Bujinkan budo taijutsu (ninjutsu) faq
BUJINKAN BUDO TAIJUTSU (NINJUTSU) FAQ
This FAQ is an attempt to curtail all of the Bujinkan ranking system/fighting ability/ historical accuracy/ lineage claims/lack of aliveness threads that crop up now and again.
Q. What is Ninjutsu?
Classically Ninjutsu was the section of various different Weapons and Jujutsu Ryu-Ha that included Stealth and Covert tactics that have either been outdated or lost through the generations. Modern Ninjutsu consists of Ryu-ha descending from the Iga/Koga Region of Japan.
Q. What organizations teach Modern Ninjutsu that descend from this region?
A. Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, Genbukan Ninpo Bugei, Jinenkan, Tanaka Fumon, Kaminaga Shigemi. There are NO legitimate organizations teaching Koga region arts anymore.
Q. What is the ranking system of the Bujinkan?
A. The Bujinkan follows the kyu/dan ranking system 9th to 1st Kyu and dan ranks 1-15.
Q. How long to reach Shodan/Godan in the Bujinkan?
A. It depends on who you train with. However, in the United States in is not uncommon for 14 months to Shodan (1st degree black belt) and 3 years to Godan (5th degree Black Belt). While there are still some school that require a certain fighting and skill level, its not required for the organization. The only required test for rank is the Sakki Test in which the Bujinkan member will dodge a wooden sword from behind. The test is usually taken on Japan. After the test each subsequent trip to Japan usually has the member being given another Dan rank, creating numerous 15th dans. While this isn't true for everyone it happens a non-trivial percentage of the time.
Q. What is the historical accuracy of the Bujinkan claims to Koryu legitimacy?
Kukishin-ryu/Takagi Yoshin-ryu: Sister Samurai Arts that have been handed down together an have MANY branches of their tree.
Gyokko-ryu/Koto-ryu: Sister Arts for the Iga Region associated with Modern Ninjutsu
Shinden Fudo-ryu: Samurai Art that have a few legitimate branches
Togakure-ryu: Originally intended to be billed as Kukishin-ryu Ninpo (didn't get approval from the Kuki family) it is a collection of Ninjutsu techniques Takamatsu collected and organized into a Ryu-ha so the techniques wouldn't be lost to history. While the techniques are old, the Ryu-ha itself is only 60 years old.
Gyokushin-ryu/Kumogakure-ryu: Don't exist, Aren't taught.
Gikan-ryu: Legitimate Line passed Akimoto Fumio then to Akimoto Koki. The Bujinkan doesn't teach it even though Hatsumi has trained in the art, but is not the recognized Grandmaster. Gikan-ryu is still taught in Japan through its legitimate lineage.
Q. What is the training like in the Bujinkan?
A. Bujinkan 15th Dan Dale Seago was once quoted saying "I don't let my students spar. If they did they would hold back or kill or maim each other in seconds." That is the opinion of a large section of the Bujinkan. Slow no-contact training is a common training method. This is not true for all Bujinkan school however, they are in the minority and often attacked verbally (because they are too deadly to attack physically) by the majority of members.
Q. I heard Hatsumi's Sokeships aren't as clean cut as he claims. What is the story there?
A. Takamatsu's successor was a man named Ueno Takashi. This happened long before Hatsumi heard of Takamatsu. As some point later Hatsumi traveled to train with Takamatsu and was sent to Ueno's dojo. Shortly after, Ueno kicked Hatsumi out of his school. Hatsumi as this point went back to pay for private lessons with Takamatsu. After Takamatsu died, Hatsumi claimed that Takamatsu removed Ueno as his successor and placed Hatsumi there, a claim never confirmed by Takamatsu and not recognized by anyone other than Hatsumi and his students. Ueno later on passed his Sokeship to Kaminaga Shimegi who teaches the arts today. Lineage wise and scroll wise Kaminaga Shimegi holds the Sokeships, Hatsumi scrolls remain unverified.
Q: Why do people at Bullshido seem to look down on Bujinkan?
A: Bullshido favors alive training as a method of testing martial art's. Alive being defined as attempting to spar/roll/kumite with a fully resisting opponent, both of whom are intending to defeat the other person, preferably with as few a rules as possible in order to emulate a real fight.
Bujinkan for the majority lacks such training, although this is not always the case.
Q: My Bujinkan dojo trains in an alive method, but people don't believe me. What can I do to be viewed as different?
Simple solution here. Evidence.
Post a vid of you/your class training. Expect a critique, but you'll get a little more respect if you say you can spar and pull off a muso-dori when there's a vid of it.
Even better, turn up to a throwdown.
Last edited by <plasma>; 2/21/2011 9:31am at .
Interesting stuff, But it was not always like that.
It was only in the mid 1990s that the Mickey Mouse Bujinkan Mc Dojo global pandemic realy started to distroy the Bujinkan. Its now about the MONEY not The Art.
I just want to know from any other Booj old timers like myself, As you were comming up the ranks did you come across any of the bad wayS to run a club, I did.
One of the most notorious attempts at a martial art McDojo money making club, Which provoded the most expensive training ever seen anywhere in my part of this world was in operation in the 1990s.
The cost to each student worked out at around 4,000 Euro a head, plus the cost of any simanars attended outside of ###### which could easly run to thousands... The leader of this group was clearly in it for the money.
