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Student Handbook


This new award is the highest level of achievement from

the Seattle. The title of Tasshi or  (たっし) can be translated as Expert, Skilled Hand or Master. This award is given out under the spirit and following of Soke, Masaaki Hatsumi, 34th Grandmaster of Ninjutsu and head of the Bujinkan Dojo.

Tasshi or  (たっし)  Award

List of Terms

Togakure Ryu
Was founded by Diasuke Nishina who was raised as a vassal of Kiso Yoshinaka in the early 12th century. When Yoshinaka's army was defeated in battle, Diasuke escaped to Iga. There he learned various martial skills such as kosshijutsu and kenjutsu from Kagakure Doshi. It was initially called Togakure Ryu Happo Biken but has been called by various names since that time. Togakure Ryu is known for its use of tekko, senban nage and shinodake (4-foot breathing tube).

Gyokko Ryu
It is believed that a Chinese person named Ikai introduced this art to Japan in the 8th century. According to Hatsumi Sensei, that person could also be somebody (kai) from a foreign (i) country. It is assumed that this kosshijutsu was based on Chinese martial arts. Although kosshijutsu means "to be able to knock down an enemy with one finger", it can also signify the "backbone" [spine] of the martial arts.

Kukishinden Ryu
The founder of this tradition was Yakushimaru Kurando Takazane, a palace guard of Emperor Godaigo in the 1330's. He was awarded the family name of Kuki (nine demons) for his spirited fighting and rescue of the Emperor. In addition to bo, yari, shuriken and unarmed fighting methods, this tradition is well known for its bojutsu and kenjutsu. Due in part to the Kuki family's activities as suigun (navy) they adapted a low fighting posture that permitted better balance on turbulent waters. This tradition is related to Kukishin Ryu which is well known for its bojutsu.

Shinden Fudo Ryu
This ryu was founded by Izumo Kanja Yoshiteru. A characteristic of this ryu is its recognition of shizen ("natural") as the only necessary posture of defense. However, in reality, a person imagines a posture of defense in his mind and places himself on guard. This tradition has two sections of fighting (dakentaijutsu & jutaijutsu) as well as the philosophy of not drawing a sword unless absolutely necessary.

Koto Ryu
This art was founded in the middle of the 16th century by Toda Sankyo Ishinsai who had learned Gyokko Ryu from Gyokkan, a Buddhist monk. Koppojutsu originally came from ancient China and was also called Goho, which was characterized by its use of hidden weapons. The first kanji of koppo (kotsu) means bone, but can have the deeper meaning of "knack".

Gikan Ryu
Founded by Unryu Hangan Gikanbo, Daimyo of Kawachi Province. He developed this art from his lessons in kosshijutsu. The lessons of this tradition are almost totally unknown to the public and many of its secret techniques were handed down from soke to soke only.

Takagi Yoshin Ryu
Traces its lineage back to the 16th century scroll Rinpo Hiden which was studied by Ito Ki-i no Kami. This tradition was founded by Takagi Oriemon Shigenobu. This art developed through the years and has strong links to Takeuchi Ryu, Kukishin Ryu and Hontai Yoshin Ryu. This tradition teaches to always remain calm and flexible like the willow.

Gyokushin Ryu
This art is a branch of kosshijutsu and was founded by Sasaki Goemon Teruyoshi. Characteristics of this tradition include its unique usage of nawa nage (rope throwing) and espionage techniques. The secrets of this tradition have only been hinted about by the current grandmaster.

Kumogakure Ryu
This martial art was founded by Heinaizaemon Ienaga Iga (Kumogakure Hoshi) who was also believed to be the originator of Iga Ryu Ninjutsu. The special skills of this tradition include its use of the kamayari (sickle spear) and kote uchi (forearm striking) techniques. Much of the training in this tradition is said to be likened to the taijutsu and philosophies of escape and evasion techniques in Togakure Ryu.

Other training:
As well as the above mentioned Bujinkan traditions our dojo training also encompasses several other martial traditions as well. For instance, our kusari fundo training comes from Masaaki Ryu, while our daisho sabaki training comes from Takagi Yoshin Ryu, and our black belt level Shinken Gata training is derived from the philosophies and strategies of samurai hundreds of years ago. Some weapon training is derived from Kukishin Ryu and other ryu.


bujin shoku to seikatsu – warrior diet and lifestyle
seishinteki kyoyo – spiritual refinement
mokuso – close eyes and meditate

Bujinkan opening & closing ceremony:

“chi haya furu, kami-no oshie-wa tokoshie-ni tadashii ki, kokoro o miomamoru ran / shikin haramitsu daikomyo”  

= “With many quick shakes, I invoke the divine teaching that everlasting pure spirit will protect one’s heart in troubling times / by these sounds and words find peace and become enlightened.” 

