武神館 The Bujinkan
The Bujinkan is a martial arts organisation with its headquarters based in Noda city Japan. It was formed in the early 1970’s by Masaaki Hatsumi in order to propagate the essence of the nine schools of Japanese martial traditions of which he is grandmaster (soke).
神伝不動流打拳体術 Shinden Fudo Ryū Daken Taijutsu
九鬼神伝流八法秘剣術 Kuki Shinden Ryū Happō Biken-jutsu
高木揚心流柔体術 Takagi Yoshin Ryū Jūtai-jutsu
玉虎流骨指術 Gyokko ryū Kosshi-jutsu
虎倒流骨法術 Koto Ryū Koppō-jutsu
義鑑流骨法術 Gikan Ryū Koppō-jutsu
玉心流骨法術 Gyokushin-ryū Ryū Koppō-jutsu
戸隠流忍法体術 Togakure-ryū Ninpō Taijutsu
雲隠流忍法体術 Kumogakure Ryū Ninpō Taijutsu
The Bujinkan has dojo in more than fifty countries around the world and over 300,000 students worldwide.
Born in 1931 in Noda City Japan, Masaaki Hatsumi spent his youth training in a number of martial arts amongst which he was highly accomplished in judo (5th Dan), karate, aikido and western boxing.
During the period immediately after the second world war, he was assigned to teach judo at an American air force base near Tokyo. It was here that he came upon the realisation that in sportified martial arts the larger and more athletic Americans could achieve in a very short time what would take the smaller Japanese years of study. He then set himself to search for the true budo of ancient Japan.
It was during his search that he heard of a martial artist from Nara in the west of Japan known as Toshitsugu Takamatsu. When Hatsumi-sensei first met his future teacher he said he felt awe stuck by the presence of this powerful man and that for the first time he felt himself "looking into the face of budo and found it glaring back". Through this encounter, from age 27, Hatsumi-sensei would take the night train of Saturday evening to arrive Sunday morning every week for his apprenticeship in the nine lineages he would later inherit as grandmaster. Hatsumi-sensei continued his training for fifteen years until the death of Takamatsu-sensei in 1972.
Combining the essence of the teachings from Takamatsu, Hatsumi-sensei established the Bujinkan (Devine Warrior) Dojo which has since spread internationally.
Masaaki Hatsumi has served as an advisor for many movies, television shows and theatre productions since the 1960s such as “Shinobi no Mono”, “Kage no Gundan” and “You Only Live Twice”. He even had an acting role as “Yamaji Tetzuzan” in the children’s TV series “Sekai Ninja-sen Jiraya” (Jiraya and the World Ninja War).
Hatsumi is the author of many books in both English and Japanese and has produced a series of DVDs demonstrating the martial arts of the Bujinkan. He has travelled the world conducting seminars, including visiting Australia twice.
Due to his work in spreading the true martial arts of Japan around the world he has been given many awards including being the first martial artist to receive the International Culture Award from the emperor of Japan.
Toshitsugu Takamatsu was born in 1888 and from the age of nine was schooled daily in the martial arts that he would inherit as grandmaster. Initially he trained in Kobe under the tutelage of Toda Shinryuken Masamitsu and then in the dojo of Mizuta Yoshitaro Tadafusa. He moved to nearby town of Akashi with his father where he trained with Ishitani Matsutaro Tagekage.
At around age 21 he travelled to Korea (then annexed by Japan) but soon returned with an illness. He convalesced and trained by himself at the Kami no Taki waterfall in Mount Maya near Kobe.
In 1912 Takamatsu travelled to China where he was to live until his return to Japan in 1919. In China he headed the “Nippon Minkoku Seinen Butou-kai” marital arts organisation. He was also involved in many incidents that had him fighting for his life. It was during this period that he received the nickname Moko no Tora (Mongolian Tiger) for which he was known for the rest of his life.
In 1921 as the martial head of the Kukishin Ryu he joined with a committee of other teachers to form the martial arts organisation, the "Kodo Senyokai Shobukyoku”.
Takamatsu-sensei formed his own dojo the “Kuki Shobukyoku” in 1929 while he still formally issuing certificates and licences for the previous organisation.
In 1950 he officially broke away from the Kodo Senyokai Shobukyoku to form his new dojo named the "Kashihara Shobukyoku" with senior students Akimoto Fumio and Kimura Masaji.
In 1957 a young Masaaki Hatsumi came to train, from that point on, Takamatsu would devote his time through training and writing to pass on the nine schools and his greater vision of budo to his successor.