Regarding the Ranks

Regarding the Bujinkan Ranks

By Sôke Masaaki Hatsumi.


必問 武神 伝


There are off course, levels, ranks and casts everywhere.

I believe this cast of zones is important for human existance in earth.

I feel this things are necessary for those who adapt. The creation of a territory is also what adapts on each individual. I believe  that is not something that produces an impediment, but also what is free. This is some matter to understand on each position. Those who not have this strenght and aim to high, will certainly fail.

On my 5th Dan test, there’s an attack from behind. This is the beginning of the Kihon Happo. Please this means that you must understand the Happo and the Juppo. This is what is called Juppo Sessho no jutsu. You don’t know where an opponent may come. You don’t know what kind of dissaster will come and from where.

You must be able to deal with things  when they come from certain way, and it’s not just a question of protecting from a blow from behind – Please know about Juppo Sessho no jutsu and Kihon Happo. The ways in that Kihon Happo can be applied on this kinds of situations, are the tipe of things that are though on 5th dan. The test isn’t about just try to avoid an attack from behind.

Three people are bound to propose someone for the 10th dan. This in a sence, is Sanshin No Kata. This is the meaning of Sanshin no Kata that I’ve mentioned before. A person cannot become a 10dan without 3 people as sponsors.

There are individual differences on people, that’s why there are ranks until the 15th dan -This isn’t a question of ryuha-

I’ve created the ranks of 15dan, off course, with the meaning that people can take notice that they are in fact human beings. You could say that is to leave the abode.


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As many of you may know, the teachings of Sôke during 2001, where focused in Gyokko Ryû and Daisho. Inside Gyokko Ryû Sensei Hatsumi tought the concepts of IN/YO (opposite polarities) applied to the In Ryoku 引力 concepts (gravity force, attraction),Jû Ryoku 重力 (gravity),  Ji Ryoku Sen  磁力線  (magnetic force line) among others.

Last night, we had a wonderful class with Sōke. Outside of the Dojo, the wind and the rain blew strongly in Taifu 台風 way, inside of the dojo the wind of the Bufu kept us moving from the hands of Sōke, while he shared with his Kuden the theory of relativity of Einstein  相対性理论, applied to Taijutsu. During the class, as Sôke showed techniques with Katana, Daisho, Kodachi and long weapons (Bo), he explaines the importance of moving freely taking advantage  the skillness of being able to use any weapon, even firearms. Throughout  the enlightening skills of  Sôke, while Uke fell naturally over the sword, that was naturally unsheathed by letting if fall down (In ryoku), he started to introduce us into the theory of relativity of Einstein, Everything happens so fast in the Dojo when Soke teaches, but at the same time seems very slow and hard to understand.

The escencial idea, of vital point (Kaname) of the theory of relativity, is for example that two observers that move relatively side by side with different speed, (if the difference is much minor than the speed of light, it’s not appreciable), often will have different measures of the time (time frames) and space (distance – maai) to describe the same series of events. That is, the perception of space (kukan) and the time depend of the state of movement (Taijutsu) of the observer or its relative to the observer. However, despite of the relativeness of space and time, there’s a more sutile form of physic invariance, as the content of the physical laws will be the same for both observers. This last thing means that, despite that the observers differ on the result of concrete measures of temporary and space magnitudes, they’ll find that the equations that relate physical magnitudes have the same form, with independence of his state of movement. This last fact is known as principle of covariance.

I feel that beyond what’s relative on each observer and the variance of perceptions, we can all find a vital point (Kaname要)  that can connect us to the escense of Budo, even though there are infinite changes (Banpen) and if the Mushin mind is kept, the escencial point appears by itself. Maybe that’s the Gokui of martial arts, though if we try to understand it, it’ll loose it’s escense.

Soke said, The Kaname can be understood, or it cannot be understood, it’s simple”

Bufu ikkan Banpen Kaname !!!