Two claps and a bow call the spirits and show humble respect. A final single clap and a bow signal that the spirits are present and shows gratitude.

Onegaishimasu – please assist me
domo arigato gozaimashita – very much thank you for that

“In tune with the providence of heaven and the impartial justice of nature, and following a clear and pure heart full of trust in the inevitable, the ninja captures the insight that will guide him successfully into battle when he must conquer, and conceal himself protectively from hostility when he must acquiesce.” ~ Takamatsu Toshitsugu

taiso – body conditioning
kokyuho – breathing methods
meiso – meditation
ryutai undo – flowing body movement
juunantaiso – flexible body conditioning (stretching)
godai kokyuho – five element breathing method
zazen – seated meditation
shinkokyu sanaun – spirit breath meditation (three “ohm’s”)

taihenjutsu – body movement (lit. ‘art of body changing’)
taisabki – body control 
tai no kurai dori – positional body management
ashi no kamae gata to ashi sabaki – footwork forms and control
oki age – fall recovery
naname kouhou aruki – diagonally retreating
jodan / gedan uke nagashi – upper / lower receiving flow
shihou aruki – four direction stepping
happou aruki – eight direction stepping
sanpo – natural walking
kamae no kata – posture transitions
yoko aruki – cross-stepping
moguri gata – crouching / kneeling forms
shizen gyo un ryusui – naturally moving like clouds and flowing water

ukemi – break-falls (lit. ‘receiving with the body’)
kaiten – rolling 
tobi – leaping 
karuwaza – acrobatics

ukemi gata to ryusui – receiving body forms and flowing water 
zagata zenpou ukemi – seated forward break-fall
zagata kouhou ukemi – seated backward break-fall
yoko nagare – sideways flow
shizen tatte zenpou ukemi – natural standing forward break-fall
kouhou ukemi – backward break-fall
tare nagare – hanging flow
yokonagashi zenpou ukemi – sideways flowing forward fall

zenpou kaiten, ryoute – forward roll, two-handed
kouhou kaiten, ryoute – backward roll, two-handed
naname zenpou kaiten – diagonal forward roll
zenpou kaiten, katate – forward roll, one-handed
outen, ryoute – “cartwheel” (barrel roll), two-handed
kouhou kaiten, katate – backward roll, one-handed
sokuhou kaiten – sideways roll
yoko nagare kaiten – sideways flowing roll
zenpou kaiten, mute – forward roll, no-hands
kouhou kaiten, mute – backward roll, no-hands
outen, katate – “cartwheel” (barrel roll), one-handed
naname, happou kaiten – diagonal, eight-direction roll
hicho tobi kaiten – flying / diving roll
zenpou / kouhou kiten – forward / backward “spirit flip” handsprings 
zenpou / kouhou kuten – forward / backward “air flip” somersaults

shinkengata taihenjutsu – realistic fighting forms

taijutsu no kamae to sono kata – Taijutsu’s postures and their uses (lit. ‘viewing the form’)
shizentai – natural body
hira – flat 
seiza – proper seat
rei – courtesy bow
gassho – hands together in greeting
hibi / shoshin – normal (“everyday”) / first intention
fudoza – firm seat
hira-ichimonji – flat straight line
zagamae – kneeling 
ichimonji – straight line (lit. ‘numeral one’)
doko – angry tiger
jumonji – cross (lit. ‘numeral ten’)
katate hicho – one hand flying bird
hoko – circling the tiger
ichimonji seigan – straight at the eyes
kosei – offensive
hicho – flying bird
ihen – emergency

shiho tenchi tobi – leaping in all directions
shotobi – short leap up
zenpou tobi – forward leap
kouhou tobi – backward leap
sokuhou tobi, sayu – sideways leap, left and right
tenchi tobi, fudoza – vertical leap, legs tucked under
kuhi tobi – sacrificial “flying” leap

shinobijutsu – stealth and evasion (lit. ‘art of perserverence’)
shoten no jutsu to nobori gata – vertical running and climbing methods
shoten – “going to the sky” (running up vertical / near-vertical surfaces)
shizen nobori – natural climbing
shuko to ashiko – using hand and foot spikes
kagi nawa – using hook and rope

