Infobox martial art group

logocaption = Bujinkan logo, consisting of stylized "Bujin" kanji inside a circle.
logosize = 200px

imagecaption =
imagesize =
name = Bujinkan
aka =
date founded = c.1970
country =
founder = Masaaki Hatsumi
(born December 2 1931)
head = Masaaki Hatsumi
arts = Nihongo|Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu|武神館武道体術|Bujinkan Budō Taijutsu
ancestor schools = Gyokko-ryū Kosshijutsu • Kotō-ryū Koppōjutsu • Shinden Fudō-ryū Dakentaijutsu • Takagi Yōshin-ryū Jūtaijuts"'u • Kuki Shinden-ryū Happō Bikenjutsu • Gikan-ryū Koppōjutsu • Togakure-ryū Ninpō • Gyokushin-ryū NinpōKumogakure-ryū Ninpō
descendant schools=
notable pract =
website = http://www.bujinkan.com

The Nihongo|Bujinkan| 武神館 is an international Ninja organization, originating in Japan, that trains their students in the combat martial arts and unconventional warfare tactics of the Ninja. The organization is headed by its' Sōke (grandmaster), Masaaki Hatsumi. "Bujinkan" is a colloquially used abbreviation of the full name of the system, which is "Bujinkan Budō Taijutsu". The school is known for practising such arts as koshijutsu, koppojutsu, jutaijutsu, dakentaijutsu, happo bikenjutsu and ninpo taijutsu (a.k.a. ninjutsu).


The Bujinkan organization incorporates the teachings of nine ryūha [ [http://shinkentaijutsu.com/content/bujinkan.php Shinkentaijutsu] ] :

*Togakure-ryū Ninpō Taijutsu (戸隠流忍法体術)
*Gyokko-ryū Kosshijutsu (玉虎流骨指術)
*Kuki Shinden Happō Bikenjutsu (九鬼神伝流八法秘剣術)
*Kotō-ryū Koppōjutsu (虎倒流骨法術)
*Shinden Fudō-ryū Dakentaijutsu (神伝不動流打拳体術)
*Takagi Yōshin-ryū Jūtaijutsu (高木揚心流柔体術)
*Gikan-ryū Koppōjutsu (義鑑流骨法術)
*Gyokushin-ryū Ninpō (玉心流忍法)
*Kumogakure-ryū Ninpō (雲隠流忍法)

According to the Bugei Ryuha Daijiten, the head of the Bujinkan organisation, Masaaki Hatsumi is the lineage holder of several ryūha taught in the Bujinkan [Tetsuzan: Chapter1 p18; ISBN 4-901619-06-3] [Alex Esteve: Exploring the essence of the Martial Arts, ISBN 978-84-85278-30-5] [Ninjustsu, History and Tradition; ISBN 0-86568-027-2] [ [http://bujinkan.graycastle.com/soke/footprints.htm Fooprints of the Bujinkan dojo soke] ] transferred to him in the middle of the 20th Century by his teacher Takamatsu Toshitsugu. From 1968 and onwards, the Bugei Ryuha Daijiten has entries bearing the name of Hatsumi below his teacher Takamatsu Toshitsugu for the following school entries: Gyokko-ryū Kosshijutsu, Kuki Shinden Happō Bikenjutsu, Kotō-ryū Koppōjutsu, Shinden Fudō-ryū Dakentaijutsu, Takagi Yōshin-ryū Jūtaijutsu, Gikan-ryū Koppōjutsu, Gyokushin-ryū Ninpō and Kumogakure-ryū Ninpō.

In 1843 several of the Bujinkan ryūha were mentioned in the Kakutogi no Rekishi (“The History of Fighting Arts”), p.508-517. Although details of the ryūha were omitted, the publication states, “"even though they are not mentioned in this particular periodical, there are several schools that are well-known for being ‘effective arts’ (jitsuryoku ha)."” Among the schools listed in this section are Gyokko Ryū, Gikan-ryū Koppōjutsu,
Gyokushin-ryū Ninpō, Kukishin Ryu, Takagi Yōshin-ryū Jūtaijutsu and Asayama Ichiden Ryū (which in not part of the Bujinkan’s nine schools but was studied by Hatsumi via Takashi Ueno).cite book
title = The History of Fighting Arts
date = 1843
pages = 508-517
] The Bujinkan as a whole has been recognised by the Zen Nippon Todo Renmei (All Japan Sword Federation).Fact|date=July 2008 However, the recorded history and lineage several of the ryūha especially of Togakure-ryū Ninpō Taijutsu taught in the Bujinkan, as documented by the Bujinkan, have been called into question.cite web
last = Skoss
first = Diane (ed.)
coauthors = Beaubien, Ron; Friday, Karl
title = Ninjutsu: is it koryu bujutsu?
publisher = Koryu.com
date = 1999
url = http://web.archive.org/web/20030202135534/ http://koryu.com/library/ninjutsu.html
accessdate = 2007-01-01

