The warrior tradition known as "Ninpo Bugei" is based on the indigenous Japanese martial art of "Taijutsu", whose origins date back well over 1000 years ago. Over the centuries it has evolved into a unique martial discipline for training mind, body and spirit by cultivating inner peace and the superior self-protection skills for which the "ninja warrior" was renowned. Ninpo Bugei Taijutsu has evolved into a devastating martial discipline over several centuries in response to the demand by both men and women of the warrior class for realistic self-protection skills during an era when martial skills were considered a basic survival skill.
Ninpo Bugei Taijutsu is considered the highest class of striking and grappling which can effectively counter the conventional fighting techniques of jujutsu or Hakuda used by the samurai warriors, and the modern martial arts being practiced today. It also incorporates several styles of Japanese martial arts such as "Dackentaijutsu and Jutaijutsu" and was only taught orally to a few select individuals and was never taught openly amongst the warrior class. This subsequently prevented it from being included in the samurai fighting arts and the popular modern Japanese martial arts which have evolved from jujutsu. such as Karate-do, Judo, Kempo, and Aikido.
Up until only 15 years ago, authentic Ninpo Bugei Taijutsu had only been taught to a select few individuals in Japan, causing this martial discipline to remain virtually unknown inside and outside of Japan. This martial discipline became more obscure over the centuries because these martial teachings had only been passed on to those few deserving individuals who resided in the remote Iga and Koga regions of Japan. This subsequently left the true nature of this unique martial discipline and the important historical role of the men and women, known today as "Ninja Warriors", shrouded in a veil of mystery. Many of the great Japanese samurai were secretly trained in Ninpo Bugei Taijutsu, which in turn resulted in many of the ninja warrior's greatest historical contributions to Japan going unrecognized. Such as their role as the personal protectors of the Emperor and the Japanese royal family for 14 centuries, or their role as Japan's first police force during the Tokugawa era because their unique skills were needed to subdue armed samurai without causing them physical harm.
Even though the term "Ninpo Bugei Taijutsu" has been in use since World War II, most people generally incorrectly refer to the martial art of the "ninja warrior" as Ninjutsu. However, the two terms have quite different meanings, with the term "Ninjutsu" merely referring to a collection of techniques.. Where as, "Ninpo Bugei Taijutsu" refers to an enlightened warrior tradition which encourages the development of both the spiritual or self-growth of the individual, as well fully developing ones martial skills to the highest possible level. Through the practice of Ninpo Bugei one learns to defend ones self with mind, body and spirit.
Ninpo Bugei Taijutsu is not limited to any one style or school Ryu-ha) of Taijutsu. Instead, the basics taught at the Niji Dojo have evolved out of various schools including; Togakure Ryu, Kumogakure Ryu, Kukishin Ryu, Gyokko Ryu, Gyokushin Ryu, Koto Ryu, Takagi Yoshin Ryu, plus elements of Iga Ryu, Koga Ryu and other schools. Translated in English the "Ninpo Bugei" means the enduring principles of martial skills. Thus, there are no limits to the original art of perseverance known as Ninpo or Shinobi. The syllabus developed by Grandmaster Tanemura for his instructors represents over 40 years of training and research in the culmination of Ninpo Bugei at the Genbukan. The unarmed fighting techniques of the ninja warrior have been known by various names over the past 1000 years. When the ninja were very active during Japan's medieval era of warring states these martial traditions were known as "Shitojutsu, Koshijutsu, Koppojutsu, Hichojutsu to name a few. Today, everything we know about the ninja martial traditions of Ninpo Taijutsu comes from Takamatsu Sensei or one of his senior students such as Grandmaster Tanemura. As a result of its historical roots and continued focus on self protection, Ninpo Taijutsu is a unique martial discipline containing many elements which are not seen in the modern day martial arts such as Karate, Judo, Aikido, Kenpo etc.
The physical training taught by the Genbukan is focused on the use of Tai Sabaki, or the use of refined body movement to facilitate the skillful use of self-protection techniques, as opposed to using techniques which rely solely on muscular strength. Training is usually conducted with students working with partners so that they can develop correct timing, distancing, and body mechanics. Since the training is skill oriented, and not strength oriented, it has proven itself to be highly effective means of handling a confrontation with larger and stronger opponents. Also, while natural speed and strength decline with age, consistently practiced skills will constantly improve over time. Throughout all levels of training, numerous drills are employed to which require the students to develop spontaneity in their abilities and a stronger spirit. A student cannot be content to mechanically repeat the classic patterns (Kata) in a textbook fashion. Techniques must be living and realistic, flowing and natural to be effective. Through persistent training the student will develop the skill and spirit required to use a self-protection technique should the need arise.
|Genbukan Ninpo Bugei|
|Grandmaster Tanemura sensei established Genbukan in 1984 to maintain, preserve and teach ancient Japanese martial traditions, Ninpo, Ninjutsu, and Jujutsu. The organization was small at first with few Japanese and non-Japanese students practicing in Japan. At the time there was only one branch dojo (shibu dojo) in Los Angeles, but within a few years the organization grew as the quality of the teachings became apparent to many martial artists around the world. Genbukan is now a true international organization with dojos worldwide.|
|The character gen means dark and mysterious. Since the ancient period the character was used in Buddhist monks names. For example, Genshin, Genbo etc. It therefore carries a positive religious connotation, which suggest working for enlightenment while being in the shadow. The character bu is a common character that literally means "martial." And the character kan means "hall." The combination of these characters means the place of mysterious martial tradition and techniques. Another interpretation is a place in the dark where enlightenment will be attained through developing martial skills. Finally, it is possible to interpret the name as the place of enlightened martial tradition.|
|The logo of Genbukan is the eight spike Dharma Wheel (Jp., Horin, Sk., Chakra) or the Wheel of the Buddhist Law. While the wheel represents the Buddhist Law, the eight spikes are meant to defend the Law against its enemies. In the center is the lotus flower, a symbol of enlightenment, and in it is a mirror and the character nin. The mirror is a symbol of the Sun Goddess Amaterasu one of the most important deities of the Shinto pantheon, and the mythological originator of the Japanese imperial lineage. Although the Buddhist Wheel is often associated with the Buddhist Law, it is originally a projectile weapon used by the Indians. Because of its use as a weapon it was taken later as a Buddhist symbol. It is interesting to note that a few years ago archeologists found a number of objects in digs in a southern coastal area in Israel where the ancient (now extinct) warrior tribes of the Phillistines used to live some four-thousand years ago. This does not indicate a definite cultural connection, but it does raises the possibility of using projectiles for warfare in the ancient world.|