Kokyuho 呼吸法

Kokyuho  呼吸法 are methods of various breathing practices in which the conscious control of breathing is said to influence a person’s mental, emotional or physical state, with therapeutic effect. 

In Ninpo Kokyuho is part of the internal training methods used to transcend the physical barriers of martial arts training. Therefore giving our practice a deeper meaning and developing our skills to a more sublime level. It’s important not confuse Kokyuho with Zen meditation.

Kokyu ho is also used for developing strong kiai. Through Kokyu ho, one learns how to let ki energy in the body circulate freely. When ki energy is in harmonization with physical action, kiai is usually manifested in a powerful yell. 

one example is to inhale all the air possible through the nose, then hold the air while putting pressure in the hara. Then exhale slowly through the mouth but still keep the pressure in the lower abdomen. This exercise is repeated numerous times for a couple of minutes.

Takamatsu Sensei stated the following:

“The primary point of being healthy is that the spine (背骨) and legs are strong/sturdy. In order to maintain this, the Bugeisha 武云者 (practitioner of the martial arts) had been acquainted with Hichibuku Goshinjutsu 秘致武九護身術. Saiminjutsu 催眠術 (hypnotism) techniques, Seishin Ryōhō 精神療法 (psychotherapy), and Kokyūhō 呼吸法 (breathing methods).“

Chugoku Kenpo 中国拳法

At Heiho Canada students are exposed to elements of the Chinese fighting and healing arts. Chinese arts have influenced the way Ninpo Bugei has evolved over the centuries. Tales regarding the Chinese master Chen who settled in Iga several hundred years ago and taught Quan Fa (Chinese Boxing) and military strategies. It is important to investigate such influences in order to understand the roots of Ninpo Bugei through cultural and historical changes.

Taiji Quan – Taijiquan is one of the major divisions of wushu. It consists of basic barehand exercises, exercises with long and short weapons, tuishou (push-hand) and sanshou (free hand) exercises. A whole set of theories has been built up for it. Facts have shown that regular practice helps to prevent and cure chronic diseases. The practice of Taiji also improves motor skills and develops awareness between body mind and limbs.

24-form tai chi chuan

The form was the result of an effort by the Chinese Sports Committee, which, in 1956, brought together four Taiji teachers – Chu GuitingCai LongyunFu Zhongwen, and Zhang Yu – to create a simplified form of Taiji as exercise for the masses. Some sources suggests that the form was structured in 1956 by master Li Tian Ji . The creators truncated the traditional family style Taiji forms to 24 postures; taking about six minutes to perform and to give the beginner an introduction to the essential elements of Taijiquan, yet retain the traditional flavor of traditional longer hand forms (in general, 88-108 postures). Henceforth, this form was avidly promoted by the People’s Republic of China for general exercise, and was also taught to internees in Communist “re-education” camps. Due to this official promotion, the 24-form is most likely the Taiji form with the most practitioners in China and the world over (though no surveys have been performed).

48-form tai chi chuan

The 48-form is traditionally taught divided into six sections, so you may focus on adding a small number of movements to your overall form gradually. 

The first section stresses basic hand and foot movements and the essential Peng, Lu, Ji, An (Ward Off, Rollback, Press, and Push). The second involves flexible changes in movements of body and legs with Turn Body to Thrust Palm as the focus. The third section has the first climax with many rises and falls and body turns with Slap Foot and Tame the Tiger as the focus. 

The fourth section centers around the challenging Right Heel Kick movement. The fifth focuses on Fair Lady Shuttles on both the left and right, requiring balance, suppleness, and coordination. The sixth section contains a great variety of hand forms, stances, and body movements such as Turn Body and Sweep Lotus, and the final climax of the form.

A Student’s perspective

1) Difference between Taijutsu and Goshin Jutsu.
Sensei Eduard invited the class to actively think about the class they had signed up for by asking them to express what they believed was the difference between Taijutsu and Goshin Jutsu. Why specifically study both? A few students offered their response. Sensei explained:

(Paraphrasing my understanding of the response): Taijutsu and Goshin Jutsu guide the student toward the same destination – the ability to defend oneself without thinking after having internalized the movements thousands of times. Taijutsu teaches us the principles of the movements through foundational movements and kata. We begin with “big” or exaggerated movements to learn the fundamentals such as balance, timing, and distancing. Over time, movements are shortened and applied in more practical terms for true fighting situations. Once Goshin Jutsu is mastered, these movements are no longer part of kata, they become a part of self. The body begins to respond automatically to situations of danger.

