The Bujinkan Dojo was founded by Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi to both honor and study the knowledge of his teacher, the legendary figure known as the “Mongolian Tiger,” Toshitsugu Takamatsu. Nine martial lineages were entrusted to Hatsumi more than 50 years ago, each one an authentic warrior tradition tempered by the history of Japan. Bujinkan training is no less than a modern resurgence of old-school thought akin to Bushi no michi, “the warrior path” – broad-minded, self-reliant warriorship that studies a range of tactics and strategies aimed at protecting and defending the lives of self and others.
Literally meaning “skill with the body,” Taijutsu forms the basis for all understanding in the Bujinkan. It is composed of:
Taihenjutsu: Tumbling and Breaking Falls
Taisabaki: Tactical Positioning
Buki: Weapons and Tools
Junan Taiso: Conditioning & Health
Some popular martial arts attempt to mold student response to fit a stylized set of predetermined movements. Taijutsu works in the opposite manner, naturalizing movement by stripping away awkward tendencies, so they may close the very openings an enemy might take advantage of. Taijutsu cultivates one’s resolve to persevere, where instinct supersedes technique and is sharpened with a set of principles outside the realm of pure physical might. By developing natural responses during initial training, larger, stronger, even multiple opponents can be defeated without reliance on brute force, speed, or strength. Instead, the student’s instincts of motivation, acuity, and balance are sharpened as tools capable of subduing even the largest adversary at a time of their greatest disadvantage.
The Shingitai-Ichi Dojo is known for replacing the static, imitation of techniques with a direct connection to the ebb and flow of martial principles in constant flux. This focus results in contextual tactical awareness and fosters the creative adaptability necessary to claim ownership of one’s capacities to “be” skilled today, instead of always training to “become” skilled. The art’s principles also provide the foundation for weapons usage, where tactics and strategy are identical whether fighting unarmed or with any number of martial tools. This practicality prompts tens of thousands from around the world, many involved in law enforcement or military operations, to seek out training. The Marine Corps Martial Arts Program and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Defensive Tactics Program have both utilized Taijutsu principles as a basis for their instruction.
Surviving more powerful enemies, challenges, and even our own personal weaknesses, means acting in the most efficient and decisive manner to ensure our own and loved one’s protection. If we utilize strategy to its utmost and do not limit ourselves to myopic approaches, we can see through the veil of adversity to turn seemingly hopeless moments into opportunities, ensuring there truly is no disadvantage.