TSKSR & BJK Connection: What is it, really?

Kembudo-Kai Kempoka

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I started training in Moriyama-Ryu Bujutsu, a family-based system with breakaway add-ons from the TSKSR, many moons before Mr. Hayes started espousing the glories of TR in the pages of of Black Belt magazine. Now, granted, I was young and under the throes of an ongoing medically induced melancholy to control my ADHD, so my retention of the oral history is fuzzy at best. At the time, there were very few published works on ninjutsu in English, and only a handful of folks teaching much of anything (I/my family had finagled an invite for me to train based on some friendships we made with a Japanese folk-medicine community in Hawaii). Before Hayes ever published any of his books with the crab-like kamae in apparently unrelated circumstances, the only books I owned mentioning Hatsumi-sensei was a Japanese Stick-Fighting book, written by a brit, and given to me by a brit who was a senior student at the dojo; and one on Ninjutsu with pics of Hatsumi and family members in rustic huts with powders and ladders made of hair ropes. In the stick-fighting book, Hatsumi (much younger then in the ninjutsu book and with a 1950's-ish buzz cut) demo'd varieties of stick-fighting techs, presumably associated with the TSKSR (but I think, even then...and I haven't had the book in my posession for almost 25 years...there were photos of him with his ninjutsu instructors; but again, that's through the lens of memories dimmed by time and meds).

Additionally, this same Brit lived and studied in Japan with several of Hatsumi's "classmates", and even one of his instructors (Kempo, with Sato Kimbei). What was most noticeable to me after the ninjutsu explosion of the late seventies/early eighties, was that the TSKSR and Chinese Kempo guys, Sato Kimbei lineage (Not Parker/Chow/Mitose), did not move anything like the TR/BJK practitioners. Most notably, a lot of the BJK guys seemed to move and posture more like recalling traditional folk dance, then response potential positioning: I mention this because I read in a different thread by BJK pract's that so many of the indies claiming non-BJK roots still moved like they came from Taka roots.

Since then, I've visited TSKSR satellites and breakaways in Belgium & France, and still noted a different feel of movement than demonstarted by BJK-pract's.

So here is my question: What is the relationship btw the Ninjutsu in Tenshin Shoden, and Bujinkan; what role did Hatsumi play in either a) introducing the information to the TSKS or b) gleaning from them, and how does that background of his factor into the formation of the Bujinkan? Are there close ties between the 2 Kai in Japan, or is their relationship a less-than-optimal one? What is the BJK view of the TSKS, and/or the TSKS view of BJK? Cousins? Competitors? Frauds? If they are cousions, when did Hatsumi either join or leave, and why? If they are stylistically related, why don't they look more alike when they move? At some point in time, Hatsumi must have been a senior in the TSKS tradition, or he wouldn't have been selected for co-authorship and photo shoots in a jojutsu book that heavily cites the influence of the TSKS. Wha' happened?

Hoping to learn and understand more from those who know,

Dave
 

Dale Seago

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It's no wonder you can't see the connection.

There isn't one, there was never one, and there has never been a claim that there was one until yours.

The book by Quintin Chambers you cited is in reference to Kukishinden ryu, not Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto ryu. (Mind you, not everything shown in it is KSR either, but that's another tale.)
 

Dale Seago

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Hmmm. . .Dave, as I think further about it, could it be that you simply were confused by the fact that TSKSR and the Bujinkan both contain ninjutsu?

Elements of ninjutsu (or what we today would think of as ninjutsu) were incorporated into quite a number of samurai ryuha. That's also the case with at least one samurai system in the Bujinkan, Kukishinden ryu. However, these are not the same thing as a "ninja-specific" ryuha such as Togakure ryu.

And by the way, Kukishinden ryu and Togakure ryu are quite different from each other in their movement. None of the ryuha in the Bujinkan, in fact, are quite like any of the others: All have their own characteristic kamae, footwork, methods of generating power, use of distance and space, overarching strategies and tactical applications: Gyokko ryu, for example, doesn't look or "feel" anything like Takagi Yoshin ryu.
 
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Kembudo-Kai Kempoka

Kembudo-Kai Kempoka

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Thank you for the reply, Mr. Seago. As I mentioned, I'm half-remembering things through the disjointed haze of cloudy memory. I would have sworn in court on a stack of bibles that the stick-fighting book was about TSKSR jojutsu; so much for accurate recall, ey? That would certainly explain why I hadn't seen anything else on the connection btw the two. Don't ask; don't learn. For years, I wondered why Hatsumi had split TSKSR to start BJK, what the story was behind it, and why we never heard anything about it. All that wasted mental energy...I could have learned how to knit.

Thanks again,

Dave
 

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