2) Winning by not fighting.

Sensei stressed the importance of one’s mindset and heart when learning Goshin Jutsu. Paradoxically, the objective of learning to fight is to never have to fight at all unless it becomes an absolute necessity. It’s best to avoid situations of conflict by being aware of one’s surroundings, changes in the emotions of those around us, and other potentially dangerous or harmful situations. Sensei also mentioned in passing that the principle of “avoiding” (avoiding danger and I suspect avoiding with movements) is central to the philosophy of Gyoko Ryu.

3) Protection of Mind, Body, and Spirit.

Through training, a student learns more than mere (physical) self-defence. They are taught a complete system of protection. Protection of body, mind, and spirit. First, training teaches the protection of the body through waza and kata. Through ongoing training the student then learns to strengthen their mind in order to avoid being manipulated or tricked. Finally, the student learns to protect and strengthen their spirit. An ability that lets one see into the hearts of people with what Sensei calls “The eyes of God”.

4) Awareness of the Law.

Sensei also stressed the importance of the legal system in situation of physical violence. In this country, the police may protect the guilty as readily as they will protect the innocent. Younger teens are also more aware of their “rights” and it doesn’t take much to find oneself in trouble with the law. Police don’t do this because they intend to do harm to society, but they do want to uphold the law. It’s important to be aware of such things. Should a situation such as this arise, it may be better to contact the police first and let them know what transpired in order to better guide the legal outcome.

5) Always Remain Calm.

Confrontational situations often create feelings of fear, anxiety, and distress. It’s important to calm one’s mind (and spirit). Breathing is an important tool. Training teaches the student to deal with such situations gradually through increasingly dangerous, aggressive, and intense situations.

6) Use the unexpected to your advantage.

Throughout class Sensei demonstrated the advantage one can achieve through attacking from places the opponent cannot see. (Sensei demonstrated a number of examples throughout class which demonstrated this point).

7) Heaven and Hell.

Sensei shared a kuden (paraphrasing): “Above the blade there is hell. Under the blade there is heaven”. This statement was illustrated with techniques against an armed attacker. The uke (myself) would strike down towards Sensei and Sensei, instead of moving away, would move into my space eliminating all power while at the same time unbalancing my mind and my spirit. We must be brave and let go of fear to achieve such techniques.

8 ) The Line Between Right and Wrong.

Sensei explained that it’s important to truly understand the difference between right and wrong. It’s important not to lie to ourselves about what is right and what is wrong. And we should live accordingly. This makes me think of another class where Sensei talked about the challenges we face with the temptations of everyday life. We must learn to behave correctly despite not being sheltered from temptation as (for example) the monks in the mountains who train in peace and without distraction.

9) Mind Control.

Sensei demonstrated techniques that I dare call “mind control”. He could stop an attacker in the middle of an attack with a kiai, a feeling, an intention. I can only report what I saw. It’s difficult to discuss what actually happened here…

10) Tying it all Together.

After all of this, Sensei finished class by tying the class together. Now that the students had an opportunity to “taste” Goshin Jutsu, he once again discussed the concept of “no mind” and that this was where the path to Taijutsu led: a place where we could defend oneself without thinking and without fear. In the end Sensei concluded by stressing the importance of training in the fundamentals and to keep going.

Learning Ninjutsu and Budo in the 21st century?

This article was written with the hope to inspire and motivate those who do not have the opportunity to visit a traditional Dojo near them but are interested to undertake the study of Budo and realize on its many benefits of life enhancing journey.

Everybody knows that technological innovation is reshaping the world faster than ever before. The proof is in our devices which hold something close to the sum of humanity’s knowledge.

The biggest commodity in today’s world is “data” and “time”. With an exponential growth in technology and Information becoming hard to keep up with this means we are trying to keep up with information and lifestyle by managing our time. For everything we choose to do, there is an opportunity cost. In other words, doing one thing will require the sacrifice or neglecting of another.

So how do we find a balance between work and lifestyle where part of that lifestyle is our passion and commitment to learning Budo? 

2019 is the year of the Metal Rat. Rats are clever, quick thinkers; successful, but content with living a quiet and peaceful life so it happens that the characteristics the Rat aligns with that of our current lifestyles and aspirations. 

The key to keeping up with the rate of change is to prioritize, remain engaged, connected and network. It is our Masters wish that we foster and build on a community of friendship he created into the future. In order to do so members of this community need maintain basic human principles of respect, collaborate and sharing of information and knowledge. While maintaining all that we need to make sure we train the next generation of enthusiast.

