Bujinkan roughly translated means “divine warrior hall” and is the name of Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi’s international martial arts organization.
The art studied within the Bujinkan Dojo is called Budo Taijutsu (martial art body skill).
Budo Taijutsu is the synthesis of nine ancient Japanese martial art lineages inherited by Hatsumi-sensei. These nine ancient schools of martial arts are:
- Gyokko-ryu kosshijutsu
- Koto-ryu koppojutsu
- Togakure-ryu ninpo taijutsu
- Shinden fudo-ryu dakentaijutsu
- Takagi Yoshin-ryu jutaijutsu
- Kukishinden-ryu happo biken
- Gyokushin-ryu ninjutsu
- Kumogakure-ryu ninjutsu
- Gikan-ryu koppojutsu
Thus, Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu is one of the most comprehensive martial arts and self defense systems in the world and maintains its living warrior heritage.
About Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi
Hatsumi-sensei was born on December 2, 1931.
He became involved in martial arts at an early age and studied Judo, Karate, Aikido, Kendo and western boxing. Later in his early adulthood he trained in Kobudo.
In his mid-twenties, Hatsumi-sensei found is true teacher, Takamatsu Toshitsugu. It was from Takamatsu-sensei that he learned the skills that we primarily train in the Bujinkan. Hatsumi-sensei trained with Takamatsu-sensei for fifteen years up until Takamatsu-sensei’s death in 1972.
Just before his passing, Takamatsu-sensei passed on the 9 traditions to Hatsumi-sensei.
Dr. Hatsumi graduated from Meiji University of Medicine in Tokyo, as a Hone-tsugi (Orthopedic Doctor). He is respected as an accomplished practitioner of the ancient Japanese medical techniques of Seikotsu (natural healing methods). In addition to medicine, Dr. Hatsumi is an accomplished artist of brush and ink in the Nihonga style. His art work has been exhibited at the Nagai Gallery of Tokyo and in Paris, France.
Dr. Hatsumi has written numerous books and articles on philosophy and martial arts that have been translated into many languages. He writes a weekly column for a local Chiba prefecture newspaper and is a recurring subject of the major Japanese martial arts magazine, Hiden. An accomplished actor and director of both movies and television, he starred in the TV series, Jiraiya, for four seasons. He also coached and directed notable martial arts film stars, Sonny Chiba and Toshiro Mifune.
For his efforts to spread the art of the Bujinkan throughout the world, Dr. Hatsumi has been recognized by many governments, private organizations and distinguished individuals. Some of his most notable accomplishments and accolades are as follows:
- Apostolic Blessing awarded by His Holiness Pope John Paul II, the Vatican, April 2001
- World Cultural Grand Prize: Martial Arts Division for 2000, World Peace and Culture Association
- Social Cultural Distinguished Service Award for 1999, Japanese Culture Promotion Society
- Chairman of the International Department, Japan Literary Artists’ Club, 1990-1994
- Professor of Natural Sciences (USA), Trinity College
- Cross and Sun Medal, presented by the King of Spain, Juan Carlos
- Blackbelt Magazine’s Instructor of the Year award for 1986
- Awards from the Spanish Secretary of State for the Intelligence Agency, from London Metropolitan Police Headquarters
- Letters of Thanks from Prince Charles’ Secretary, the London Secretary of State for the Environment, the London Ambassador’s Secretary, and the Mayor of London
- Letter of Appreciation from the Premier of South Australia, John Bannon
- Letters of Appreciation from the Director of the National Security Agency and the FBI Academy, USA
- Letters of Appreciation and Birthday greetings from US Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George Bush, and Bill Clinton
- Honorary Member of the Texas Rangers
- Letters of Thanks from the US State Governors of Texas, Georgia, Maryland, California, New Jersey and Tennessee
- Honorary Citizen of the State of Texas and the cities of Los Angeles, Atlanta, Gatlinburg, USA; Dublin, Ireland
About Takamatsu Toshitsugu
Takamatsu Toshitsugu was born on March 10, 1889 in Hyogo Prefecture Japan. At the age of nine he began studying the martial arts, and mastered the various styles from his grandfather Toda Shinryuken, Ishitani Matsutaro, and Mizuta Yoshitaro Tadafusa.
Takamatsu-sensei was already an accomplished budoka by the time he was a teenager, having won challenge matches against other martial artists and sumotori. As a young man in his twenties, he retreated to the mountains of Kobe to continue his rigorous physical and spiritual practice. After leaving the mountains he soon moved to China, and for the following 10 years he encountered many life and death situations in true fighting. He reportedly fought many strong Chinese martial artists in mortal combat and used his budo to defend himself against even wild animals.
In 1919, after mastering the combat arts, Takamatsu-sensei returned to Japan in order to master spiritual studies. He became the head monk at a mountain temple of esoteric Buddhism in the Yamato district. In the 1950’s he taught martial arts in Nara prefecture; in 1957 he met Hatsumi Yoshiaki and groomed the young man to become the successor to his rich martial arts legacy. Referred by Hatsumi-sensei as the “last true combat ninja,” the venerable Takamatsu Toshitsugu passed away in May of 1972, at the age of 84 years.
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