since I am always walking properly. told me that training of the legs (in his country) was essential. Walking is the basic body movement of martial arts. It is as though the ninja walks on air. walking properly also develops the mind. I know a professional gunfighter who wears gloves all the time. So. never took the elevator. occasionally we will encounter a cat or something that will excite the dogs. Most of the American students I met there seemed to walk more like "Frankensteins" than martial artists. said. When this technique of walking is mastered. a professional soldier whose nation was at war. I am always in control. When you are learning the martial arts. I walk them briskly for three hours. after observing the demonstration.

It also requires a dance-like arm movement in order to maintain balance. making you less visible to a potential attacker. The Japanese are basically agricultural land oriented people. while in the mountains. The obvious advantage of walking in numbers while on a mission is that. Ninja no shinobi kobashiri means running in small steps with the body leaning forward. These can all be developed once the basic walking technique is mastered. Sidewalking is also used while up in the trees crossing from branch to branch. and our martial arts have developed out of that tradition. Next is shizumi araki or low position walking. Whether the ninja walks alone or with others. especially at night. ninja practice walking up large plants placed at various angles. both sword and scabbard are used to maintain balance. six ears and three noses. but very defensive as well. It is important to have good feet on the ground.to hide in the grass. he and they can progress undetected if everyone walks "correctly". This is your path. increasing the incline to as much as 80 to 85 degrees in order to master the art of walking and climbing in the forest. .Side-walking (yoko aruki) ninja technique involves lowering ones center of gravity and stepping one foot over the other. you are six eyes. lest you be detected. one walks according to the environment and one's relationship to it.to hide in the rocks. After reaching the top. Training eventually advances to climbing plants or tree trunks situated at 90-degree angles. each focused in a different direction so that all areas are covered. (Moonlight can be an enemy as well as an ally. When carrying a weapon. the ninja then learn to tumble back down to their original position (kamae). sooton . Another low side-walking technique is called ninpo uzuru gakure. Often.) In Japan. In shoten no jutsu (going up to heaven). the ninja can easily move backward while facing forward simply by crossing one leg after the other. I hope these illustrations of basic footwork and ninja body movement and techniques have been helpful to you. a technique especially useful in narrow areas. when you are three ninja. and sekiton . Mokuton means to hide in the trees. It is good to start from the ground up. You must also use care when near the water or anything that might give off a reflection. In the night. the sword can be drawn and the scabbard used to " feel" what lies ahead. With a sword. In koto ryu koppojutsu (which includes side steps and other body techniques). you can see the sky between the trees. On a narrow path for example. a lower position is better. This is particularly useful when eluding an opponent's attack and positioning ones self for a counter attack. It is important to practice side-walking in different environments. the martial arts are not only "offensive orientated". when carrying a sword.

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Of course the sliding thrust is also used. Later. the shaft of the spear does not slide through the hand. shift the body with the front knee while the hands guide the point into place. etc. this little discovery led to ruling classes. The spear would dominate man's battlefields for hundreds of years. and entire social units based on control by weapons and power The discovery of copper. someone discovered just how well this principle could be applied to fighting other men even if one were not particularly hungry. .Spear and Naginata by Charles Daniel In Japanese mythology. In fact. The most basic thrust used in ninpo is somewhat different from that used in most spear styles. a spear was used to help create the nation's islands from the chaos of the primeval world This myth suggests the importance and age of this archetype weapon Undoubtedly. Still later. the spear in the form of a sharpened stick or a stick with a rock on the end was one of the very first weapons used by man or his prehuman ancestors. slave classes. iron and steel brought the spear to its maturity. bronze. Thus. In essence. Each of the individual movements have a meaning and should be understood. by beginning the the non-sliding thrust. Spearmen often use a series of thrusts and cuts in a flow of techniques. the student learns the body movement into and from the attack. the spear easily ranks as one of the most important hand-held weapons ever created With such a long history.. along with the bow and gun. from Chudan no Kamae. it is hardly surprising to find an extensive practice of sojutsu or spear art in ninpo. Also. In ninpo. hands and spear. the ease of making this weapon made it particularly appropriate for the historical ninja. This is followed by a body shift to withdraw the body. the spear is designed to let one reach one's opponent while at the same time staying far enough away to remain untouched This reach was probably first used to keep out of an animal's teeth or claws while still being able to kill one's prey. However.

this long reach has some disadvantages that may not be so apparent. the Japanese spear could deliver powerful cuts. and battles produce many broken weapons. That is. For example. they could use their spears two-handed in an underhanded fashion (back hand pushing the spear from lower than shoulder height). Unlike a bo or club. this combination of hitting and thrusting is necessary because a simple thrust is easy for an opponent to counter. and could be used to pierce armour. the spear's reach may actually get in the spearman's way. since the Japanese saw war as a place to win glory through man-to-man fighting. Since the spear is mostly a battlefield weapon. Also. the ninja spear took a form all its own. their use of the spear was oriented toward the individual man instead of toward fighting in group formation. Hatsumi. This meant that each man had more freedom of movement to use his weapon. This spear is approximately seven to eight feet in length and light in weight. it is much like a rokushaku bo with a blade attached to one end. The Japanese formation was much looser than the formations used in Europe. if one is standing in a narrow hallway. In other parts of the world. the first spears used by the ninja were knives tied onto long poles. In Japan. thus suited only for thrusting and hitting According to Dr. The similarity between the rokushaku bo and the spear is another aspect of the technique overlap mentioned earlier. As time went by. According to Dr. However. First . a student must take several points into consideration. Often a metal end piece is attached to the other end of the shaft. the spear was used one-handed in an over handed thrust so as to reach over the opponent's shield. . A second reason Japanese spear use is unique is tied into the battle formations used.since the Japanese never really developed the shield. In fact. Then one finds oneself armed with two half-spears (hanbo). which must land with a good amount of force to cause damage. Hatsumi. With a steel tip and a long reach. inside a boat. the Japanese spear took on a unique appearance and application. which work very well in cramped quarters. techniques learned with a bo apply to fighting with a spear and lessons learned with a hanbo would apply to both. the hanbo could be considered a broken spear. or worse yet. over the centuries. The reach advantage of a spear is obvious. Because of it's blade type and design. which is generally longer (nine feet to eighteen feet) and heavier. This contrasts with the samurai spear. the spear is extremely lethal.It is not known exactly when the spear was first used in Japan. In training with a spear. Technique overlapping is important in ninpo. spears were generally as sharp as swords. There are two major reasons for the unique qualities of these spears. here is an example of a basic cutting technique. However. One solution is simply to break one's own spear under one's foot. a light tap from a spearhead can disable an opponent. A short straight-bladed spear is used in basic training.

