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I have had two 'martial artists' (in May & June 2010) say to me that ninjutsu is not a recognised or real martial art.
Firstly these individuals were from two different 'freestyle karate' systems here in Adelaide, their arts are modern modified versions of Karate, adding judo, some sword work (unknown origin), weapons with no real curriculum or 'martial schools' methods, kick boxing and 'street fighting' mixed together. Modern arts run by individuals who broke away from a master who broke away from another master.

Please understand this, 'what it is, is what it is' the facts of their art is as I have said above, this is easily confirmed!

Bujinkan Ninjutsu and it's grandmasters lineage which I respectfully base our teachings on (without personal interpretation) is listed in the
'Dai Nippon Bugei Ryu-ha' - Japans official historical records book of Japanese martial arts schools.
The art has extensive records of technique methods found in scrolls written by the listed grandmasters of the style, so our lineage, transmitted history and authenticity is really beyond question.

PS. to individuals that wish to study a 'bit' of our art then add it to a freestyle karate to 'sell' to the public, I question your honour (which you hold so dear) and suggest you only whish to do this for commercial reasons . . .
The monkey can copy, but without understanding, passing off his stolen knowledge makes the monkey a fool not a master!

BEWARE of Karate, Freestyle MMA, Kung fu or Tae kwon do clubs offering 'Little Ninjas' (4-6 year old program) this program is a 'one size fits all' originally designed as a marketing tool to get and retain students by cashing in on the Ninja popularity.
It's run by Karate, Tae kwon do and Kung Fu clubs that DON'T have their own little kids programs and DON'T teach NINJUTSU.
The technique taught by these clubs differs greatly from REAL NINJUTSU!   They will call your child a NINJA but this is simply not TRUE!

NOTE: Our 'Li'l Ninja Clan' program activities use REAL NINJUTSU and was approved in 2005 through the Australian Sports Commission Active After Schools Communities Program (Registration Number 1127) and has been run in over 30 public and private schools and after school care centres.

To all legitimate students of Budo I apologise for these comments that I otherwise would not vent, but I felt the above needed to be said inspite of the fact that fools rarely hear or understand the truth.
Back to the purpose of this page . . .

Understanding what 'Budo' really is . . .

Many people have views or opinions about Ninjutsu based on movies, novels, cartoons, myth and hearsay. Most are incorrect, most movies and cartoons are choreographed by Karate or other martial arts specialists with little or no knowledge of our art. Most written about ninja is romanticised or made to sound mystical . . . but to a true practitioner of the art all this just masks and shrouds the real art and that is what the ninja of old preferred as it kept the enemy guessing.
Enemies not knowing the ninjas real skills and believing they are somehow superhuman or magical (old myths) or not a real art or not effective for modern fighting (new myths) created an advantage for the ninja.

Ninjutsu is quite different from Karate, Tae kwon do, some newer forms of Kung fu and modern 'combat' or 'military' style martial arts etc, firstly Ninjutsu is 'very old', well over a thousand years old, most other arts can 'trace' only elements of their style back this amount of time, but not usually with an 800+ year unbroken lineage of Grandmasters or written scrolls dictating the teachings. The movement methods and principles underpinning our methods differ, we usually have a hard time getting practitioners of other arts to let go of their fixed ideas of fighting to embrace our methods.

Unfortunately for many other arts, changes have occurred, usually because someone simply wanted to 'stamp' their ideas on the style or modify it because of their beliefs (right or wrong) about fighting methods or for political reasons like breaking away from their master to start their own organisation and feeling they had to change it to call the art 'their own' . . . rather than changing due to an evolution that weeds out the ineffective and reinforces the effective technique.

