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What is the Bujinkan

Bujinkan Dôjô


The Bujinkan Dôjô, or "Warrior God Training Hall," was created by Hatsumi Masaaki in the early 1970's. Hatsumi Masaaki is the current Soke of the Bujinkan Dojo. The organization as a whole contains nine different Ryu (schools) of old style Japanese martial arts. Each one has its own history and lineage although some of these schools are connected and the Soke of one school, was also the Soke of another at the same time. Hatsumi Masaaki inherited these Ryu from his teacher, Takamatsu Toshitsugu who died in 1972, Hatsumi Masaaki is the Soke (Grandmaster) of the following Nine Ryu


34th Soke - Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu
Founded by- Daisuke Nishina in the Late 1100's

28th Soke - Gyokko Ryu Kosshijutsu
Founded by Tozawa Hakunsai in the Mid 1100's

28th Soke - Kukishinden Ryu Happo Bikenjutsu
Founded by Izumo Kanja Yoshiteru in the Mid 1300's

26th Soke - Shindenfudo Ryu Dakentaijutsu
Founded by Izumo Kanja Yoshiteru in the Early 1100's

21st Soke - Gyokushin Ryu Ninjutsu
Founded by Sasaki Goemon Teruyoshi in the Mid 1500's

18th Soke - Koto Ryu Koppojutsu
Founded by Sakagami Taro Kunishige in the Mid 1500's

17th Soke – Hon Tai Takagi Yoshin Ryu Jutaijutsu
Founded by Takagi Oriuemon Shigenobu in the Mid 1600's

15th Soke - Gikan Ryu Koppojutsu
Founded by Uryu Hangan Gikanbo in the Mid 1500's

15th Soke - Kumogakure Ryu Ninjutsu
Founded by Iga Heinaizaemon No Jo Ienaga in the Mid 1500's

The Bujinkan Dojo as a general rule is a combination of the nine Ryu, with emphasis changing each year based on a theme that is set by Hatsumi Masaaki.  This theme has us work on one of the Ryu or a weapon. Some years it is a combination of a Ryu and one or more weapons. Many dojo around the world follow the theme, some chose not to and study aspects that are important to their dojo at that time.


During the 1980’s and 1990’s the Bujinkan was famous for its connection to the Ninja Boom in the west. Hatsumi is the Soke of three Ninja Ryu. Prior to 1995 the Bujinkan official name was Bujinkan Dojo Ninpo Taijutsu. Hatsumi decided that too much emphasis was being played on the Ninjutsu side and not enough on the other parts of the Bujinkan which were greater in size than the Ninjutsu part. Therefore, the name was changed to Bujinkan Dojo Budo Taijutsu, this made it clear to us that Ninjutsu was only a third of the system and that as a whole we had more to look at.


Hatsumi Sensei lives and teaches in Noda City, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. He still actively teaches every week at the Ayase Budôkan in Tokyo, he also runs weekly classes at the Bujinkan Honbu Dôjô in Noda. Hatsumi is assisted by his senior ranking shihan who also teach classes in the Hombu Dojo or at their own dojo. In 1997 he opened the ‘Bujinden’, his own dojo where he teaches every week.