The flat portion of the blade was also used. Because of its long handler the naginata could reach down to the opponent's legs or upward toward an enemy mounted on a horse. Despite all its advantages. the ninja's naginata was a little smaller than normal and the tang (blade shaft) inside the handle was longer. According to Dr. it did have many advantages when used in formation on a battlefield. Another interesting problem for a spearman is what to do if someone gets hold of one's spear. This is a "pawn's" weapon. The easiest method to deal with a grabbing technique-was to use unarmed spear disarms in reverse. The butt of the naginata's handle was used to parry and strike. Contrary to popular belief. when one actually encouraged his opponent to grab his spear and then took advantage of a weak point shown by his opponent. the naginata was generally the weapon of first choice. then the swordsman could resort to a number of spear-breaking techniques. . The spearman had a number of ways-to counter these tactics. This would immobilize the spear just long enough for the swordsman to deliver a cut or thrust. This principle was often used by swordsmen to defeat spearmen. The swordsman would parry the spearman's thrust and then quickly grab the spear handle behind the spearhead.From Jodan no Kamae. when one's spear was grabbed. While both the spear and naginata are bladed. These actions could be done without exposing the weak points that would be revealed if the same were tried with a sword. While the naginata did not require the same degree and type of dexterity as a spear. used by men expecting to see the most fighting and thus with little chance of surviving. Because of the amount of point control required to use the spear. while a cut is not so easy to deal with. Thus. the naginata was not used in an unending series of spinning cuts. It is common knowledge among most experienced weapons exponents that a thrust can be parried with very little force. a wide arching cut from a naginata could cut down two or three men with one blow. The ninja modified the classical Japanese naginata to fit their own needs. Whereas a spear thrust would generally strike down only one enemy at a time. The historical use of the naginata more closely resembled the use of a long-handled sword. the spear was not a weapon for everyone. rotates. If the spear was extremely long. one simply retreated a step or otherwise avoided his opponent's sword while at the same time using a disarm technique. Hatsumi. This technique was often used with kyojutsutenkan. This is one reason the ninja used such a bewildering combination of cuts and thrusts in their-spear method. The body is then shifted the left hand releases the and the left hand grasps the spear while the right hand shaft to make the cut. it's important to know the proper use of the other end of the shaft.

Then a circular motion is used to disarm the swords man so he can be finished with a sweeping cut. Mahoutsukai Dojo Material Copyright © 2002 . .In this example of naginata against sword. This document maintained by Webmaster.the end of the naginata blade is used to parry the sword cut to the head.

Words in italics and red are my comments In the ever-changing world of martial arts. costumes and styles seem to do a neverending dance to stay at the top. Mace and even cords have been promoted by various writers and practitioners as "ultimate weapons for defense. . . have not and will not go away. In the 50's it was judo. .Ninja Special . if one is practicing a type of martial art that is not necessarily meant to be for self defense. in all their various forms. even here under all the flash and show that has surrounded ninjutsu. Anyone who claims to be teaching self defense without taking guns into account not only looks a little strange. What would you call a fad that has been the basis for movies. Weapons such as sticks. weapons.Spring 1987 Taijutsu & Pistol Craft Not a lot of call for this in the UK. there is a form of martial art that has its own unique methods of dealing with some of the age-old problems of self defense. but is probably dealing with less than a full deck. Guns. However. knives. novels and even toys. but still interesting.Ninja Weapons & Battle Strategy . Of course. " While all of these methods and tools can find a place within a person's defensive armor. then guns are rather beside the point. Craze? Well yes. none of them carry the deadly weight that guns do. in the 60's it was karate and later the kung-fu explosion took place which was eventually followed by the current ninjutsu craze.

the handgunner draws (5) and fires as soon as his weapon points at the target (6). After taking these simple facts into account. one often stays close to the ground. people do" contingent stands its ground. Arts such as judo. like most serious subjects. It should be further noted that many of the seemingly strict rules that some schools have are not empty exercises devoid of meaning. On one side are the "ban all guns" people while on the other the "guns don't kill people. kendo and many styles of karate are intended for sporting contests. From the same kneeling position (4). there are just no simple answers . the swordsman rises and draws (2) to make a horizontal cut (3). there would still be untold number of guns (and reloading equipment. The same motion and visual technique can be used at night with a handgun. the number of crimes involving firearms is very low. From a kneeling posture (1). It should also be noted that just because a martial art does not take self defense as its central theme does not in any way devalue that art.) . The martial arts demand a balance of the concepts of "martial" and "art". that guns were never widely available in thesc countries and the number of available units is extremely low. The entire subject of guns is surrounded by emotional extremes. students are required to make an indepth study of the ideas and values of their school's (and its nation of origin's) history and culture. Not only does such study enlighten the student to the conditions under which the art developed. but in fact are very rational methods of insuring the safety of all the people training in it. This technique is very useful at night when one can silhouette his opponent against the sky. Many gun control advocates like to point out that in countries such as Japan and West Germany where guns are strictly controlled. in many dojos. guns have been a way of life for a long time and even if their production was halted this instant. such arts as classical swordsmanship are practiced first and foremost as a link to that country's past. In America. gun control would seem to be as tall an order as balancing the Federal budget.In Japanese sword technique. The purpose of any martial art must be clear before it is possible to say anything at all about the role played by such modern weapons as guns within that art. An objective view of guns is difficult to obtain and. while tai-chi-chuan is normally practiced for its health benefits. non-self defense) arts make up an important segment of the giant subculture known as the martial arts. but it also helps balance the student's development as a person. already in circulation and readily available. InJapan. The various non-gun (that is. They seem to overlook. however. This is one reason that.

to "half-shoot" someone. the author steps forward and brings up the pistol naturally(5) and makes the shot as soon as the hand points at the target(6). kill people. however. If the author's rather quick discussion of the gun control controversy would seem to label him a gun advocate. is that there is no "less than full-power technique.There is no pause to site the weapon. guns are very easy to use in this "heat of the moment. in fact. the author steps forward and brings his right hand forward (2) as the other moves back into chamber. Unlike swords. The problem with any type of gun. With the pistol at his side(4). Also. Any police officer who has ever walked a beat will tell you that guns do. be it a low caliber handgun or a high powered rifle. which generally kill exactly who they are supposed to. It is very difficult. . " is just as untrue and unrealistic as the "ban all guns" platform. then there would be no need to train military personnel in the skills of unarmed combat. If this were the case. Anyone claiming that murders would be committed with some other weapon if guns were not available seems to accept that thc ability to kill at close range with a knife or bare hands is natural to the human animal. From a ready posture (1).(3). " or when the user is totally drugged or drunk. This has a lot to do with the reasoning behind the European knights and the Japanese samurais' hatred of firearms. guns have a bad habit of killing anyone unlucky enough to be standing in the wrong place when the thing goes off. For example: With a stick it is possible to convince someone to cease their assault without creating various and sundry leaks in their anatomy. . . The same motion can be used to train in instinctive shooting. As far as the harmlessness of the gun is concerned. the number of killings involving firearms would seem to show that the gun is always the weapon of choice. The statement that "guns don't kill people.The natural motion of sunshi no ski (typo ?? Sanshin no Kata/Chi no Kata) is used to throw an emppty hand strike. then the other position should be examined first.

