About Bujinkan

Soke Masaaki Hatsumi

The Bujinkan (武神館)

Hatsumi and Takamatsu Sensei

The Bujinkan (武神館) is an international martial arts organization based in Japan and headed by Masaaki Hatsumi. The combat system taught by this organization comprises nine separate ryūha, or schools, which are collectively referred to as Bujinkan Budō Taijutsu. The Bujinkan is most commonly associated with Ninjutsu.

Bujinkan Budō Taijutsu

The lineage dates back over 900 years of rich traditions, it is based on 9 schools are made up of 3 ninja (shinobi) schools and the other 6 traditions are made up of samurai (bushi) traditions.

Each school consist of its own philosophies, strategies and methodologies. For instance; Gyokko ryu focuses on circular movements and striking pressure points along with striking soft tissues in the meridians of the body. Whereas; Koto ryu Koppo jutsu focuses on taking the linear approach in a fight and puts an emphasis on attacking and moving along 45 degree angles. Togakure ryu is a bit more of a evasive and cunning school. Whereas; Kukishinden ryu is more of stalk and kill the enemy with the more militant mentality.

Takamatsu sensei was the prior soke before Hatsumi sensei. Before Takamatsu died in the very early 1970’s he passed his lineage and traditions to Hatsumi sensei making him heir to the 9 different lineages. Hatsumi sensei is the current grandmaster of the bujinkan and at 84 his movements are still vibrant and cunning!

Hatsumi Soke

The 9 Schools of Bujinkan

  1. Togakure-Ryu Ninpo Taijutsu (Ninjutsu) – (the hidden door school) Founded in the Ôho-era by 戸隠大助 Togakure Daisuke. This school is known in the Bujinkan as the school where all the Ninjutsu techniques come from. In the 80’s everything that was taught in Bujinkan was called Togakure-ryu, but the truth is that most of the things that was taught was from the schools above. You could say that the name was used to attract many students. – Hatsumi sôke is the 34’th generation grandmaster
  2. Gyokko-Ryu Kosshijutsu (Specialising in the muscular system) Founded in the Hogen-era (1156-1159) by 戸沢白雲斎 Tozawa Hakûnsai. This school is perhaps the school that have the biggest influence of the unarmed basics in Bujinkan, such as Sanshin no kata, and Kihon-happô. Striking with the fingers and toes is very characteristic of this style of fighting.- Hatsumi sôke is the 28’th generation grandmaster
  3. Koto-Ryu Koppojutsu (Specialising in the skeletal structure) Founded in the Tenbun-era (1532) by 坂上太郎国重 Sakagami Taro Kunishige. This school’s speciality is the art of manipulating the bone structure. The foot work is also quite unique by cross stepping, quite similar to the chinese styles. Also the use of the sword in this school is quite unorthodox. – Hatsumi sôke is the 18’th generation grandmaster
  4. Shindenfudo-Ryu Dakentaijutsu (Specialising in natural movements) Founded in the Yeikyu-era (1113 a.d.) by 出雲冠者義照 Izumo Kanja Yoshiteru. The school is characterized as a style that emphasizes natural movements, and the study of nature is important.- Hatsumi sôke is the 26’th generation grandmaster
  5. Gyokushin-Ryu Ninpo Happo Biken (Ninjutsu) Founded in the Tenbun-era (1532) by 佐々木 Sasaki Goeman Teruyoshi. This school has not been taught that much yet. – Hatsumi sôke is the 21’st generation grandmaster
  6. Kukishinden-Ryu Dakentaijutsu Happo Bikken (Samurai school) Founded at the end of the Kamakura-era (1336) by 出雲冠者義照 Izumo Kanja Yoshiteru. The school is most famous in Bujinkan for it’s many weapons techniques such as sword, spear, halberd and staffs of various lengths. – Hatsumi sôke is the 28’th generation grandmaster
  7. Gikan-Ryu Koppo Taijutsu (Specialising in the skeletal structure – 18th Generation) Founded in the Yeiroku-era (1558-1570) by 瓜生判官義鑑房 Uryu Hangan Gikanbo. This school has not been taught that much yet. – Hatsumi sôke is the 15’th generation grandmaster
  8. Takagiyoshin-Ryu Jutaijutsu (Samurai style jujutsu) Foundend in the Yeiroku-era (1625-1711) by 高木折右衛門重俊 Takagi Oriemon Shigenobu. The school is a self defence style both Jûjutsu unarmed close combat techniques, and mûtô-dori unarmed against sword attacks. – Hatsumi sôke is the 26’th generation grandmaster
  9. Kumogakure-Ryu Ninpo Happo Bikken (Ninjutsu) Founded in the Tenmon-era (1532-1554) by 伊賀平内左衛門家長 Iga Heinaizaemon Ienaga This school has not been taught that much yet. – Hatsumi sôke is the 15’th generation grandmaster