Hatsumi Masaaki


Hatsumi Masaaki, was born on December 2, 1931 in Noda, Chiba Prefecture, Japan. In his youth he tried many different martial arts and sports, these included Judo, Karate, Aikido and Boxing, dancing (his wife is a high ranking traditional dance teacher), gymnastics, soccer, acting. Apart from the Gendai Budo (modern martial arts) he studied and taught (he taught Judo at the US Yama airbase), he started to study traditional Koryu (old schools) under various teachers. These included Yumio Nawa (Masaki Ryu Jutte, Manrikigusari, Torimono, Edo Machikata), and Ueno Takashi (Asayama Ichiden Ryu, Tenshin Ko Ryu (Shinto Tenshin Ryu), Bokuden Ryu etc). In the book by Charles Gruzanski (Spike and Chain/Ninja weapons) there are two photos of Hatsumi performing chain and shuriken. It was through his teacher Ueno Takashi that Hatsumi was then introduced to his next and last teacher, Takamatsu Toshitsugu. His previous teachers had all resided near his home, but Takamatsu lived on the other side of Japan. Hatsumi for the next 15 years made regular trips to visit Takamatsu. Ueno Takashi was a previous student of Takamatsu. From Ueno he had already been taught several Ryu connected to Takamatsu, these included Koto Ryu, Shindenfudo Ryu, Takagi Yoshin Ryu, Kukishin Ryu. Because of this prior training Hatsumi soon excelled under Takamatsu and as a result was soon named the inheritor of nine Ryu handed to him by Takamatsu.


Hatsumi has received numerous honours and accolades over the years from any different parts of the world. He wrote and performed in the children’s television drama "Jiraiya", and appeared in "Ninja-boy-Fujimaru", and "Ninja Nights". He has acted as technical adviser on many films including the famous ‘Shinobi No Mono’ where he and Takamatsu sensei helped out with the first two movies.

 Hatsumi Sensei's list of titles and awards includes: Blackbelt Magazine's Instructor of the Year (1986), Knight (Germany), Doctor of Philosophy (USA), Doctor of Human Science (USA), Texas State Honorary Citizen, Honorary Texas Ranger, Los Angeles Honorary Citizen, Atlanta Honorary Citizen, Dublin Honorary Citizen, etc.


On November 22nd, 1999, Hatsumi Sensei was awarded the prestigious International Culture Award by the Japanese government. The highest honour given by the Japanese government for cultural exchange, the award was presented to Hatsumi Sensei by a representative of the Imperial Household. Later in May of 2001 Hatsumi was also presented with another special award from Pope John Paul II for his achievements in promoting kind relations among the world's people – Hatsumi was the first martial artist to be given this award. In 2007 Hatsumi was named as one of the most respected Japanese people in the world by a Japanese magazine called ‘Newsweek’.


Takamatsu Toshitsugu.

Takamatsu Toshitsugu was born on March 10, 1887 in Hyogo Japan. When he was nine his father sent him to his maternal grandfather to begin studying martial arts. Over the years he mastered the different schools from his grandfather Toda Shinryuken, as well as other teachers such as Ishitani Matsutaro, and Mizutani Yoshitaro Tadafusa. Throughout his youth he fought many matches against other martial artists from different styles. As a result he suffered a punctured ear drum and lost the use of one eye. In his late teens he went to live in China for many years. He returned to Japan in his twenties and moved into the mountains around his families home in the area around Kobe to recover and train on his own. When he had recovered he returned to China for the next 10 years. Here he found many people including several fights to the death.


In 1919, he was instrumental in helping the Kuki family restore its lost martial art called Kukishin Ryu and helped them for the next 30 years in the development and of Kukishin Ryu. In the 1950's he left the Kuki families organisation and continued on his own. His two longest training students, Akimoto and Kimura went with him. Akimoto remained a student of Takamatsu until his death in the early 1960’s and Kimura remained a student of Takamatsu until the death of Takamatsu in the 1970’s; in 1957 Takamatsu met Hatsumi Yoshiaki (changed later to Hatsumi Masaaki) and took over the instruction of the young man from one of his other student, Ueno Takashi. Takamatsu Sensei is regarded as the "last true ninja," to actually go into battle and operate as a Ninja. Takamatsu Toshitsugu passed away in May of 1972, at the age of 84 years.


Who Are We:


Bujinkan Hanako (Lincoln) Dojo, has been involved in teaching traditional Martial arts in Lincoln since 1990.


The Bujinkan Dojo comprises of nine Koryu (old schools), although our instructor has been trained in aspects of all nine only six are taught at our Dojo.


The  main emphasis of our training is Jujutsu (Jutaijutsu), with a attitude towards protecting oneself and others in a violent situation.


