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The Arts we Teach

When people ask me what martial art I study I will often just say "Jujutsu" or "Old Japanese martial arts" because I know that if I say "Ninjutsu" they will often raise and eyebrow and not take me seriously,  but in truth Ninjutsu actually existed and is still passed down to today, and I have spent almost all my adult life studying it. Ninjutsu can be traced back almost a thousand years to the 11th century, and some scholars say even before that.


Ninjutsu today was passed down through Toshitsugu Takamatsu who was born in 1889. He received Sokeship (Grandmastership) of nine seperate martial arts traditions passed down by his teachers such as Shinryuken Masamitsu Toda, Ishitani Matsutaro and Mizuta Yoshitaro Tadafusa who themselves were grandmasters of Ninja and Samurai lineages. Takamatsu was the last real Ninja being employed on military covert missions in Manchuria, Mongolia, and China in the 1920s. He took part in many real fights and killed many men in life and death struggles. 

Ninjutsu Jujutsu Martial Arts Northampton

In the 1960s up until 1972 Takamatsu taught Dr Masaaki Hatsumi the arts of the Ninja and Samurai Traditions. Takamatsu made him Grandmaster of 9 seperate martial arts traditions. Today Dr Hatsumi has thousands of students throughout the world under the title of the Bujinkan although he has now officially retired from teaching.

Ninjutsu Jujutsu Martial Arts Northampton

The  arts we teach are a mixture of arts that were taught to the Samurai (The traditional warrior class of Japan), The Sohei and Yamabushi (Warrior Monks) and the Ninja (Warriors trained in Clandestine Warfare). These arts are what is termed Sogu Budo or complete arts in that they include all the arts that were taught to and passed down to us from these warrior groups. Traditionally warriors in Japan studied the Bugei Juhappan or the eighteen martial arts. The Bugei Juhappan changed through time and in different martial arts schools, but to give you some idea, some of these arts were...

  1. Taijutsu/Jujutsu: Unarmed Combat

  2. Kenjutsu: Sword Defence Techniques

  3. Iai Jutsu: Fast Sword Drawing Techniques

  4. Bojutsu: Staff Fighting Techniques

  5. Sojutsu, Spear-fighting Techniques

  6. Naginatajutsu: Halberd Fighting Techniques

  7. Bisento: Battlefield Halberd Techniquess

  8. Tantojutsu, knife Defence Techniques

  9. Juttejutsu, fighting with a truncheon

  10. Kakushi Buki Jutsu: Secret Weapons

  11. Yoroi Kumi Uchi: Fighting in Armour

  12. Hojutsu, shooting (with firearms)

  13. Hojojutsu, tying up an opponent

  14. Bajutsu: Horse Riding

  15. Suieijutsu, swimming in armour

  16. Ninjutsu, espionage and clandestine warfare.

  17. Gunryaku Heiho: Battlefield Tactics

  18. Tenmon and Chimon: Strategies of Heaven and Earth









Today the the need for self protection has moved away from the battlefields, mountains and villages of old Japan to the towns and cities of the 21st century, and therefore some of the arts that were originally in the Bugei Juhappan have changed or been brought in line with today's world. However the tactics, strategies and methods of self-protection developed over centuries by these warriors is as useful today for our own self-protection and for the protection of our friends and family as it has always been. Today in our school we practice the skills of six martial arts that have come directly down to us from the past grandmasters of warrior arts.

Gyokko Ryu Koshijutsu: Jewelled Tiger school

Gyokko Ryu is the oldest of the nine traditions, this style is heavily influenced by very old Chinese martial arts and is known for its attacks to muscle groups, and soft tissue and organs and also using fingers and thumbs for ripping, tearing and striking. Cho Gyokko who was said to have fled China during the Tang Dynasty around 900 AD originally founded Gyokko Ryu. This ryu forms much of the basis for the Warrior Quest system including the kihon happo (Beginner exercises in locks, throws and strikes)

Koto Ryu Koppojutsu: Tiger Felling School

Koto Ryu emphasises the striking of the  opponent’s bone structure and skeleton to cause him damage and defeat him. Strikes are generally targeted to areas that disrupt spinal alignment and locks are applied in the same fashion.  It is thought that the Koto Ryu came from China via Korea, by Chan Busho, a Chinese warrior.

Kukishinden Ryu Happo Biken: Nine Demon God School of eight secret weapons.

Kukishinden Ryu is primarily a battlefield art although it was also used by pirates and the Kuki Suigun (Navy). Founded in the 14th century the weapons in this school can be quite large, including spear and halberd. Best known for its used of the Staff, the techniques in this school teach us how to use weapons and how to defend against them.

Takagi Yoshin Ryu Jutaijutsu: High Tree raised spirit school of grappling.

This system is a Jujutusu school that specializes in grappling and throwing techniques similar to aikido and judo. However, unlike judo and aikido, this style makes it difficult for the opponent to fall or roll safely with the attacker either dropped on his head or in such a fashion that he is unable to continue the fight. This ryu is known as the “bodyguard school”. Jutaijutsu uses an opponent’s force against him. No resistance is offered, but rather the opponent’s direction of movement is enhanced and used to defeat him. Jutaijutsu was frequently used by police and in more civil settings than other, more battlefield oriented arts.

Shinden Fudo Ryu:Immovable Heart School

Shinden Fudo Ryu is another Jujutusu school that teaches throws, strikes, locks, and kicks done in a fairly straightforward manner. It uses the body as a striking weapon and often seems “hard” in application. The Shinden Fudo Ryu was known for its use of nature as an ally, and is ideal where one is protecting oneself on rough ground. In fact this school was used by the Yamabushi or mountain warriors to defend themselves whilst travelling in the forests and mountains of Japan. and techniques are often very casual looking in approach but ideal when fighting a larger better armed attacker.

Togakure Ryu: Concealed Door School

Togakure Ryu Ninpo concentrates on the arts of concealment, camouflage, intelligence gathering, deception and escape and evasion. It is famous for its use of such weapons as shuko and shuriken. Daisuke Togakure reportedly founded it in the late 1100’s. Togakure ryu uses a lot of techniques that incapacitate, often brutally, and in a very deceptive manner. Togakure Ryu may be the orignin of the other Ninjutsu clans that existed in Japan,

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Some of the scrolls owned by Dr Hatsumi, the current head of the Bujinkan Organisation

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