Ninjutsu Course Guidebook Black Belt Curriculum

Read the entire ninjutsu course guidebook to see an outline of the 8 hour black belt video course curriculum. This is the “Basics of Ninja Training®” Video Course with Sensei Roemke from the Santa Cruz Bujinkan Dojo in California USA. This training tool features 9 chapters (kyus) of formal and fight-ready ninja martial arts techniques and over 16 self-defense weapons.

This is an online version of the PDF Ninjutsu Course Guidebook

Download the PDF NOW

Black Belt Course and Guide


Read the complete safety and liability disclaimer at the end of this document. You are hereby informed that any attempt to train yourself in this martial art is a vigorous physical activity and is extremely dangerous to yourself and others. You are solely responsible for injury or damage to people or property that occurs by attempting any of the information demonstrated in this document or associated videos. We provide this information as mental reference information and demonstration material only.
The purpose of this study is to learn awareness and techniques conducive to self-defense, both physical and psychological. The first rule is to attempt to avoid physical contact and conflict in all cases. Ideally, an effective Bujinkan practitioner would never need to use damaging force to control any threatening situation. He/she would be able to diffuse trouble or get away from it before trouble even begins. Bujinkan is not intended to be an aggressive art and your mental capacity to control a situation is always the first line of defense – not violent control maneuvers. However, if unbalanced individuals in the environment are determined to create safety problems for you or people around you, it may become necessary to implement your physical training to diffuse their attack. The non-violent methods taught in Bujinkan are always the first type of response you would attempt to use in threatening situations. But, if attackers do escalate a situation to the level that people are in imminent and unavoidable danger, then you may be compelled to counter them with forceful methods, even using weapons. Only if necessary. Students who are not prepared to train under this philosophy may be considered unsuitable for training and their opportunities to study with authentic sensei can be revoked.

Read the Bujinkan Guidelines from the Honbu Dojo in Japan

About this online “Course Guidebook

This Course Guidebook below supplements the Bujinkan/Ninjutsu black belt video course presented by Ninja Learning Network. The “Basics of Ninja Training” video black belt course (8+ hours) instructs students all over the world who are on their way to earning a first degree black belt, also known as “Shodan” rank, in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, ancient art of the Ninja (aka Ninjutsu.) Purchase of the videos does not include or guarantee any rank testing or rank, it’s just the videos. But read below about getting additional and optional video assessment and rank assessment services.  Knowledge of the course curriculum and terminology, proven ability to perform the maneuvers, fluency with the maneuvers with other students, and the adherence to the tenets of Bujinkan as disseminated by Hatsumi Soke in Japan are all required for a student to pass their first degree black belt Shodan rank test at the Santa Cruz Bujinkan Dojo.

What is the “Basics of Ninja Training®” Black Belt Video Course.

This is just the set of 65 video lessons that you purchase and watch forever. No ranking or student assessment is provided to the buyer of these videos. It is like an 8 HOUR video encyclopedia that you simply buy to own, and you just watch them whenever you want. No other services are provided when you buy the video course.




All dojos and instructors utilize different curriculum and testing practices. At the Santa Cruz Bujinkan Dojo and most other schools Shodan rank can only be awarded through genuine testing procedures, eventually in person. Generally, a student who can learn the material presented in the “Basics of Ninja Training” videos are well on their way to knowing how to pass rank testing at any Bujinkan dojo (if combined with serious hands-on training with other experienced students and instructors.)
Ultimately, for reasons of safety and integrity, rank is not generally awarded by means of virtual, digital interactions and video assessment alone. The Santa Cruz Bujinkan Dojo offers various opportunities for rank testing. If you cant make it to the Santa Cruz Dojo, other dojos may agree to offer you in-person training support and rank testing for a fee.
Ninja Learning Network welcomes contact from instructors who would like referrals for training and testing students who are studying this program but who have no local dojo.

Below you can read about the entire Ninjutsu Course Guidebook for the complete Black Belt Curriculum.

WATCH playlist excerpts from the Ninjutsu Course Guidebook Black Belt Curriculum:

What is Taught in the “Basics of Ninja Training” Blackbelt Video Course:


9th Kyu – Level One “Kyuku” 


See Sample Videos

A. Junan Taiso – Body Conditioning

B. Kamae Plus Dojo Phrases – Postures and Basic Dojo Terminology and Etiquette

C. Ukemi – Breakfalls

D. Kaiten – Rolls

E. Dakentaijutsu – Striking Techniques

F. Tai Sabaki and Zanshin – Body Movement/Evasion and Awareness
Junan Taiso – “Body Conditioning”

Follow the precise warm up seen in the video before every training session.

Basic Dojo Phrases and Concepts

Domo arigato gozaimashita – Thank you very much

Yame – Stop

Hajime – Start

Ichi – 1

Ni – 2

San – 3

Shi – 4

Go – 5

Roku – 6

Shichi -7

Hachi – 8

Ku – 9

Ju – 10
As a beginner you should wear the black Gi (uniform) with a white belt. You can graduate to a green belt after passing a ranking test to do so. Black belt is awarded after you pass testing for Shodan level, which is equivalent to all the instruction featured in this curriculum. Female Bujinkan students, called Kunoichi, may opt to wear the red belt in lieu of a green or black one, but should start with white belts.
Once you enter the dojo there are “bow in” and “bow out” procedures to follow. Bow toward the kamiza (in the shrine area) before stepping onto the training floor and also when leaving it. When starting a lesson, students line up and “bow in” with Sensei to start the lesson – and when bowing out at the end. Students are positioned according to rank in front of Sensei. As you face Sensei, the most experienced students sit on the right side of the dojo and should line up according to their status and experience as you go down the line. When arriving late, you must wait outside the training floor area until Sensei indicates that you may be permitted to join the session. There is more etiquette to learn once you join a dojo for training.