Our Dojo currently has 5 licensed Black belts, with several others connected to the Dojo, both of whom have been and trained in Japan and also  have teaching licenses issued direct from Japan..

Paul Richardson the instructor of this Dojo is currently ranked 15th Dan and is also a Dai Shihan. He has been travelling overseas since 1989 to train at Bujinkan seminars and has taught internationally since 1993 travelling at least 60 times overseas to places such as Germany, Sweden, Slovenia, Holland, Luxembourg, Germany, Estonia, Czech Republic, South Africa and the USA.


Paul was the first Bujinkan black belt and instructor in Lincolnshire and is currently the highest ranked Bujinkan member in Lincolnshire as well as the only one with a full teaching license (Shidoshi Menkyo). Paul is also well known international in the Bujinkan as he is currently the only person to publish a book in 1993 solely dedicated to the history of the Bujinkan. He was also the first person to publish in English the name of the  historical lineages of Grandmasters for the nine schools.


What Do We Do:


Each year our Grandmaster decides on a theme for training from one of our schools. This may be centred around one of the styles of Taijutsu (Jujutsu) or one of the many weapons we practise (Or as in 2007 a combination of both Taijutsu [Kukishin Ryu Dakentaijutsu] and weapons [Kukishin Ryu Kenjutsu]).


For those that come to us with a concern for self protection, we can change the direction of their training to help cater for their personal  needs.


The Dojo provides a free monthly newsletter (Hanako), paper based material for study in and out of the Dojo, top quality equipment at discount prices, in house seminars with high ranking instructors from the UK and Europe. Instruction is given by black belts who have not only trained with the grandmaster, but who have also been graded by him. Black belts at this Dojo are the highest ranked and most experienced in Lincolnshire.


What Are The Schools


Togakure Ryu
Meaning :-     Hidden door school
Martial Art :- Ninjutsu

Background :-  This Ryu-ha was founded by Togakure Daisuke, and Hatsumi is the 34th Soke of this Ryu. Togakure Daisuke was originally known as Nishina Daisuke, but changed his name to stop being captured in the 1180's. Originally a school of Happo Bikenjutsu, later developing into the one of the main, and more senior Ninja schools in Iga province. They say that most of the Iga Ninjutsu is in some way connected to Togakure Ryu. Because this Ryu is the oldest in the Bujinkan, as an actual Martial arts school, the other eight schools have all been placed under it's name, for general use. This school comes from Iga prefecture.


Gyokko Ryu 
Meaning :-     Jewelled Tiger school
Martial art :- Kosshijutsu

Background :-  This Ryu-ha was founded by Tozawa Hakunsai, and  Hatsumi is the 28th Soke of this Ryu. The oldest of the nine schools, but formally made into a school in the 1530's. Momochi Sandayu, one of Japan's most famous Ninja was a Soke of this Ryu-Ha. Originally a school of Shitojutsu, later becoming Kosshijutsu. They say that as the Togakure Ryu has little Taijutsu, so they used the Gyokko Ryu. It became connected to Togakure Ryu in the early 1600's. This school uses long distance in it's techniques, and moves in a circular motion (see Koto Ryu). This school comes from Iga prefecture.


Kukishinden Ryu
Meaning :-     Nine demon Gods school
Martial art :- Happo Bikenjutsu

Background :-  This Ryu-ha was founded by Izumo Kanja Yoshiteru, and   Hatsumi is the 26th Soke of this Ryu. Originating from the Kukishin Ryu. It is now thought that some of the main origins of this school comes from the Chosui Ryu Dakentaijutsu. This school also has the Shinken Gata which the Kukishin Ryu does not have. The Sword, Hanbo and Bo are the most prominent weapon skill's used from the Ryu-ha by the Bujinkan. Specialities are the large variety of weapons including the Bisento, a very large form of the Naginata, and the Daisharin, the wheel and axle used to launch boats into the sea. This school comes from Kumano.


