Ninjutsu – Ancient Martial Art of the Ninja and Samurai

What’s Ninjutsu?  In today’s context for martial artists it refers to a broad category of martial arts training. It is not a single school or defined set of traditions and techniques. Hailed from Japanese teachings from the ninja and samurai eras, the thousands of waza and weapons utilized by today’s Ninjutsu masters incorporate various philosophies and tactics. Such tactics and techniques can be traced back to the oldest pre-Japan martial art observations, documentation and secret training. Those wazas were recorded or passed down from master to student for generations in families and temples.

Japanese martial art tradition also benefitted from other earlier, ancient war technology and learning descended from India, China, northern Africa and the Mediterranean. And today’s Ninjutsu martial artists also experiment with modern adaptations that respond to 21st Century conditions.

Ninjutsu and Bujinkan

One of the most known modern day schools is Bujikan Budo Taijutsu, the school of Hatsumi Soke. It is based on 9 particular schools of ancient samurai and ninja heritage taught to Grandmaster Hatsumi by his master, Takematsu.  Around the world, thousands of martial art students are training and testing for modern Ninja black belt courses under the Bujinkan leader, Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi. There are a small handful of supreme sensei in the Bujinkan, such as DaiShihan Richard Van Donk.

Enjoy this early Bujinkan Taikai Event with Grandmaster Hatsumi

Modern Ninjutsu Bujinkan Black Belt  Courses

Van Donk Ninjutsu Course

Ninja Dojo Ninja Training Portal at Bushindo University

Go to Bushindo University’s blackbelt video courses
The FREE ninjutsu video series “Ninja Training Video Blog
Hatsumi books and martial arts supplies
Ninjutsu Dojos and Training Partners Map

“Essence and Tradition: There is no shortage of books written about the essence of Budo, but it is preferable to regard most of these as autobiographies of people with experience. We must not lose sight of the mystery zone of budo/bugei/strategy in which if there is too much knowledge it becomes foolishness.”
(Hatsumi, Essence of Budo. p.22)

Essence of Budo Book by Grandmaster Hatsmumi

Other modern Japanese martial art schools under the general category of ‘Ninjutsu’ have been started by various Grandmasters. Some of the most famous sensei who teach ninja and samurai techniques in their own schools started their training under Bujinkan Soke Hatsumi. On the other hand, some schools are continuations of many generations of Japanese families who still pass down the art. There is some debate about what is a ‘Ninjutsu’ school and which techniques are considered to fall under that term. But numerous schools or Grandmasters teach techniques and philosophies in common with a range of martial art techniques under the category of Budo, Ninpo, Samurai, Ninja, and Shinobi martial art studies. Some of those are Genbukan, Jinenkan, and To Shin Do.

Is Ninjutsu The Same As Ninja?

Modern Ninjutsu is considered by many to be the modern legacy of general Ninja and Samurai survival techniques. You can actually learn how to be a “Ninja” today by using the same methods and weapons documented in ancient Japanese scrolls.

2018 Bujinkan Ninjutsu Dojos and Training Partners Ninja Training Map at Ninja Learning Network

Today, you can try to find a Ninja Dojo near you, or attend training seminars. And other resources and videos are abundant on the Internet for anyone wanting to learn. If you can’t find a local dojo, we recommend starting to learn from the video black belt courses with Bujinkan DaiShihan Richard Van Donk. Van Donk’s teachings are officially authorized by Hatsumi Soke in Japan.

In fact, Van Donk’s Bushindo University is one of the rare locations that students can officially join the Bujinkan organization. The International Bujinkan Dojo Associate (IBDA) is also managed with Bushindo University. Black Belt and other courses listed at Bushindo University are authentic Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, along with Eskrima and spiritual studies.

Whether you are a beginner or already studying any martial art, video instruction provides you with a timeless resource that will forever support your quest for more wisdom and skill. Even if you don’t train, watching and learning about Ninja strategies and tactics will blow your mind. And it will blow away your attackers when self defense tactics are required.

Ninjutsu Black Belts in the 21st Century

Thousands of people are training for their Ninjutsu black belt all over the world.  Starting authentic Ninja Training is natural for other martial artists. Many Ninjutsu students started with a background in very structured arts such as karate, jiujutsu, aikido, tae kwon do, and more. Those forms acutally share some similarities as they have techniques that hail from the same ancient roots.

But Ninjutsu, especially Bujinkan, can go far beyond because it draws from a much broader history. It’s program is less finite and is less structured than most martial art schools. Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, in particular, is fairly unstructured. Grandmaster Hatsumi allows every Bujinkan sensei to follow their own criteria for teaching and awarding belt rank. Each Bujinkan sensei will be sharing the knowlege as they see fit. And everyone pursues lifelong knowlege first, belt rank second. Thousands of waza and henka are shared at taikai training events where knowlege is demonstrated in an uncompetitive environment.