In our art the art itself and the clan (organisation) is of most importance not the individual!
Ninjutsu is as it is, the way it has always worked, naturally evolving to be highly effective

In our self defence skills, called 'taijutsu', you will not be expected to just punch or kick at each other as in random non contact sparring ('pretending' to fight like in some freestyle Karate or sports style Tae Kwon Do clubs), in Ninjutsu you'll learn real survival techniques in the way the Ninja and Samurai warriors did hundreds of years ago in Feudal Japan. Building your skills progressively and safely with drills and role playing, developing the mind as well as the body in a safe controlled environment, not using ineffective modern 'non contact' sports style sparring which (if non or light contact) simply teaches you to miss the opponent (poor distancing, range and target judgment), remember 'how you train is how you perform' for example an Olympic high jumper in training doesn't run up to the bar then jump straight up and down not going over the bar, they must jump over the bar especially in practice !
(Ah, remember the 'old' days of martial arts, broken noses, broken teeth, bruises, breaks, dislocations and pain - at least you knew what worked and what didn't!)

Defending yourself in a real fight is not like sports fighting you don't get breaks between 'rounds' to rest, you don't have the luxury of being hit by gloved (padded) fists or feet and you don't have protective pads on yourself . . . believing you'll be ok in a real fight just because you didn't get hurt in training is a falsehood that will get you hurt in a real fight !   Research the 'SUPERMAN SYNDROME'

If you ever need your skills to defend yourself then you need to know they can work in any situation !

Ninjutsu and Samurai clan based martial arts were developed during the warring periods so they were truly tested over decades and centuries by many warriors of the same clan (not just 'one' individual) and because of this they worked effectively, if a technique didn't work you were probably killed in battle, so only effective technique was retained.

These technique were not taught to 'outsiders' of the clan . . . surprise being a great tactic, you did not want others to know your craft so no public schools or clubs were available for these arts. This also meant that loyalty* was strong for the family style and the style developed and was perfected over many dedicated generations of the same family. 
*Loyalty: a word often hypocritically used, in my opinion, by 'martial artists' that have broken away from and go into commercial competition with their master !

Most 'breakaway' organisation have done this because the individual that breaks away feels the art or the instructor lack something and somehow thinks they can do better (what does this say for the original art and/or the individual?).
Sometimes it's simply the 'ego' factor . . . they want to be the 'boss' or it's money orientated.

It seams strange to me that individuals (martial artists) in our 'peaceful' times, excluding the true hand to hand combat experienced Military personnel of which there are very few and remember even special forces personnel rely more on modern firearms, weaponry and explosives than 'hand to hand' technique, feel it necessary to change or modify these 'old' arts simply because they feel they know better than the warriors that developed, lived, breathed and died in the mainly close quarters combat environment of the warring periods of Japan, China and Korean
history . . . surely these 'modern 'masters' can not possibly be that experienced in the true art of hand to hand fighting to be qualified to do this !

How many 'real' fights could these 'modern masters' have possibly been in ?
Miyamoto Musashi - 'Kensei' (Sword Saint) is said to have fought over 60 sword duels before he was 29, he went on to perfect the art of the sword over his lifetime . . . that's a lifetime of life and death practice. Would you dare to say you could better his skills now days, in this era when actual death duels are not legal or even an acceptable way to practice ? With this in mind how could you every learn more than he?

As a security officer (patrols and guard) and crowd controller (night club 'door' security) from 1985 to the late 1990's I have been in more 'fight' situations than I can or care to remember (usually several a night over weekends) and no two were the same, no two were structured or used 'clean' technique (even 'clean' Ninjutsu technique) and no two fights went long enough to really learn or develop any real or tested ideas on how to be a better fighter . . . the majority of martial artists out there have not been in a dozen real fights let alone so many they can't remember them all and even with this 'experience' I would not be so arrogant as to think I know better than the generations that came before me in warring times and suggest changes to the art of Ninjutsu especially an ancient truly tested warring period developed style taught from the original scrolls by the 34th Grand Master ! 

Sports fighting such as points, continuous and light/restricted contact kumite, even full contact like boxing and NHB (No Holds Barred) or 'No Rules' competition have rules and there is no real intention to 'kill' or seriously meme plus a referee or attending doctor can stop the fight if it gets too bad.
So technique like eye gouging, small joint manipulation, joint breaking, throat or groin striking that would quickly defeat these type of 'attacks' can not be used in these sports orientated arts. Therefore these do not always teach or use true life saving self defence skills.


What would a NHB fighter do once his eyes are gouged out, fingers broken, knee broken and his throat punched!  (probably overkill I know, but you get my point)


Karate practitioners that act like Samurai and follow the 'bushido code'.