The Kamae – “Postures”

Shizen No Kamae – Natural Posture

Seiza No Kamae – Correct Seat Posture

Ichimonji No Kamae – Figure Number One Posture

Hira No Kamae – Flat Posture

Jumonji No Kamae – Figure Number Ten Posture

Hicho No Kamae – Flying Bird Posture

Hoko No Kamae – Encircling Posture

Kosei No Kamae – Aggressive Posture

Hantachi No Kamae – Half Standing Posture

Fudoza No Kamae – Immovable Seat Posture

Doko No Kamae – Angry Tiger Posture

Ihen No kamae – Changing Posture

Bobi No Kamae – Defensive Posture

Hanza No Kamae – Half Seated Posture

Mastering Basic Kamae:

Understand the importance of proper Kamae – they are basic balance structures for the body that are used during most maneuvering against opponents.
Try all Kamae on one foot and in motion from one to the other.
Weapons also have their own specific “Kamae” stances, some of which are directly related to these basic ones, so prepare to learn weapon-wielding variations.

“Body Movement / Body Position Changing Techniques”

(Part 1)

The Basic Ukemi – “Breakfalls”

Zenpo Ukemi – Forward Breakfall

Koho Ukemi – Backward Breakfall

Yoko Ukemi – Sideways Breakfall

Yoko Nagashi Zenpo Ukemi – Sideways Flowing Forward Breakfall


The Basic Kaiten – “Rolls”

Zenpo Kaiten Naname – Forward Diagonal Roll

Koho Kaiten – Backward Roll

Zenpo to Koho Kaiten – Forward to Backward Roll

Sokuho Kaiten – Sideways roll

Yoko Nagare – Sideways Flow

Oten – Cartwheel

Hicho Kaiten – Flying bird roll

Jun Nagashi – Turning Flow

Shikko – Knee Walking (Note: Shikko is not technically Kaiten, but its handy here)


Mastering Basic Kaiten and Ukemi:

Practice first using both your hands, use both left and right sides. Later you will attempt with one hand or no hands.
Understand the principles of Ukemi – At first, learn this as a safety method to escape attack maneuvers. Later you will use Ukemi to also attack an opponent.
Understand what makes a good “Uke” – The concept of “Uke” and “Tori” can’t be translated simply, but for beginning training purposes “Uke” generally refers to the person who “receives” an attack while two people are training. The other person is referred to as “Tori.” Sometimes it seems like Uke is initially attacking in training maneuvers, so this can be confusing at first. (When seen as a term for a maneuver such as “Jodan Uke” it has a different meaning but is grounded in the word “receiving.”)

Dakentaijutsu – “Striking Techniques”

(Part 1)

Jodan Uke – Upper Level Receiving

Gedan Uke – Lower Level Receiving

Fudo Ken – Immovable Fist

Jodan Tsuki – Upper Level Punch/Thrust

Zenpo Geri – Forward Kick

Mastering Basic Dakentaijutsu:

Practice Left and right sides, incorporate Taijutsu, be aware of the potential to change your

Basic Tai Sabaki – “Body Movement/Evasion

Practice evasion from attacks by stepping at a 45 degree angle, or other angles, off of the straight line between you and your attacker. This type of stepping out at an angle is called “stepping offline” in much of the video instruction by Sensei Roemke.


Introduction to Zanshin – Awareness

Keep your mouth closed to protect your teeth from getting cracked if you are hit, and keep your back hand up, ready to protect your face and body.


Bujinkan History

Research who Massaki Hatsumi and Toshitsugu Takamatsu are and what they have done.

Begin by understanding the identity and importance of Masaaki Hatsumi and Toshitsugu Takamatsu. Hatsumi is the current Soke, or Grand Master, of “Bujinkan,” also referred to as Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu. Hatsumi was taught by Takamatsu. The origin and importance of certain ancient scrolls of the Ryuha, (“The Nine Schools”) that comprise Bujinkan learning were passed down from traditional sources to ultimately be used in Hatsumi’s overall instruction. Hatsumi is current Grand Master of each of the Nine Schools of the Bujinkan.
The scrolls and the origins/legitimacy of Hatsumi’s knowledge are a topic of great discussion in the field of Ninjutsu and martial arts. Because such scrolls have been among the most secret and protected documents in the history of the world until recently, the legitimacy of such documentation cannot be presented in the same way that other arts can do – so they are debated about frequently. Understanding why Hatsumi decided to take this art out of secrecy and to make his “ninja” teaching available to the public is important and should be researched on your own, primarily by reviewing the books and DVDs published by Hatsumi himself.
Some describe Hatsumi’s motives as an attempt to unleash the power of his techniques to do good against evil, one reason why persons with a criminal history are not permitted to learn from any legitimate Bujinkan Sensei. This is a direct and intentional contrast to the historical perception that the Ninja, descended from the ancient, destroyed system of the Japanese Samurai, worked only for dark motives with questionable intent.
There is a fundamental ethic among most modern “Ninja” students based on honorable intent and the opportunity/necessity to use the art for defense against evil-doers (or to achieve personal enlightenment.) Students who demonstrate aggressive, violent intent are usually asked to leave their dojos and some have been expelled from the Bujinkan community by Japan. Bujinkan maintains a non-competitive philosophy and therefore hosts no competitions whatsoever, only engaging in demonstration events called “tai kai” designed primarily for learning. Studying Bujinkan technique and philosophy is nothing like studying modern-day “MMA” in any way.



Click to find books about Ninja history not explained in this ninjutsu course guidebook.


8th Kyu – Level Two “Hachikyu” 


See Sample Videos

A. Hoken Juroppo Ken – The 16 Hidden/Secret Fists

B. Keri – Kicks

C. Uke Nagashi – Receiving Flow

D. Kihon Happo – The Eight Basic Ways (part one)

E. San Shin – The Three Hearts Form

F. Hanbo – The Half Staff Weapon




Hoken Juroppo Ken – “The Sixteen Hidden/Secret Fists”

Kikaku Ken – Demon Horn Fist

Shuki Ken – Hand Wake Up Fist

Fudo Ken – Immovable Fist

Kiten Ken – Turn Causing Fist (Shuto, when in motion – Ura or Omote)

Shi Shin Ken – Finger Needle Fist

Shitan Ken – Finger Tip Fist

Shako Ken – Claw Fist

Shito Ken – Finger Sword Fist (Boshi Ken, when in motion)

Shikan Ken – Extended Knuckle Fist

Koppo Ken – Bone Principle Fist

Happa Ken – Eight Leaf Fist

Sokuyaku Ken – Dancing Foot Fist

Sokki Ken – Leg Wake Up Fist

Sokugyaku Ken – Foot Reverse Fist

Tai Ken – Body Fist

Shizen Ken – Natural Fist (Kiai was mentioned here – battle cry screaming)


Mastering Striking:

Note that “Ken” is often translated as “fist” but can refer to any part of the body that is used to strike against the opponent including feet. You may come across the term “Ken Tai Ichi Jo” which means “the body and fist move as one” – be prepared to incorporate your entire body into your strikes, not just the hand or leg that is indicated in the form you see in the video.
Practice striking from all Kamae and also practice striking in all directions, at different heights levels and from different distance ranges.
Begin to understand how to vary the important components of all maneuvers, especially the “Angles/Distance/Timing” as you practice.


