It is the Martial Training of the Genbukan World Ninpo Bugei Federation.
What is Ninpo and why it is different than Ninjutsu?
Ninjutsu is a subset of Ninpo. Ninjutsu comprises the physical skills necessary to survive in a very hostile world.
In totality, Ninjutsu provides perhaps the ultimate self-defense skills.
Ninpo, however, has always included another dimension in its training. This extra, higher dimension of self- purification sets a practitioner of our art apart from and above the practitioners of mere fighting systems.
As a Martial Art, Ninjutsu teaches:
- The Mindfulness and Concentration to be totally aware of one’s surroundings and all the possibilities it presents to both you and your opponent(s).
- Strategy and the very important art of subtly manipulating one’s opponent. Utilizing this concept correctly will enable you to choose the correct fighting stance for each situation.
- The art of controlling the distance. “Controlling the distance” means controlling the speed, direction, height, as well as, the actual distance of all interactions with your opponent. Indeed, controlling these factors also means you are controlling time as well.
- Learning to recognize and utilize what is at hand.
- Atemi Waza (Striking Techniques)
- Nage Waza (Throwing Techniques)
- Shime Waza (Choking Techniques)
- Osae Komi Waza (Floor Fighting & Ground Pinning Techniques)
- Taihenjutsu (Bodily Displacement)
- Kaeshi Waza (Reversal Techniques)
- Learning the Skill of “Finding A Way to Win” by putting all of the above together.
The Japanese term Taijutsu is synonymous with the Art of the Ninja. It also associated with the Koryu (Traditional and/or Ancient) Japanese Empty Hand Techniques practiced by only a few other Japanese Martial Ryuha or lineages.
Taijutsu can be translated as “The Way or Art of the Body.”
These words are easy enough to understand. However, the Art of the Body is not.
Notice the name is not the “Art of the Body Parts.” It is simply the “Art of the Body.” One Completely Unified Body.
This concept goes all the way back to the Chinese origins of the Japanese Martial Arts where the Chinese say:
“If One Joint Moves, All Nine Joints Move.”
This is really profound and difficult to understand on the physical level. If you tilt your head slightly, just one joint, your neck, will have moved. However, if you wish to keep your structural integrity intact, every other joint in your body will have to shift slightly in order to keep all of the forces acting on your body properly aligned.
If this does not happen, you will lose the Harmony and Balance between your In and Yo or Yin and Yang. After that, the flow of your Ki or Internal Energy will not be correct and the skill level of your Taijutsu will become much lower. You will have to depend more on local muscle strength and less on whole body power to accomplish your goals.
Ki unites your whole body. It is the only one thing that connects the distant parts together. How else can the power from your foot drive your hand? There is no one muscle or even one nerve that travels that whole distance. Yet, with the proper alignment, you can easily feel the power flow from your feet to your fingertips!
The latest Western research has found that our body’s Network of Facia connects each and every individual part of our body with each and every other part of our body: from top to bottom, from inside to outside and from any other way you can think of. There is even facia in our brains; and so, even our brains are included in this sensory loop.
A True Warrior must remember that the only Tools or “Weapons” he possesses that can improve with age are his brain, his intelligence, his intellect. These is a Ninja’s most feared weapons; and, with good reason:
A True Ninja never stops training his mind.
I believe both the Eastern and Western processes are involved in acquiring and utilizing good Taijutsu.
Shoto Tanemura Soke’s Genbukan Harukaze Dojo & its branch dojos teach all the practical physical skills of Ninjutsu as well as the art of some of its more traditional weapons. Unknown to all except those that practice these arts, weapons training can take one’s empty hand skills to a new, higher level.
Simply moving a weapon in close proximity to yourself or another person raises increases the risk of injury. This inherently helps a person learn how to deal with the stresses we encounter in real life.
Weapons training also helps a person learn how to survive a true case physical encounter successfully.
On the street, we don’t want to spar with an attacker. When training with a sword, we don’t say to ourselves, I can take a hit and give a better one back in return. There is no “taking a hit.”
That’s why learning true Taijutsu is so important.
Ninpo is elevated above most other martial arts and/or martial systems by its realization that the refinement and purification of your heart and character is a prerequisite for the opening of your energy channels and proper use of your increase in Ki or power.
This has a twofold effect on your ability to produce power and act quickly.
It increases the flow of one’s internal energy or Ki by reducing the internal resistance.
It also enables the practitioner to become tonus-which is the state of being energized while remaining relaxed.
Both of these qualities are necessary to produce a good martial art practitioner.
Ninpo also acknowledges that the final extra dimension of power comes from one’s spirit.
This part of us can only reach its full potential when it is in harmony with its own inherent nature-which is infinite strength and goodness. This is why Grandmaster Tanemura has begun to teach the precepts of Amatsu Tatara.
This purification – power cycle becomes a cycle with an ever-expanding sphere. The purer our heart becomes, the more energy we have available. The more energy we have available, the easier it is to remain true to our morals, our ethics, our values, our honor and our Dharma (our life’s mission). The more we live our Dharma, the purer our Heart becomes.
The Genbukan Harukaze Dojo and its branch Genbukan dojos with the support of Grandmaster Shoto Tanemura, will provide the instruction and nurturing necessary to help our students reach their full multi-dimensional potential as True Spiritual Warriors armed with potent self-defense techniques and an indomitable spirit.