Shinden Fudō Ryū Daken Taijutsu Seminar
Two intense days, filled with kaname, and a lot of learning opportunity for all the students who attended, and it ended with the first Sakki Test given in the country, an unbelievable experience for all of us, and especially for the new Shidōshi (me).
Bujinkan Budō Taijutsu
Bujinkan is an international martial arts organization based in Noda, Japan. Founded in 1974, and headed since then by Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi, it teaches Bujinkan Budō Taijutsu, the nine traditional Ryūha (schools, or martial arts lineages) he inherited from his master, Toshitsugu Takamatsu before his passing in 1972. The Densho (scrolls containing the techniques, forms and movements), and the way of using them have been transmitted for over 900 years from generation to generation through an unbroken lineage of Grandmasters. While each Ryū stands as a complete martial system on its own, they share similarities with contextual differences related to when they evolved and what weapons and equipment people were using at that time.
Bujinkan promotes a holistic approach on self protection revolving around natural principles and biomechanics, and the appropriate use of timing, distance, and angle to achieve desirable results. The teaching method used serves three purposes: providing a realistic self protection ability; ensuring that the ability taught is appropriate to the student's skill level; and developing an above-average sense of self awareness and self-control in the practitioner. Within the training we examine rolling, break-falling, striking, throwing, locking, balance taking, the use of - and defense against - weapons, multiple opponents, how to use your surroundings, etc.
We don't participate in competitions or contests. Our approach focuses on gaining compliance through pain, and potentially damaging techniques in order to survive dangerous situations. We have no official rules or guidelines to limit the impact of techniques used. As a result, many of the responses of a Bujinkan practitioner would be inappropriate in a competition or a contest. Our training mainly aims at developing the ability to protect oneself (and others) using techniques that focus on disabling attackers and/or removing their desire (or ability) to continue posing a threat as efficiently as possible.
Before our first class was held in Dubai, our mentor, Dai Shihan Arnaud Cousergue calligraphied a Kanji to be inserted in our Kamidana. This Kanji was Fudō-Myōō, a powerful Japanese warrior deity, and one of the five Wisdom Kings.
His name means "immovable protector" and he burns away all impediments and defilements. He carries a rope in his left hand to bind injustice and control violence, and a sword in his right hand to cut through ignorance and illusion. It was decided that he would become our patron deity, and we became the Bujinkan Fudō-Myōō Dōjō.
The nine Schools of Bujinkan
Togakure Ryū Ninpō Taijutsu
Togakure Ryū ("The School of the Hidden Door") is one of our three Ninpō Ryūha founded during the 12th Century by Daisuke Nishina. The school contained San-po Hiden (three secrets): The Senban Shuriken, a four pointed throwing star that was used to harass the enemy to assist in escape; Shuko, the climbing claws frequently used on both hands and feet to climb and to fight; and Shindake, a four feet long bamboo tube, used both as a snorkel, and as a blowgun. Other prominent elements in this school are Kyoketsu Shoge, a hooked blade attached to a cord,with a heavy ring at the other end of the cord (also known as Kusari Gama; Tetsubushi, a type of iron caltrops used to slow down pursuers; and Karuwaza, an acrobatic spatial awareness nowadays used by tight-rope walkers. Hatsumi Masaaki is the 34th Sōke in the lineage of Togakure Ryū.
Gyokko Ryū Kosshi Jutsu
Gyokko Ryū ("The Jade Tiger School") is a Kosshi Jutsu Ryūha founded during the 14th Century by Sakagami Taro Kunishige, who first organized it as Gyokko Ryū Shito Jutsu before passed it on to Toda Sakyo Isshinsai (founder of Koto Ryū Koppō Jutsu) who also created Gyokko Ryū Kosshi Jutsu. The school's expertise is focused into Taijutsu techniques (unarmed vs. unarmed), and Muto Dori techniques (unarmed vs. knife, short sword and katana). There is also a strong focus on bone breaking and muscle damage; on using digits to strike and maim the opponent (Shitojutsu); and on sword (kenjutsu and stick (bōjutsu) fighting techniques. Ishizuka Tetsuji is the 29th Sōke in the lineage of Gyokko Ryū after receiving the title from Hatsumi Masaaki in October 2019.