Keri – “Kicks”

Sokuho Geri – Sideways Kick

Koho Geri – Backwards kick

Happo Geri – Kicking in Eight Directions

Sukui Geri – Scooping Kick


Mastering Keri

You should be able to do these very slowly, controlling all muscles and balance points of your body at every moment. Try to move very slowly while aiming and controlling your strike, even holding the body still at various moments during the maneuver. At first this is more important than attempting maximum power. You will achieve maximum power later anyway if you first master control, speed, balance and targeting.


Uke Nagashi – “Receiving Flow

Jodan Nagashi – Upper Level Flow

Gedan Nagashi – Lower Level Flow

Keri Kudaki – Crushing the Kick

Ken Kudaki – Crushing the Fist


Mastering Uke Nagashi:

Train using both inside and outside angles and become fluent with alternating both the hands and feet.  Also focus on changing Angle/Distance/Timing.

Kihon Happo – “The Eight Basic Ways”

(Part 1)

Koshi Kihon Sanpo – “The Three Basic Ways of Striking”

(Part 1)

Ichimonji No Kata – Figure Number One Form

Torite Goho Gata – “The Five Forms of Grappling”

(Part 1)

Omote Gyaku – Outside Reversal

Ura Gyaku – Inside Reversal

Omote Gyaku Ken Sabaki Gata – Outside Reversal Fist Evasion Form

Use extreme caution while training for Kihon Happo. The joints and bones of you and your grappling partner are at great risk of injury. Train very slowly with maximum control.

San Shin No Kata – “The Three Hearts Forms”

Chi No Kata – Earth Form

Sui No Kata – Water Form

Ka No Kata – Fire Form

Fu No Kata – Wind Form

Ku No Kata – Void Form


Mastering Basic San Shin No Kata:

The San Shin is considered one of the most fundamental aspects of movement in this art. In the future, you will vary these motions and add weapons to them, etc. For now, learn the basic forms until they become second nature to you.


Weapon: Hanbo – “The Short staff”

The Kamae for Hanbo:

Kata Yaburi No Kamae – Form Breaking Posture

Munen Muso No Kamae – No Thought No Intention Posture

Otonashi No Kamae – Soundless Posture
Practice striking from all Hanbo Kamae in all directions and feel differences of

Angle/Distance/Timing. Train with a partner for grappling, countering your opponent’s

various grabs and strikes, and vice versa.


The Nine Schools of the Bujinkan – The Ryuha

Research and understand the history and significance of The Nine Schools in Bujinkan History.

Six of the schools are Samurai schools, three are Ninja (Ninjutsu) schools. You should research the history and development of Samurai and Ninjutsu traditions.

Know the basic purpose of each school. Be able to name each one. They are:


“Hidden Door School (Ninja)”

Togakure Ryū Ninpō Taijutsu (戸隠流忍法体術)

Said to be the source of most early Ninjutsu techniques and weapons, the strongest basis for modern Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu instruction.

Hatsumi Soke is the 34th generation Grand Master.


Jewel Tiger School” (Samurai)

Gyokko Ryū Kosshijutsu (玉虎流骨指術)

Focuses on the muscular system, has major influence on unarmed basics such as the San Shin No Kata and Kihon Happo, striking with fingers and toes, etc.

Hatsumi Soke is the 28th generation Grand Master.


Nine Demons School” (Samurai)

Kuki Shinden Ryū Happō Bikenjutsu (九鬼神伝流八法秘剣術)

Sometimes called The Samurai School, famous for military tactics, weapon techniques associated with the Samurai such as the sword, spear, sword, staff, fire, rope.

Hatsumi Soke is the 28th generation Grand Master.


Tiger Falling School” (Samurai)

Koto Ryū Koppōjutsu (虎倒流骨法術)

Focuses on skeletal and bone structures, bone manipulation and breaking, pain/weakness points, unique cross-stepping footwork and unusual sword technique.

Hatsumi Soke is the 18th generation Grand Master.


Immovable Tradition School” (Samurai)

Shinden Fudo Ryū Dakentaijutsu (神伝不動流打拳体術)

Focuses on natural movement and the study of nature, striking and kicking, the art of defeating a stronger opponent by pretending weakness.

Hatsumi Soke is the 26th generation Grand Master.


High Tree Raise Heart School” (Samurai)

Takagi Yoshin Ryū Jūtaijutsu (高木揚心流柔体術)

Known for its Samurai style jujutsu, unarmed combat at close range and against swords.

Hatsumi Soke is the 26th generation Grand Master.


Regarding Justice School” (Samurai)

Gikan Ryū Koppōjutsu (義鑑流骨法術)

Focuses on skeletal structure. Features many kicks, throws and strikes. Not commonly taught.

Hatsumi Soke is the 15th generation Grand Master.


Jewel Spirit School (Ninja)

Gyokushin Ryū Ninpō (玉心流忍法)

Referred to as holding Ninjutsus many secret philosophies and tactics. Not commonly taught.

Hatsumi Soke is the 21st generation Grand Master.


“Hidden Among Clouds School (Ninja)”

Kumogakure Ryū Ninpō (雲隠流忍法)

Referred to as Ninjutsu with unique Taijutsu, particularly leaping, used of hooked spears. Specializes also in field craft and espionage. Not commonly taught.

Hatsumi Soke is the 15th generation Grand Master.


