Soke Masaaki Hatsumi

Soke Hatsumi



Soke Hatsumi started training in Martial Arts from the age of 7 when he first picked up his fathers wooden sword. He went on to train in every art he could find, studying Judo, Kendo, Aikido, Karate, Jukendo (fighting with gun and bayonet), Chinese Kempo and even Western Boxing. After reaching 4th Dan in Judo and 6th Dan in Shinto-Ryu Karate he was invited to teach at an American military base. The American troops, because of their physical size, soon developed a powerful style and many of them were able to defeat their Japanese seniors easily. Hatsumi began to question the practicality of the martial arts he had studied and if a person who was small in stature might ever be able to defeat a larger opponent.

He trained with many teachers to find what he was looking for until he met an old Kobudo teacher Ueno Takashi. Takashi taught him the old Budo arts, such as Asayama Ichiden ryu, Shinto Tenshin ryu, Bokuden ryu, Takagi Yoshin ryu, Kukishinden ryu and Gyokushin ryu and after 3 years of training Takashi gave Hatsumi ‘Menkyo Kaiden’ (license, which states that the bearer has mastered certain martial art and is allowed to teach it).


Still not satisfied with his own ability Hatsumi was told of Takashis teacher, Toshitsugu Takamatsu. On their first meeting Hatsumi immediately realised he had found the teacher he had been looking for. Over the next 15 years Hatsumi studied 9 Budo traditions directly from Takamatsu Sensei.

Before Takamatsu Sensei sadly passed away, Hatsumi was awarded the title of Soke (Grandmaster) in the 9 traditions and formalised them into the Bujinkan (Divine Warrior God) system in honour of his teacher. Those individual schools are:

  • Togakure Ryu Ninpo Taijutsu, 34th Grandmaster
  • Gyokko Ryu Kosshijutsu Happo Hiken, 28th Grandmaster
  • Koto Ryu Koppojutsu Happo Hiken, 18th Grandmaster
  • Shinden Fudo Ryu Daken Taijutsu Happo Hiken, 26th Grandmaster
  • Kukishin Ryu Taijutsu Happo Hiken, 28th Grandmaster
  • Takagiyoshin Ryu Jutaijutsu Happo Hiken, 17th Grandmaster
  • Kumogakure Ryu Ninpo Happo Hiken, 14th Grandmaster
  • Gyokushin Ryu Ninpo Happo Hiken, 21st Grandmaster
  • Gikan Ryu Koppojutsu Happo Hiken, 15th Grandmaster