If one tries a disarm when the gunman is unsure of his intentions. . that some gun related skills will forever be beyond the abilities of many martial artists. It should be realized.Working in a controlled atmosphere where a mistake is "okay" is one thingfacing the business end of a loaded gun is something entirely different. however. Attempting to disarm someone with a gun is something. that should be tried only if one is certain that they will be shot whether or not the attempt is made. These techniques are not impossible but are highly doubtful for the majority of martial artists. In this case there is little to lose. For the purposes of this article. Probably the best thing one can do is to find their own position on the question and train accordingly . some things can be said about the approach to gun techniques and how these techniques relate to martial arts in general and unarmed techniques in particular. however. Performing techniques that involve the disarming of a gun wielding attacker is equal in difficultly to disarming a skilled swordsman.The point of the above statements is to emphasize just how difficult the entire gun question is to the martial artist. then he will help his assailant decide what to do (generally to start shooting) rather quickly. most experts agree. we will not be discussing gun disarms.

Shooting should be practiced in such a way as to incorporate as many different motions as possible rolling. (Author's note: This is not unlike the martial arts supply business which needs a regular change in fashion to help keep themselves " in the black " . there is rarely time to bother with sighting-this type of shooting is very similar in terms of body dynamics to throwing a punch or a knife. At close range with a handgun. handguns are best for close range use such as inside the home or under conditions which require that the firearm be carried concealed or " out of the way . there has been a growing controversy over the relative stopping power of various handguns. This type of shooting is practiced by first shooting at targets set at very close ranges and then moving the targets back as the shooter develops skill and confidence. regardless of the type of weapon they are using. the whole issue has little to do with the martial artist. It should be noted that the people who profit most from the "stopping power" issue are the gun manufacturers. the air pistol will shoot straight enough to polish one's skills without attracting the attention of the local authorities. In very general terms. . For training purposes a common BB air pistol can be used because. at the ranges in which a handgun is most likely to be used.) In terms of training. and shotguns are best used for even different situations. In the last few years. as a shooter will need to become accustomed to noise and recoil. and while much of this makes for some interesting reading (and some rather silly movies where the caliber of the hero's handgun is more the focus than the storyline).Before even beginning to look at the relationship between guns and other elements of the martial arts. Handguns were designed to fill a very different need than rifles. " Evidence collected by a variety of agencies indicates that the majority of handgun firefights take place at a distance of under 21 feet. The major concern of anyone who trains with a handgun should be their skill at hitting the target. most martial artists would probably be best advised to learn what is called " instinctive shooting". which involves being able to hit a target without taking the time to use the weapon's sights. dropping and even jumping should be practiced. Experience with live weapons is essential. it is important to be clear on what any particular firearm is intended for. however. Knowing the difference between cover (something one can hide behind without having to worry about getting shot through it) and concealment (which will hide you but provides no protection) is of little use if one is too slow to get behind the stuff.

then the best place to start would be at the local police station to learn about local laws and inquire as to where quality training can be obtained. a number of gun owners have been shot with their own weapons and innocents are sometimes killed by accidental discharges or simple bad aim. If this is not possible and one still has an interest. the recoil and noise of these weapons combined with the fact that they are unconcealable would eliminate them as a general purpose self defense weapon. rifles also have little to offer the martial artist These weapons have a much longer range than the other weapons mentioned in this article and is one reason why they are so closely associated with basic military training and not personal defense. As can be deduced from this article.In the realm of weapons such as shotguns and submachine guns. Shotguns are probably best left to hunters or in the home as a defense against intruders. While it may be appealing to tell your friends about the great weapon you have at home that just happens to be illegal it is doubtful that this will be very impressive when you end up in a jail cell. Outside of hunting. training should be approched with this in mind. a few words should be said. if one is determined to learn to use and carry a gun. however. Now there are a number of readers who will say that the historical ninja had little regard for the law.The answers to this difficult dilemma are as varied as the personalities addressing it. The idea that one can simply point one of these weapons in the general direction of their target and hit it every time is a myth founded on so many stupid movies Shotguns are dangerous at close quarters (What gun isn't) but they hardly deserve the reputation they have been given of being easily handled and wielded by all. Also. but these individuals should remember that the historical ninja operated under conditions of war where the rule book is always the first thing to be thrown out the window. then local hunting clubs or even the armed forces are places where such information can be found Firearms training is a martial art like any other but has an added lethal twist because there is no "half way technique". In today's world any writer claiming that ninjutsu practitioners don't have to follow the dictates of society should be locked away with the rest of the world's dangerously deranged. by Federal law totally illegal for the private citizen to own. the entire subject of guns is difficult to address when relating them to the martial arts The positive side is the firearm's ability to t make people "even" in term of strength.Most importantly. The case of submachine guns is fairly simple to address. The care that should be . For the average person. guns donh get tired and are not effected by a person's health or age the way that martial arts skills can be on the negative side. they are.

Mahoutsukai Dojo Material Copyright © 2002 . In this case. rocks or gravel to the target. From the ready position (1) the author snaps his arm out (2&3) sending the blinding powder. Starting with the gun pointed upward next to the ear(4). but quite another when the punch is measured by caliber. never be taken lightly.Its one thing to hit a training partner with a stray punch where an "I'm Sorry' ' and a band-aid will suffice. This document maintained by Webmaster. It should be noted that this technique is very useful wheb one has to approach and fire around a corner. the gun is brought downward(5) and brought in line with the target (6).exercised when training and practicing with guns can not be overemphasized and should never. both hands are used to aim the weapon with the left hand rising to meet the right as it points to the target. The throwing motion used to disperse blinding powder can also be used with a handgun.



is caring for one's own life. What one should have in mind. a cutting action is attempted by an opponent. This is applicable to any martial system. "never surprised". Even the bad intentioned ninja would be banished. first of all. is needed in order to prevent accidents. you should not be surprised by any kind of happening. However. After that. Now. or natural catastrophes take place. 'Banpen' means "change" and "Fugyo". I dedicate some time to painting and writing. this is common sense. Due to the impetuousness of the youth I made lots of errors until the age of forty. Health. you should never feel such a thing as surprise. every morning I massage myseIf using an ice cold towel and go with my dog for a walk. both physical and spiritual. Those who are evil minded will always do bad things. Whether a change in the divine process occurs.Sensei's Online Journal Takamatsu Sensei on Banpen Fugyo No one possesses the knowledge concerning the events of tomorrow. . This is the spirit of Banpenfugyo. This means that we do not know when our life will cease.

