The Nine Schools of the Bujinkan

 

TOGAKURE RYU

Was founded by Diasuke Nishina who was raised as a vassal of kiso Yoshinaka in the early 12th century. When Yoshinakas's army was defeated in battle, Diasuke escaped to Iga. There he learned various martial skills such as Koshijutsu and Kenjutsu from Kagakure Doshi. it was initially called Togakure Ryu Happo Biken but has been called by various names since that time. Togakure Ryu is known for it's use of tekko, senban nage and shinodake (4-foot breathing tube).

 

GYOKKO RYU

It is believed that a Chinese person named Ikai introduced this art to Japan in the 8th century. It is assumed that this Koshijutsu was based on Chinese martial arts. Although Koshijutsu means "To be able to knock down an enemy with one finger", it can also signify the "backbone" (spine) of the martial arts.

 

KOTO RYU

This art was founded in the middle of the 16th century by Toda Sankyo Ishinsai who had learned Gyokko Ryu from Gyokkan, a Buddhist Monk. Koppojutsu originally came from ancient China and was also called Goho, which characterised by its use of hidden weapons. The first kanji of Koppo (kotsu) means bone, but can have the deeper meaning of "knack".

 

KUKISHINDEN RYU

The founder of this tradition was Yakushimaru Kurando Takazane, a palace guard of Emperor Godaigo in the 1330's. he was awarded the family name of Kuki (nine demons) for his spirited fighting and rescue of the Emporer. In addition to bo, yari, shuriken and unarmed fighting methods, this tradition is well known for its bojutsu and kenjutsu. Due in part to the Kuki family's activities as suigun (navy) they adapted a low fighting posture that permitted better balance on turbulent waters. This tradition is related to Kukishin Ryu which is well known for its bojutsu.

 

KUMOGAKURE RYU

This martial art was founded by Heinaizaemon Ienaga Iga (Kumogakure Hoshi) who was believed to be the originator of Iga Ryu Ninjutsu. The special skills of this tradition include its use of the kamayari (sickle spear) and kote uchi (forearm striking) techniques. Much of the training in this tradition is said to be likened to the taijutsu and philosophies of escape and evasion techniques in Togakure Ryu.

 

GIKAN RYU KOPPOJUTSU

Founded by Unryu Hangan Gikanbo, Daimyo of Kawachi Province. he developed this art from his lessons in Koshijutsu. The lessons of this tradition are almost totally unknown to the public and many of its secret techniques were handed down from soke to soke only.

 

SHINDEN FUDO Ryu

This ryu was founded by Izumo Kanja Yoshiteru. A characteristic of this ryu is its recognition of shizen (natural) as the only necessary posture of defence. However, in reality, a person imagines a posture of defence in his mind and places himself on guard. This tradition has two sections of fighting (dakentaijutsu & jutaijutsu) as well as the philosophy of not drawing a sword unless absolutely necessary

 

GYOKUSHIN RYU

This art is a branch of Koshijutsu and was founded by Sasaki Goemon Teruyoshi. Characteristics of this tradition include its unique use of nawa nage (rope throwing) and espionage techniques. The secrets of this tradition have only been hinted about by the current grandmaster.

 

TAKAGI YOSHIN RYU

Traces its lineage back to the 16th century scroll Rinpo Hiden which was studied by Ito Ki-i no Kami. This tradition was founded by Takagi Oriemon Shigenobu. This art developed through the years and has strong links to Takeuchi Ryu, Kukishin Ryu and Hontai Yoshin Ryu. This tradition teaches to always remain calm and flexible like the willow.


Source: Bujinkan - Ten Chi Jin Ryaku No Maki (The Principles of Heaven, Earth and Man)

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