In the photo is a very young Phil Legare, Carol Koch, Larry Turner and a teenage Chris Davy. George and Betty were gracious hosts. I can't remember the names of any of the others in this photo. Hopefully someone will post their names and if they are still training in the Bujinkan. Will is in front to my right. Little did we know that a few years later Will would die in a tragic night training accident.

Bujinkan 1983

After publishing articles on my early days of martial arts training in the 70s, several of you asked me to write about my first few years training in the Bujinkan. This article will cover the official start of my Bujinkan training with Larry Beaver in Florida until I moved to Alaska in early 1988. From…

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PPM 'Ready' stances
Left to Right - Phil Legare, Rory Miller, & Dan Rieher.

Big News! (recap from our webinar)

Recent Travels Work took me to Japan in early April.  My back is close to 100% now; still have hamstring and calf issues.  Nerves slow to rebuild. But I am improving day by day. New Hombu looks great.  Check all the photos Mark Lithgow put up on the Taka Seigi Facebook page.  More square than…

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Joanne, training at Ayase as a green belt (93). She's a bit bewildered, we can all probably relate to that !!

What Rank Should You Be to Train with Soke in Japan?

I get asked this question a LOT over the years. What rank do you think you should be in order to get the most out of your training in Japan? I imagine most Shidoshi and Shihan have their own answer to this question, that generally fall into three rank categories: Option one: No specific rank…

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Massive 4 tatami cut! Note his shoulders and the line of the blade coming through the target

Sword Training with a Japanese Shihan

Throughout my many years of traveling to Japan for training, I would make specific time to work with one of the top Japanese Shihan who is well known for his skill with the sword. Some say Someya Sensei was taught sword by Hatsumi Soke, others may say Manaka[1] was his sword teacher and still others…

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Gikan Ryu Koppojutsu-Truth, Loyalty and Justice School

Not much is known about this Bujinkan Ryu. Soke Hatsumi has not taught much, if any of it in public that I am aware of. What I know of this Ryu is limited to a couple of conversations with Soke and one demonstration of a technique that I will discuss below. First read this short…

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Sitting with Soke watching a Daikomyosai video and studying the key points.

Will Your Training Save you (part 2)

Make sure you read Part 1 first! SO, what IS the best way to train? How do we know our training will save us in our darkest hour? The short answer is: There is no magic way to train to guarantee success in all situations. You have heard that there are no guarantees in life, right?…

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Phil Multi

Will Your Training Save You? (part 1)

When it really counts, will your training be there for you? When your life or those of others is on the line, will your training come through? Will you win the day or will you realize tragically that it proved inadequate to successfully deal with a violent situation? In my opinion this is a question…

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Phil Alone

How I Train Alone?

I am often asked how to train alone. Training on your own is really important to becoming a better martial artist in any style. This is no different for Bujinkan students. As a general rule, I believe you should train twice as much on your own as you do in your dojo. We like to…

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Phil & Joanne after the Mayor's Midnight Marathon in Anchorage, AL 2014

Budo Fitness

What is martial arts fitness? Is there a place for fitness in the Bujinkan? There have been arguments for/against this since I started training in the Bujinkan in 1977. Budo Fitness can be easily misunderstood. Most of us probably envision a lot of knuckle pushups, hundreds of kicks, split stretching and calisthenics at the beginning…

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Debris Shelter

Survival Imperatives

At Bufestivus 2014, I taught a segment on wilderness survival. We’ve gotten a bunch of emails asking for notes on that lesson, so here they are, complete with a few pics from my training with Tom Brown and a fire-starting video! Four survival imperatives: Shelter Fire Water Food [Two more I would add to the…

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