Ninjutsu 101 : A Primer for Beginners and the Curious

 Welcome to the primer of the Ninjutsu 101 series. The purpose of this article is to give a basic understanding of Ninjutsu to the beginning practitioner or to those who are simply seeking more information on the subject for whatever reason.

 I would like to start by clarifying that this site, this series, and the author are of the Bujinkan way of being. This means that the way of Ninjutsu depicted and explained here comes from the Bujinkan dojo as taught by Soke Masaaki Hatsumi 34th Soke of 9 Ninjutsu traditions.

 I suppose it would also be a firm place to start by introducing Soke Hatsumi and giving information on the Bujinkan and it's formation.

 Born on December 2, 1931 Masaaki Hatsumi is the founder and soke of the Bujinkan. He teaches out of his hometown of Noda City Japan (Chiba prefecture). From an early age he studied and trained in several martial arts, even training American soldiers stationed in Japan. In 1957 he began taking regular 15 hour train trips to Kashiwabara, in Nara to train with his new teacher Toshitsugu Takamatsu. He did so for 15 years until the death of Toshitsugu Takamatsu in 1972.

 From Toshitsugu Takamatsu he inherited 9 ryus or schools of martial arts. These schools collectively make up the Bujinkan teachings and are as follows:

  •  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) 

 The above picture shows Soke Masaaki Hatsumi on the left and Toshitsugu Takamatsu on the right with the Bujinkan kanji between them.

 For more information please visit the following links:

  - Soke's Hombu Site
  - Shihan Van Donk's Site (Also the International Bujinkan Dojo)
  - Lots of Good Ninjutsu Information
  - Lots of History on the Nine Schools of Ninjutsu

 I hope this article has helped you to better understand the art of Ninjutsu and the Bujinkan. For some this article may have been brief, but it was my intention to only give a firm but basic understanding. More will be covered as the Ninjutsu 101 series continues!


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