To-Shin Do/Bujinkan


White Belt
Oct 16, 2007
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Boone, NC
As a fairly new student of To-Shin-Do and having no previous knowledge of the ties to Bunjinkan, this thread is really intriguing. Scott above me, I have trained with. I can attest for the slightly higher stance but I don't know about ya'll, but how many times has each of us had our instructor repeat "Bend your knees!" "Lower!" hahaha...ahhhh, I miss the dojo.

Looking forward to more similarities as they come to light.

-John D.


Green Belt
Aug 28, 2007
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South Carolina
Yeah John, I remember Mr. Broom stressing the four general taijutsu rules:

"Bend your knees"
"Keep your eyes on the bad guy"
"Move your feet"
"Back straight"

Oh how useful they are...:)

Also, I've noticed the stress in both organizations to learn the history of the traditions of our arts. For example, there are many suggested readings for different belt levels in To-Shin Do and almost every book (spefically the piece An-Shu wrote) goes deeper and deeper into different aspects of the history 'shadow warriors', if you will.

I appreciate this in To-Shin Do, and if it weren't for the 'countless' websites created by Bujinkan members who take their time to write down the history of the nine arts, I would have never been pulled into a love for this ninja lineage anyway. Unlike a lot of people I've spoken to, I was never really impressed w/ Hollywood's version of the ninja, and I thought of them as cowards. That also might have been to the fact that during my studies of Tae Kwon Do when they stressed 'Indominable Spirit' or Iaijutsu that rated ninja somewhere 'under the horse' (as one of Master Shimabukuro's book put it).

I found the hardships and oppression that many of the ninja families endured were horrible, and the domineering government of the time were their 'supposed protectors', but could cut them down where they stood if they, or any lower caste, insulted them. The fact that the ninja could not only oppose this, but work to formulate the 'scheme of totality' for the benefit of their families and nation AND strike fear into the hearts of their oppressors pulled me in like a fish on a hook!

So that's one part about both separate arts I'll always appreciate...history, history, HIS-TOR-Y! :)


Senior Master
Feb 6, 2006
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West Michigan
I also like the strong history element in the arts as well. Plus one of the huge things I have found to be true in both is the accessibility of the top ranking persons, regardless of your own rank. Whenever I have a question that my normal Instructor can't answer (usually history) I just swing over and talk to one of the Hombu Shihans. Or I leave a message and they call right back. If something strikes me during the day and my own Instructor is out and about, I know I can go to one of the top 6 or 7 in our art and he will show me what I need, no questions, no charge, no judgement. And will follow up later to see if it helped and if I need any follow up. It was the same way with the highest Bujinkan members when I was with that organization as well. Very open, very willing to help even a lowly 8th or 9th Kyu that moved like crap and didn't really even know what to ask.

I can't answer for another art because I never was that involved in another art. I trained in a few, but they never made me want to know everything I could about the art (my "fault" because they were legit arts and good instructors.)