7th Kyu – Level Three “Nanakyu”


See Sample Videos

A. Taihenjutsu (continued)

B. Kihon Happon (continued)

C. Hajutsu Kuho – The Eight Techniques and Nine Ways

D. Katana Kamae- Sword Postures

E. Katana Giri – Cutting with the Sword

F. Katana Nuki – Draws with the Sword

G. Shinken Muto Dori Gata – Sword Evasion Techniques

H. Katana Parts and Etiquette

I. Finishing Pins




Kiten – Flips

Kuten – Handsprings

Yoko Aruki – Sideways Walking

Shinobi Aruki – Silent Walking

Shiho Tenchi Tobi – “The Four Ways of Heaven/Earth Leaping”

Zenpo Tobi – Forward Leap

Koho Tobi – Backward Leap

Migi Tobi – Right Leap

Hidari Tobi – Left Leap

Fudoza Tobi – Immovable Seat Leap

Chi Tobi – Earth Leap

Mastering Basic Leaping and Flipping:

Practice the Taihenjutsu section movements listed above from all Kamae, and one handed, landing at different angles, etc.


Kihon Happo



Koshi Kihon Sanpo


Jumonji No Kata – Figure Number Ten Form

Hicho No Kata – Flying Bird Form


Torite Goho Gata


Ganseki Nage – Rock Throw

Musha Dori – Warrior Capture


Hajutsu Kuho – “The Eight Techniques and the Nine Ways”

Tehodoki – Wrist Escapes

Katate – One hand, same side

Gyakute – One Hand, cross side

Morote – Both Hands

Ryote – Two Hands

Taihodoki – Body Escapes

Oyagoroshi – Killing the Parent

Kogoroshi – Killing the Child

Taihodoki – Body Escape

Koshi kudaki – Hip Crush

Use extreme caution while training for Hajutsu Kuho. The joints of you and your grappling partner are at great risk of injury. Train very slowly with maximum control.


Shinken Mutodori Gata – “Sword Evasions” (From Kamae)

Ichimonji – Figure Number One Posture

Hira – Flat Posture

Jumonji – Figure Number Ten Posture
Use extreme caution while training with ALL weapons shown in this course. Be aware that most of them may be illegal where you live. Ninja Learning Network recommends that you contact government agencies for regulations in your area and do NOT use illegal weapons.


Katana Kamae

Daijodan no Kamae – Great Upper Level Posture

Seigan no Kamae – Correct Eye Posture

Chudan no Kamae – Middle Level Posture

Gedan no Kamae – Lower Level Posture

Tosui no Kamae – Water Ridge Posture

Ura Gedan no Kamae – Outside Lower Level Posture

Hasso no Kamae – Eight Apparitions Posture

Tenchi no Kamae – Heaven and Earth Posture

Kasumi no Kamae – Mist Posture

Totoku Hyoshi no Kamae – Sword Hiding Catapult Posture

Uke Nagashi no Kamae – Flowing Block Posture

Ichimonji no Kamae – Figure Number One Posture
You should also watch our Youtube video on wearing katana and other katana videos, that is not included in the course.


Katana Nuki – Draws with the sword

Nuki Uchi – Drawing Cut

Tate Nuki Uchi – Vertical Drawing Cut

Gyaku Kesa Bato – Reverse Angle of Monk’s Robes Drawing Cut

Gyakute – Reverse Hand

Gyaku – Reverse (can refer to a direction of handwork, footwork, etc.)

Katana Giri – Cutting with the sword

Kiri Oroshi – Dropping Cut

Kiri Age – Rising Cut

Kesa Giri Migi – Cutting the Angle of Monk’s Robes from the Right

Kesa Giri Hidari – Cutting the Angle of Monk’s Robes from the Left

Do Giri Migi – Sideways Figure Number One Cut from the Right

Do Giri Hidari – Sideways Figure Number One Cut from the Left

Gyaku Kesa Giri Migi – Reverse Cutting the Angle of Monk’s Robes from the Right

Gyaku Kesa Giri Hidari – Reverse Cutting the Angle of Monk’s Robes from the Left

Tsuki – Thrust


Katana – Parts Terminology and Etiquette

Tsuka – Handle

Tsuba – Handguard

Saya – Sheath

Sageo – Cord for sheath

Tsuka Kishiri – Handle Endcap

Ha – Blade edge

Mune – Back of sword

Kisaki – Point of sword where it starts to become the tip

Hi – Blood Gutter

Hamon -Temper line
The way you sit, bow and position your sword are strictly defined and may vary according to the status of the relationship between you and others in the room.


Mastering basic sword maneuvers and sword care:

Be aware that advanced sword art requires far more precision of movement than shown here.

Using a rubber or wooden training sword or similar prop is perfectly OK at first. Do not handle any sharp blades at this stage in your training. Training to understand and perform sword maneuvers is tricky and highly formalized. There are different names for different kinds of blades and many martial art forms that use the sword have incredibly high standards regarding the perfection of your motions. Here, we are only making you aware of the basic terms and moves needed to begin handling a basic samurai sword.
Practice Ukemi and Kaiten with the sword.
Try bringing the Saya up with the sword and and pull the Saya down to draw it out.

Learn to also step back instead of stepping forward to draw the sword.
Practice draws from all the different Katana Kamae.
Train by trying different attacks from each stance.
Understand alternative combat uses for Saya, Tsuka, Tsuba and Sageo that go beyond the sword structures itself, i.e., pinching with a Tsuba, clubbing with a Saya or entangling with a Sageo.
Learn how a sword cuts as opposed to hacking with the blade.
Practice grappling while wearing a sword – from grabs, strikes, etc.
Learn basic sword care related to handling, oiling, storing, etc.
Finishing Techniques (Pins)

Omote Takeori – Outward Breaking Bamboo

Ura Takeori – Inward Breaking Bamboo

Omote gyaku – Outward Reversal

Ura Gyaku – Inward Reversal

Oogyaku – Great Reversal

Do Gaeshi – Turning the Body
Use extreme caution while training for pins. The joints and bones of you and your grappling partner are at great risk of injury. Train very slowly with maximum control.