. not the strength of the legs. and you cut off his life" . Let him cut your flesh." "The heart of taijutsu is important and only through training will one polish that heart (like a gem) and understand true taijutsu. and deeper in significance than the simple outwitting of an enemy. surviving and prevailing over all that would destroy him." "The true value of budo is to train the mind to see clearly and maintain spiritual strength. and you cut his flesh.Sensei's Online Journal Takamatsu Sensei Quotes. and you cut his bones." "The way of the martial artist is the way of enduring. "Being natural is the ultimate secret of our art. More than delivering strikes and slashes. Let him cut your bones. The skill of the Ninja is the art of winning. Ninpô is the way of attaining that which we need while making the world a better place." "For taijutsu." "Let him cut your skin. the flexibility of the legs is the most important factor..

Sensei's Online Journal Takamatsu Sensei's Artful Words These items below are taken from artwork by Takamatsu Toshitsugu.." . and share it with the world: 1. "How difficult is life when one is not surprised by anything and laughing everyday. It was his idea to express his understanding of the martial arts through another art medium. One who can do this is a true ninja. "The ninja's body is to nurture one's mind and to train the body to endure to the end.." 2.

it is important that all people. more peaceful community of free nations. This should not be happening. The article is very good. In the wake of recent terrorist attacks that took the lives of many innocent people and left scores of others wounded. as well as the possibiltiy of their becoming of immense service to the governments of free nations in their war against terrorism. Incidents like the seajacking of the luxury liner Achille Lauro and the brutal murder of Leon Klinghoffer. and there is much that can be done to prevent it.Ninjutsu v's Terrorism This article from a 1986 issue ran with this unfortunate title. For the most part. A recent question-and-answer exchange with Dr. accompanied by some excellent photo's. HATSUMI : It is of course a great pity and very sad that innocent unarmed people are being terrorized and killed by fanatics. Dr Hatsumi spoke of the problems facing the Ninja today. Too many people have the misconception that ninja were nothing more than hired assassins. Long a stalwart advocate of more widespread instruction in the psychological aspects of ninpo. understand how ninpo can be practically applied to make this world a safer. 34th grandmaster of Togakure ryu ninjutsu revealed similar sentiments on his part. the erroneous labeling of them as hired assassins. Hatsumi was quick to clarify misconceptions many people have regarding ninja: their often linking the ninja with guerrilla-like attacks and bloody revolution. NINJA : How can training in ninjutsu help guard against terrorist attacks? DR. cutthroats and cowards who sneak up on targets in the dead of night to kill. unfortunately. not only those who currently study the martial arts. ninpo has many modern applications that the public at large and government officials as well should be aware of. Dr. Even though it is an ancient art. this is not true . one of its passengers. I just wish we didn't have to put up with this kind of sensationalism. it seems an appropriate time to discuss how the ancient science of ninpo can be useful in society today. In some people's minds. With cowardly acts of this kind becoming more and more frequent the world over. maim or mutilate. the senseless slaughter of innocent bystanders at the Rome and Vienna airports ( to name just two of the more recent terrorist activities at this writing) will continue to grow worse in intensity. Masaaki Hatsumi. ninja and terrorist seem to be one and the same. more widespread geographically and more prevalent unless something is done about it. In a general give and take interveiw.

at all. Unfortunately.and still emphasize . Their government. not the United States. there were surprise attacks.) I think we are far behind the Russians in this area. yes. not only techniques. but they are there as private citizens. says Dr. I would train people in the very same way ninja are trained. This is why we in ninjutsu teach psychology. without a doubt. as they did centuries ago. you know what he will or intends to do. why we insist the student learn as much as possible-about other cultures and not just fighting techniques. Hatsumi. For instance. to teach for the goal of world peace. I think we are losing the fight in the area of psychological warfare. The practice of ninjutsu's weaponry. it was always warrior against warrior. In the long and honorable history of ninpo. True. I would be very glad to offer my services. It is something I would welcome. NINJA: Do you think it would be advisable for American intelligence and other organizations like the Secret Service to send people to Japan to study ninjutsu? DR. By knowing the enemy you know what he is capable of and what he probably will do. As a ninja. few people recognize this. but so far. ninja live by a very strict moral code (which we have discussed in depth at other times). It would be of great help to them. Some European nations have sent special agents (to learn). . HATSUMI: oh. through them. Because with these methods you can win without fighting. techniques and especially its philosophies could be instrumental in alleviating the world's terrorist threat. I would not only train the people on our side.) Today. This is part of the science of ninpo. An extremely important. I think it would be better if they were sent by their government on an official basis.training along these lines. Infiltration and information-gathering. to thwart or prevent his plans from being carried out. utilizing disguises and psychological warfare were just as important to the ancient ninja as learning fighting techniques. you can win by knowing the enemy and out-smarting him. if you have gathered the right information. (More times than you can imagine. would learn much more than they can imagine. but always against other warriors. yet often unknown part of ninpo is knowing the enemy. but recruit people from the other (enemy's) side. The ninja had . you then have the means to stop him. (There were never heinous attacks against civilians and innocents. it is better to fight with words than with swords. Ninjutsu is very much an art and a science. history. Knowing that. Right now I have a few American military officers at my dojo. but also ninja psychology. if I were someone who had a say in the operation of the CIA. and instruction in it would be of immense value. or had some kind of role leading those who fight against terrorists. America and other free countries must also learn to fight with words . recruit spies to infiltrate and gather information.as the Russians do with their propaganda.

