A Brief History
Bujinkan Martial Arts
Budo Taijutsu has a history that is extensive and sometimes appears contradictory in nature. This isn't surprising considering the combative and strategic nature of the art. The martial arts predecessors to some of the schools of the bujinkan, it s believed, came to Japan through China / Tibet approximately 1300 years ago. For the next four hundred years,the martial art was taught to all classes of Japanese and was called budo or begei. (warrior skills) During the time of warring states, during the Heian period, a battle took place between the Genji and Heiki clans. During this battle a young Genji soldier by the name of Shima Kosanta Minamoto no Kanesada (of Togakure Village) retreated into the mountains and was nursed back to health. Daisuke, the founder of Togakure Ryu took shima as his second student. Shima was eventually granted license upon Daisukes death, and became the second Soke of Togakure Ryu Ninpo Taijutsu. The Ryu's or schools of Martial Arts were kept within the individual clans to help ensure the clans survival and to keep the lineage clear cut. Only the Soke (head of the lineage) new all of the techniques of their particular school and would only pass them along fully when nearing death. Each Ryu was able to survive, in part, by keeping the techniques of it's school a secret. Not until the Edo era did Dojos become the common place of training. During this time, spaning about 250 years, fighting decreased. The Samurai class bugei arts began to become more watered down. They became less combative in nature and more sport like.The remaining arts were eventually organized into shinkengata, or real combat methods, about 70 percent of which came from Kukishinden ryu. Historically the scrolls of each school passed down from one Soke to the next, listing only the names of the techniques. Until Takamatsu sensei, the previous Grandmaster, all techniques were passed down, by voice, from one teacher to the next. For Hatsumi Soke however, Takamatsu prepared written and illustrated techniques. Takamatsu sensei was the first to learn all nine ryu''s or schools that comprise the Bujinkan. Hatsumi sensei spent 40 years learning the techniques and has not taught taught all nine ryu's yet. Soke Toshitsugu Takamatsu of the nine schools that now make up the Bujinkan, granted Dr Hatsumi the lisence and authority of Soke shortly before his death in 1972.