Bujinkan literally means "Divine Warrior Hall". Bujinkan Ninjutsu is a collection of 9 different fighting schools with more than 800 years of known history. In those days every fighter in Japan learned at many different masters at the same time. This tradition was the base for the Bujinkan Ninjutsu System of Soke (grand master) Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi. These schools contain varied origins and influences. Most of them were created in the time of the Japanese civil wars. A number of schools were founded by Chinese or Korean immigrants, others by monks or Samurai. The effectiveness of these techniques has been tested and improved in battle again and again during the centuries. When a technique did not work, it died with its inventor. The result of this development is a varied and effective fighting arts system. This system contains unarmed close combat techniques, and also meditation, horseriding, swimming, meteorology, handling of sword, spear, halberd, bow, knife, rope, stick, throwing weapons and so on.

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The guidelines

  1. The Bujinkan shall be open to only those who agree with and uphold the guidelines of the Bujinkan Dojo. Those not doing so shall not be allowed to join. Specifically: Only those who have read and agreed with these guidelines shall be allowed to participate.
  2. Only those able to exercise true patience, self-control, and dedication shall be allowed to participate. A physician's examination report shall be required. Specifically, individuals with mental illness, drug addiction, or mentally instability shall be barred from joining. The necessity of such a report concerns individuals who may present a danger to others, for example, those with infectious diseases or illnesses, individuals with clinically abnormal personalities or physiology, and individuals lacking self-control.
  3. Individuals with criminal records shall be turned away. Trouble makers, those who commit crimes, and those living in Japan who break domestic laws shall be turned away.
  4. Those not upholding the guidelines of the Bujinkan, either as practitioners or as members of society, by committing disgraceful or reproachable acts shall be expelled. Until now, the Bujinkan was open to large numbers of people who came to Japan. Among them, unfortunately, were those committing violent drunken acts, the mentally ill, and trouble makers who thought only of themselves and failed to see how their actions might adversely affect others. Through their actions, such people were discarding the traditional righteous heart of the Bujinkan. From this day forward, all such people shall be expelled.
  5. Regarding accidents occurring during training (both inside and outside the dojo), one should not cause trouble to the Bujinkan. This is an extremely important point. Those unwilling to take personal responsibility for accidents occurring during Bujinkan training shall not be admitted. Reiterating for clarity, the Bujinkan shall not take responsibility for any accidents happening in the course of training, regardless of the location.
  6. All those joining the Bujinkan must get an annual membership card. This card not only preserves the honor of the Bujinkan members, it indicates you are part of a larger whole--one whose members come together with warrior hearts to better themselves through training and friendship. It evinces the glory of warrior virtue, and embodies both loyalty and brotherly love.
  7. The tradition of the Bujinkan recognizes nature and the universality of all human life, and is aware of that which flows naturally between the two parts:
  • The secret principle of Taijutsu is to know the foundations of peace.
  • To study is the path to the immovable heart (fudoshin). 

Recently, the Bujinkan has become truly international. Just as there are various time zones, so exist various taboos among the world's peoples and nations. We must respect each other, striving to avoid such taboos. We must put the heart of the warrior first, working together for self-improvement and for the betterment of the Bujinkan. Those not upholding the above-mentioned guidelines shall be forced out of the Bujinkan.

Masaaki Hatsumi - Soke

The 9 schools (ryūha)

Gyoko ryu koshijutsu - the "jewel tiger" school


  • Founder
    • Tozawa Hakuunsai in the early 12th century. 


  • Characteristics
    • The oldest school in Bujinkan system.
    • Circular movement (quick) Sanshin no Kata Kihon Happo         Muto Taihenjutsu 



Koto ryu koppojutsu - the "tiger knocking down" school


  • Founder
    • Brought to Japan via Korea from China by Chan Busho in the mid 16th century. 
    • (1st Soke: Sakagami Taro Kunishige)  


  • Characteristics
    • Precise and effective koppojutsu techniques. 
    • Own techniques for Kenjutsu and Muto dori

      Kukishinden ryu happo hiken - the "nine demons" school


      • Founder
        • Izumo Koshiro Yoshiteru in the 12th century.


      • Characteristics
        • Bo ryaku (special strategy)
        • Sui & Ka ren Onshin jutsu (disguise)

      Takagiyoshin ryu jutaijutsu - the "high tree, raised heart" school


      • Founder
        • Takagi Oriemon Shigenobu in the 17th century.


      • Characteristics
        • Techniques are applied in a way that opponent can't escape by rolling or breakfalling. 
        • Opponent is held close while applying techniques - this is from training within buildings. 
        • You are taught to fool your opponent into the eyes, use speed, and use the impuls and the weight of your opponent.


      Shindenfudo ryu dakentaijutsu - the "immoveable heart" school


      • Founder
        • Izumo Kanja Yoshiteru in the 12th century.


      • Characteristics
        • The secret principal is the principal of nature. 
        • Natural style as only posture of defense.
        • Use of several different types of yari, ono (war axe), otsuchi and naginata.
        • Two styles of taijutsu dakentaijutsu (natural posture) and jutaijutsu (5 kamae).


      Gikan ryu koppojutsu - the "truth, loyalty & justice" school


      • Founder
        • Uryu Gikanbo (daimyo of Kawachi province) in the 16th century.  


      • Characteristics
        • Many special kicks and punches.
        • Dynamic footwork.
        • No densho.
        • The scrolls only contain the technique-names and no step by step description.
        • The techniques were only taught verbally.

      Togakure ryu ninpo - the "hidden door" school


      • Founder
        • Nishina Daisuke in the late 12th century.


      • Characteristics 
        • Low and wide kamaes.
        • Shuko
        • Shinodake
        • Shuriken


      Kumogakure ryu ninpo - the "hiding in the clouds" school


      • Founder
        • Heinaizaemon Ienaga Iga in the mid 16th century.


      • Characteristics
        • Taijutsu is very similar to Togakure ryu. 
        • Sometimes the use of a deamon mask. 
        • Kikaku ken - deamons horn strikes (head strike) rarely used in other systems. 
        • Double blocks and strikes. Jumps while fighting. 
        • Various survival techniques included in training (making fire in wet weather)

      Gyokushin ryu ninpo - the "jewel heart" school


      • Founder
        • Sasaki Goemon Teryoshi around the mid 16th century  
      • Characteristics
        • Sutemi throws
        • Emphasis of espionage techniques of ninjutsu.