Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi was born in 1931. After training in various martial arts he found Takamatsu Toshitsugu who became his mentor and studied under him for the next fifteen years, becoming the 34th Grand Master of Togakure ryu Ninjutsu and eight other Japanese martial arts. Dr. Hatsumi unified the nine martial arts systems under one banner, the Bujinkan. Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi has tought thousands of individual students through out the years from all over the world, in addition to instructing hunderds law enforcement agencies. He has been honored and praised from politicians and spiritual leaders of many nationalities. He is a professional osteopath by trade, acted in popular Japanese television series, produced many book and DVDs on Ninjustu and Budo, and has for many years been vice chairman of the Japan Literary Artists´ Club.
Masaaki Hatsumi, founder and grandmaster of the Bujinkan martial arts system, was awarded by the Japanese government the International Culture Award. This the highest honor given for cultural exchange, was bestowed on Dr. Hatsumi by a member of the Imperial Household on November 22, 1999.
"The International Culture Award is a great honor for the Bujinkan," stated Dr. Hatsumi at the award ceremony. To date he is the 92nd recipient of this prestigious honor. Dr. Hatsumi was nominated for his cross-cultural leadership in international martial arts instruction.
Instructor of the Year by Blackbelt magazine, Dr. Hatsumi is best known for "opening the doors" to Ninjutsu to non-Japanese. As grandmaster of the Bujinkan dojo, Dr. Hatsumi actively traveled the world for over 20 years sharing the teachings of Budo Ninpo Taijutsu as passed to him by his teacher, Toshitsugu Takamatsu. Each year, Dr. Hatsumi holds an international Daikomyosai (gathering) for training in Japan. Additionally, thousands of eager students from scores of countries also travel to Japan throughout the year for training with Dr. Hatsumi.
Dr. Hatsumi founded the Bujinkan, which means "The Hall/System of Divinely Inspired Warriors," in honor of his teacher, Toshitugu Takamatsu. The nine warrior schools of the Bujinkan comprise of six are old samurai schools, the remaining three are schools with ninja lineage. All systems were born from the ancient battlefields of Japan. These historical roots taught by Dr. Hatsumi provide a rich fountain of martial arts teachings that are equally relevant in todays world. Dr. Hatsumi promotes the importance of understanding the principles underlying ninja techniques, not just forms and drills by real fighting applications. This practicality is the Bujinkan´s foundation drawing thousands of practitioners from around the world, many of whom provide law enforcement or personal security services.
Dr. Hatsumi holds black belts in several martial arts, including aikido, karate, jojutsu, kendo, judo, and western style boxing.
He is grandmaster of the following nine schools of the Bujinkan:
Togakure Ryû 34th Grandmaster
Gyokko Ryû 28th Grandmaster
Kukishinden Ryû 28th Grandmaster
Shinden Fudô Ryû 26th Grandmaster
Gyokushin Ryû 21st Grandmaster
Kotô Ryû 18th Grandmaster
Takagi Yôshin Ryû 17th Grandmaster
Gikan Ryû 15th Grandmaster
Kumogakure Ryû 14th Grandmaster
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