Budō Hikan 武道秘巻

I have begun to translate a nine-volume old document that was written by Tanemura Sensei when he was still a senior member of the Bujinkan. The title of the document is Budō Hikan 武道秘巻 (Martial Arts Secret Volume). There is not so much “new information” contained in the pages. However, the style of writing in certain sections has deep spiritual overtones that express some of the highest teachings that Hatsumi Sensei has always stressed. As the title suggests, this was a kind of “guidebook” for new students entering the dojo. This is a common practice when you train in Koryu (old arts) in Japan. Often, when you take a formal oath of entrance, you may receive an introductory overview in the form of a “Nyumon” entrance guidebook.

Outline of the Nine Volumes:

  1. 巻之一 Maki-no-Ichi (Volume 1) 入門のしおり Nyūmon no Shiori (Beginner’s Guidebook)
  2. 巻之二 Maki-no-Ni (Volume 2) 忍辱精神 Ninniku Seishin
  3. 巻之三 Maki-no-San (Volume 3) 忍術秘訣文 Ninjutsu Hiketsubun
  4. 巻之四 Maki-no-Yon (Volume 4) 古伝本流之心得 Koden Honryū no Kokoroe
  5. 巻之五 Maki-no-Go (Volume 5) 詞韻波羅密大光明 Shikin Haramitsu Daikomyo
  6. 巻之六 Maki-no-Roku (Volume 6) 戸隠流忍法記録 Togakure-ryu Ninpō Kiroku
  7. 巻之七 Maki-no-Nana (Volume 7) 柔 • 体 • 拳 口訣 Ju • Tai • Ken Kuketsu
  8. 巻之八 Maki-no-Hachi (Volume 8 ) 骨指 • 骨法 口訣 Kosshi • Koppo Kuketsu
  9. 巻之九 Maki-no-Kyū (Volume 9) 基本八法型 Kihon Happo Gata
  10. 戸隠流 系譜 Togakure-ryu Keifu
  11. 九鬼神伝流八法秘剣術 系譜 Kukishinden Happo Bikenjutsu Keifu
  12. 高木揚心流) 系譜 Takagi Yoshin-ryu Keifu


巻之一 Maki-no-Ichi (Volume 1) 入門のしおり Nyūmon no Shiori (Beginner's Guidebook)

You are all here by deep karma, and you have come together in this school of true martial arts. I ask you to learn the sacred arts of “Busei” together, to reach the other shore of the divine mind and divine eye (Shinshin Shingan), to use your martial arts to save the lives of the lost, to bring light to the wicked, and to realize that you have been given a mission from heaven to create a utopia of harmony.

Budo is the world of the spiritual sword, the world of the mind. To know the Dharma, one must continually practice, and if one does, the light will come out.

A true warrior is one who is filled with light. I pledge to the heavens, and I hope that this volume of divine truth will serve as a reference for those who seek to walk the true path of the warrior, as a guide to walking together with me.

Ninpo Ikkan Magokoro Ni Masarei 忍宝一貫真心而正霊
(Patience is the only way to be consistent with one’s sincerity and the righteousness of one’s spirit.)

Luckily, there are a lot of people who know the secret of the fire cloud (Hikaun 秘火云).

巻之七 Maki-no-Nana (Volume 7) 柔 • 体• 拳 口訣 Ju • Tai • Ken Kuketsu

The method of defeating the enemy and protecting oneself while unarmed is called Jujutsu. It is called Taijutsu that can protect oneself until the very end while unarmed. Knocking the opponent into the “dead zone / inescapable situation” (Shichi 死地) while unarmed is called Dakenjutsu 打拳術, and throwing the opponent with skill and strength is called Judo.

Therefore, these techniques similar to Jujutsu are not the methods of seeking and cultivating ferocity, trying to intensify the desire for conquest, or preferring to be brutal and violent. Yes. This strength of spirit is a skill to learn in order to eliminate all obstacles, always have a spirit of readiness, cultivate a healthy body, and create a personality with perfected normal characteristics.

Motochika Chōsokabe 長曽我部元親 wrote in his memoirs that the figure of a warrior is as pure as a cherry blossom, and the strength and bravery of a plum blossom that surpasses the clouds. Even if one hates it and wins 1,000 times, he will not be complacent. Knowing that the secrets of Taijutsu are the foundation of peace, if you learn them, you will be on the path of Fudoshin 不動心.

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