so does the military. They have never spent time in Japan. especially with younger people. NINJA: How can this trend toward commercialism be changed? DR. DR. Just teaching technique is wrong. through films and magazines. NINJA: so you feel that philosophy as the basis of any martial art is highly important. This will also help people deal with the problems of daily life. with well-trained instructors? DR. say. There are a lot of schools. Once on the force they continue to study and move up in rank as they gain more skills. HATSUMI: Well. Also. You have seen the whole forest. This is one of my major goals. all of my students have legitimate schools. as do many organizations. This type of training can help bring peace because when you are strong and understanding you are at peace. Philosophy is most important in learning ninjutsu. In New York as I understand it. But not everyone can be ninja. Before someone can even join the police force they must have had training in judo and kendo and other martial arts. are becoming increasingly popular. some people start teaching ninja techniques just after reading my books. American karate and other martial arts schools are going very much commercial. I also plan to send teachers to other parts of the world. That's okay by me (people can call themselves whatever they want). To be ninja you must see the whole thing. and that is a problem. the technique is only one tree.NINJA: The martial arts. but they go too far and spoil the whole thing because they do not have the philosophy. I am trying now to work out a plan that will allow me to send 20 or so instructors to the United States in the next couple of years to teach and help bring about a better understanding of ninpo. But it is a long process. If someone is only teaching technique he is not ninja. Of course. Anyone can learn technique and how to fight and defend themselves. the best way is to study with our school or with a student who has come here (to Japan). they take anyone (whether they have martial arts training or not) and merely . NINJA: Do police departments ln Japan train their recruits in the martial arts? And do you think it would be a good idea. There are many of them. That takes an understanding of the whole history and science of ninpo. but others just call themselves ninja. Do you think the martial arts are being taught properly here. HATSUMI: Absolutely. for the New York Police Department to train their recruits in such a manner? DR. HATSUMI: In my opinion. HATSUMI: The Tokyo Police Department has a ninja club.

but things should change. You can't just believe in arms . It would make life safer and more peaceful for everyone. is not officially one of them. (Editor's Note: Actually.which seems to be the American philosophy. however.instruct them in the use of guns and clubs. NYPD recruits are instructed in the martial arts as part of their training process. There is much more to ninpo than that. This document maintained by Webmaster. Ninjutsu. They would be much more effective with training in ninjutsu.) It is a different philosophy (in New York). Mahoutsukai Dojo Material Copyright © 2002 .

Tessen Jutsu
by Charles

- The iron fan blows a deadly br

Anyone who is not familiar with the wide variety of Japanese martial arts cannot help but to be surprised number of weapons and fighting systems that have been developed by that island nation. In addition to th more recognised arts of the sword, spear and bow, the Japanese have a bewildering collection of 'minor' m arts that evolved to fill limited but very important needs. Such arts as shuriken jutsu (throwing blades), ku gama (chain weapons) and fukabari ( needles and darts blown either from the mouth or through a tube) w developed and deeply studied. Later, some of these arts became highly evolved and achieved the staus of independent arts in their own right. One such art is that of tessen jutsu or the art of the iron fan.

Attacked with a downward cut, the defender sidesteps and jams the end of the tessen into the attackers hands

He then pushes th attacker around...

for a takedown kick to the leg....

so as to finish a blow to the h

The history of the iron fan is uncertain, but it is fairly safe to say that the fan as a weapon received more s in Japan than in any other country. (The only other country that could even come into consideration woul China, but information on Chinese fan technique is very limited and has no real historical basis that can b verified). Regardless of the weapons exact origins, it is certain that by the warring states period, the tessa a part of many warriors equipment. In pictures of the battle of Ichino-Tani, Kumagai no Jiro Naozane is s using a war fan. Later illustrations , such as that of the fourteenth century warrior Masashige Kusunoki, a show the use of the tessen in battle.

In the beginning the tessen was the property of the upper class and members of the court - this was also th case in China. It is interesting that the first fans were very large and were often carried by attendants. A d cousin of the fan was also seen in the giant fan-like banners that were carried into battle to help mark off sides were fighting for which leader. In this respect, these banners (in Japanese uma-shirushi) were used m like flags. Another relative of the war fan was the saihai which may have had it's origins in the Buddhist f whisk. These whisks were used to shoo away insects so that a monk or priest would not have to break the Buddhisy law by taking a living things life ( a law that would be broken even by swotting a fly). The saih were usually wooden handles with paper or cloth attached at one end so as to make a small and lightweig whip. Later, someone must have realised that the very same instrument would be a very effective club if a weight was added to the handle. Such weight could be added by simply using iron instead of wood for constructing the handle portion of the whisk. These, once made, were used as symbols of office and, beca of their weight, could be used to make orders clear to some of the more slow witted men under a warlord command. They were also unquestionably used to settle some of those minor disagreements that comman officers sometimes have. Even a stubborn samurai could often understand a point when it was emphasize with a pat on the head from an iron club. The tessen can be used against armed or unarmed opponents. Against a straight punch, the defender sidesteps and catches the incoming arm between his thumb and the tessen

The pain caused this action cause attacker to pull h arm back. The defender follows strikes the attack the head with an elbow

and then takes him to the ground for controlling

The advent of the folding tessen marked the rise of tessen jutsu. Although fairly small and thus limited in reach, the folding tessen (and the iron fans that were actually solid but looked just like the folding variety the advantage that it could be carried in many places where even a short sword could not. It should be remembered that it was not uncommon for samurai to be "permitted" (that's Japanese for "you have to") t leave their long swords at the door when visiting. Sometimes this custom was extended to include the sho sword as well. If there is one condition that a rational man wants to avoid when in a dangerous situation i that of being unarmed (especially when everyone else is probably armed). In such a situation, the tessen c be a real life saver. Although fairly short, these fans could be used to parry sword cuts and thrusts and to discouraging counter - attacks. This was particularly the case in very close quarters because the fan's ligh weight (compared to swords) made it an extremely fast weapon. It should be noted that a number of Japa famous swordsmen often used fans when challenged because it gave them the option of sparing their opponent's life while at the same time showing the challenger that he would be better off arranging flowe involving himself in some other harmless pastime. To gain some perspective on this, one only has to visu themselves confronted with a trained samurai armed with a sword and then complete the picture by armin themselves with only an iron fan that is maybe eighteen inches long. The famous Ittosai once fought a Ch martial artist who was armed with a halberd (battle ax) using only a fan. Ittosai defeated the Chinese with even injuring him. Today, the art of tessen is rarely practiced. It is studied in some of the ko?ryu (old sword schools) and in ninjutsu?ryu. It should be noted however that the Japanese sport of taihojutsu does make use of a short st weapon that is identical in length and similar in application to the tessen A technical improvement over the tessen was the jutte. These two weapons were used in much the same amnner. As the attacker makes a downward cut, the sword is caught by dropping low and bringing the jutte up.

