Training begins with two partners
practicing pre-arranged forms (waza or kata) and then
advancing to unlimited variations of those forms (henka).
The basic pattern is for the Tori (Tori,
or the person applying the technique) to initiate a technique
against the person who receives the technique (Uke,
or the person receiving the technique).
Bujinkan taijitsu seeks to use body movement and
positioning rather than strength to defeat the opponent. All
techniques in Bujinkan taijutsu involve unbalancing the
opponent while maintaining one's own balance. This is achieved
by moving the opponent into inferior positions and manipulating
their body along weak lines where it is difficult for the
opponent to resist. The attacker continuously seeks to regain
balance and cover vulnerabilities (such as an exposed side),
while the defender uses position and timing to keep the attacker
off balance and vulnerable. In more advanced training, the
attacker will sometimes apply reversal techniques (返
to regain balance and disable the defender.
refers to the act of receiving a technique. Good ukemi
involves a roll or breakfall to avoid pain or injury such as
dislocation of a joint. Thus, learning to roll and breakfall
effectively is key to safe training in taijutsu.
receiving the 9th kyu (the lowest rank), a student must
demonstrate the ability to roll smoothly in a variety of
directions without exposing the neck to injury.
Weapons use is among the 18
disciplines taught in the Bujinkan: ken (sword), kodachi (short
sword), jutte (sword breaker), tessen (iron fan), kabuto (helmet
breaker), bō (long staff), jo (4 foot staff), hanbo (half
staff), yari (spear), naginata (halbred), shuriken (throwing
blades), kusarigama (sickle and chain), kusarifundo (weight and
chain), kyoketsu shoge (dagger and chain), ono (war axe)
tetsubishi (caltrops), tanto (dagger), shuko (hand claws),
ashiko (foot spikes), metsubushi (blinding powders), and kayaku
(the use of firearms). Some types of weapons in the Bujinkan
have more than one type, such as the shuriken.
there are two main types of shuriken, hira shuriken (flat blade)
and bo shuriken (straight blade). The hira shuriken are also
called shaken and senban shuriken; these types of shuriken are
flat multi-pointed plates and blades which can have from three
to as many as eight points. Some different styles of hira
shuriken are Sanko Gata (3 pointed triangular), Juji (cross
shaped), Manji(swastika shaped), and Kumi Awase (a cross shaped
folding shuriken). The bo shuriken can be round or flat, thick
or thin, and come in many different styles such as straight and
round with a single point, round and pointed at both ends, flat
pointed at one or both ends, as well as types such as Hari Gata
or needle shaped, Tanto Gata or knife shaped, Yari Gata or spear
shaped, and Empi Gata or swallow shaped shuriken. There are also
many types of swords used in the Bujinkan such as Ken, Katana,
Tachi, Odachi, Wakazashi, Kodachi, Nadachi, Shikomizue, and
Tanto. There are also many different types of Yari or spears.
Long bladed, short bladed, and long or short bladed with single
or double hooks or blades flaring out to the sides.