Karate is from Okinawa, it is not traditionally Japanese and is NOT related to Jujitsu, jujutsu, the Samurai or Bushido code !

The lineage of all systems of Karate practiced today in Japan and around the world was first demonstrated in Japan in 1922, effectively well after the 'Samurai culture' period ended.

Before the 1920's Karate literally meaning 'China hand' was created and practiced in Okinawa and also known early on as Te (hand), Naha Te - from the Naha area of Okinawa, Chuan-fa and several other Chinese names was developed from local Okinawan and Chinese methods. Just because Japanese individuals (of Samurai lineage or not) learnt 'karate' in Okinawa, adopted and took 'Karate' back to Japan does not make it a Japanese or 'Samurai' traditional art.

Funakoshi Gichin (who took karate to Japan from Okinawa) changed the kanji to read 'empty hand' in the early 1920's but not as in 'nothing in your hand'.
It was actually from the Zen Buddhist philosophy 'render oneself empty', meaning to 'empty ones mind of selfishness and wickedness' in an effort to react appropriately toward anything one might encounter.
Which, considering competition for prizes or trophies is considered 'selfish' behaviour by any reasonable person, that makes the modern Karate-ka's desire to 'beat another for a prize' a contradiction of the Karate 'philosophy' of 'self development' that all Karate-ka like to espouse. 

Anyone adding 'Samurai' stuff to their Karate system by promoting the 'bushido code' as part of their system, dressing in Samurai style clothing or wielding Samurai weapons is simply 'pretending' or 'playing at being a Samurai' in short trying to be what they are not . . .

The truth or reality is that this is a DECEPTION usually done to 'promote' or 'sell' their art to the public for commercial reasons.
Ask these people what the lineage of their masters is or how their art is connected to the Samurai!

Another falsehood is that 'Shaolin Kung Fu' was taught to the monks by Bodhidharma who brought the fighting arts from India (the supposed birth place of martial arts) and it is sometimes even said that he founded the temple itself.

Firstly the temple was standing and being defended centuries before his arrival and secondly figurines of Chinese warriors in 'Shaolin style' martial arts postures have been found predating his arrival in China by some 500 plus years!  READ SOME HISTORY BOOKS!
We know that retiring soldiers often took up the monastic life or would take refuge in temples and this is much more likely to be the origins of the Shaolin system.

Friendly bit of advice:   having a Karate or one of these other organisation teaching or promoting 'Bushido Values' and/or 'Samurai' or 'Ninja' Martial Arts skills is like having a Rugby coach teach Soccer, they both teach what is called football (in our case martial arts) and both have merit as 'football' coaches but if you want real 'soccer' skills, you would surely choose the coach that practices 'real' soccer . . .

Which coach would you choose !


Tae kwon do is Korean, (Tae = foot, Kwon = hand. so Tae Kwon do = Way of the foot and hand) is under 60 years old in the form practiced today, based on a mix of Karate style and modified old Korean methods and is now sports orientated or highly competitive by nature. The founder added a 'code' of ethics but this is still not related to the Samurai codes.

Wing Chun Kung Fu is approximately 250 years old and is a mix of a few different older Kung Fu principles with no connection to the Samurai code.

These arts (Karate, Tae kwon do and Kung fu) do not now and never did have any true direct relationship or lineage to the 'Samurai' class, the 'Sanji Itto' (the formal document of samurai etiquette, horsemanship and archery from the 1380's written by Nagahide Ogasawara) and the more commonly known 'Bushido' code (which was effectively just the etiquette part of the Sanji Itto) . . . in spite of what some of these organisations often claim for promotional, commercial and/or public image reasons.

They (usually freestyle Karate groups) often adopt these 'values' to enhance their arts appeal but rarely get it right or truly embrace the 'values' correctly, for example when bowing in seiza (kneeling posture) most place the left hand down first then the right hand, lifting the right hand back to the thigh almost straight away, then the left returns to it's thigh position . . . this is done to keep the right hand (sword drawing hand) free as long as possible to draw the sword (kept on the left side) should the individual you're bowing to attack!
This shows great distrust . . . hardly the way a student and teacher should bow to each other!