For the longest time Budo was transmitted directly from master to disciple. This was the only way during turbulent times. Even now there are things that can not be transmitted publicly. However there is no longer a reason to hide everything. With the world population nearing 8 Billion there are many sincere individuals around the world eager to learn Japanese Budo and culture that do not have the means or access to a physical dojo near them. 

The beauty of technology today is that it allows those individuals the opportunity to study   directly and in real time with qualified teacher. It’s common knowledge that you can not learn everything online however you can get individuals to a level where they are self motivated to explore and dig deeper beyond the confined of their screens. History is full of tales of disciples discovering a master and taking tutelage only for the master to move on shortly after. So no 2 students of old were created equally. The same can be said to modern times.  I have seen several honest and eager students that were able to grow and develop through online training much better then local students training at the Dojo. These individuals are contributing positively to their communities.

It may not be the most perfect and preferred approach but its a way for more individuals to get engaged. If you are interested in a such a program please reach us through our website or our various social media platforms.

NINJUTSU HIKETU-BUN 忍術秘訣文

The original translation is very deep and spiritual and may be tough for the general public to understand. I therefore provide a modern approach translation while still maintaining the essence so everyone can enjoy regardless of experience.

Through martial arts strategy the skills of self protection can be used to protect oneself ( Body/mind). However the highest level of defence can be reached through Ninjutsu ( spirit). It is important to establish good ethical background. If do not maintain the correct attitude (spirit) in the martial way you are likely to cause yourself or others injury or death. If we use medicine as an analogy it’s primary function is to aid in healing however if one develop dependencies beyond the prescribed use, it can lead to imbalance causing harm. The same with food… We need food to sustain life. However excessive use through overeating or eating unhealthy will destroy our body. Politicians have the responsibility to serve and protect their citizens. However if a politician is consumed with too much desire and greed or lack of wisdom it will cause imbalance within its constituents and country. The same is true for religion; if a religion is true and sincere, then it can aid people to achieve balanced living and help society prosper. If a master of the martial arts is to truly study Ninjutsu he must learn the  secret of Kanjin Kaname and develop the foresight of Shinshin Shingan. Through attaining this wisdom and character one can walk in the path righteousness. For man this is called having faith and follow natural laws. 

The use of the five elements of Moku / Ka / Do / Kin / Sui (Wood / Fire / Earth / Metal / Water) gives insight to the dependencies of existence. With nature the seasons come into existence. If any of the seasons contain imbalance then nature will need to find a way to correct itself. When human beings follow a righteous, sincere and correct life then they can be in harmony with nature and the divine. Understanding these Universal Laws one can live with harmony with all living beings.This is having the wisdom of foresight to see things for what they really are.

It is a prerequisite for a Ninja to be righteous and have this understanding. To be able to study Ninjutsu one must be able have this wisdom of foresight and tell the difference between right or wrong. It is said that Ninjutsu  originated through Cho Busho and Cho Gyokko. Though these founders many theories came about. It is said they brought with them and transmitted the knowledge of Karate Hicho Jutsu, Koppo Jutsu, Senban Nage Jutsu and other skills. These later formed the foundation of Ninjutsu.

Those who followed their teachings were able to attain this wisdom and foresight through rigorous training and meditation. There is a a reference to a place where famous masters obtained enlightenment. This place still exist to this day. In the past this place was called Tojin Iwa.

One of the many skills they developed was to use their willpower to subdue their opponent. This development took place in the Iga area and through warriors from Fujiwara, Minamoto, and Taira Clans who sought refuge in the mountains of Iga the art naturally evolved to what its known today,  The formation of Happo Biken Jutsu was transmitted through generations.  It is said that martial art which uses the number 9 and has 9 methods or ways makes for absolute victory.


Bujinkan Dojo Guidelines

First of all, only those persons who consent to this Bujinkan Dojo agreement and are resolved to adhere to it will be allowed to join. Persons who think they cannot adhere to it will not be allowed to join. Accordingly,