6th Kyu – Level Four “Rokyu”


A. Taihenjutsu No Hands – Advanced Ukemi and Kaiten

B. Dakentaijutsu and Ashi Sabaki – Strikes (continued) and Leg/Foot Movement/Evasion

C. Gyaku Waza – Reversal Techniques

D. Nage Waza – Throwing Techniques (part one)

E. Rokushakubo Kamae – Long Staff Postures

F. Rokushakubo Spins

G. Rokushakubo Strikes




Advanced Ukemi and Kaiten

Carefully practice high-fall Ukemi and Ukemi/Kaiten with no hands (only with an experienced partner)
Vocabulary Note: Ryote (two hands) , Katate (one hand) Mute (no hands)





Juji Geri – Cross Kick

Kakushi Geri – Crescent Kick

Kagato – Heel kick from behind


Mastering Advanced Dakentaijutsu:

Learn to strike from different footwork and practice “hidden strikes” (where Uke cannot see your strike coming.)
Begin to inflict multiple strikes without retracting your arms or legs (i.e., Shuto to Uko followed by Boshi Ken to Kiri Gasumi without retracting the striking hand at all.)
Drill striking in all directions and from all Kamae and Ukemi (i.e., punch while going into Zenpo Kaiten Naname, or kicking out while doing Koho Nagare Kaiten.)

Ashi Sabaki – “Leg/Foot Movement/Evasion”

(Part 1)

Ashi barai – Leg hooks

Keri kaeshi – Kicking Counters


Mastering Ashi Sabaki:

Try Ashi Sabaki from all Kamae, on different sides of the body, etc.


Gyaku waza – Reversal Techniques

Take Ori – Breaking Bamboo

Oni Kudaki – Demon Crusher (Omote and Ura)

Hon Gyaku – Base Reversal

Musodori – No Thought Capture

Oogyaku – Great Reversal
Perform all Gyaku Waza from all Kamae and from different attacks.

Nage waza – “Throwing Techniques”

(Part 1)

Oosoto Nage – Major Outer Throw

Seoi Nage – Shoulder Throw

Ganseki Otoshi – Dropping a Big Rock

Ganseki Ori – Breaking a Big Rock

Ganseki Oshi – Pushing a Big Rock
Use extreme caution while training for Nage Waza. The joints and bones of you and your grappling partner are at great risk of injury. Train very slowly with maximum control.


Weapon: Rokushakubo

Rokushaku Bo Kamae – Long Staff Postures

Jodan no Kamae – Upper Level Posture

Chudan no Kamae – Middle Level Posture

Seigan no Kamae – Correct Eye Posture

Gedan no Kamae – Lower Level Posture

Ihen no Kamae – Changing Posture

Hira no Kamae – Flat Posture

Hira-Ichimonji no Kamae – Flat Figure Number One Posture

Heito no Kamae – Being to Overthrow Evil Posture

Tenchijin no Kamae – Heaven, Earth, Man Posture
Also understand how to bow and roll with the Rokushakubo.


Spinning the Rokushakubo

Forward spin

Backward spin

Side to side spin

Bo Furi Gata (2 people striking with bo) also called Men Uchi Harai

Spinning from one spin into another


Striking with the Rokushakubo

Shomen Uchi – Strike to the Crown

Yokomen Uchi – Strike to the Temples

Do/Kote Uchi – Strike to the Body/Wrist

Age Uchi – Rising Strike

Ashi Barai – Leg Sweep

Tsuki – Thrust

Mastering basic Rokushakobo techniques:

Practice striking from all Kamae and all spins, in all directions. Roll and fall with it.
Grapple from grabs and strikes with the weapon, against someone else who has the weapon, against other weapons, etc.


5th Kyu – Level Five – “Gokyu”


A. Taihenjutsu – Advanced Ukemi and Kaiten (continued)

B. San Shin Gokui – Inner Essence of San Shin

C. Nage Waza (continued)

D. Knife and Shoto Introduction (2 videos)

E. Advanced Knife Techniques

F. Kyusho Points – Weakness Points





Advanced Ukemi and Kaiten


Ukemi with all weapons:Changing distances and speeds while falling and rolling (long vs. short rolls, slow vs. fast) Learn to fall and roll quietly. This not only helps mask your presence but indicates good technique. Try it on hard surfaces and up/down inclines to force yourself not to pound into the surfaces or rely strictly on your momentum. Control all aspects of the movement for perfect speed, placement and silence, according a variety of potential self-defense scenarios.

San Shin: Gokui

Analyze and train to understand the “Gokui” (inner essence) of each element (understanding the dynamics of where power is generated from)
Train with multiple blocking and striking scenarios (i.e., step back into Bobi twice and then step forward with Sanshitan Ken for Chi No Kata)


Nage Waza – “Throwing” Waza


Yoko Nagare – Sideways Flow

Tachi Nagare – Standing Flow

Tachi Nage – Standing Throw

Temakura – Hand Pillow

Koshi Nage – Hip Throw

Ippon Seoi Nage – One Arm Shoulder Throw

Ippon Zeoi Nage – One Arm Back Throw

Gyaku Ippon Zeoi Nage – Reversed One Arm Back Throw

Knife and Shoto Introduction
Tanto – “Knife”

Three basic grips and the advantages and disadvantages of each grip

Nine basic cuts (same as sword)

Ideal targets for cuts (arteries, tendons, airway)

Grappling from grabs and strikes with the knife

Shoto – “Short Sword”
Similar to a modern machete, the actions for handling it are similar to knife/sword, but adjusted for the different length

Mastering short blade weapons:

Understand each weaponss range and assess your danger and prognosis if attacked by these weapons (i.e, just run if hes got a knife. Really.)
Practice the Kihon Happo maneuvers against these weapons.


Kyusho – “Weakness Points”
(Part 1)

Kyusho points are weakness spots on the body used to inflict pain, distraction and confusion in the mind of your enemy.