Several of the above martial arts taught in the Bujinkan can allegedly be traced back to the Iga region of Japan and were developed and used by the Yamabushi and the Ninja. The arts said to be in the Iga-ryu Ninjutsu tradition include Gyokko Ryu, Koto Ryu, Gikan-ryū and Shinden Fudo Ryu. The alleged connection to Ninjutsu is through Hatsumi's teacher Takamatsu Toshitsugu who was, among other things, permitted to copy the Amatsu Tatara scrolls. Takamatsu Toshitsugu grandfather was a samurai and a direct decedent of the founder of Gyokko Ryu (Gikan-ryū was passed to Takamatsu Toshitsugu through another source). Other arts, such as Takagi Yoshin Ryu and Kukishinden Ryu were developed and used by members of Japan’s Samurai families. Today the Bujinkan incorporates techniques from all of the above 9 Ryus and others.


The training is generally referred to as "taijutsu" (body arts), and is composed of both armed and unarmed methods of fighting. Bujinkan training incorporates bikenjutsu, bōjutsu, sojutsu, naginatajutsu, tantojutsu, tessenjutsu, juttejutsu, kusarigama, the use of modern firearms and more. Much of the basic taijutsu taught to beginners comes from six primary lineages in the Bujinkan compendium, namely "Kotō-ryū", "Gyokko-ryū", "Shinden Fudō-ryū", "Takagi Yōshin-ryū", "Kuki Shinden-ryū", and "Togakure-ryū."

A large variety of weapons are taught, including swords such as "daitō", "wakizashi" and "tantō", bamboo "shinai", wooden "bokken", "mogito" (a flexible aluminum replica sword that holds no edge), or swords made by soft modern materials are employed for safety such as fukuro shinai, staves of varying lengths ("", ""), short staves called ("hanbō", "hanjō"), "nawa" (rope), "kusari-fundo" (weighted chain), "kusarigama" (scythe with chain), "yari" (spear), "kamayari" (spear with curved scythe-like blades crossing the principal head), "kagiyari" (spear with 2 rearward hooks), "bisento" (known in Mandarin as 'kwandao'), "kyoketsu shoge" (similar to a "kama" except it has a dagger point and a rope of several feet attached to an iron ring), "jutte" (sword trapping truncheon), "tessen" (iron fan), "naginata" (Japanese glaive), "kunai" (a blunt digging tool), as well various form of "shuriken" including "bo-shuriken" and "senban shuriken". In training, students are encouraged to always use any available weapons, including the environment. In some dojos, students will practice hiding training weapons in their uwagi or somewhere on the mat, and surprise their "uke" (training partner) during technique. While in many other oriental martial arts this is seen as dishonorable, the emphasis Bujinkan places on stealth and deception makes it a valuable exercise when practicing awareness.

Bujinkan Budō Taijutsu practice does not normally include participation in competitions or contests, however, many Bujinkan Dojo's incorporate sparing drills,Fact|date=June 2008 these include ground fighting as well as slow sparing with designated attacker and defender. Specifically however, the Bujinkan is mostly known for teaching koshijutsu (pressure point, muscle attacks/tears and joint dislocations), koppojutsu (bone breaking), jutaijutsu (throwing, grappling, ground fighting), dakentaijutsu (strikes), happo bikenjutsu (various modern and traditional weapons), and ninpo tactics and strategies (Ninjutsu)


The Bujinkan Dōjō has a series of nine "kyū" (grades) below the level of "shodan", starting with "mukyu" ("without grade") and then from "kukyu" (9 kyu) to "ikkyu" (1 kyu), with 9 kyu being the lowest rank and 1 kyu being the highest. Just like in other Japanese martial arts, such as karate and judo, unranked ("mukyū") practitioners wear white belts, and those with ranks of "shōdan" and above wear black belts. "Kyū" level practitioners wear colored belts, though the actual color of the belt varies from place to place. Furthermore, unlike other martial arts, the color has no relation to the actual kyu-level the practitioner holds. In Japan, it was once customary for kyu-level men to wear green belts and women to wear red belts; however, this practice has largely been abandoned. Now, both male and female Bujinkan practitioners wear green belts at most Japanese dōjō. Outside of Japan, some countries still follow the green for men/red for women custom, while others use green for all practitioners.

