Our Soke (Grandmaster)

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Soke Masaaki Hatsumi

Soke Masaaki Hatsumi was born in Noda City, Chiba Prefecture, Japan on  December 2, 1931. He was first introduced to the martial arts by his  father at age 9 learning kendo. Later he went on to study judo, aikido,  karate, boxing and numerous koryu bujutsu styles.
 

  From 1957 to 1972, Masaaki Hatsumi studied with Takamatsu Toshitsugu,  from whom he inherited the authority and position of Soke (headmaster)  in the following nine martial arts traditions:  

  • Takagi Yoshin-ryu jutaijutsu
  • Kukishinden happo bikenjutsu
  • Shinden Fudo-ryu dakentaijutsu
  • Gyokko-ryu kosshijutsu
  • Koto-ryu koppojutsu
  • Gikan-ryu koppojutsu
  • Togakure-ryu ninjutsu
  • Kumogakure-ryu ninjutsu
  • Gyokushin-ryu ninjutsu

In the late 1970's Masaaki Hatsumi founded the Bujinkan Dojo in honor of  his teacher Takamatsu Toshitsugu. From 1982 till 2003 he travelled  world wide to teach his style of martial arts. He continues to teach the  essence of these martial art methods at the Bujinden Honbu dojo in Noda  City today. 

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Who was Takamatsu Toshitsugu?

 

Takamatsu-sensei was born on March 10, 1889 in Hyogo Prefecture,  Japan. He began studying martial arts at the age of nine and mastered  various styles from Ishitani Matsutaro, Mizuta Yoshitaro Tadafusa, and  his grandfather Toda Shinryuke. Takamatsu-sensei was already an accomplished  budoka by the time he was a teenager, having won challenge matches  against other martial artists and sumo wrestlers. As a young man in his  twenties he retreated to the mountains of Kobe to continue his rigorous  physical and spiritual practice. After leaving the mountains he soon returned to China, and for the  following 10 years he encountered many life and death situations in true  fighting. He reportedly fought many strong Chinese martial artists in  mortal combat and used his budo to defend himself against even wild  animals. In 1919, after mastering the combat arts, Takamatsu Sensei returned  to Japan in order to master spiritual studies. He became the head monk  at a mountain temple of esoteric Buddhism in the Yamato district. In the  1950's, he taught martial arts in Nara Prefecture; in 1957 he met  Hatsumi Masaaki (Yoshiaki) and groomed the young man to become the  successor to his rich martial arts legacy. Referred by Hatsumi Sensei as  the "last true combat ninja," the venerable Takamatsu Toshitsugu passed  away in May of 1972, at the age of 84 years.