hoko no jutsu to ankoku toshijutsu – walking and seeing through darkness
ankoku toshijutsu – seeing in the dark
shinobi aruki – stealth movement 
soshin sosoku ho – quick sideways walking
hyojo hoko – slippery surface walking
mu on no ho – silent methods
ashinami jukajo – ten ways of silent stepping
nukiashi – stealthy feet
suri ashi – shuffling / sliding feet
shime ashi – squeezing feet
tobi ashi – leaping feet
kata ashi – single foot
ou ashi – big feet / long stride
ko ashi – small feet / short stride
kizami ashi – mincing feet / very short stride
wari ashi – split bamboo feet / using special shoes
tsune no ashi – pinching feet

onshinjutsu / intonjutsu – “disappearing arts” (concealment and disguise)
gotonpo – five ways of natural concealment
doton – using earth and stone
mokuton – using plants and wood
suiton – using water
katon – using fire
kinton – using metal
kuton – using all or combination of some elements

hensojutsu shichiho – seven disguises
sukke – begger 
akindo – merchant 
komuso – priest 
ronin – leaderless soldier
sarugakushi – performer (actor / singer)
hokashi – street peddler
tsunebito – peasant

shinobi iri – stealth entering methods

dakkentaijutsu – striking methods (lit. ‘art of striking with the fists and body’)
houken juroppo – sixteen treasured striking methods
fudoken – firm (clenched) fist
sanshitanken – three fingertip fist
sokuyakuken – dancing foot fist (heel / sole of foot)
kitenken – upward turning fist (sword hand)
****ouken – finger sword fist (thumb)
sokugyakuken – reversed foot fist (toes / ball of foot)
shikanken – finger ring fist (extended knuckles)
shakoken – claw fist
koppoken – bone method fist (thumb knuckle)
kikakuken – demon horns fist (forehead)
shukiken – hand raise fist (elbow)
sokkiken – foot raise fist (knee)
happaken – eight leaves fist (palms of hands)
shishinken – finger needle fist (little finger)
taiken / shizenken – body fist / natural weapons
kiken – spirit fist

atemi – strikes
tsuki – thrust 
zenpou geri – forward kick
omote shuto – outer sword hand
ura shuto – inner sword hand
jodan / gedan uke utte – upper / lower receiving strike
sokuhou geri – sideways kick
kouhou geri – backwards kick
shihou geri – four direction kick
juji geri – cross kick
kakushi geri – hidden kick
sampo geri – walking kick
shuken uchi – palm strike (shakoken; happaken)
tobi geri – leaping kick
zu tsuki – head thrust
hichou geri – flying bird kick
shuki uchi – elbow strike
sokki geri – knee kick
hito tobi – flying man attack

koppojutsu – bone method (attacking the skeleton)
tsuki ken kudaki – breaking the punching hand
jujigeri takeori – “bamboo breaking” cross kick
koshi kudaki – breaking the hips

kosshijutsu – bone-finger method (attacking the muscles)
boshiken – stick finger fist
tsuno yubi – fingernails 

ki-ken-tai ichijou – spirit-weapon-body unification
kyusho to kiai – targeting and focus (spirit)
kinketsu teisoku kasho mesho – “a treasure of established poetic names” 
~ Takamatsu, re: Koto ryuha kyusho:
urakimon – inner spirit gate (ribs under chest)
ryufu – willow wind (larynx; adam’s apple)
kasumi – fog; mist (temple)
hiryuran – flying dragon confused (eyes)
shishiran – lion confused (stomach)
kosei – tiger’s power “life-to-come” (groin)
yugasumi – evening mist (below the ear; behind the jaw)
tsuyugasumi – drop of mist (under the jaw)
ryumon – dragon’s gate (under collarbone)
jujiro – intersection (between chest and shoulder)
jakkin – weak muscle (inner upper arm)
daimon – big gate (shoulder joint)
asagiri – morning mist; also asagasumi (bottom of chin)
sei – star, sphere of influence; also hoshi (armpit)
kinketsu – treasure trove (sternum)
koshitsubo – hip pot (inner ridge of hipbone); also koe (voice)
hichibatsu – touch hit (side of hip)
tenmon – sky gate (ridge of eye socket)
amado – rain shutters; also uko (side of neck)
jinchu – man’s center (under the nose)
happa – eight leaves; explosive blast (palms to both ears)
menbu – face (bridge of nose)
tokotsu – single bone; skull (hyoid bone – above adam’s apple)
gorin – five rings (muscles around navel)
sai – leg (inside and outside of upper thigh)
matsukaze – pine tree wind (above collarbones)
murasame – village rain (notch between collarbones)
hoshisawa – valley of stars (elbow joint)
in – shadow (under cheekbone); also kage
tento – top of head (soft spot between skull bones)
shinchu – heart’s center (middle of chest)
wakitsubo – side pot (ribs under armpit)
yubitsubo – finger pot (base of thumb)
butsumetsu – unlucky day (lower ribs)
kyokei – strong tendons (top of foot, above toes)