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平静 Heisei; is equanimity, from latin “aequanimitas”: balance, fairness, consistency and fairness in mind. We can understand it as keeping a balanced and serene attitude. It can also be translated as neutrality, balance or justice.

Antonyms of Fairness: imbalance, Inequality, obsession, paradox, bias, perversion, goodwill, prejudice, injustice.

If anyone saw pass  “equanimity” please let it notice and don’t let it get away!!

Train daily both inside and outside of the Dojo is one of my targets, to achieve “Kokoro no heisei (心の平静), an equable mind.

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During the january Taikai in Buenos Aires, I tried to enphasize the work of the sword, from Muto Dori, Daisho Sabaki Gata and Shinken Shiraha Dome. The sword, just a media to use our taijutsu and finding the liberty of the movement, was also the vehicle to share my point of view about the subjectivity of Budo of the Bujinkan, as well as life.

According to what is pointed from the Dictionary of the real academy of Spain (RAE), subjectivity is the cuality of what’s subjective. It’s about what consists or relates to the subject, taken in oposition to the external world. On the other hand, the concept make reference to our way of thinking and feeling, and not to the object itself.

Though we use hundreds and infinite variants to express the movement of Taijutsu, we know that the escense of itself radicates on feeling. Sôke makes constant emphasis in expressing the feeling of techniques and the experience within the Uke while receibing the waza-

Depending the activities of each people, most of us can apply in daily life the escencial feeling more than phisical techniques.

On this days, Sōke Masaaki Hatsumi gave to our understanding that beyond Budō (martial way), we could get into Mudō (No Path). If we take this in the world of what’s subjective and objective, we should say that Budō is what’s objetive and Mudō is what’s subjective. Same way while using the forms to achieve the NO-forms, is where we can find the sence of subjectivity.

The difference between objectiveness and subjectiveness is clear while analizing different sentences as: “During the Taikai several feelings filled with happiness and friendship” is a subjective phrase, while “During the Taikai people trained sword techniques” is an objective phrase.

From my point of view, Budō begins with an objective training, but later on, practice takes the student into a more deep and subjective quest in search for the escence of the art and the human being. But the human being elaborates personal opinions based from experiences that in common expresses subjective truths, however within the existent objective lineage of the nine schools that form the Bujinkan, it requires the student to achieve certaing ethical, cultural and social values maintain the harmony and respect. Same way, pre-stated techniques that have objective points to train and learn, can take us to receive the subjective world of the Bufu ikkan.

More than 100’s points of view about the budō of Sôke where present this weekend on the Taikai, each one charged with their own experience of life, it’s tabues, myths, such as their virtudes and skills. Being able to share positive things respecting the differences of each one, helps the growing of all it’s parts. I feel that this Taikai, gave sinergy to all of the attendants, including me in tasting the good things each one have added. Several Shihan also participate and gave their luminous points of view: Maximiliano Rosatti, Nestor Iscovi, Mariano Parodi, Eduardo Hernandez, Mariano Perrone. To all of them my sincere gratitude for their friendship, representation, and knowledge to the event.

The buyu from several regions of Argentina, Chile, Brasil, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, and Méxivo that have made with their presence this wonderful Buyu encounter, have trained with enthusiasm and courage upon the high temperatures of the Buenos Aires summer. Samples of Musha Shugyo have been revealed during the Taikai and the posterior hot week

My most profund gratitud to Sōke, who offers his art to enjoy luminous moments and learn from the human configuration.

Beyond the several motivations of every participant and the subjective world of their own experiences, the next january Taikai 2013, maybe will bring you, maybe not, depending on the mental world and each desires,however I hope that january keeps being a point of encounter, not for my birthday, but for the feast of friendship of every participant and the value of the teachings of Sōke. Long live the instants of sharing, Ichi go Ichi E!!!

Bufu ikkan Shingitai !


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Ichi Go Ichi E

Acerca de Ichigo Ichie

By Sôke Masaaki Hatsumi.

