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Training is conducted in a relaxed and non-competitive manner with focus on efficiency of movement. Knowledge of pressure points and mastery of taijutsu(natural body movements and positions) enables one to create force for striking and blocking(dakentaijtsu) as well as distance for evasion and defence(taihenjutsu). An understanding of likely and possible attack patterns helps the student to react naturally and confidently to any threat. We cover weapons incuding swords, knives, sticks, ropes and chain. Multiple attacker scenarios are covered as well. Smaller practioners are able to survive and escape or even disable and restrain much bigger opponents once a sufficient proficiency is achieved. Think of Toshitsugu Takamatsu Sensei, a small man pysically, and the last active ninja who had many fights to the death in challenge matches as well as killing many others during his time spent as a bodygaurd for the last emperor of China.
In this day and age, as martial arts are commercialized and systemized for the sake of bloodsport, we in the Bujinkan stick to the teachings of a time when fighting was for survival and protection, not for trophies.
Since the creation of gunpowder, the need for authentic systems waned, and gradually martial arts became focused on competitions and rule based challenge matches. Real world violence still exists, and so does the need for systems to help us overcome such situations.
The "Ninjutsu Hiketsu Bun" (essay on essence of ninjutsu) written by Takamatsu SenseiThe 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 body, 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, continous 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 way to experience ultimate happiness is to let go of all worries and regrets, and to know that being happy is the most satisfying of life's feelings.
Reflect back on all the progress in your life and allow the positive, creative and joyous thoughts to outshine and overwhelm any sorrow or grief that may linger in the recesses of your mind. Knowing that disease and disaster are natural parts of life is the key to overcoming adversity with a calm and happy spirit.
Happiness is waiting there in front of you.
Only you can decide whether or not you choose to experience it.
Take this to heart.
Kofuku No Shiori
by Toshitsugu Takamatsu, 33rd Headmaster of Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu
“For taijutsu, the flexibility of the legs is the most important factor, not the strength of the legs.” Takamatsu Sensei