Takamatsu Sensei 33rd Grandmaster, Togakure Ryu
Ninjutsu Hiketsu Bun (Essence of the Ninja)
The essence of all martial arts and military strategies is self-protection and the prevention of danger. Ninjutsu epitomizes the fullest concept of self-protection of not only the physical body, but the mind and spirit as well. The way of the ninja is the way of enduring, surviving, and prevailing over all that would destroy one. More than merely delivering strikes and slashes, and deeper in significance than the simple out-witting of an enemy; ninjutsu is the way of attaining that which we need while making the world a better place. The skill of the ninja is the art of winning.
In the beginning study of any combative martial art, proper motivation is crucial. Without the proper frame of mind, continuous exposure to fighting techniques can lead to ruin instead of self-development. But this fact is not different from any other beneficial practice in life carried to extremes. Medical science is dedicated to the betterment of health and the relief of suffering, and yet the misuse of drugs and the exultation of the physician’s skills can lead people to a state where an individual’s health is no longer within his or her personal control. A nutritious well-balanced diet works to keep a person alive, vital, and healthy, but grossly over-eating, over-drinking, or taking in too many chemicals is a sure way to poison the body.
Governments are established to oversee the harmonious interworking of all parts of society, but when the rulers become greedy, hungry for power, or lacking in wisdom, the country is subjected to needless wars, disorder, or civil and economic chaos. A religion, when based on faith developed through experience, a broad and questing mind, and an unflagging pursuit of universal understanding, is of inspiration and comfort to people. Once a religion loses its original focus, however, it becomes a deadly thing with which to deceive, control, and tax the people through the manipulation of their beliefs and fears.
It is the same with the martial arts. The skills of self-protection, which should provide a feeling of inner peace and security for the marial artist, so often develop without a balance in the personality and lead the lesser martial artist into warped realms of unceasing conflict and competition which eventually consume him.
If an expert in the fighting arts sincerely pursues the essence of ninjutsu, devoid of the influence of the ego’s desires, the student will progressively come to realize the ultimate secret for becoming invincible – the attainment of the ‘mind and eyes of the divine.’ The combatant who would win must be in harmony with the scheme of totality, and must be guided by an intuitive knowledge of the playing out of fate. In tune with the providence of heaven and the impartial justice of nature, and following a clear and pure heart full of trust in the inevitable, the ninja captures the insight that will guide him successfully into battle when he must conquer and conceal himself protectively from hostility when he must acquiesce.
The vast universe, beautiful in its coldly impersonal totality, contains all that we call good and bad, all the answers for all the paradoxes we see around us. By opening his eyes and his mind, the ninja can responsively follow the subtle seasons and reasons of heaven, changing just as change is necessary, adapting always, so that in the end there is no such thing as surprise for the ninja.
“Supernatural power is not a skill or trick. It exists in your heart, in your sincerity. Religion is the same, too.”
Hatsumi Sensei – 34th Grandmaster, Togakure Ryu
The Ninja view of the universe contains not only three dimensions but four. The fourth dimension is that of the world of Mu — nothingness — a world haunted by death, a world of spirit only. It is a world with no physical existence, where everything simply disappears. That is why in that world you must not let an opponent see or sense your form — you must wipe it out entirely.
The vast majority of Ninjutsu practitioners are, however, stuck at the third dimension, or even the second. Some people are in fact still in the first dimension — maybe even some ‘minus’ level!. . .
It is only once you can move as freely as a phantom from the first dimension to the fourth (each dimension has positive and negative versions too), and discover how all things arise from the nothingness of the “Mu” dimension, that you can become a true Ninja, one of the Four Heavenly Ninja Kings. This will lead you to discover the fundamental, final step leading through to the fifth dimension.
The Bujinkan (Devine Warrior Training) is an international martial arts organization based on fighting tactics assimilated from the nine ryu~ha (traditions) that were born on the battlefields of feudal Japan.
Today, Soke (Grandmaster) Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi, oversees the training of thousands of students worldwide from his Hombu Dojo, Bujinden (Palace of the Divine Warrior) located in Noda City, Japan.
The Bujinkan exists as the last legitimate art of ninja combat methods to have survived to the present day
The following are the nine ryu~ha (traditions) of the Bujinkan:
1) Togakure Ryu Ninpo “Hidden Door Shool” Oho Era (1161~1162)
2) Gyokko Ryu Kossijutsu “Jewel Tiger School” Chinese Tang Dynasty (618~907)
3) Koto Ryu Koppojutsu “Tiger Knocking Down School” China & Korea (About 1512)
4) Shinden Fudo Ryu Dakken Taijutsu “Immovable Heart School” Tensho & Karyu (1326)
5) Kukinshin Ryu Taijutsu “Nine Demons School” China & Kamakura (1180)
6) Takagiyoshin Ryu Jutaijutsu ” Raised Heart School” Takagi Oriemon (1600)
7) Kumogakure Ryu Ninpo “Hiding in the Clouds School” Tenmon (1532~1534)
8) Gyokushin Ryu Ninpo “Jeweled Heart School” Iga Ryu Ninjutsu (1600)
9) Gikan Ryu Koppojutsu “Truth, Loyalty, & Justice School” Yeiroku Era (1558~1570)
Each Ryu are taught collectively as the Bujinkan martial arts system.
It is important to note the unique skills, style, philosophies, and feeling of each Ryu are individually maintained and taught.
To attempt to eliminate confusion some terms and concepts should be explained. These terms and concepts often vary depending upon the context in which they are used, sometimes different than the author’s definition.
The name of the organization that Soke Hatsumi created, literally meaning “The Palace of the Divine Warrior.”
Bujinkan Budo (武神館 武道)
The Warrior Fighting Art method unique to the Bujinkan
Body Movement used in aspects of Unarmed Fighting.
Higher Order or evolution of the concept of Ninjutsu
Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu (武神館武道体術)
Warrior Fighting Arts Body Movement unique to the Bujinkan
Bujinkan Ninpo Taijutsu (武神館 忍法 体術)
Warrior Fighting Art Body
Movement unique to the Bujinkan utilizing the higher order or evolution of the concept of Ninjutsu