Nagare – On the forearm, below the elbow where muscles come together

Uko – Muscle on the side of the neck

Sui Getsu – At the Solar Plexus in the Chest

Jakkin – Inside of Bicep

Kasumi – Temples of the Head


4th Kyu – Level Six “Yonkyu”


A. Ukemi as Attack

B. Kihon Happo Variations

C. San Shin Variations

D. Nage Waza (continued)

E. Kasuri Fundo – Weapon, Chain with Metal Tips

F. Multiple Attackers

G. Kyusho (continued)





Advanced Ukemi


Using Ukemi as a weapon of attack (rolling into people, grabbing limbs while falling and breaking them by rolling, etc)


Kihon Happo


Drill the Kihon Happo from all Kamae, using: one hand, 2 hands, no hands, and with other body parts


Advanced San Shin


Vary the footwork, distancing and speed of all Kata (i.e., start by stepping forward or with Yoko Aruki, etc.)


Nage Waza


Itami Nage – Pain Throw

Katate Nage – One Handed Throw

Oosoto Guruma – Major Outer Wheel

O Uchi Gake – Great Striking Hook

Tomoe Nage – Circle Throw

Karuma Nage – Wheel Throw

Sui Nage – Water Throw


Kusari Fundo – Metal Weights on the Ends of a Chain

Learn to use it for strikes and grappling against grabs and punches.


Multiple Attacker Strategies

Begin to understand the different strategies and Angle/Distance/Timing awareness needed to inflict strikes and engage in grappling against multiple attackers.



Koe – Hip/Leg Joint at front of the body

Butsumetsu – The floating ribs at the bottom of the rib cage

Jinchu – Just under the nose where it joins to the face

Kiri Gasumi – Just underneath the ear lobe

Suzu – Testicles

3rd Kyu – Level Seven “Sankyu”


A. Taihenjutsu (continued)

B. San Shin Variations

C. Ashi Sabaki (continued)

D. Jime Waza – Choking Techniques

E. Nage Waza (continued)

F. Jute – Metal Rod Weapon with a Hook Structure Near the Handle

G. Shuriken, Knife and Ax – Metal Throwing Weapons

H. Walking and Advanced Zanshin

I. Kyusho (continued)




Advanced Ukemi

Start to “freestyle” more when training with a partner. Rather than just performing any given maneuver with strict formality, start to break into more spontaneous counter-attack strategies. For example, as “Uke” (receiver) you should be ready to hit “Tori” (aggressor) with a surprise maneuver if you see an opening or they dont have you actually controlled with their attacking move. Go beyond “rote demonstration of maneuvers” and begin to counterattack with your own unpredictable moves.


Advanced San Shin


Drill San Shin with all weapons and from all Kamae. Use it against attackers.

Ashi Sabaki


You should be able to step on your opponents feet without looking at them.

Think about new Zanshin concepts explained in all other moves.


Jime Waza – “Choking” waza

Hon Jime – Base Choke

Gyaku Jime – Reverse Choke

Itami Jime – Pain choke

Sankaku Jime – Three Pointed Choke

Do Jime – Body Choke

Gyaku Juji Jime – Reverse Figure Number Ten Position Choke

Katate Jime – One Handed Choke
Practice these from all Kamae and from various attacks.


Nage Waza


Harai Goshi – Sweeping hip throw

Hiza Guruma – Knee Wheel

Hane Koshi – Popping hip throw

Uchi Mata – Inner Thigh Throw

Yoko Seoi Nage – Sideways Shoulder Throw


Weapons: Kunai (also Tessen, Jutte)

Medium-sized, metal, hand-held weapons usually used for grappling

Strike with these weapons in your hands. Practice grappling from grabs and strikes with an opponent.


Weapons: Shuriken, Knives and Axes – Throwing Blades

Senban Shuriken – Flat throwing blades, especially “Ninja Stars”

Bo Shuriken – Throwing Spikes

Sharpened Throwing Knife

Learn to throw these into targets at different distances, change hands.

Use them in your hands while grappling and striking.


Learn to do Bujinkan techniques while constantly in motion, never stopping. Go beyond rote performance of maneuvers and begin to take more control of your opponent by utilizing constant motion to vary Angle/Distance/Timing.



Be able to do all techniques without directly looking at the opponent, with one eye closed, with both eyes closed, blindfolded, etc. Start to think about “feeling” other similar “peripheral” awareness cues when moving your body or any part of it. Be able to assess all the input your brain can receive about all objects and conditions of your environment without your vision.




Asagasumi – Chin

Tenmon – Bridge of the nose

Omote Kimon – Upper pectoral

Ura Kimon – Below the nipple

Ryumon – Above the collar bone where it meets the shoulder

2nd Kyu – Level Eight “Nikyu”



A. Kuzushi – Off Balancing

B. Nage Waza (continued)

C. Shuko – Metal Claw Weapon

D. Naginata – Spearlike Weapons

E. Yari – Spearlike Weapon

F. Kyusho (continued)


Kuzushi – “Off balancing”

Use both physical and psychological techniques that will stop the intended motion of your opponent.
Begin to understand and practice different physical types of Kuzushi (i.e. forward, backward, sides, down, etc.) and the importance of space and momentum of both yourself and your opponent. Start to master the “third leg” concept about the invisible “third balance point” that exists with you and your opponent, and how to keep your opponent from stationing

him/herself comfortably within this tripod of balance points. You are one point, your opponent is the second point, and the third leg or balance point is where your momentum would go together for you to both stand solidly with no chance of falling off balance. Take your opponent away from this third point by controlling the space and momentum of your motions. Equally important, if not more so, is surprising your opponent with psychological strategies like metsubishi “fake moves,” etc.


Nage Waza


Kubi Nage – Neck throw

Gyaku Ippon Seoi Nage – Reverse Number One Shoulder Throw

Empi Nage – Elbow Throw

Taki Otoshi – Cataract Drop*

*Is actually a category of throws


Weapon: Shuko – Metal Claws for the Hands

Practice grappling and strikes and be able to slide them on and off without looking.

Climbing with them is one traditional use but that is very painful to the hands.