This 'untrusting' bow is normally reserved for metered politeness towards ones' enemy during negotiations, discussions or maybe in today's modern jujutsu or kendo sparring/competition to reflect the 'I'm your enemy' aspect of competition. 

To believe that one place (usually most say India or Greece simply because they have the oldest 'documented' arts) is where martial arts started is ridiculous . . . imagine no tribes of people throughout the ages fighting or developing fighting skills until one person or people spread the art! 

Fighting arts developed all over the world independently, most have similar overall movement simply because the human body can only move in so many ways. There may have been instances of influence of styles as people travelled but most cultures would have had their own fighting systems to start with.

Please do thorough research into your chosen art, the answers are there, don't just believe the first thing you hear. 


The main Japanese unarmed fighting systems prior to the 1880/90's (decline of the Samurai/warrior class) were known as Nihon Kenpo or Kempo (not American Kempo which is more Korean based), Jujutsu or Jujitsu, Jutaijutsu, Dakentaijutsu, Koshijutsu, Koppojutsu and Taijutsu plus many other specific technique, clan or school originated terms.

Then there were the many weapons systems: Kenjutsu, Naginata jutsu, Shuriken jutsu, Bo jutsu, Yari jutsu Kyu jutsu just to name a few.

Although Aikido and Judo originate from Samurai Clan Ju Jutsu styles they are still modern interpretations and modified somewhat from the original samurai systems, much has been changed and/or deleted to make it more marketable to the general public and in Judo's case safer for sport.

We believe to uphold the integrity and functionality of an art you should practice the whole art not just the popular stuff.

NOTE (before you other artist organise a lynch mob . . .lol):  I do believe all these other 'modern' arts have value and are worthy of study, however people must accept that they are based predominantly on modern sport fighting skills and any 'cultural' connection they might have had, has been minimised or dropped to 'sell' just the 'popular' self defence or sport fighting skills to the public.

Our BUDO TAIJUTSU (Warriors way body methods) is based on . . .

OUR formal 'Samurai' pedigree is based on

Our formal 'Ninja' pedigree is based on

Our other formal 'Samurai related' Japanese Martial Arts pedigrees are based on

These nine 'ryu' (schools) of martial art that our teachings are based on ended up in the hands of the Toda clan from the early 1600's on and were taught to Toda clan members until approximately 60 years ago when 'the last true ninja' (as recognised by the Japanese government) known as Takamatsu, Toshitsugu Uoh (studying these arts from 1907 to 1972, born 1887 - died 1972, O'Sensei Takamatsu was also the last of the direct Toda clan bloodline), he decided that from 1968 on, his student Hatsumi, Masaaki (Yoshiaki), (born 1931 - the current 'Soke' - Grand Master) would open these arts up to individuals of good character to enlighten the world.

Soke Masaaki Hatsumi is recognised by the Japanese Government and the Emperor of Japan as the Grand Master of the only remaining authentic 'Ninja' school. The nine arts are now collectively known as the 'Bujinkan' (Divine Warrior Hall), Soke has received many international awards, awarded many honorary titles by many governments, law enforcement organisations and military groups, he's even received a Papal blessing for his work in promoting world peace  . . .

Again - Friendly bit of advice: having a Karate or one of these other organisation teaching or promoting 'Bushido Values' and/or 'Samurai' or 'Ninja' Martial Arts skills is like having a Rugby coach teach Soccer, they both teach what is called football (in our case martial arts) and both have merit as 'football' coaches but if you want real 'soccer' skills, you would surely choose the coach that practices 'real' soccer . . .

So if a rugby coach offers you soccer training . . . would you really want to learn soccer from him???
Does this constitute false advertising or fraud?

Find a NINJUTSU or SAMURAI JUJUTSU instructor if you truly wish to learn NINJA or SAMURAI skills!


Students can complete a nationally recognised 'Sport (Coach) Certificate II' qualification.  This can be used towards further nationally recognised training in the Sport and Recreation field (becoming an instructor/coach) and/or students attaining their SACE in South Australia. 
See our qualifications website for details.

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