The jutt then slamme the swo hilt

..which is followed by a combination elbow and knee... to drop t opponen This document maintained by We Mahoutsukai Dojo Material Copyrigh .

a real sword was used. In the dojo. the first non Japanese to learn Togakure Ryu ninjutsu. and then. was about to go through the "Test of Truth". Dr. In ancient days. Masaaki Hatsumi. The Test of Truth. "Doron?kun. without warning. Today a bokken (wooden sword) is used. one of the master teachers of the ancient art of ninjutsu. If the student could sense the sword coming and elude it. surround the house in Matsubushi Mura. The Grandmaster. " he orders his Israeli student. some even three times before gaining acceptance onto that hallowed level of achievement. . The student sits in seiza with his back to the grandmaster. The others. at the house. .Test of Truth TO PASS IT THE NINJA MUST GIVE HIMSELF UP! By Ilan Gattegno A narrow path leads from the main road to the house of Tanemura Shihan. that whoever passes it receives the 5th dan (godan) rank in ninjutsu. Only a split second separates the student and the deadly blow. and the student's head is uncovered. have felt the sword once. . it is alleged. Doron Navon. "Sit in front of me. The senior students were alert. The grandmaster raises his sword above his own head. All of them had at one time or another been through the same test. only five of Hatsumi Sensei's students had passed the test on their first attempt. some of the most prestigious names in modern ninjutsu. differs from tests of similar rank in most other martial arts. Until this particular evening. twice. all of a sudden. takes a sword that hangs on the wall. hushed. cut not long ago. all are silent. Rice fields. also few. he made godan. but the blow is horribly painful nonetheless. a village only two hours away from Tokyo." Everyone knew what was going to happen. strikes swiftly at the head of his student. About 10 of Hatsumi Sensei's top students were at the dojo. If not .

A lost son had come back. as if to make sure it really was Doron. Japan. It looked as if nothing had changed for nine years. "Doron?than. There was an awful lot to remember. the urge to return became stronger.This was the first time in which a non Japanese would be tested. "Doron?than has arrived. "Hai. And then one day in October 1983. "Sensei?" The question barely touched the air and Hatsumi Masaaki was already at the door." Like a storm she came from their living quarters on the second floor. Doron and I went to Hatsumi Sensei's house. Doron and I were soon on our way back to his ninjutsu roots. Hatsumi Sensei smiled at the scene. The five shihan (master teachers) knew Doron well. With no further small talk. People were on their way home after a day's work. only a 10?minute walk from the train station. who had just arrived from the other side of the globe. She came to embrace him. He had not told Hatsumi Sensei we were coming. six with Hatsumi Sensei. It was evening time in Noda city. " he called to his wife Mariko?san. just off the main street. " she cried. For Hatsumi Sensei it was not as if nine years had passed. but only one day. to reflect and absorb the immense wealth of knowledge Hatsumi Senses had bestowed on him. "Oksan. after eight years in Japan. The sliding door was open. he had been their training companion nine years before. she just shook his hands continuously. At that time. He looked at his Israeli student. looking at him. unable to hold back her tears of joy. Doron returned to his hometown in Israel and opened his own dojo. Chiba prefecture. He still continued to study and practice. almost unbearable. We simply arrived one day at his house. He was very happy.) He looked at his visitors. " (Yes. he went straight ahead leading a conversation that was cut years ago. however. The bicycles were parked outside. A few pairs of shoes. as if it was natural for him to come like that. For him nothing was really strange about a son returning home . A few pairs of slippers on the right. but a bit shy.

They were the first non Japanese to become regular students in the Bujin Kan Dojo. Most were kept secret and taught only on a person?to?person level. foreigners). There were five senior students at the dojo. and they were so different from anything I'd seen before. He gave a sign and two of them stopped what they were doing and came to welcome us. `Hello'. and asked him whether we could get in and join the training session. seeing two gai jin (nonJapanese. after two years in Japan. He showed me some. all wearing black belts on black gis. Only when Hatsumi saw they were serious students did he begin to reveal the real art to them. They came. They understood it was a world they never knew before. the real Budo. It was an unforgetable welcome. he said to us." Danny and Doron went straight to Noda city and arrived at the house. One day my friend Danny told me he had seen this master who used vicious techniques. but none of those had become real ninjutsu students. "The door was open but we knocked anyway.after years of absence. But this was not play. arm locks. A few westerners had visited Hatsumi before them. The two Israeli guests received a personal treatment which left marks on them for many days later. Doron had recalled for me his first meeting with Hatsumi Sensei in the early `60s. body breaks. "while we attended the Kodokan for judo training. I urged him to take me there the same evening. and each time they tried to resist. I remember every minute from that moment on. In classes they worked on the basic movements. On their way back home later that evening. He didn't say yes or no. Hatsumi Sensei was at the saki period of his training. there was a countermove ready for them to hurt even more. We already spoke Japanese. but showed us the way in. arm breaks. At first they were carefully looked at. "We heard about him. they licked their wounds. True knowledge was not given away easily." he said. ready to be used on the third level. and Hatsumi Masaaki admitted them to his school. A student at that time had to know before . but the next day they came again. using killing techniques more than anything else. Only a few advanced techniques were used. The two senior students played with them as if they were dolls. were persistent. the kihon happo: Drills of kicks and blocks and punches. Each minute for each pain. The ominous swords just hung there on the wall.

now that he was . Injuries were very common. each of them teaching me something different. "One day I broke my tailbone. He called me up front to test me for my nidan. But we had to do our best fighting. But soon enough a group of devoted students became a nucleus of the Israeli Ninja school. They had to cope with training in a very similar way to the saki time Doron had been through in Japan. "I was training for six to eight hours a day. not pretending to be something I'm not. After each lesson I went to train with one of the shihans. practicing and teaching. The first Israeli students that joined Doron's dojo were not the most lucky. He always tested us the moment we were not ready for it. moving with the rhythm of life. A real martial artist must know himself in order to see life in a clear way." recalls Doron. One day I felt I'd had enough. "I was really crazy at the time." says Doron." says Doron. "Life is a continuous and changing thing and I must keep on going. and I kept coming to class. Some of them eventually went to Japan to train with Hatsumi Sensei and the shihan master teachers of Togakure Ryu. a second time with my tailbone broken. but still there was this commitment in the air and the techniques were executed almost to the full. "But Hatsumi thought my injury was a good opportunity. Nobody died. My body was a wreck from all those unavoidable injuries and my mind was full of so many techniques that I had to stop." The way for Doron. The art was all in his head but he needed more practice to refine the movements and the ideas. I had a high temperature. demonstrating our abilities with all the inconveniences. Hatsumi Sensei was teaching me as much as I could absorb. "But I didn't stop training. Doron received his yondan rank and a teaching permit. Once. "The most important thing for me is to keep on learning. a third time when I had a cast on my left hand after I broke my arm the previous lesson.he entered the class that? training might also mean death. It was always like this." In 1974. with a pillow tied to my behind. He then returned to Israel and started his own dojo. after eight years in Japan. Everybody thought it was so funny. To sum it all up.