  1. Only persons who have carefully read this Bujinkan Dojo agreement and agree to it will be allowed to join.
  2. Only persons who are able to show the determined consistency of true persevering self-control as martial artists will be allowed to join.
  3. A physician’s medical report is required. In particular, persons who are mentally
    unhealthy, persons addicted to drugs, and those who are mentally abnormal will not be allowed to join. The “requirement of a physician’s medical report” includes, for example, persons having illnesses which risk the prevention of the pursuit of martial arts, and the kind of abnormal personalities, abnormal physical constitutions, etc. which the person cannot personally control.
  4. Persons having a past criminal record will not be admitted. Additionally, persons who behave in a delinquent fashion, persons who commit crimes, and persons who cannot keep the law in Japan will also not be permitted to join.
  5. Persons who do not keep the rules of the Bujinkan, who, as both students and members of society, commit shameful acts will be expelled. For example, there are many persons who, in the past, came to Japan and knocked at the gate of the Bujinkan, but were drunken brawlers, mentally abnormal, those who by their delinquent behavior put their own thoughts first and did not think about the trouble they were causing for others, those who pursued evil desires and committed acts contrary to the traditionally righteous attitude of the Bujinkan. All such people will be subject to expulsion.
  6. With regard to any accidents incurred during training, either in the dojo or another location, only persons who can avoid causing trouble for the Bujinkan will be allowed to join. This is an important matter. Accidents are inseparable from the pursuit of martial arts, and persons who cannot resolve these matters themselves will absolutely not be admitted. To clarify a second time, the Bujinkan Dojo will assume absolutely no responsibility for accidents arising during the course of training, no matter what the location.
  7. Persons who have joined the Bujinkan must be sure to have the membership card which is issued every year. This is to preserve the honor of Bujinkan members and, as nobility with the peace of the martial heart, to show that warriors of friendship protect the great way of the Bujinkan Dojo by the gathering of comrades who have the heart of the martial artist. The power of warrior virtue, the proven reason for the loyalty, filial piety and love of friends in the martial arts.
  8. The tradition of the Bujinkan is something which shows the universality of nature and the life of the human race, and is that pursuit of martial arts which enlightens the natural mysteries that exist in them.
    “Know that the secret of taijutsu is the foundation of peace If you study this, you can walk the path of the immovable heart (fudoshin).”   Dojo Instruction:
    1. Know that perseverance is, first of all, for but a brief period of time.
    2. Know that the path of man is justice.
    3. Forget the heart of greed, comfort, and discrimination (reliance).
    4. Consider sorrow and bitterness to be natural laws, and simply take advantage of the enlightenment of the immovable heart.
    5. With a steady heart, do not stray from the path of loyalty and filial piety, aspire deeply to the ways of both literary and martial arts.
    The rule of the Dojo is to keep the above 5 laws. Meid?i 23 (1890) First Day of Spring, Toda Shinryuken Masamitsu
    Showa 33 (1958) A Lucky Day in March, Takamatsu Toshitsugu Uou
    Hatsumi Masaaki Byakuryuu
  9. After joining, beginning with Taijutsu,
    • Kyu grades: Beginner
    • 1st dan through 5th dan: Heaven
    • 6th dan through 10th dan: Earth
    • 11th dan through 15th dan: Man
    • Ranks from 11th dan through 15th dan of the “Man” level will be divided into 5 levels: Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, and Void, and will be the highest ranks in Bujinkan Dojo Happo Biken.
    • The 5th dan examination is of a spiritual nature and is something which is done by Soke. A 15th dan will be considered to be a true shihan.

Currently, the Bujinkan Dojo has become worldwide in nature. Just as the Earth has time zones, taboos also exist according to each country and race. Buyu should hold each other in respect, working together as Buyu who do not commit taboos, putting the heart of the martial artist first, placing importance on the pursuit of the martial arts, and strive to become a virtuous person. The person who cannot hold to the above will be expelled.

Bujinkan Dojo
Soke Masaaki Hatsumi
(Martial Name: Hisamune)

Togakure Ryu Ninpo Happo Biken 34th Head
Gyokko Ryu Kosshijutsu Happo Biken 28th Head
Koto Ryu Koppojutsu Happo Biken 18th Head
Shindenfudo Ryu Dakentaijutsu Happo Biken 26th Head
Kukishin Ryu Taijutsu Happo Biken 28th Head
Takagiyoshin Ryu Jutaijutsu Happo Biken 17th Head
Kumogakure Ryu Ninpo Happo Biken 14th Head
Gyokushin Ryu Ninpo Happo Biken 21st Head
Gikan Ryu Koppo Happo Biken 15th Head