After reading a few books on N.L.P. ect... The leader tryed to turn these teachings into making money and trying to set up a Messianic Cult inside an existing organization
All the cult warning signs realy came to light from 1995 on
Things came to a head towards the end of 1990s when this leader tryed to get his black belts to do "visits" for him (this is true) on two irish x-members of his club and on an english instructor
- The use of N.L.P. : mind control on students, use of special methods to heighten suggestibility and subservience, powerful group pressures
- The internal politics : Students were put in physically or emotionally distressing situations
- A lot of "clones" in the group exhibiting a great and excessive devotion and dedication to the leader
- Setting up of a "inner circle" - "black belt club" ( a nasty, back biting, in-fighting pack of senior students )
- New student waiting list - the club is very exclusive and a decision must be made about whether each student is worthy before they are "allowed" to begin instruction
- Any new students - People whom do not know any better and could be controled were the ones let in ( drones )
- Main social life within the group
- The leader did flatter, cajole and rebuke to manipulate members for control for money/sex
- The leader Never allow any student to put a finger him ( appart from the "clones" )
- The leader trained AT his students NOT with his students
- Fast traking rank to members he could control
- With-holding rank, The more time a student spends training the more money he can get out of them
- Outlawing of students training with other clubs within the same org
- Style restrictions : Members were not allowed to do any other martial arts, otherwise The leader got offended and held the student back on gradings
- Every colour belt has to at the end of each class had get their "Time Sheets" signed by a black belt
- The leader demand volunteer labor
- Violence in the class : The leader did hit students, or had a senior student hit students under orders from the leader to do so
- If what any student did for a living and he could make money out of it , he wanted a cut or free labor
- Timing of over priced seminars to give students time to save up enough money for these saminars, powerful group pressures put on students to support said seminars
- Workshops - saturday for colour belts - sunday for black belts- only ten places each day at 30 a head, If less then ten people turned up everyone had to pay an extra five
- Pyramid Scheme: The setting up of other clubs run by " clones " that the leader could control
- Witholding rank from people who wanted to set up their own club that he could not control
- Giving Kickbacks per student that each club under him brings to his Seminairs
- Problems in class: The student or sub group that the leader could get the most money from was in the right
At the end of the day a club of around thirty students ended up with two members, people saw the light and walked away from that man
As for the " clones " and " drones " they did not know any better, now did they... or should I say do they
This leader ran a sub group hiding inside an International Martial Arts org
So without further comments - Let the Fur Fly -
Last edited by Bujinkan Jesus; 5/22/2010 9:06am at .
Are you talking about the BBD? They were huge at the beginning of the 90's in Europe - from my experience some of what you said above applies to them and some does not, just wondering if it's their 'leader' you are referring to (what a Bullshido expose he would make!!).
Last edited by Prince Vlad; 5/23/2010 7:27am at .
Quit cluttering an FAQ thread.
Bujinkan Jesus -- There are plenty of Bujinkan threads discussing the cult-like aspects that sometimes appear in training groups. Some are not all that old. Please familiarize yourself with the search function and find one, or at least have the decency to start a new thread.
It might be a good idea to introduce yourself in the Newbietown forum and spend some more time lurking and less time posting for a few weeks. The next time you get caught out in the wild junking up threads might not be so pleasant.
This FAQ is awesome. Plasma is informative, accurate, and gets right to the point, but makes so many grammatical errors that it's a horror show to read. Scroll down, and we get Styygens ominously warning a newbie that his next cluttering of a thread "might not be so pleasant". Great stuff.
Slaphappyslim. If you want to fix my grammatical horror show, you'll get no complaints from me. Grammar has always been my weakest subject.
Thanks Plasma for what you posted, now I understand where the issues as it pertains to bujinkan comes from. I will be one of the first to admit that many of the techniques, ura or omote in a live environment are hard to pull *unless the person is stun* musha dori same thing.
I hope that this post is in keeping with the topic. These are my personal experiences and they kind of jive with what has been covered.
I can talk about three instructors/schools that I have studied under/been at. In 1990, in Ogden, Utah, I was studying EPAK and a friend of mine was studying Bujinkan "Ninjutsu" less than a mile away and his classes ran over an hour past mine; I would come by the instructor let me participate.
These guys were hands on, using close to full speed punches even if they were very into the whole "ninja" thing. But there were many nights when I would go home feeling worse from "goofing off with the ninjas" than after working through two hours of Kenpo. Then I joined the Air Force and went away.
In 2007 I started up in Colorado Springs with a "Budo Taijutsu" class. It was a 180. Some of the techniques like the Kihon Happo and the Sanchin were the same but it felt more like an into to Parkour/free running than martial arts. There was no sparring allowed, none and the weapon emphasis was on swords, shuriken and naginata(?). I was there for a short period of time but quickly advanced through the ranks.
In 2008 I tried another BBT school because it was closer to work; it was the same but worse. After I brought up sparring and working with someone from another system (Krav Maga) I was politely told to either go over to Krav where I could "fight like a street fighter" or learn a 900 year old system that far out strips anything he (he being my instructor) has ever learned before.
14 months to Shodan? 3 years to Godan?
I never heard this. What are the sources for Ueno was appointed successor, Ueno having the scrolls to prove it? I don't suppose this Ueno is alive today. Anyone who has more information on him?
Originally Posted by Plasma
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