back with Hatsumi Sensei, seemed clear enough. Hatsumi, however, had a surprise in store for him. He quickly arranged a "small gathering . . . just for old times' sake" with Doron's companions of years ago. Perhaps they would "practice a little. . . " Hatsumi smiled. Moments later we were on our way to Tanemura Shihan's house. Once there, there was much greeting and handshaking all around, and the recalling of many wonderful memories. And then Hatsumi Sensei suddenly turned to Doron and asked, "Do you want to take your godan exam?" Doron was momentarily flustered, so totally unexpected was the question. But then he composed himself, shrugged and smiled, "Why not?" Ordinarily a non?student would not be allowed to witness this very private ceremonious event; but since I was Doron's student and had traveled with him all the way from Israel, Hatsumi Sensei made the exception. I sat quietly down in a corner, excited, yet restrained, perhaps a little nervous. It seemed that history of a sort was in the making. Hatsumi softly instructed Doron to sit in seiza, then stepped behind him. In an instant Doron jumped up, still a little flustered, perhaps just a little nervous himself. Hatsumi laughed and said, "But I haven't even started yet." And then Doron sat down again and relaxed, his body slowly unwinding, untensing, letting go . . . . Hatsumi stood ready, his sword upraised, his eyes closed. Doron sat at his feet, his back to him, motionless, waiting. Suddenly Hatsumi stroked. The sword sped down toward Doron's head. In the same instant, it was as if someone had pulled Doron aside. He rolled to his right and the sword sliced past, reaching the point where Doron's stomach had been only a moment before. Hatsumi's eyes were still closed. He affirmed his hold on the sword and opened his eyes. "Hai!" (Yes!), he said. "Godan. " (Fifth dan) . I was sitting in the corner not believing my own eyes. Hatsumi Sensei turned to me, pointed at Doron, and said: "Mites!" (You saw that!). "Now tell everybody." Doron's Japanese friends could not contain their joy. They rushed to him, shook his hand warmly, excitedly, laughing and shouting. There was no denying how happy they were for him. Doron himself hadn't yet realized what he'd just been through. Only a few days later did he understand the significance of his personal achievement. Hatsumi Sensei presented him with a gold medal he had prepared many years ago

to award the first non Japanese student who could pass the test on his first attempt. It had taken more than five years to give the medal away. "Homono?Shidoshi," Hatsumi Sensei called him. A true teacher; a title that accompanies the test and the new rank outside Japan. Doron Navon is the first, and so far, the only non Japanese to hold it. He has since earned his rokudan, the highest rank in the West and, as he puts it, "this is only the beginning." Even in Japan there are only a few Homono?Shidoshi. Since the late 1960s, when the art of ninjutsu came out of the shadows, there have not been that many who came to study the art with total commitment and full dedication. The study of ninjutsu requires many, many years of hard work; training and more training, over and over again. Grandmaster Hatsumi says it took him some 40 years to acquire the ability he has now; and he still keeps going. At 56, Hatsumi Sensei doesn't rely on strength and muscles to get the job done. "If your technique is based on strength, some day a young bull will come and beat you with fresh muscles," he says. The art that Hatsumi Sensei practices has a character of "no power". The nagare (flow) of his movement has no resistance whatever. "If you feel you use strength against your opponent," Hatsumi says, "it means you are not exercising the real art." This does not mean that Hatsumi Sensei is powerless; on the contrary: He masters the art in a way that has no rival, not even among the younger students who have practiced under him for more than 20 years. Says one ninjutsu shihan who knows Hatsumi well: "He always has another rabbit in his hat. And he also has many hats . . .

(Editor's Note:) Recently, Doron Navon stopped by our New York offices on his way to Toronto, Canada to attend a seminar. We talked about his years with Hatsumi, specifically about his "Test of Truth." Doron explained that godan is a very special stage of ninjutsu training. It is highly advanced. The first four belt levels are a significant part of the process, but they mainly emphasize the physical aspects: taijutsu, the techniques, the weapons etc. From the beginning, however, the student is evolving, always experiencing a higher level of understanding, until the senses become acute. When the instructor sees that the student is becoming more aware

of himself, his senses, his instincts, his intuition, he knows then that he is ready. Everything then culminates in the exam for godan . . . the Test of Truth." As for his own exam, Doron Navon recalled: "After I jumped up the first time, I got myself together, then sat down again in seizes. Before, I was tense, tight. This time I just let myself go, finally achieving jibun o sutera (letting go of one's self, one's ego). But the really strange thing is, I could not remember anything that happened from that moment on ? until I felt myself off to one side, looking at Hatsumi Sensei and seeing the sword passing within an inch of my body. It was as though it was all in slow motion. Of course I was told later what really had happened: that the sword was not coming down in slow motion at all; that it had looked as though I had been jerked aside by some force... But all I remember is seeing the sword passing slowly by. "What was even more interesting to me," Doron smiled, "was that Hatsumi Sensei had told the others, without my hearing it, that he `knew' I would pass the test. Even then, they all gasped in astonishment. It pleases me to know Hatsumi Sensei had that much confidence in me." Apparently it was a Test of Truth for both student and master. And both passed with flying colors.

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some people were afraid of this foreign religion. There are three popular fallacies about this combat style which often prevent it from being a positive influence in the martial arts community." Sitting in meditation or studying the scriptures for hours developed in the monks great patience. form ing the foundation upon which all of the other forms of fighting were based. First. the "principle of patience. enabling them to take appropriate countermeasures. 1 of 4 . the monks tirelessly and patiently practiced techniques of leaping and climbing. ninjutsu originated hundreds of years ago in the. More often. and they began to persecute the believers of Buddhism. and the patience they developed.Three Fallacies of Ninjutsu The Truth About the Ninja's Past by William Durbin Myths and misconceptions abound in the martial arts. The monks discovered that the subtle body-lightening skills. When Buddhism first appeared in Japan. Some of these misconceptions have been perpetuated. their intelligence gathering alerted them to assassination plots or temple assault plans. Such Dr. 2) that ninjutsu was created and developed by followers of Mikkyo Buddhism. One of the most highly valued abilities among the monks was "body lightening. The monks were particularly known for their skill with weapons such as the naginata (halberd). the more if ninjutsu is kept from proceeding out of the shadows from which it originated. it is possible to debunk them and discover the truth about this centuries-old martial art. which came to be called Shinto. yari (spear) and ono (battleax). using a specialized art based on a religious concept called ninpo. Most of these individuals followed the indigenous faith. by those who promote and teach the art. especially when dealing with the mysterious Japanese. the Buddhist monks began to develop martial skills for the purpose of defending their temples and their faith. To develop this skill. Kempo was the primary art practiced at the temples. Buddhist temples of Japan. and 3) that ninjutsu is an art which encompasses many fighting systems. a monk could lighten his I)ody. most popular surviving ninja tradition in the world today. In response to this harassment." an alightening. they employed subtle tactics. These warrior monks. The information the warrior monks gained was used to help protect their temples. By examining each of these fallacies closely. and thus the sohei began to use these abilities to spy on their persecutors. It was thought that by uplifting his spirit. a quality they were able to apply to their martial arts training. became noted for their martial arts skills. Many times. system ninjutsu. Masaaki Hatsumi is the individuals feel they benefit current headmaster of the togakure-ryu ninjutsu system. their followers and themselves. were qualities which could be easily applied to clandestine movement. The three main misconceptions regarding ninjutsu are: 1) that ancient ninjutsu was practiced only by members of the ninja clans. surprisingly enough."rt that came to be called karumijutsu. The monks only resorted to fighting when there was no other recourse. who were referred to as sohei.

