Genbukan and Bujinkan

Discussion in 'Ninjutsu' started by Cthulhu, Nov 2, 2001.

  1. Cthulhu

    Cthulhu Senior Master

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    It looks like we've got board members from both of these branches of ninjutsu. Could you two compare and contrast the two systems, perhaps? For the longest time, I was only familiar with Bujinkan ninjutsu. It was only 5 years ago or so that I became of Tanemura's Genbukan ninjutsu. I think they both stem from Togakure Ryu ninjutsu, but I'd like to hear about differences in training, philosophy, etc.

    Damn, I'm nosey :D

    Cthulhu
     
  2. Aoshi

    Aoshi Guest

    I would be interested to hear about the differences too but it would take a person who has practiced in both systems to tell the differences. So, anyone?
     
  3. Cthulhu

    Cthulhu Senior Master

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    Maybe, maybe not. A person from one system could describe how they do such-and-such, and the person from the other system would describe how they do it.

    Cthulhu
     
  4. Aoshi

    Aoshi Guest

    Well, I can describe the Bujinkan side (what little I know + the teachers and friends from whom I can always ask what I don't know). But IMHO the topic is quite wide so where to start?
     
  5. higuma

    higuma Guest

    Cthulu,

    I think you need to be a bit more specific with your inquery. I will answer some questions about the Bujinkan to the best of my ability. Please keep in mind though, that there are facets of this art that I will not discuss on the net.

    Aoshi,

    After reading your profile, I noticed that you and I share a birthday (give or take a few years...). Oddly, we share a birthday with Nagato-shihan as well. Who are you training with?
     
  6. Cthulhu

    Cthulhu Senior Master

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    Yeah, I could be a bit more specific, Higuma. However, I was hoping the Bujinkan and Genbukan people would start this on their own, on the forum for the benefit of other nosey people like myself :D

    Just for example...pick a specific thing, like ichimonji. Genbukan feller describes the principles and applications of it. Bujinkan feller describes the principles and applications of it. Any differences are discussed/argued/compared/etc.

    Cthulhu
     
  7. higuma

    higuma Guest

    ichimonji?

    ichimonji no kamae or ichimonji no kata? And if it is ichimonji no kata, to which application are you referring?

    If it is ichimonji no kamae, to which ryu are you referring?

    I will assume, for the sake of expediency, that you mean to say ichimonji no kamae since that is readily found in the abundance of available books by certain ninja authors. Additionally, I wil address this in as generic a manner as possible so as to not need to differentiate between ryu-ha.

    Ichimonji no kamae is not a technique. It is kamae. A transitory posture you may find yourself in between points A and B.

    Ichimonji is, many circles, a largely overused and misunderstood term. This is a result of a lack of understanding on the part of certain instructors to be able to recognize ichimonji from other "similar" kamae (seigan, bobi, ichi, shoshin, ihen, etc). As a result "ichimonji" has become a rather nebulous, nonspecific, catch all type of terminology in those circles that is used to refer to any kamae that has one foot forward, one foot back, and a lead hand pointing at the opponent.

    Now, that said, what next?
     
  8. Cthulhu

    Cthulhu Senior Master

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    Yeah, that's the general idea.

    Higuma said:
    Yeah, I know :D That's why I called it a 'thing', for lack of a better word at the time.

    Still, what I was hoping would happen is that the Genbukan and Bujinkan folks would compare and contrast here and us nosey peoples would benefit by reading the material. Guess I bombed that, eh? :)

    Cthulhu
    PS I was unaware of an ichimonji no kata. Guess my buddy quit going to the Atlanta Bujinkan dojo before he learned that :)
     
  9. Jay Bell

    Jay Bell Master Black Belt

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    Hey all,

    I wish I would have known about this board before...looks pretty gr00vy. Okay, so the question was the differences between Genbukan and Bujinkan..

    Well, the Bujinkan is comprimised of blending together 9 koryu that Hatsumi sensei is Soke of, as well as methods from other traditions that Sensei has Menkyo Kaiden within.

    Soke
    -------
    Gyokko ryu Kosshijutsu
    Koto ryu Koppojutsu
    Gikan ryu Koppojutsu
    Togakure ryu Ninpo Taijutsu
    Shinden Fudo ryu Dakentaijutsu
    Kukishin ryu Happo Bikenjutsu
    Hontai Takagi Yoshin ryu Jutaijutsu
    Kumogakure ryu Ninpo Taijutsu
    Gyokushin ryu Ninpo Taijutsu

    Menkyo Kaidensha
    -----------------------
    Bokuden ryu Taijutsu
    Masaki ryu Manrikigusari
    Asayama Ichiden ryu Taijutsu
    etc

    So...what specific questions did you folks have in mind?

    Take care,

    Jay
     
  10. Cthulhu

    Cthulhu Senior Master

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    Thanks, Jay! Can someone provide that same kind of info on Genbukan?

    Cthulhu
     
  11. Jay Bell

    Jay Bell Master Black Belt

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    Before I go any further, I am *not* a member of the Genbukan. So this information is just what I have learned through knowing members over the years.