Shindenfudo Ryu 
Meaning :-     Immovable heart school
Martial art :- Dakentaijutsu (also Jutaijutsu, Hojojutsu)

Background :-  This Ryu-ha was founded by Izumo Kanja Yoshiteru, and Hatsumi is the 26th Soke of this Ryu. This was the first school taught to both Takamatsu, and Hatsumi. The Dakentaijutsu is believed to be old, and the Jutaijutsu section being developed only 200 - 300 years ago. The sword is used a lot in this Ryu-ha, but mainly while it is still in it's scabbard. The Dakentaijutsu, uses either Shizen or Seiza for it's Kamae. This school has an attitude that links it's self to nature. This school possibly comes from near Osaka.


Gyokushin Ryu
Meaning :-     Jewelled heart school
Martial art :- Ninpo

Background :-  This Ryu-ha was founded by Sasaki Goeman Teruyoshi, and Hatsumi is the 21st Soke of this Ryu. Many people claim to have studied this school, and it has been called Ninjutsu, Koppojutsu, Jutaijutsu, and Jujutsu. Hatsumi has not said much about this Ryu-ha.


Koto Ryu 
Meaning :-     Tiger knocking down school
Martial art :- Koppojutsu

Background :-  This Ryu-ha was founded by Sakagami Taro Kunishige, and Hatsumi is the 18th Soke of this Ryu. The sister school of the Gyokko Ryu and also founded in the 1530's.  When Takamatsu was taught it, it was known as Koppo Karate, so the Karate part of the name was possibly dropped with the introduction of Karate to Japan in the 1920's. This school has the same history as the Gyokko Ryu. This Ryu-ha moves in straight lines and is close to the attacker (see Gyokko Ryu). This school comes from Iga prefecture.


Hon Tai Takagi Yoshin Ryu 
Meaning :-  True form high tree raised heart school
Martial art :- Jutaijutsu

Background :-  This Ryu-ha was founded by Takagi Oriuemon Shigenobu, and  Hatsumi is the 17th Soke of this Ryu.  Oriuemon was from a Samurai family in Dewa, and he was skilled in Kyoichi Ryu Sojutsu, and a student of Ito Sukesada. Their are many branches of this school, such as Hon Tai Takagi Yoshin Ryu, and Hon Tai Yoshin Ryu. Takamatsu was the first to be Soke of both Takagi Yoshin Ryu, and Hon Tai Takagi Yoshin Ryu. This school is from the Samurai Jujutsu, and is not a Ninjutsu school. It comes from Hyogo in Osaka.


Gikan Ryu
Meaning :-     Justice and loyalty school
Martial art :- Koppojutsu

Background :-  This Ryu-ha was founded by Uryu Hangan Gikanbo, and  Hatsumi is the 15th Soke of this Ryu.  The founder is said to have broken a sword blade in half with a special strike used by this Ryu-ha. As yet only a little of this Ryu has been taught by Hatsumi. So little is known.  Akimoto, a student of Takamatsu, and a teacher to Hatsumi, taught this Ryu-ha to Mifune, who was one of the founders of Judo.  This school comes from Kawachi.


Kumogakure Ryu 
Meaning :-     Hiding in the clouds school
Martial art :- Ninjutsu

Background :-  This Ryu-ha was founded by Iga Heinaizaemon Ienaga, and   Hatsumi is the 14th Soke of this Ryu.  Iga Ienaga is supposedly the founder of the Iga Ninjutsu (Ninjutsu in Iga province). Around 1624 the school was absorbed into the Togakure Ryu by the Toda family. It's speciality is the Ippon Sugi Noburi (Cedar tree climbing device), and the Kamayari. The Taijutsu is thought to be similar to that from the Togakure Ryu. This school comes from Iga prefecture.


Shihan Paul Richardson 15th Dan
Hatsumi Masaaki Soke
Taken in the Honbu, Japan