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28th March and 4th April

posted 14 Mar 2013, 10:28 by kashim choudhury

No training on 28th March and 4th April...

Gyoku Ryu training

posted 5 Mar 2013, 01:13 by kashim choudhury

Over the next few weeks we'll be turning our attention to Gyoku Ryu. Here's a quick background into the school.


During the Chinese Tang Dynasty (618 AD - 907 AD), Cho Busho and Yo Gyokko supposedly left warring China and arrived in Japan, bringing with them the foundation upon which the Gyokko Ryu would later be based. Some say that the original techniques from the school were created by a princess in the Chinese Imperial Court who used quick body movements to attack specific targets on the body. Which correlates with the Kosshijutsu striking techniques of this school. History and our research tells us that the oldest martial art schools from India, Tibet, and China where called tiger striking (kosshijutsu) schools and Gyokko Ryu is the jeweled tiger school.

The Kihon Happo is made from the first two levels of the Gyokko Ryu, Ki Gata, and Torite Kihon Gata, which are also the basic techniques of the school. Typical for the Gyokko Ryu are the powerful blocks and balance taking. The school specializes in techniques that involve Kosshijutsu (attack against muscles) and Shitojutsu (use of thumbs and fingers). Kosshijutsu means "to knock down the enemy with one finger". Koshi could also mean ‘backbone’, as Kosshijutsu is the backbone of martial arts. Togakure Ryu Ninpo Taijutsu is a distant branch of the Gyokko Ryu Kosshijutsu.

The Gyokko Ryu uses "Ten Ryaku Uchu Gassho" (heaven and universe prayer), Chi Ryaku Futen Goshin Gassho (circle of wind prayer), Jin Ryaku Chi Sui Ka Fu Henka Ryaku (circle of earth, water, fire, wind prayer).
Gassho Kuji Kiri is "Kongo' (cloud), Suirin (water ring), Kaku Gassho (fire and winds). These are also called the ‘Sanpo Gassho’ (three treasures) and they also appear in the Koto Ryu.

New Year Training

posted 3 Jan 2013, 08:46 by kashim choudhury

Happy New Year! 
Training starts today, 7.30. 
From next week, we'll be moving to a later time, 8pm - 10pm
See you there

We're back...

posted 23 May 2012, 13:47 by kashim choudhury

Training back on as usual... 

No Class - Thursday 18th May

posted 14 May 2012, 00:58 by kashim choudhury

Hey All - No class this week. Training back on the following Thursday, 25th May. See you then.


posted 27 Apr 2012, 08:52 by kashim choudhury

If you want tabi - check out
Order directly from Japan for excellent quality Tabi.
Arrives pretty quickly too.

TenChiJin Ryaku no Maki

posted 17 Apr 2012, 04:50 by kashim choudhury

The Tenchijin Ryaku no Maki is the core material for Bujinkan training.  Soke Hatsumi presented this collection of skills for students as a way for each to learn fundamental skills that were common to most of the Bujinkan ryuha ("traditions").

One way to look at the chapters of the Tenchijin is that the Ten, or Heavenly Strategies Book, involve techniques of space or distance around the opponent.  The Chi, or Earthly Strategies Book, deals with the body of the opponent.  Jin, or Humanly Strategies Book, deals with the axis of where both Ten and Chi cross one another.  It's the combination of the two in a balance.

Another way is to see the Ten, Chi and Jin chapters as the three legs of a stool.  Development of all three is vital to sustain one's taijutsu.  If any leg is missing, the stool will not stand.

Of course, the meanings are open for differing interpretations.  But, whatever meanings one applies, the Tenchijin Ryaku no Maki is the foundation of Bujinkan training and should be the focus of study for all students, junior and senior alike.

I’m hoping to use the next few weeks to work through the Ten Chi Jin. You’ll see that many of the techniques you’ll be familiar with, some maybe henka of techniques that we’ve covered and others will be new to you. 