The Spirit of Yamato in the world of modern Budo

The Spirit of Yamato in the world of modern Budo
Japanese paper (washi 和紙) is one of the several symbols of Japanese culture and spirit. It is made using fibers from the bark of the gampi tree, the mitsumata shrub (Edgeworthia papyrifera), or the paper mulberry. Washi comes from wa which refers to Japanese and shi meaning paper. The process is very precise and requires skills and knowledge held by a handful of families throughout Japan. However, due to the “modernization” of society and technology, the lengthy process, and declining interest/appreciation by younger generation is slowly causing the tradition to erode. It was during a discussion about this subject with my Shodo (calligraphy) teacher that I was reminded once again about the importance of Yamato Damashi and subsequently sparked the interest to write this article. Sensei mentioned that although Japanese paper can be made by a more “cost efficient ways” and may look like Japanese paper it cannot be called one. The reason for this is that the traditional way of producing paper is done with the “correct spirit”. This “spirit” cannot be achieved with technology but rather through passing knowledge from teacher to student by word of mouth. This “spirit/attitude” is connected to any action in ones daily life and is especially prevalent in the world of Budo.
Yamato-damashii 大和魂 (“the Japanese spirit”) is a historical and cultural, developed in the Heian period which set the premises of describing Japanese spirit and attitude achieved by following the ‘way’ of the people. This term is often contrasted with the knowledge and scholarship imported into Japan from China. It can be also understood as ‘The Soul of Old Japan’. ‘For this national type of moral character was invented the name Yamato-damashi
Yamato-damashii refers to “Japan or Japanese”. The characters for Yamato (大和) translates as great harmony. Wa (倭 or 和) is Japan’s oldest endonym and derives from the Han Dynasty Chinese exonym Wō 倭 “Japan, Japanese”. This character 倭, which graphically combines the 亻 “human, person” radical and a wěi 委 “bend” Japanese scribes replaced the Chinese character 倭 for Wa “Japan” with Wa 和 “harmony; peace”.
Soke has also mentioned “Tamashii”. Most commonly translated as “soul”, we may also acknowledge that in order to understand the duty of fudoumyo, we must accept fully the teachings to understand the soul of bushido
Developing the soul of budo is the aim of the true budoka. This is far more important to me than continually learning new skill sets. While training, we will inevitably learn new waza. However, if there is no soul or heart to the movement, there is ultimately nothing, only an empty shell. This is part of the reason we recite the Ninja Seishin and a special verse every class.
Damashi or Tamashi is closely related to the theme of the year, Sai no Kon Ki. In this theme Utsuwa also can imply a person of high calibre or capacity. A person may have Saino & Tamashii, 魂but must have the caliber to understand, unify, and use these together in harmony to their full potential.
This type of ‘spirit’ is of extreme importance in the world Budo and Ninpo. In essence if you do this type of Budo without this type of attitude you may not be doing Japanese Budo but rather your own interpretation of it. It’s not something that can be seen necessarily or even understood. It is more like being able to absorb it with the whole body over time. To further explain what it is that is being referred to let’s look at air. It cannot be seen, touched or felt yet everyone knows it exists and we need it to sustain life. Another analogy would be that one cannot cook any kind of ethnic food without being able to fully absorb the process, flavour, taste and customs associated. There is a story about an individual moved to Japan to study Japanese paper making and was asked about the subject after training for several years. His reply was that although I have been learning how to make paper for quite some time I have yet to achieve the required spirit associated with it and as such cannot call the paper I am making Japanese. it would probably require additional time to acquire this essence. In Ninpo, when you perform a waza without this type of spirit it in essence loses its flavour and authenticity. Many of the modern Budo and sport martial arts may seem attractive to many but are truly deviating from the source.
This is not an easy concept to understand especially for a person who was not born and educated with this type of mentality. It also easy to ignore this type of attitude as it requires in some cases an adjustment to ones perspective and conduct. The truth is not always easy to accept but as practitioners of Ninpo we strive to polish our spirit through training and follow the righteous heart. I encourage you to dig deep and discover the true essence and spirit of our Budo.

Cha Do – the art of tea.

Yesterday after class we reviewed the making of traditional Japanese Macha Tea. The history of matcha in Japan is said to commence in the 12th Century, when Zen monk Eisai [栄西] (1141-1215) brought tea seeds he had gathered on a study trip to China. In the 8-9th Century however, Buddhist Monks Saichō [最澄] (767-822) and Kūkai [空海] (774-835) had already brought tea seeds from China. But at that time tea was processed into compressed cubical bricks or cakes, and it was not until the following century that a powdered kind of tea, resembling what we nowadays perceive as matcha, became the standard.

How To Prepare

First things first, put the kettle on and grab yourself a mug or if you want more authenticity, try using a chawan, a traditional Japanese tea cup.

