|The Bujinkan was founded by Masaaki Hatsumi, the Soke (grandmaster) of nine schools (Kuryuha) of Ninpo and Budo. These nine schools trace their roots back well over a thousand years to various regions of Japan. Unconventional skills of scouting, spying and commando assault were used by many political leaders and generals in the struggle to unify Japan over 500 years ago. Each of the nine schools are traditions of “Jissen Gata” which means real fighting forms. Hatsumi Sensei inherited these schools from his teacher, the late Takamatsu Toshitsugu in 1972. Hatsumi Sensei was 26 years old when he first met Takamatsu Sensei in Kashiwabara City west of the Iga region in Japan. He traveled across Honshu island on weekends for fifteen years to study with his teacher. The 500 mile round trip train ride took him over a half day from his home in Noda to Takamatsu’s home in Kashiwabara. Hatsumi Sensei would study all weekend long with his teacher and then return home in time to open up his Seikotsu (Bone Setting) clinic on Mondays. Today, Hatsumi Sensei continues to teach the traditions he learned from Takamatsu Sensei in Japan by setting a training theme each year for his students to study. He is the author of many books and videos, as well as being featured in countless magazine and newspaper articles worldwide. Hatsumi Sensei is also an accomplished artist in the Nihonga style of brush work painting and his works have been on display in galleries in Japan and abroad.
|Toshitsugu Takamatsu Sensei was born on March 10th, 1889 in Hyogo prefecture Japan. At the age of nine he began studying the martial arts, and mastered the various schools from his grandfather Toda Shinryuken as well as from Ishitani Matsutaro, and Mizuta Yoshitaro Tadafusa. Takamatsu Sensei also lived in China and Korea for a while, where he had a teacher by the name of Kim Kei Mei. Takamatsu Sensei at one point in his life decided to secluded himself in the mountains. After returning from his first stay in China, he lived in his grandmother’s house. At this time, he was suffering from Beriberi (a vitamin deficiency disease that affects the cardiovascular, muscular, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems). He was told that his condition was incurable. Not wanting to be a burden to his grandmother with his ailments, he decided to leave. He took a few pounds of rice with him and went up Mayasan (Maya Mountain) to be alone, perhaps to die there. Takamatsu Sensei stayed by the Kame-no-o (Turtle Falls). There surrounded by nature, living on natural food (fruits, nuts from the trees, and on the fresh air and the “space” of the mountains), he managed to recover some of his health. Most of the time he spent on his back and could get around only by crawling. Takamatsu Sensei would wash his rice in a nearby river and just leave it on a rock in the sun to split open, and he would then eat it. One day an ascetic mountain monk came to Takamatsu Sensei, known as “Old Man Tamaoki”. The ascetic found Takamatsu Sensei praying under a waterfall in a poor state and told him that he had tapeworms and beriberi. The strange old man said to Takamatsu Sensei, “We will have to get rid of them!”, and started to chant an incantation and then stabbed him in the abdomen with a To-In hand seal. Takamatsu Sensei had his own ideas about such things and apparently said, “Come on, old man, you don’t expect that to work, do you?” By that time, Takamatsu didn’t care whether he died or not. The powerful old man said to Takamatsu that he would be rid of the tapeworms in a few days and walk off into the mountains while saying that he would be back. Three days later, two huge tapeworm, almost the size of two bowls of noodles, came out of him with two cut marks in a cross shape fashion. Soon the mysterious mountain monk appeared again one day and said it was time to cure his beriberi. Again the ascetic chanted an incantation and folded his fingers into a Ketsu-in hand seal. This time the monk said to Takamatsu your leg affliction will be gone in less then ten days. In seven days he felt full of life again! He began practicing his martial arts again, using the trees, rocks and wild animals around him in whatever way he could for his training. As a result of his training in the mountains, Takamatsu had become highly sensitive to many things. He was able to tell intuitively the sex and age of anyone approaching before they came within range of sight or hearing, he learned to see in the dark and how to foretell future events. He became know as the Sennin or Tengu of the mountain. After about a year of living like this, he had grown a long beard and finally came down from the mountains.