What is the Bujinkan? What does it stands for? These are some of the questions asked by many answered by few. Although I know as much as I don’t know I thought it would be refreshing to attempt to put things in perspective.
The Bujinkan was established by my Sensei, Masaaki Hatsumi Grandmaster of the
9 Ryu Ha passed down to him by his teacher Grandmaster Toshitsugu Takamatsu. One of the reasons for its establishment amongst others was to bring together the vast amount of knowledge passed down by the former under one umbrella.
It is a combination of skills which came to be known as Ninja Sanjurokei (36 categories of Ninpo arts) But more so the Bujinkan provides the ability to break through the boundaries of the art taking it to new levels, hence the Name Budo Taijutsu. As well as the ability to incorporate All the necessary tools for complete victory this is Happo Biken
It is multifaceted, colourful, and diverse much like the world we live in today. This can be a good thing and/or a challenging thing depending on which path you take. Mannerism, etiquettes and tradition are all part of training and for those who seek it can find it.
Although the Bujinkan is not the art, but rather a place where people cultivate the spirit of the art and gather with a common interest. It is a way to understand nature’s way, finding happiness through the eyes and heart of the divine.
To be a Student and achieve competence one needs a good teacher. A teacher is essential for nearly anything one wish to learn. Find a good teacher, trust him completely and he will take you to the same level he is.
Strive to know your Rank, Rank is a honour to those who train as well as a source of inspiration. It’s a symbol of learning and is heavily dependant on the content of the holder. Experience, dedication and hard work with an honest heart will lead to true development of Body, mind and spirit. This can never be obtained with money. Strive to polish your skills and hold high standards for yourself. In this way you can shine like a diamond.
Tamakatsu Sensei dream was for all his students to gather and grow together into the new millennium I believe the Bujinkan provides this forum. In Canada we started in 2008 with the Shihan Taikai which was a great success and will continue in the future to come. This is in line with Sensei vision of:
“Bushin Wa wo Totoshi to nasu“ – the warriors heart holds harmony sacred.
Ninpo is the way of nature, realizing ones purpose and achieving happiness. In nature all things have a purpose and each living organism has a function contributing to a proper living environment. For example a tree’s purpose among others is to clean the air, enrich the soil, and provide shelter and food. The sun provides warmth, light and energy indiscriminately. None of these examples questions its purpose; this is all part of Ten Chi In Yo. However in the human realm we are given emotions and ability to comprehend things thus adding another dimension.
As one looks in the mirror and sees one’s flaws so as to correct them. Similarly, the mind sees what has passed and corrects its future conduct. Thus, beasts do not evolve; they are still, in the same state they were created in. The mirror by which to see how to correct things and gradually evolve.. Man develops day-by-day until his merit is secured and sensed.
Some important skills to consider:
1) Sainou 才能 (Ability/talent) – to realize understand and devise a plan
2) Kokoro 心 (Heart) – to put life into the purpose
3) Utsuwa 器 (Capacity) – The capacity to realize on ones purpose
We all want to live a meaningful and purposeful life. We always see that those who find their purpose and pursue it are those who find true happiness. Great people are aware of a great life purpose. They are clear about their mission in life. What they think, say, and do is aligned with their essential values. This is why their thoughts, words, and actions create a great person.
Finding your life purpose and your deepest life intentions can help you to move with greater focus and clarity every day of your life.
As practitioners of Ninpo we are given the opportunity to learn the necessary skills to discover our own purpose. This however depends on our ability to empty our cup and immerse ourselves in the given knowledge.
Sensei writes in his book Ninpo Wisdom for Life “the first step of Shugyo is to endure the pain your teacher assigns you”, I would like to expend on this point. Today there is a tendency to be over protective so people often try to avoid hardship. This type of attitude or approach prevents one from growing. It is sad to see so many young people looking for the easy way and give Shigoki (hard training) a bad name. This concept is not only important in becoming a good martial artist but also developing in to a good person. Sensei always taught me that the harder the hardship the greater the growth forthcoming. You just need patience and endurance (Shinobu) and the rest will follow naturally. According to the teachings written in the scrolls of Ryusen no Maki “A hardship serves as an omen of future growth if one learns to ride the wave of life”.
During my years of training I experienced Shigoki on many levels but never let myself neglect my training. I don’t think of it as a great achievement or even my own rather then my ability to “empty my cup” and let Sensei fill it in every opportunity I get. In other words I do my best to endure the pain that Sensei assigns me with humility and compassion. The words “I am teaching you to teach yourself” still echo in my mind everyday. For this reason I teach my students in the same manner so they may capture the essence that I am trying to teach so one day they may stand on their own two feet.
10 years have passed since the Dojo opened its doors to the public and through endurance and growth is starting to bear fruit. It is very encouraging to see a good number of students who are starting to understand what I am teaching. All of whom have been with me for a while now and have being going through their own Shigoki. Rudy was tested for his Godan this past trip and passed successfully. He was tested on many levels, and I know he will represent the Dojo well.