Once the kettle has boiled, wait for a minute or two so that the temperature of the water is approximately 80°C. If the water is too hot, your tea may become too bitter.

Add a small teaspoon of matcha powder to your cup and then fill with approximately 60ml of hot water.

Using a chasen, or matcha whisk, mix the powder in with the water so that no lumps remain in the tea. Mix for a minute until the tea has lots of small bubbles on the surface and appears slightly frothy.
Your tea is now ready so sit down, relax and enjoy your green tea, perhaps with a small Japanese sweet on the side.

Tips and Information

– If you live in an area with hard water, try using a water filter to purify the water before you boil it. This will give you a cleaner tasting tea.

– Try adjusting the amount of water and matcha used until you find the right taste for you.

– Traditional matcha green tea is much bitter than the regular green tea so you might need something sweet to balance the taste.

About Japanese Martial Arts Attire

What do many English speaking martial artists call their uniform? Chances are if they train in a style of martial arts that originates from Japan they’ll often call it a “Gi,” however there is a problem with this. It is grammatically incorrect, and a misuse of this Japanese “word.” For you see, “Gi” isn’t actually a word at all, it is a suffix. How do we represent a suffix as a stand-alone term? This is something most English speakers were taught very early on in their education; we can

So how did this suffix -gi come to be misconstrued as a stand alone word? Ignorance and/ or laziness. Many people are told that -gi is the word for “clothes,” however it isn’t quite that simple. See the word for clothes that uses the same kanji is actually Kimono. We can see this quite clearly when looking at the kanji. The kanji for -gi is 着while the kanji for Kimono is 着物. But wait, why is it pronounced differently: -gi vs ki?

In Japanese there is a natural speech pattern called Rendaku (連濁). This is where often times a sound presented in the middle of a word will often be softened. In English we call this Sequential Voicing or simply Voicing. Sounds such as T, S, K, and H all have a softened version used later in words: T becomes D, S becomes Z, K becomes G, and H becomes B or P. Those who have studied Hiragana and/or Katakana have already seen this:

たーだ

さーざ

かーが

はーば、ぱ

Or in this case きbecomes ぎ.

Okay… so if it is -gi as a suffix should we call it a ki instead? No, that would also be grammatically incorrect. See 着just isn’t meant to stand alone. The closest you’ll get is actually the verb “Kiru,” to dress, which is written 着る.

So what should we call our martial arts uniform? There is actually a whole laundry list of things to choose from. Most commonly used are the generic terms: Dōgi (道着)and Keikogi (稽古着). Dōgi being “clothes of the way,” while Keikogi (my preferred term) is simply “practice clothes” or “training clothes.” Next we have Budo-gi and the style specific -gi, such as Karate-gi, Judo-gi, Kendo-gi, etc. There are also acceptable terms that don’t even use the suffix -gi, such as Seifuku (制服) which simply means “uniform.” (Be careful looking up the term “seifuku” because one of its homonyms is the Japanese term for BDSM, which uses the kanji 征服.)

Last two things I want to touch on is mixing languages and pluralization. Is it okay to slap a Japanese suffix onto an English or Korean word? Not really. So things like “martial arts-gi” and “taekwondo-gi” would be frowned upon. Do people still use them? Yes. Should they? No. Also how would you pluralize the correct terms such as: Dōgi, Keikogi, Karate-gi, Judo-gi, etc? Simple, leave them alone. Just like the plural of Moose is still Moose, the plural and singular forms of all these words remain unchanged.

Ninpo and Ninjutsu

NINPO & NINJUTSU

Ninjutsu 忍術 is a collective term for various strategies developed by very sophisticated individuals during various stages of Japan early history. Ninpo 忍法often referred to as the higher order of Ninjutsu. It sets the foundation for purpose in life based of natural laws (法) . The core philosophy is rooted in the principles of Nin (忍).

Nin translates into patience or perseverance (忍耐). The Japanese character for Nin (忍) consists of two parts. The upper part is called yaiba (刃) which refers to the cutting edge of a blade. The lower part can be translated into heart (心). In essence how to persevere during the ups and downs of life.

The character Ho or Po (法), can be interpreted as natures law, referring to the art as Ninpo rather than Ninjutsu. The emphasis in training is to strive toward a balanced development of body (體) mind (心) and spirit (魂). It isn’t enough just to know techniques (術). Having high moral standards being rooted in refined character and spirit are a way to create a balanced scale to highly acquired technical skills. This refinement of one’s spirit is known in Japanese as seishinteki kyoyo (精神的教養).