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).“

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.


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

Understanding the Bujinkan Way

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.