kiaijutsu – spirit focus (lit. ‘art of harmonizing energy’)
(the four shouts):
seme no kiai - attacking shout
hannou no kiai – reacting shout
kachidoki / kachi no kiai – victorious shout
kage no kiai – shadow shout

kimejutsu – focusing
zanshin – remaining mind
ishiki – energy of intention
mushin – no mind

atemi no tanren - hitting discipline (weapon)
ten (the sky) – striking air, to improve accuracy
chi (the earth) – striking objects, to condition the weapons
jin (the man) – striking bodies, to affect the target

inashi gata – polishing the form (body)
kengata to seido – fist form and accuracy
maai to ashi sabaki – distance and footwork
kensabaki – fist control
taijutsu kenpou – unified body fist method

juutaijutsu – grappling methods (lit. ‘supple body art’)
torite – grappling (lit. ‘taking hands’)
katate tori – one hand take
ryoute tori – two hand take
katamune dori – one lapel take
ryoumune dori – two lapel take
kata dori – shoulder take
sode dori – sleave take
katamune katasode dori – one lapel and one sleeve take, a.k.a. kumiuchi (joining together)

kuzushi – breaking balance
oshi – press
hiki – pull 
nejiri – torque 
age – lift 
taoshi – bring down

hajutsu kuho – nine releasing methods
tehodoki – untying the hands
taihodoki – untying the body
happou geri – eight ways of kicking
ashi barai – leg sweep
oya goroshi – “killing the parent” (thumb crush)
ko goroshi – “killing the child” (little finger crush)
koshi kudaki – breaking the hips
ken kudaki – fist crush
toki kudaki – toe crush

gyakugi – reversal techniques
omote kote gyaku dori – outer wrist twist hold
ura kote gyaku dori – inner wrist twist hold
hon gyaku – base (centerline) reverse
omote oni kudaki – outer demon crusher
ura oni kudaki – inner demon crusher
uchi maki dori – inner wrapping take, a.k.a. musha dori (warrior take)
muso dori – unbeatable take
ura / omote take ori – inner / outer bamboo break
ougyaku – large reversal

shime waza – squeezing techniques
kihon shime gohou – basic squeezing five ways
hon jime – base squeeze
gyaku jime – reverse squeeze
itami jime – pain squeeze
sankaku jime – triangle squeeze
do jime – torso squeeze

mimi jime – ear squeeze
kata- / ryou- ude jime – single- / double- arm squeeze
omote / ura kubi jime – front / rear neck squeeze
katatedori kubi jime – single-hand neck squeeze
seion jime – sound of life squeeze (squeezing the windpipe)
ougyaku jime – great reverse squeeze
koroshi jime – killer squeeze

nage waza – throwing techniques
ganseki nage – boulder throw
ganseki otoshi – boulder drop
ganseki oshi – boulder press
ganseki ori – boulder break
gyaku nage – reverse throw
harai goshi – sweeping hips
taki otoshi – waterfall drop
seoi nage – on the back throw
koshi nage – on the hip throw
ousoto nage – large outside throw
uchi mata uchi gake nage – inner thigh reaping throw
hane goshi – snapping up hips 
itami nage – pain throw
ryusui iki – flowing like water
tomoe nage – whirl throw
tachi nagare – standing flow
yoko nagare – sideways flow
temakura – hand pillow
kuruma nage – wheel throw
kuki nage – air spirit throw

newaza; osae komi – ground fighting; pinning and immobilization

keri kaeshi; ashi ori – kick countering and leg breaking
ashi dori – leg catch (“in a manner of walking”), also possibly ashi dome (leg touch)
keri kudaki – kick destroyer
sukui dori – scooping catch
tsure yuki – carry along
kakushi geri henka – hidden kick variations

anataoshi – trapping (lit. ‘throwing down in a hole’)
jigoku otoshi – hell drop
gokuraku otoshi – paradise drop
yume no makura – pillow of dreams 

nage kaeshi – throw countering

waza bunkai; kata to henka – technical analysis; forms and variations

sanshin go kyo no kata – three hearts (uniting body, mind, and spirit) five principle forms
chi no kata – earth form
sui no kata – water form
ka no kata – fire form
fuu no kata – wind form
kuu no kata – void form

kihon happo – fundamental eight ways
kihon kosshi sanpo – three basic striking forms
ichimonji no kata – straight line form
jumonji no kata – cross form
hichou no kata – flying bird form
kihon torite goho – five basic grappling forms
ura gyaku – inner reverse
omote gyaku ken sabaki – outer reverse with fist control
oni kudaki – demon crusher
musha dori – warrior capture, also possibly ude jime ashi ori (arm squeeze and leg break)
ganseki nage – boulder throw

