Question about Independents...

Don Roley

Senior Master
MTS Alumni
Sep 25, 2002
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PAUL said:
What other "kans" are there that are legitimate?

If you are talking about schools of ninjutsu that the Japanese know about, none.

Let me put it straight. I have been studying martial arts and ninjutsu in Japan for a long time now. The only ninjutsu schools you can hear about on the internet that are known to have ever existed in Japan are what some call the Takamatsu-den and people like Dave call the kans.

Takamatsu-den means "teachings of Takamatsu." Takamatsu To*****ugu was a guy who avoided public scrutiny, but was a known person who was very skilled in martial arts. He trained and passed on to Masaaki Hatsumi the leadership of the Togakure ryu, among other schools like the Takagi yohshin ryu Jujutsu.

Hatsumi formed a training orginization called the Bujinkan where he taught all the arts he had learned. In the Bujinkan you may learn ninjutsu, but you can go for years learning other arts and probably do not know the difference between a jujutsu take down and a ninjutsu one.

In Japanese, there is a term called "Menkyo Kaiden" when you have learned all there is to know about an art. Two of Hatsumi's students who had these went on to form the Jinenkan and the Genbukan. No other person who has started his own art has this level of experience or rank. IMO, none of them know the true essence that differentiates between a ninjutsu move and a jujutsu move. For most people, it really does not matter. But if you are going to use the term ninjutsu, I feal you should know what it means.

Some people like Steven Hayes have had a good amount of time in the Bujinkan and rank to match. Some like Dave Gibb (sorry Dave, but if the shoe fits..) do not have anywhere near that experience. But none of them seem to have the true depth of knowledge to have earned a menkyo kaiden in a ninjutsu style from Hatsumi and are qualified to call what they do ninjutsu.

I should point out that Steve Hayes does not call what he created ninjutsu, per se. Rather he calls his art "Toshindo." What is Toshindo? Anything Hayes wants it to mean. He does not have to fit it into any other definition.

But again , there is no one out there outside of the "kans" that has a link to Japan or a sign of complete understanding of a ninjutsu style. There are outright frauds (Ashida Kim, Frank Dux, Yo Sato, etc) that claim things they can not back up. And then there are people who have never lied like Dave Gibb but who IMO just are not qualified to make the determination to say what is and is not ninjutsu. But IMO only the arts that are known in Japan, or those who can point to a total expertise in what is known in Japan as ninjutsu can create something called ninjutsu.

Let the flaming begin!


Brown Belt
May 24, 2002
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Ontario, Canada
Well said Don.
I am in no way anywhere near the experience to assume MK, I am still a student of 2 teachers. I just happen to be more open about my opinions as you are entitled to yours.
But you make a good point. I may be wrong in my beliefs, however for now I'm happy with them and they get me by so I'll continue.


Apr 17, 2002
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At an OP in view of your house...
What about Dr. Haha Lung? (lol)

In all serious, thanks for clarifying with your posts, everyone. Thank you Don for your explaination, as it clarified for me how all the different Kans and independents "fit" together.

I also read that Genbukan link regarding the history. Thanks again, I learned a lot!