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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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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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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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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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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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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Decision and Conduct of War

I was in Australia recently to teach several seminars on ShinkenTaijutsu and Budo Taijutsu. On the night of my arrival in Adelaide I put my Masters Degree in National Security Strategy (National War College) to the test and led an interactive lecture on the lessons learned from the Melian dialogue during the Peloponnesian War. The…

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Menkyo Defined

We’ve been discussing the topic of rank lately in our webinars and during the black belt seminar, so I thought this would be a good time to write a short piece on what an authentic Bujinkan menkyo looks like. Pictured below is a copy of an authentic Bujinkan Shodan Menkyo with explanations as to what…

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How Do I Train Alone?

                The Bujinkan’s method of training typically involves two or more training partners exploring techniques under the observation of a qualified Shidoshi (instructor). However, some of us may not live near a certified Bujinkan Dojo, or maybe we have to travel frequently for work, or for any number…

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