Note that the Beginners Book by Shihan Ian Watkins contains all the techniques of the Ten Chi Jin.

Course and Grading

posted 28 Feb 2012, 14:23 by kashim choudhury

Course and Grading on  Thursday, 22 March 2012 at 19:30 - usual place. Course material TBD...

Looking after Wooden Weapons

posted 10 Feb 2012, 07:07 by kashim choudhury   [ updated 10 Feb 2012, 07:08 ]

9 01 2011

(Re-Posted) Part of our training includes the use of weapons, and this blog discusses a little about how we need to look after them.

To start we need to always remember that our training weapons are real weapons and need to be treated with respect.
I’ve spent many many hours with those weapons, oiling, sanding repairing as well as training, and it’s important that you understand it to appreciate its strengths, weaknesses, beauties and flaws. This too is part of Ninpo.

It’s far too easy to forget that these are real weapons and failing to appreciate that can cause serious injury in training. I’ve seen many people lose their weapons due to breakages in class. A little care means that they can last a lifetime. I’ve had my Bo and Bokken since I started training, and they have been used heavily. During a recent course my bo staff picked up a major injury against another much heavier Bo! Due to the way that it had been looked after meant I was able to repair it.

To treat your new weapons use a medium grade sandpaper to take off any varnish, then finish up to make it nice and smooth with a finer paper. Then using a cloth or brush evenly apply boiled linseed oil in the same direction of the grain in the wood (which is just up and down as this is the way the weapons have to be made). Keep rubbing then allow to soak in for 5-10 minutes and apply another coat.

Ensure that you lay it somewhere flat to dry, if you’ve got some old cotton rags then on that. Keep it away from any heat sources and give it at least overnight to dry.
Then using another one of your wooden weapons tap the pieces together firmly all over. This helps compress the fibres. Then back to the fine sandpaper, and another coat of linseed. Repeat this process at least once more.

Then you should do this once per month for 6 months, then quarterly, then at least once per year after that. It’s a lifelong commitment!
After training, inspect the weapon for any splinters / crack etc. These can be glued/sanded for repair and topped up with the sand and oil treatment.

There’s another oil called tung oil (sometimes called Japanese wood oil) that can be used too. This has a clearer finish (and different smell) but does the same job. Personally, I use this now on any new weapons I get, but you don’t need to worry about that unless you really want to.

One thing to note, especially with regards to bojutsu and hanbo-jutsu, we can have well treated, true weapons for training, but in reality we may not get the choice. So it’s one thing to know your weapons inside out, it’s another level to be able to pick up any weapon, or improvised weapon and be able to apply the techniques that we have learnt.

Happy Training.

A book for beginners?

posted 10 Feb 2012, 07:05 by kashim choudhury

17 09 2010 (Re-posted) The question keeps croping up. What books do you recommend to help with my training?

There are loads of books out there, and when I was first asked, it threw me back a bit. I own most of Soke Hatsumi’s books, so that should be a good place to start. However, which of these give a good grounding for a beginner? They’re all good books in particular all of the new publications, but I couldn’t rmember any that go into the detail that a beginner needs to correct their stance, perfect their roll etc.

That’s when I remembered (what I should have remembered straight away) my Instructor’s Book, Ninjutsu, A Beginners Guide. I guess it was there all along! It covers rolling, break falling, Kihon happo, Sanshin no Kata, all with quite detailed photos. Additionnally, it describes the techniques from Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki.

So that’s my advice. The the Beginners Book.

… but also, I remembered a great hatsumi book, Togakure Ryu Ninpo Taijutsu. It does all the above, as well as having great commentary from Soke. Unfortunately if you can’t read Japanese then you may have some trouble with it, that is if you can get hold of it as I believe it’s now out of print. :(

Good thing then that I have a translated copy of it :)

You can get one yourself from It’s not cheap though… I think I paid $75 + PP from the states but I think its a bit cheaper now…


If there are any books that you’re interested in then let me know and I’ll write a review if I own it / have read it.

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