Shinden Fudō Ryū Daken Taijutsu
Shinden Fudō Ryū ("The Tradition of the Immovable God School") is a Daken Taijutsu Ryūha founded during the 12th Century by Izumo Kaja Yoshitero, who studied Chinese Kempo boxing. The school has throws, locks, and very straightforward strikes and kicks that use the body as a striking weapon and often appears hard in application. There are no formal postures in this school as the kamae is in your heart (kokoro no gamae and most techniques start from the natural postures (Shizen or Fudoza). Nagato Toshiro is the 27th Sōke in the lineage of Shinden Fudō Ryū after receiving the title from Hatsumi Masaaki in November 2019.
Kukishin Ryū Happō Hiken
Kukishin Ryū ("The Nine Demons School") is a Daken Taijutsu Ryūha founded during the 14th Century by Ryūshin Yakushimaru, and teaches battlefield weapons (Bō, Yari, Naginata) and the Taijutsu that serves as a basis for this; Heiho (military strategy); as well as armor-wearing techniques and Shuriken throwing. There are two guiding principles in this school: Teko (the pivot and lever), and Jūjiro (the perpendicular control). Hatsumi Masaaki is the 21st Sōke in the lineage of Kukishin Ryū.
Koto Ryū Koppō Jutsu
Koto Ryū ("The Tiger Knock Down School") is a Koppō Jutsu Ryūha founded during the 14th Century by Toda Sakyo Isshinsai, who learned Gyokko Ryū Shitojutsu from Sakagami Taro Kunishige. It specializes in aggressive, linear attacks, using larger bones to strike weaker ones. Many of the techniques involve surprise attacks, leaving no opportunity to counter strike. Although often referred to as "Bone Breaking" art, its emphasis is more on maintaining your skeletal alignment while you disrupt your opponent's skeletal structure. Hatsumi Masaaki is the 18th Sōke in the lineage of Koto Ryū.
Gyokushin Ryū Ninpō
Gyokushin Ryū ("The Jeweled Heart School") is a Ninpō Ryūha founded during the 14th Century by Sasaki Goemon Teruyoshi, who was also Sōke of Gyokko Ryū Kosshi Jutsu, which explains the similarities between the two styles. This school focuses more on the espionage side of ninjutsu than on the fighting aspects, although it uses some specific weapons, in particular the Nagenawa, the throwing rope, or lasso used to snare and restrain opponents. Hatsumi Masaaki is the 21st Sōke in the lineage of Gyokushin Ryū.
Kumogakure Ryū Ninpō
Kumogakure Ryū ("The Hidden School") is a Ninpō Ryūha founded during the 14th Century by Iga Heinaizaemon No Jo Ienaga. It is believed to be the origin of the mantra "Shikin Haramitsu Daikomyo", as this school of thought was based on Buddhist and Shinto attitudes of non-violence. The Taijutsu of Kumogakure Ryū is very similar to Togakure Ryū as both originated from the Toda family, but this School had some specific features like its Tobi (jumping techniques); its survival techniques (including the ability to light fires in all weather conditions); wearing armoured sleeves to protect themselves and Demon Masks to scare the enemy (one of their techniques was a head butt called Kikaku Ken or "Demon Horn Strike"); and some of its specialized weapons like the Kamayari (a hooked spear), or the Ippon Sugi Noburi (a long chain, with a 25cm long metal tube with three spikes at one end, and hooks at other one) used for combat (to parry and trap swordsmen's blades, or to hook opponents from above), and for climbing (or jumping from tree to tree). Hatsumi Masaaki is the 14th Sōke in the lineage of Kumogakure Ryū.
Gikan Ryū Koppō Jutsu
Gikan Ryū ("The Mirror Justice School") is a Koppō Jutsu Ryūha founded during the 16th Century by Uryu Hangan Gikanbo. It is based on skills and techniques learned from Sougyoku Kan Ritsushi, Sōke of Gyokko Ryū and Koto Ryū. Focused on Koppō Jutsu, Hicho Jutsu (jumps) and Senban Nage (blade throwing), it contains specialized strikes, kicks, and throws. Gikanbo's punch was so powerful that he once broke a sword (although it was rumored that he hid a Tessen (iron fan) in his hand). Hatsumi Masaaki is the 15th Sōke in the lineage of Gikan Ryū.
Takagi Yōshin Ryū Jū Taijutsu
Takagi Yōshin Ryū ("The High Tree Raised Heart School") is a Jutai Jutsu Ryūha founded during the 15th Century by Takagi Oriuemon Shigenobu. This Bodyguards school is designed to attack in a very fast manner so that the opponent cannot roll or escape. Movements are explosive, and incorporate natural recoil or resistance to take the opponent's balance, drive them into the ground and finish with pinning or restraining them. Hatsumi Masaaki is the 17th Sōke in the lineage of Takagi Yōshin Ryū.