Quick Overview

What is the Bujinkan?

The Bujinkan is an international martial arts organization created by Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi. It is a collection of nine Japanese ryuha (schools or traditions). Six of the nine schools are traditional samurai arts, and three are ninja arts. Hatsumi Sensei inherited these ryuha from his teacher, the late Toshitsugu Takamatsu, in 1972.

Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu translates as “Warrior Way Body Skills.” The art was formerly known as Ninjutsu, but Hatsumi Sensei renamed it, possibly due to inaccurate ideas many people associated with the previous name. Budo Taijutsu emphasizes natural, relaxed movement. In training, one learns to use proper alignment, timing, and distancing to defeat opponents, rather than strength or speed. Taijutsu (unarmed combat) training uses the entire body moving together to provide power. The subtle destruction of the attacker’s balance and rhythm is a primary focus. These principles allow even smaller practitioners to defeat larger and stronger opponents.

Although the Bujinkan techniques are based on ancient traditions, it is a living art, constantly evolving to allow for applications in the modern world. Furthermore, every martial artist's body type, style of movement, and way of thinking are different. Each student must adapt the art to his or her own life.

The international Bujinkan Dojo is supervised directly by Grandmaster Masaaki Hatsumi. Presently, Hatsumi Sensei lives and trains in Noda City, Japan. He teaches at the Ayase Budokan in northern Tokyo, and at the Bujinkan Hombu Dojo in Noda. Hatsumi Sensei is recognized worldwide for his martial arts abilities and his expertise in ancient samurai and ninja arts. The Bujinkan Dojo has hundreds of schools and training groups spread all over the world.

How does Budo Taijutsu compare to other martial arts?

The biggest difference between Budo Taijutsu and other martial arts is probably the idea of nagare, or flow. We strive to attain natural body movement, and we place a different emphasis on things like kamae (postures) and kata (forms). We learn the techniques so that we can have a strong foundation from which to explore, and ultimately we seek to "break the technique" in order to achieve true freedom in our movement and in how we live our lives.

Schools for other martial arts may design classes specifically to help students develop greater strength, speed, or toughness, and these qualities are often nurtured through competition. Since Budo Taijutsu is a combat art, not a sport, we do not compete, or do much of what most people think of as "sparring." Training in this art may certainly help to develop strength, speed, and endurance, as well as flexibility, balance, and other qualities. However, there is always someone bigger, stronger, faster, and tougher. Therefore, students of Budo Taijutsu strive to learn ways to be effective without relying on speed or power.

Is Budo Taijutsu a "soft" or "hard" style?

The "feel" of the art can depend in large part on the person instructing, and even the instructor's mood that particular day. Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu incorporates elements of both striking and grappling schools. Training focuses on the realistic application of combat techniques, including "crushing" strikes, joint locks, and bone-breaking. However, Budo Taijutsu also emphasizes defeating and controlling opponents without using power, and ideally, without any force at all, by controlling the physical and mental balance of the attacker.

Source: http://www.dcbujinkan.com/faq.html