taihenjutsu mutodori gata – sword evasion forms
hira no kamae kata – flat posture form
ichimonji no kamae kata – straight line posture form
jumonji no kamae kata – cross posture form

suwari gata sanpo – three kneeling forms
ichi geki – one shot (single rage)
osaekomi – immobilization
ude ori (shindenfudo ryu) – arm break

suwari gata shichiho – kneeling forms seven methods
kasumi dori (takagi) vs grab, ura gyaku – grabbing fog
ate komi (kasumi dori ura gata) vs grab, omote gyaku – strike and hold down
do gaeshi vs punch or knife thrust – body turnover
karame dori vs kick – entwining? arrest? taking the rear entrance?
keri kaiten? – kick then back roll away
koho kaiten nage (tomoe nage) – kick then roll over throw backwards
musha dori – warrior take

tenchijin ryaku no maki, jin no maki kata:
katate dori (5 kata) – single hand grabs
ate nage (takagi) – hit throw
settou (koto? kukishin? most likely koto) – break drop?
hiki otoshi – pull down
fudo (shindenfudo) – immovable
hoteki (koto) – release and throw?

ryoute dori (7 kata) – double hand grabs
kanashibari – tightly bound
tengu dori – goblin take
ryote gake – two hand trap
koki (koto) – strike the demon
shizen (shindenfudo) – naturally
soto – hold and fall
ransetsu (koto) – blizzard

haibu yori (5 kata) – grabbed from behind
yubi kudaki / shi sai (gyokko) – finger break
sakketsu (gyokko) – killer squeeze 
kin kudaki (gyokko?) – gold crush
ketsu miyaku (gyokko) – squeeze pulse
tei ken (gyokko) – squeeze fist

tsuki uchi (9 kata) – punch counters
koyoku (koto) – rival scoop
hisaku (koto) – fly and squeeze
setsu yaku (shindenfudo) – dancing snow?
musan (shindenfudo) – disperse (vanishing like mist)
gekkan (shindenfudo) – moon liver?
katamaki (koto) – shoulder wrap
hibari (shindenfudo) – skylark (=ujaku? unjaku? – cloud sparrow?)
shihou dori – four direction take
moguri dori – diving capture?

keri ni taisuru uke (5 kata) – kick counters
jigoku otoshi – hell plunge 
keri ni taishite koto – body against kick
huko – felling the tiger
keta oshi – soul press
yume no makura – pillow of dreams

tsuki to keri ni taisuku (4 kata) – punch and kick counters
kokuu (gyokko) – empty space 
renyo (gyokko) – emperor’s palanquin
saka nagare (gyokko) – reverse flow
kasasagi (shindenfudo)– magpie 

nage kaeshi (8 kata) – throw counters
okyo – false push
atami dori – head take (a.k.a. zudori)
fukan (shindenfudo) – wind turn? no turn?
seion (kukishin) – life sound
gokuraku otoshi – paradise drop
ugari – quail reap?
hito – flying topple
tai jime – body squeeze

tanto dori (1 kata) – knife takeaway
ken kobushi – weapon flow

zanto tonko no kata (togakure ryu) – escaping forms (fleeing / seeking refuge)
kata ude tonso – single arm escape
sayu tonso – left and right escape
kubi sugi tonso – rear collar grab escape
atekomi tonso – push hit escape
kote uchi tonso – forearm strike escape
sayu kumogakure – left and right cloud hiding
kosei kirigakure – attacking mist hiding
happou kirigakure – scattering mist hiding

buki – warrior tools
taiken – body weapon
shizenken – natural weapons
kikai no shigen – resources of opportunity
hanbo – half stick
tanto – knife
kusari fundo – weighted chain
shuriken – small blades
rokushakubo – six foot staff
katana – sword (bokken / bokuto = wooden sword, shinken = ‘live’ sword’)
shuko – hand claws
kyoketsu shoge – ring, cord, and dagger
metsubishi – sight removers
kayaku – fire and explosives
yari – spear
kodachi – short sword
naginata – halberd
bisento – battle axe
tessen – iron fan

cho ho – information gathering

goshinjutsu – practical personal self-protection methods
kikai no shigen taihodoki – escaping body grab with improvised weapon
kikai no shigen hanbo – improvised hanbo (umbrella, cane, etc.)
etc. . . .

kumite / randori – sparring / free play
sokki hentenken – impromptu transitions?

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please note these terms are from other online sources

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