Weapon: Yari – Spear

Reiho – Bowing

Tate Rei – Standing Bow

Za Rei – Kneeling Bow

Yari Kamae

Tate No Kamae

Tachi No Kamae

Seigan No Kamae

Gedan No Kamae

Chudan No Kamae

Jodan No Kamae

Butto Nino Tachi

Rui Sui No Kamae

Taihen No Kamae

Weapon: Naginata

Polearm weapons – Similar to the Yari, with a Different Metal Head


Naginata Kamae:

Tenchi No Kamae

Gyaku Ihen No Kamae

Hasso No Kamae

Ichimonji No Kamae

Seigan No Kamae

Mastering basic Yari and Naginata weapon concepts:

Practice striking with both ends and middle of the shaft, using as a lever between the feet, etc.

Maintain point/blade control (i.e., keeping the blade facing the opponent while changing attack sides.)
Practice grappling from grabs and strikes with and against these weapons. Learn tactics, advantages and disadvantages of each.
Try holding back multiple attackers who are using various weapons.

Practice weapon-against-weapon scenarios with a partner (i.e, against Kusari Fundo or Bo)




Toki – Top of foot

Dokkotsu – Throat

Murasame – The Divet Where the Clavicles Meet

Matsukaze – Adam’s Apple

Yaku – Outside of shin


1st Kyu – Level Nine ” Ikkyu”


A. Nage Waza (continued)

B. Kyoketsu Shoge – Rope with Ring and Special Blade on the ends, weapon

C. Advanced Weapon Techniques

D. Countering Counters

E. Kyusho (continued)

Nage Waza


Advanced Karuma Gaeshi Nage – Advanced Wheel Turn Throw

Juji Nage – Figure Number Ten Throw

Morote Gyaku Ippon Zeoi Nage – Two handed Shoulder Throw on Reversed Arm

Ura Nage – Reverse Throw
Begin to think about targeting where Uke lands after throw.


Weapon: Kyoketsu Shoge
Metal Ring and a Special Blade on Opposite Ends of a Rope
Spinning the Kyoketsu Shoge

Over hand and under hand

Overhead and on each side

Forward and backward

Strikes with Kyoketsu Shoge

Strike from all spins in all directions.

Grappling with Kyoketsu Shoge from grabs and strikes
Use all components of the weapon: grab with the ring, hook with the blade, snare with the rope, etc.


Advanced Weapons Techniques

Non-lethal use of lethal weapons

Drawing and using weapons while keeping them hidden from view

Drawing weapons with natural movement

Countering Counter-attacks
Go beyond mere performance of strictly defined maneuvers. Begin to take your opponent off-guard when they are trying a counter attack by adding another spontaneous counter attack of your own. This is the level when you should be able to stop thinking about particular maneuvers that you are practicing and start just using techniques randomly according to what might be effective for vanquishing your opponent. In other words, use your training to PLAY!




Sai – Outer Thigh Where the Canter Muscles Bundle

Kaku – Knee

Kobura – Center of the Calf

Shichibatsu – Upper Ridge of Pelvic Bone at the Back

Hadome – Under the Cheekbone, Under the Eye Area

Here are 5 more not included in the videos that you should learn:

Yubitsubo – The Ridge of the Thumb Muscles

Hoshi – The Inner Bottom Part of Elbow

Gorin – Five Points in a Pentagon Pattern Around the Navel

Kage – The Bone Above the Solar Plexus

Wakiboshi – At the armpit

Shodan Level Training
(After the 9 kyus, before blackbelt test)

Your video assignment for Shodan Level instruction is to subscribe to Ninja Learning Network’s Youtube channel at

Visit often for updates, new lessons appear nearly frequently.
DON’T WAIT until you finish studying the 9 kyus to start learning from that great resource and also research other Ninjutsu videos, weapons info and read audience comments.

Or follow the Ninja Training Video Blog at TWITTER (@NinjaNetwork) or FACEBOOK



Remember that, in Bujinkan, every dojo is free to design their own curriculum – and they vary widely. Every Sensei who has been authorized to do so by Hatsumi Soke is permitted to grant rank for any reason. Generally, after the 1st kyu is complete, instructors offer an additional “level” of instruction, called “Shodan” level, in anticipation of developing technique proficiency worthy of a 1st degree blackbelt (that is what “shodan” refers to.)
This level often contains a wide variety of instruction that increases weapons knowledge and encourages more training variations (henka) of the basic waza, kata, etc. from the Kyus. At this more advanced level students become fluent with responding to real scenarios that require “out of the box” thinking and more spontaneous responses to attacks, not mere performance of Kamae and so forth. Also, utilizing standard maneuvers and their variations would be explored under various unpredictable, real-life scenarios (such as performing the Kihon Happo while in car seats or using ballpoint pens at the office to defend against attackers.) Obviously, more advanced training and philosophy of movement for real-life survival is incorporated at this level. Students who complete training of the 9 Kyus may even be expected to start instructing beginning students as part of “Shodan Level” training experience. Mainly, HANDS ON TRAINING and spontaneous movement is intensified at this level.
The “Basics of Ninja Training” video course does not offer ONE single video set or DVD to explain the “Shodan” level that would normally be taught at the end of the 9 Kyus. Instead, the course designers and producers regularly post equivalent video lessons on their Youtube channel and the Ninja Learning Network web site. This body of work cumulatively matches or surpasses what could be offered in a handful of videos called “Shodan Level.” This series of online instruction, entitled “Ninja Training Video Blog,” is a living, interactive, ongoing version of “Shodan Level” video instruction and it offers you additional learning opportunities by means of the comments contributed by other viewers. We recommend you subscribe on our Youtube, Twitter, Facebook or Bloggit sites for updates – and to participate with the comments of other more experienced Bujinkan students.


Invent your own Kihon Happo Henka (“variations”)

Perform all techniques from kneeling, in a chair, in a car and from the ground, etc…

Learn about Firearms Training from Firearms professionals

Handgun and Rifle

Safety and Handling

Shooting and Targeting


Understanding Distancing

Firing at a Range

Disarming with Live Airsoft Pistols

Invent uses and techniques with “Improvised Weapons”

(Note: due to terrorism, Hatsumi Soke and others are not currently teaching explosives technology or poison techniques and the like…)





More: invent some from the everyday environment

Teach beginning students, under the supervision of qualified instructors.

Increase your conditioning and improve the speed control and smoothness of all your movement. Explore more Taijutsu and Angle/Distance/Timing control.