There were originally 9 dan levels, as with many other martial arts using the "kyū/dan" system, but this was changed by Hatsumi to 10 and later, 15 "dan" levels. The grades are divided into three groupings ; 1-5 "dan" "Ten" (Heaven), 6-10 "dan" "Chi" (Earth), 11-15 "dan" "Jin" (Man, in the sense of Humanity). The "Jin" levels are further divided into the five elements of the "Godai"; "chi" (earth), "sui" (water), "ka" (fire), "fū" (wind) and "kū" (void).

The practitioner's level is displayed by the color of the art's emblem, called "wappen" (ワッペン), inscribed with the kanji "bu"(武) and "jin" (神). There are four kinds of "wappen" (9 to 1 "kyū", 1 to 4 "dan", 5 to 9 "dan", and 10 to 15 "dan") sometimes augmented with up to four silver or gold stars (called "hoshi") above or around the emblem, representing the individual ranks.

At 4 "dan" ("yondan"), practitioners submit to a test before the "sōke" to establish that they are able to sense the presence of danger and evade it, considered to be a fundamental survival skill. This is called "sakki". This is the test for 5 "dan". A practitioner with the level of "godan" or above is entitled to apply for a teaching license ("shidōshi menkyo"). A "shidōshi" is entitled to open his own "dōjō", and grade students up to the level of 4 "dan". A practitioner with the level of between 1 "dan" to 4 "dan" may become a licensed "assistant teacher" ("shidōshi-ho"), if backed by and acting under the supervision of a "shidōshi" 5th to 9th "dan" or a person who holds the level of 10 "dan" ("jūdan"). In the Bujinkan a person who holds the level of between 10 "dan" and 15 "dan" is often referred to as a "shihan".

In addition to the "kyū/dan" system, a few practitioners have earned "menkyo kaiden" "licenses of complete transmission" in individual schools. These "menkyo kaiden" essentially establish that the master practitioner has learned all that there is to learn about the particular lineage. Whereas the "kyū/dan" ranks are often made public, those select practitioners who have earned "menkyo kaiden" rarely divulge their status, sometimes even being reluctant to recognize their actual "dan" ranking to outsiders.

Theme by year

Since 1988 Hatsumi's teaching has focused on a particular theme each year. This typically means that a specific ryū, or a certain set of techniques from specific ryū will be taught. Hatsumi announces the years theme, or focus, each year at the Daikomyosai. Depending on what years a student has studied in Japan, they may find that their focus reflects the themes or schools taught during their time. This is one reason that there are often noticeable differences in techniques from different teachers inside the Bujinkan. Although Ninpo Taijutsu is an overall theme of the Bujinkan, 2008 marks the first time that a Ninpo Taijutsu Ryū was the focus of the year. However, prior to founding the Bujinkan organization and teaching the nine Ryū collectively (with particular yearly focus), Hatsumi awarded his students rank certificates in individual Ryū.

* Theme of 2008 - Togakure-ryū Ninpō Taijutsu
* Theme of 2007 - Kukishin Ryu
* Theme of 2006 - Shinden Fudo Ryu
* Theme of 2005 - Gyokko-ryū Kosshijutsu (Bo and Tachi)
* Theme of 2004 - Daishou Juutaijutsu (Roppo-Kuji-no Biken)
* Theme of 2003 - Juppo Sessho
* Theme of 2002 - Jutaijutsu (Takagi Yoshin Ryu)
* Theme of 2001 - Kosshijutsu (Gyokko Ryu)
* Theme of 2000 - Koppojutsu (Koto Ryu)
* Theme of 1999 - Kukishinden Ryu
* Theme of 1998 - Shinden Fudo Ryu
* Theme of 1997 - Jojutsu
* Theme of 1996 - Bokken
* Theme of 1995 - Naginata
* Theme of 1994 - Yari
* Theme of 1993 - Rokushakubojutsu
* Theme of 1992 - Taijutsu Power
* Theme of 1991 - Sword and Jutte
* Theme of 1990 - Hanbo
* Theme of 1989 - Taijutsu and Weapons
* Theme of 1988 - Taijutsu

Useful Bujinkan Related Kanji

* 武神館 Bujinkan
* 武神館武道体術 Bujinkan Budō Taijutsu
* 初見良昭 Masaaki Hatsumi


External links

Official Bujinkan links:
* [http://www.bujinkan.com/ Bujinkan Hombu Dōjō]
* [http://www001.upp.so-net.ne.jp/bujinkan/ George Ohashi Shihan - News from the Bujinkan honbu dojo]
* [http://henka.wordpress.com/ Bujinkan Hombu Dojo-A Local’s Perspective]

Other links:
* [http://www.bujinkan.me.uk/ Philosophy site for Bujinkan students]
* [http://www.shinkentaijutsu.com Bujinkan Taka-Seigi Dojo] offers webcast of Masaaki Hatsumi's current teaching from Japan.

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