depending on their mission. Genin were trained as scouts. instead maintaining a basic indigenous faith. and was eventually part of the combat arsenal used by professional warriors to protect their lords. they were not nearly as thoroughly trained as their samurai or sohei counterparts. Some jisamurai. others developed from other sects. or "lower men. Generally. as were the chunin. or middlemen. Because their training was limited to specialized skills. assassins and/or fighters. This vague connection allowed them the freedom to perform missions against any sohei temple or samurai clan. while Zen Buddhism was the faith of choice of the warriors of the Koga area of Japan. The art was later shared with jisamurai. It is believed that some masterless samurai (ronin) decided to become mercenaries and sell their skills to the highest bidder. Who. primarily for reasons of religious freedom. comprised the ninja? The ninja were outsiders who held no loyalty to any Buddhist temple or samurai clan. It seems that Mikkyo Buddhism was central to the Iga ninjutsu clans. particularly those who were highly skilled." who were taught only those skills considered necessary for a particular assignment. then. These jisamurai (farmer warriors) took it as a great honor to be taught ninjutsu-the art of patience or stealth based on the principle of ninpo. Most ninja actually had little religious training. The agents who actually performed the missions were genin. later became professional warriors called samurai or bushi. who were called on to act as warriors when necessary. While it is true that many ninja ryu evolved from those of the Mikkyo Buddhist faith. Nearly every comprehensive ryu (martial arts system) that developed before the Tokugawa era (1600-1868) included ninjutsu in its curriculum. it is apparent that ninjutsu was developed by Buddhist monks in Japan. jonin-the leaders of ninja organizations-were ronin. 2 of 4 . or possibly remaining loosely tied to their jonin's religion. who arranged missions and acted as go-betweens when dealing with a client. Some of these individuals established organizations designed solely for mercenary activities. Thus. trackers.Because their religious beliefs did not permit them to carry out certain forms of espionage-including undercover work of a sexual nature-it was necessary for the Buddhist monks to befriend and teach martial arts to some of the local farmers.

still bugeisha and budoka-i. in the classical. While certain elements overlap in all martial arts. as well 1868. The ninja. the fact is. or the tenshin shoden katori shinto ryu ninjutsu. ninjutsu (stealth art). then by warriors. There is one final ninjutsu fallacy that should be addressed. kempoka.. These titles. and the emperor formally abolished the class system. sohei or ninja. mean nothing anymore. There are karateka. he listed ninjutsu as simply one of the 34 combat styles he recognized. togakure-ryu-actually evolved from the samurai tradition. all as training with weapons such as titles relating to it died as well. kenjutsu (sword art). In dealing with the final false assumption-that ninjutsu encompasses a number of fighting systems-it should be noted that when the late martial arts scholar. categorized the bugei (martial arts) of Japan. the terms "ninja kenjutsu" or "ninja bojutsu" are meaningless. apart from their historical significance. Kentucky-based martial artist and freelance 3 of 4 . no blowguns (5) and shuriken (6). Each ryu had its own special way of performing techniques or handling weapons. About the author: William Durbin is a Frankfort. weapons drills (2).Samurai and sohei skilled in ninjutsu and trained to perform clandestine missions always held to a code of honor that Today's ninjutsu stylists often would not allow them to be gather at special camps to conduct unfaithful to their religion or exercises (1) and classical disloyal to their lord or temple. an aikidoka is one who belongs to he "house of aikido. helping a small force gain entry to a castle or province for the purpose of raiding the occupants. Modern-day ninjutsu practitioners Although there are still people today who refer to themselves as still practice many of the skills their forebears did." Ninjutsu needs to take its place among the honored martial arts of the Orient. but to be truly appreciated in an honorable light. whether practiced by a samurai. and those who were called ninja never understood the true art as founded by the sohei and practiced by the samurai. it was the art of espionage and counterespionage. When the Japanese feudal system fell in scaling (1 2). suieijutsu (swimming art). that Fujita was the headmaster of koga ha sato ryu. Seiko Fujita. There was a time it was perverted by mercenaries who practiced the style without honor. Included in the list of bugei are: bojutsu (stick art). Even the most famous ninjutsu system today. it needs to disassociate itself from the terrorists and assassins of the ancient ninja organizations. and many more. It was often applied to guerrilla warfare. ninja no longer exist. martial artists. judoka. historical sense of the word. kenjutsu is kenjutsu. In feudal Japan. however. however. There are. sojutsu (spear art).e. From a historical point of view. it would be proper to use the name of the ryu and then the art-the tenshin shoden katori shinto ryu kenjutsu. were not similarly bound by a code of honor. rappeling (3) and underwater breathing (4). It should be pointed out. lit needs to be viewed for what it was-an art created to protect religious freedom and practiced first by monks. Ninjutsu is a wonderful martial art. There are no more samurai." Thus. more sohei. aikidoka. for example. To be historically accurate. which included both ninjutsu and kempo. including wall ninja. etc. The ka suffix means "house. however. and no more ninja. Ninjutsu is a very specialized art which taught practitioners how to covertly enter and exist in all types of places. kumiuchi (grappling and striking). naginatajutsu (halberd art).

4 of 4 .writer.

Reflect back on all the progress in your life and allow the positive. Take this to heart. and to know that being happy is the most satisfying of life's feelings. Knowing that disease and disaster are natural parts of life is the key to overcoming adversity with a calm and happy spirit.On Happiness The way to experience ultimate happiness is to let go of all worries and regrets. Only you can decide whether or not you choose to experience it. creative and joyous thoughts to outshine and overwhelm any sorrow or grief that may linger in the recesses of your mind.Sensei's Online Journal Toshitsugu Takamatsu . . Happiness is waiting there in front of you.

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