Review all Kyus and schedule an in-person rank test.
(Black belt rank is never performed via video, you will have to schedule an in-person training and ranking situation. Inquire with us for assistance.)

Many students do not have access to a nearby dojo or instructor and feel they have enough drive or experience in other martial arts to learn the basics of Bujinkan “at home.” These students WILL need feedback about their progress (perhaps via video analysis) and will also need assistance finding in-person training opportunities, rank testing and official registration with The Bujinkan Honbu Dojo in Japan.

Remember that, unlike other martial arts, Bujinkan is not highly structured and students should expect flexible and customized planning with their Bujinkan education.

In practice, belt rank testing in particular is not structured like other arts such as Karate. AuthorizedSensei have complete authority to award rank as they see fit but are expected to adhere to general Bujinkan guidelines and philosophy. Ninja Learning Network’s training curriculum is directed by  Sensei Mark Roemke who is authorized by Hatsumi Soke the Grand Master of the Bujinkan. Sensei Roemke and any other authorized instructors associated with Ninja Learning Network adhere to the tenets and requirements set by the Bujinkan. This is genuine Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu teaching (Ninja / Ninjutsu) and not a “customized school” that strays from the guidelines and spirit set by Hatsumi.

Our goal is to promote effective, safe and authentic Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu. Students who are in pursuit of belt rank testing “merely for the sake of receiving the belt rank itself” will not be considered serious students and will not be supported if their skills and efforts do not warrant it. But by cooperating with our strict learning requirements a student may ultimately receive a genuine and universally respected belt rank. (Be aware that some Ninjutsu schools who offer distance training via video and who easily award belt rank via mere video testing are criticized in the Bujinkan and students with rank from them are not always respected. Ninja Learning Network expects students to train with real people while using video.)


Simply put: the only belt rank test before the black belt is the green belt. There are 9 kyus to learn leading to Shodan (1st degree black belt) rank. Kyu testing is optional but recommended.

Step One:

(Students begin with “White Belt” rank to start 9th kyu training.)

a. Begin Studying the 9th Kyu videos. Starting rank is “White Belt”.

Step Two:

(Determine in-person and/or video analysis training opportunities)

“Basics of Ninja Training ” students can let Ninja Learning Network attempt to find authorized instructors and/or training partners near them. And all students are encouraged to travel to the Santa Cruz Bujinkan Dojo at their convenience for at least two weeks of training, or other similar arrangements. Ninja Learning Network will try to find in-person training near them on request.

Step Three:

(Train; study 9th and 8th kyus; pass the 8th & 9th Kyus tests for a “Green Belt”)

Learn 8th Kyu and 9th Kyu.  While learning those kyus, students can utilize video to help train for the 8th and 9th for Kyu tests. Passing 8th and 9th kyu earns the GREEN BELT.

Step Four:

(Train for kyus 7 and beyond)

Continue training.Learn Kyu 7 thru Kyu 1. Also learn the additional material mentioned in “Shodan” level training in this Course Guide by watching Ninja Learning Network’s “Ninja Training Video Blog” on Youtube.

Step Five:

(Shodan Test – 1st degree “Black Belt”)

To earn this belt a student must prove proficiency in all the material outlined in the videos and this Course Guide. The black belt rank test can only be provided “in-person” by a qualified Shihan. If the student is unable to meet Sensei Roemke at the Santa Cruz Dojo or at an international event, then Ninja Learning Network will try to help the student locate the nearest qualified instructor willing to perform this test. Finding such an instructor is not guaranteed.

The in-person test requirement for Black Belt level is very strictly enforced by all legitimate Bujinkan sensei. Remember that, although some online black belt courses promise to award black belt learning to students who only interact via video, this practice is not supported by Ninja Learning Network and a large portion of the Bujinkan Community. Such methods do not ensure that you are training correctly or safely. If you really want to learn this art, you must practice it with humans and you must be tested by experts who are in the room with you. Students who do not demonstrate adequate knowledge and ability will not pass the test at Santa Cruz Bujinkan Dojo (but will be allowed to test again.)

About Kyu tests, patches and stars:

Most dojos require testing after each kyu. Some also issue stars and kyu patches to be worn on uniforms, etc. Kyu tests require presence of a partner in most cases.

We assess your home-made videos – $100 per hour


Find in-person training opportunities near you

Ninja Learning Network will contact dojos or instructors in your area (if there are any) and introduce you to those people. (If you decide to train or test with them they will likely charge you their usual training and testing fees.) You can also be listed on our “Find Ninja Training Partners” Map if you like. We can’t guarantee that we will find someone to train with you, there may not be anyone, or they may be located farther away than you are willing to travel.

Ninjutsu Course Guidebook Safety Warning and Liability Disclaimer



The videos and written text or images featured or mentioned in this course material are intended to be used as mental reference only. Your decision to re-enact any of the material is solely your responsibility and you are solely liable for all consequences of doing so under any circumstances.

Do not rely on any of the actions shown in this material as a method of self defense for yourself or others. These activities are demonstrations of theoretical situations by trained professionals only.
Ninja Learning Network does not advocate the use of martial arts for any aggressive behavior against people, animals or property.

Some weapons or techniques may be ILLEGAL in some states and we discourage illegal use, transport or possession of any weapon. You are solely responsible for understanding all legal implications of using or possessing anything depicted in this course. Check with your local and state authorities.
Martial arts training is dangerous! Do not attempt to re-enact any activities shown in the videos without direct supervision by an experienced instructor. We are not responsible for any potential lack of good judgement on your part about how you attempt to practice anything featured in this video course. You are solely responsible for accidental harm or damage created by your attempts to emulate material from the videos or written material.

This video and curriculum guide is intended for informational purposes only – it is your responsibility to refrain from attempting to enact anything shown in the videos or curriculum in an unsafe manner and/or without first consulting with a trained professional. Use all course material as mental reference material only.

Consult your physician before beginning Bujikan training, or any other physical training program.

Ninja Learning Network, the Santa Cruz Bujinkan Dojo, and/or individuals and affiliates associated with those entities are not responsible for injuries or damages to yourself, other people or any property caused by any type of re-enactment of anything in this video, whether accidental or intentional.