Masaaki Hatsumi, formerly Yoshiaki Hatsumi, is the founder of the Bujinkan Organization and claims to be the current Togakure-ryu Soke. He was born on December 2, 1931 in Noda, Chiba Prefecture, Japan.
He currently resides and teaches in Noda, Chiba, Japan.
Quotes from Soke:
The techniques are initially practiced with the consciousness directed towards understanding the purpose and practical application of the physical movements. Next, the student begins to work on making his technique a natural part of knowledge; in effect, allowing his body to develop the natural ability to perform the technique. Finally, the technique itself is dropped from consciousness as a technique, and becomes yet one more variation of the body and personality to handle things in an effective manner.
The head is just another part of the body, and we must learn to overcome the tendency to make distinction between the brain and the other internal organs of the body. The body knows how to move if we let it, and it does not require active mental control to respond properly in a threatening situation. The student of ninjutsu works to eliminate the unwieldy process of first mechanically thinking through a response before actually carrying it out. This naturalness of movement results from learning how all the functions work in coordination and balance with each other.
The enemy who is against the laws of nature will lose his battle before he
begins to fight. The first priority to the ninja is to not loose without fighting.
You are not just fighting one opponent. You are fighting the unknown.
I am teaching 'shin gi tai ichi.' (Bringing spirit [shin], skill [gi] and body [tai],into one [ichi]).
You must not stop in the middle of waza, make your waza alive, without a natural flow your waza cannot be alive
Bujinkan Founder Honored by Japanese Government
Masaaki Hatsumi, founder and grandmaster of the Bujinkan Dojo, has been awarded the International Culture Award by the Japanese government. The award, the highest honor given for cultural exchange, was presented to Dr. Hatsumi by a member of the Imperial Household on November 22, 1999.
"This award is a great honor for the Bujinkan," stated Dr. Hatsumi at the presentation ceremony. Dr. Hatsumi is the 92nd recipient of this prestigious honor to date. Dr. Hatsumi was nominated for his cross-cultural leadership in martial arts instruction.
Masaaki Hatsumi has become the first budoka in history to be awarded an
Apostolic Blessing by the Vatican. The certificate, which arrived in Japan
in May 2001, bears a painting of Pope John Paul and states the following:
Sua Santita' Giovanni Paolo II
Di cuore imparte
Come pegno di grazie e favori celesti
It translates into English as the following:
His Holiness John Paul II
The Apostolic Blessing
As a Token of Celestial Graces and Favors
The blessing can be viewed as an affirmation of the good that Hatsumi-sensei
has brought to the world through his teachings and travels.