必問 武神 伝


 The ichigo ichie 一期一会(one moment, one encounter) is also a kind of Satori 悟り( enlightenment). I believe that a kind of  Satori is alright. But not so much enlightenment. There are those who want to be very enlightened. I believe that pherhaps the excesive quest for enlightenment, is inmature or a sign of illness.

When you come to a certain age, I don’t think that is neccesary to really pursue enlightenment. I call this kind of people “pacients with enlightment desease”. Are the ones who search too much for enlightment, those who try to grab on to this. However there’s also the matter of what kind of things are the “enlightment – Satori”.

 It is mentioned as things that fly, this and that, but what it’s called enlightenment is Ichi Go Ichi E. It’s not A-UM (mantra sound), It’s an event, of course, an image.

I believe that what refers as the place of sutil and deep memories. All and every moment, to express in a Japanese kind of way, it all reduces to the world of Zeami (founder of the Noh theatre), becomes in Yoroboshi or Yamanba (old mountain) (plays of Zeami of the Noh Theatre).

But the determination of Ichi go Ichi E is important. I beleive that pherhaps is good that exists a phrase as Ichi go Ichie E

Because life is a collection of moments. When I find myself with military men who talk of have made this kind of experiences, they talk about the real feeling of Ichigo ichie.


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Bufu Ikkan Shingitai

The DKMS 2011 was full of marvelous moments. I was able to meet with many Buyu that I see around the world in different seminars  around the year, and with so many others that have the chance of meet once a year in Japan, and all of them enjoy the teachings of Sôke. This is without a doubt a treasure for our lives.

The result of training, beautiful teachings and frienship, is what we can name Bujinkan Dojo. There were many interesting teachings from Soke during the Daikomyosai 2011, some of them united with the past and some proyecting us to the future. I need to digest within time so many sensations and reflexions.

I feel that learning, sharing and following the Bufu Ikkan, is a way of finding the Shingitai 心  技 体 (union of heart, technique and body), however, without depending of others, we must understand that the path in individual, and sometimes even solitary. Even Miyamoto Musashi created a series of precepts that he put together with the title of Following The Lonely Path.

According to Masaaki Hatsumi  Sôke, “There is an expression that is the key on the philosophy of martial arts that is called Bufu Ikkan 武風 一貫 (righteous martial wind) The experience tells me that artists, whether are dedicated to ballet, music or painting, when they stop practicing a couple of days and return to it, always suffer a loss of faculties, at least the first time after the break”.

During this year, Sôke told me that he gave some 15 of his Yugodan students, the title of maestry of the Bufu Ikkan Shingitai. Sôke said that is a recognition for some who kept training during many years, without stopping, managing the escential sence of the Bufu Ikkan and trough this, being able to achieve the feeling of uniting the technique, body and heart  (心技体 Shingitai).


Surely and little by little, many 15 dan will get this special recognition. Today I feel honored of being one of them, and being able to give breath to those who are making a marvelous effort of training with the heart. While translating the certificate, I found a connection with a part of the letter Soke wrote to me 3 years ago, with the introduction for my book Ninpo & Budo;

Until today, the Ninpô and Budô of the Bujinkan, it’s universe, was trasnsmitted and protected whitin communion with God as a secret with the power of the isshi sôden (knowledge transmission from pather to son). This implied the transmision of Magokoro (escence of the soul), in other words the transmission of the Budoka’s soul through the bufu. Happily, Christian Petroccello, who through a lot of time in the Bujinkan Dojo have manage the fusion of Shin Gi Tai and Bufu, has decided to publish this new book. It is a great joy for me”.

Maybe this certificate is the official feeling on paper over the words from Sôke many years ago, but I’m sure that it’ll also serve as inspiration for practitioners all around the world. I feel that many will be able to keep training with enthusiasm on the right direction of the Bufu from Soke, and achieve the Shin Gi Tai.

Sôke once wrote; “when a person makes a pause during training, later is not capable of recognizing he’s own mistakes. And this not only happens in the world of success and failure, as independently from the world you live in, the long pauses during training can make you end up in the aseptic mountain of Kume (Okayama Prefecture). According to the leyend, Kume no Sennin was and old ascet Budist who gained special powers from training with constancy, but feel on disgrace after being seduced by the legs of a woman that was washing in the river”.

