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History of Bujinkan Ninjutsus

  Ninjutsu's long history doesn't exactly lend itself to a one page synopsis, but for those encountering the art for the first time, this outline may prove helpful. **In all truthfulness, ninjutsu didn't come into being as a specific well defined art in the first place, and many centuries passed before ninjutsu was established as an independent system of knowledge in it's own right. Ninjutsu developed as a highly illegal counter culture to the ruling samurai elite, and for this reason alone, the origins of the art were shrouded by centuries of mystery, concealment and deliberate confusion of history. In the regions of Iga (ee-gah) and Koga, ninjutsu became a special skill, refined and perfected by over seventy families, each with their own unique methods, motivations and ideals**.
 
*Thinly populated, mountainous and distant from the major cultural centers. The Iga and Koga regions of south-central Japan were populated by clans of relatively independent peasants, mystics seeking enlightenment, and various soldiers and samurai who were on the wrong side of the last war*. It was a time of political, territorial and religious turbulence in feudal Japan and the people of Iga and Koga were caught in the middle these civil wars. Having no military forces of their own and prevented by law from protecting their homes and families, they were forced to work outside the law. Not bound by Bushido (code of conduct and behavior for the samurai), they found "other" ways to "deal" with the threats they faced. Thus was born the ninja and their ways of accomplishment, known as ninjutsu.
 
The Koga ryu of ninjutsu survived through the generations until the 1960s, when the unfortunate death of Fujita Seiko, the last possible Grandmaster of the Koga ryu (style) of ninjutsu, ended the ancient tradition. Before his death, Fujita claimed he did not, and would not pass on his Koga ryu to anyone. For more information on Fujita Seiko, visit the Fujita Seiko link on this site. The Iga ryu however, lives on in the Bujinkan.
 
bujinkanlogo1_200w The Bujinkan is an international organization compiled by Grandmaster ( or more accurately, "Soke" in Japanese. Pronounced Soe-Kay) Masaaki Hatsumi, the 34th. generation inheritor of the Togakure (Toe-gah-koo-ray) ryu of ninjutsu as well as eight other ryu (style, school, tradition) called "The Nine Traditions". Of these nine, three are ninjutsu, three are samurai and three were used by both ninja and samurai. They have been passed down from generation to generation, some for close to 1,000 years. The Bujinkan was organized by Hatsumi-Soke as a way to transmit the life enhancing knowledge he learned from Toshitsugu Takamatsu-Soke, the 33rd. generation inheritor. For more in depth knowledge on the history of ninjutsu, please visit Mr. Martins website in the links area of this site, or read Masaaki Hatsumis' book's "Ninjutsu: History and Tradition", and "Essence of Ninjutsu".
 
Infomation from:
** Hatsumis' book "Ninjutsu: History and Tradition".
* From Mr. Martins website.
"Essence of Ninjutsu"

("Ninjutsu Hiketsu Bun")

The essay on the essence of Ninjutsu

Takamatsu Toshitsugu ; 33rd Soke of Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu (Born: March 10, 1887. Died April 2, 1972)

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 through martial training in that the ninja art deals with the protection of not only the physical 250px-Takamatsu_bo_2body, 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 off 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 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 inter- working 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 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 martial 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 god". 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 or 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 a surprise for the ninja.

Takamatsu Toshitsugu ; 33rd Soke of Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu and "The Last Combat Ninja".

 
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