    The Genbukan Ninpo side of the organizations bases it's knowledge on Togakure ryu, Kukishin ryu, Gikan ryu, Gyokko ryu, Koto ryu, Kijin Chosui ryu and Shinden Fudo ryu.

    The Kokusai Jujutsu Renmei side bases it's teachings on Hontai Takagi Yoshin ryu, Kukishin ryu, Asayama Ichiden ryu, Shinden Tatara ryu, Bokuden ryu, Yagyu Shingan ryu, Tenshin ryu
    Itten Ryushin Chukai ryu and Araki Shin ryu.

    Tanemura Shoto also teaches a style of Bagua and Chikung..I don't really have much information on that however.
     
  12. Cthulhu

    Cthulhu Senior Master

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    That's still a load of info...thanks, Jay!

    Cthulhu
     
  13. Jay Bell

    Jay Bell Master Black Belt

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    No problem :D
     
  14. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    I see only the first 8 listed in Dr. Hatsumi's Ninjutsu. History and Traditions. Was this an oversight or did he only gain soke-hood of this system after the publication of the book?

    For all 12 systems here I'd be interested in seeing a short description of what they are and what's distinctive about them. Masaki ryu Manrikigusari I presume refers to the weapon included in its name, and all the Taijutsu systems I imagine are empty-hand systems; Koppojutsu I believe refers to jujutsu systems emphasizing attacks on bones?
     
  15. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    Are the black belts given in Bujinkan, rather than the subsystems of which it is comprised (Togakure ryu Ninpo Taijutsu, etc.), or is it a simultaneous belt in each of the 9 or more arts? Does Dr. Hatsumi award menkyos in those arts or does he only use the dan system now?
     
  16. Jay Bell

    Jay Bell Master Black Belt

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    It was actually an oversight.

    All of the Taijutsu schools also have weapons:

    Gyokko ryu Kosshijutsu - Daisho, some believe there to exist bojutsu in it as well

    Koto ryu Koppojutsu - Kenjutsu

    Shinden Fudo ryu - Ono, Monpa, Naginata, Bisento, Hojojutsu, Yari, Ken

    and so on..

    The schools that I'm not certain as far as weapons are Kumogakure ryu, Gyokushin ryu and Gikan ryu. I've heard that Gikan ryu had hanbo and jutte, but I wouldn't say it to be fact. Kumogakure ryu does use kamayari and iron bands on the forearms, but I can't be sure of what else beyond that.

    Most schools of Japanese budo have weapon work as well as unarmed. Shinto Muso ryu does not have unarmed techniques however, I'm sure there are more that don't apply to this as well.

    If you take a look at Matts Hjelm's website it can give you a pretty good description of what each school contains. The kusari fundo within the Bujinkan stems from Masaki ryu. The Bokuden ryu I've seen from Sensei was all video footage of him doing muto dori (sword vs. unarmed). Asayama Ichiden ryu is a Jujutsu school that (according the them...see the Ueno Takashi 20 year Aniversary Embu book) has close ties to Daito ryu. Nothing I've seen from Asayama Ichiden ryu however looks or feels much like Daito ryu at all.

    Originally in the Bujinkan, the rank certificates were given in all nine schools. Then it became "Bujinkan Ninpo Taijutsu". Now rank certificates are given in "Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu".

    I hope that helps some...have a good one,

    Jay
     
  17. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    Thanks once again for all this info. as well as the link Jay. I'll check out the link now.
     
  18. arnisador

    arnisador Sr. Grandmaster

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    This is a fantastic website! There's an incredible amount o finformation here. It's a bit dark, unfortunately (the ninja theme?), with blue-on-black lettering, but it's chock full of information.

    http://www.kabuto.nu/
     
  19. Makoto-Dojo

    Makoto-Dojo Guest

    Hello,

    I would like to respond to your question about Genbukan vs Bujinkan how they are different. I would like to preface with saying, I have a yon Dan in the Bujinkan after 18 years of training in the art. I have trained in Genbukan since 1998 and am a Dojo-Cho (Official Dojo owner assigned by Tanemura Sensei) of Genbukan USA makoto Dojo.

    On to the question:

    -First, while in the Bujinkan I ran into people who were very good, and some who were VERY bad! Some of the terrible ones were high level ranks. Some of the great ones were LOW level ranks! LOL! This stems from the fact that there are no standards for ranking in Bujinkan and it is left up to each Dojo. Hatsumi Sensei himself seems to give rank out carelessly and freely

    -In the Genbukan, the ranking is VERY specific and the same around the world. There are 300 techniques up to first kyu that must be tested in public and held to the world wide standard for performance. You receive a percentage grade and letter grade that goes on your permanent record. You must get at least 85% to pass.

    -In the Bujinkan, it was very difficult to learn even the basic techniques correctly. Hatsumi Sensei changes how he teaches them each time he teaches them! All of his Japanese teachers do them in different ways, and in America so many people would learn a technique half way then mix it with their own ideas

    -In Genbukan, each basic technique and kata are done exactly the same way world wide as the BASIC form, this way the authentic correct technique is perserved and transmitted. Only after you master the basic version are you encouraged to explore past that.