Maybe, just like the legs of a beautiful woman that made Kume loose, the atractive that can make us dissipate may be a lot of other things, maybe a better job, power, money, or even the tough, emotional or psicologic times. Even if the mind is clouded, the teachings of the master can be misunderstanded. Many things can deviate us from the path and make us loose the right path of training. Being able to return to the path, requires courage and  bravery, and I applaud those who could, and those who are trying.

I encourage everyone to keep training beyond their doubts and concerns, and as always go deep in reflection and observation of the true motivations of training.

It all comes to this two simple words in Japanese, Gambatte Kudasai !


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心神 心眼

When a Bugeisha deeply understands martial arts, his heart develops the internal eye look. This in Japan is known as ShinShin Shingan 心神 心眼  and can be translated as “Divine Heart, eye of the heart”.

A clear example of having the eye of the heart and the mind of God, was the famous samurai Nasu no Yoichi (那須与一) (c. 1169-c. 1232) who lived at the late Heian era. He became famous  because of and incident that ocurred on the Genpei wars, reported in the Heike Monogatari.

History tells that in march 22 1185, during the naval battle of  Yashima, the Taira had placed a fan on the highest pile of one of their ships, claiming that it protected the ship from arrows, and challenge warriors to take it down. Riding his horse over the waves, and despite the swinging that agitated the ship, Nasu managed to take the fan down on one shot.

Sôke tells that Shinshin shingan (mind and God’s eyes) is called Kanjin Kaname, and this is as important as when Nasuno Yoichi threw is arrow, taking down the fan.

Sôke tells that Nasu no Yoichi was able to do it well, because he was experienced en Kanjin Kaname. Sôke says that Kanjin Kaname is important to everything, as if one doesn’t have Janjin Kaname, many weak spots appear from us.

After the Genpei wars, the new shōgun Minamoto no Yoritomo awarded Nasu no Yoichi making him a Daimyō of the Tottori Castle, but ends up loosing this position after being defeated by Kagetoki Kajiwara in a hunting competition. He then abandons the Echigo province, and after the Yoritomo’s death, ends up becoming a budist monk in the  Jōdo Shinshū sect.

The martial art (as in life itself) hast two paths to choose from; one fake and one true. This is known as Kyojitsu. When the eye of the heart is blinded by egoism, vanity, jelauosy, money and ignorance, the true path can never be found. Even the eye of the mind depends on the concepts of good and bad according to conveniences, based on experiences of fears and both painfull or pleasure ones. However, the eye of the heart relies on feelings and love.

Determination, courage and feeling, are instruments for the martial wind (bufu)  to blow over the clouds that blind the eye of the heart. To tense the arch and let go the arrow is even a way to achieve Mushin.



To have courage doesn’t neccesarily open the eye of the heart and the mind of God, but even the courage can be just an animal attitude in it’s reaction of survival, and not neccesarily an experience of a human and divine conciense.

If the Kanjin Kaname doesn’t exist, the desitions with courage not always can lead you in a good path, they even can ruin you.

Feeling, devotion, discernment and training in the right place with the right people, help to dissipate the vail of ignorance (Haramitsu), leading us to the experience of Kanjin Kaname.

I think that Kajin Kaname, comes from the experience of Mushin 無心, not neccesarily in the Budô 武道, but also from Mudô 無道

I feel that I’ve becomed dependent of the presence of Sôke, as every time I travel and train in his classes or if I’m on his presence, the eye of the heart opens and I see everything more clearely. Maybe in time I might be able to keep the eye of the heart open without depending on Sôke, but for know, I can only say that I’m just a student trying to learn and feel clearely. I’ll keep doing my best, but I feel more important to continue feeding from his teaching by his side and while away, within the path and the no-path.

Christian Petroccello –  Tenryu

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