    -In Bujinkan you receive rank in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu. It used to be Ninpo Taijutsu but that has changed.

    -In Genbukan you receive rank in Genbukan Ninpo Bugei, at third degree black belt, you can train in one of the ryu ha that make up the art and actually receive TRADITIONAL ranking scrolls and Densho (secret books) up to Menkyo kaiden level along with the dan grades in Ninpo Bugei.

    -In Bujinkan, all of the arts Ninpo and jujutsu are mixed together mostly hatsumi Sensei's interpretation of these arts which he is always changing. he has said bujinkan is faster than the internet it changes from second to second...

    -In Genbukan, we strive to maintain the traditional Japanese art of Ninpo/Ninjutsu and Jujutsu. It is not about Tanemura Soke's interpretation of the arts, instead it is faithful to the densho and kuden he received.

    -In Bujinkan the Ninja/ninpo aspects are downplayed

    -In Genbukan Ninpo is ninpo! We teach Shuriken (there are actual kamae, and throwing techniques that are practiced) Kiai Jutsu, Kuji Kiri, Mikkyo, shinto etc...

    -The Bujinkan shys away from the religious side of the art

    -In the Genbukan, Tanemura Sensei teaches as Takamatsu Sensei taught and Hatsumi Sensei USED to teach. Shumon and Bumon Martial gate and Spiritual gate. Side by side. Amatsu Tatara Shinto is a big part of the art with meditations, kuji kiri kuden etc...

    -In Bujinkan, weapons are thrown in with everything else as part of Budo Taijutsu. The traditional training is not stressed, instead inovative usage of traditional and modern weapons are encouraged.

    -In Genbukan, we learn weapons outside of our basic taijutsu training. They are a study onto themselves. We earn seperate kyu and dan grads for weapons as well as menkyo. We study them step by step, for example in sword, 9th kyu has how to take a sword apart, clean it, examine it, bow with it. Safety, how to tie sageo names of parts etc... How to hold, how to cut everything step by step to master level.

    Hatsumi Sensei takes his art of budo taijutsu from the nine arts he received from Takamatsu Sensei. In addition, the arts he received menkyo in from Ueno Sensei. Since 1973 he has been without a teacher.

    -Tanemura Sensei has studied with hatsumi Sensei until 1984 receiving menkyo kaiden in many of the 9 schools and being vice president of bujinkan. Since then, he trained with Kimura Sensei maybe the closest student of Takamatsu Sensei, and Sato kinbei Sensei who was also a student of Takamatsu Sensei and received Soke-ship and menkyo kaiden in various arts. Tanemura Sensei trained with these men until the last one died in 2000. In addition, he trained with Fukumoto Sensei who was Ura Soke of Togakure Ryu and received his scrolls and kuden, he is still friends with Aikimoto Sensei's Son with whom he learned many kuden and received scrolls, and has training in the ueno line as well. he to this day has a teacher in Itto Ryu Iaido as he continues to develop the Genbukan.

    Overall, Bujinkan is good for people who are more free spirited and like to be able to do their own thing. the stress is on the "essence" of the arts. many people add many things to the Bujinakn and get away with it. Fire walks, new age teachings, you name it

    Genbukan is much more strict and is a traditional JAPANESE school FIRST! From that base you can explore, but never are you allowed to infect the base system with outside influence. it is to remain pure. We do however spar, and practice our art against other arts.

    Bujinkan training is very soft and playful with flow and experimentation being the priority. People throw weapons to each other, wear tye-dyed tee-shirts in the Dojo, talk swear... It is VERY relaxed, like woodstock LOL!

    Genbukan is very hardcore. Manners are stressed, training is intense with many repetitions of the basics over and over again. You will be sweating LOL!

    Last is the sword test. In Bujinkan you take a sword test at 5th dan with a bamboo sword from behind. It is well known that Hatsumi Sensei passes who he wants. Why he does this is anyones guess. he will squeek the sword, make a noise, pull it short etc... Now he is letting some "14th dans" do it while under his supervision

    In Genbukan the test is real. You must first master the physical side testing on technique then you can take the sword test when Sensei feels you are ready, this could be years after passing the physical test. The first sword test is from the front with a bamboo sword for the title of renshi. The next one is bamboo from behind, for the title of Kyoshi.

    Next is from behind with a REAL cutting sword straight down for Jun-Shihan. After that we have on from behind with a real cutting sword making a + sign sideways, then down. Last for next gradmaster is cutting freely with a cutting blade in all directions and you must CATCH the sword with your hands!


    I hesitate to respond to these questions because they are sensitive issues. Although I stated the facts above, I am sure some may take offense. But alas I answered your question truthfully. Bujinkan is the best thing in the world for some people. Maybe for you too you never know unless you try it. Some people will never like the Genbukan. Even though I am genbukan, there are some aspects of the Bujinkan I like better, they better fit with my personality.

    I hope that helps.

    Kind regards,
     
  20. heretic888

    heretic888 Senior Master

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    whoo-boy....:erg:123
     

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