Apr 19, 2022

Masaaki Hatsumi

Born in 1931. A Japanese master of ninjutsu and author. Thirtyfourth grandmaster of Togakure ryu-ninjutsu. Hatsumi earned black belt teacher rank in judo, kendo, karate, and aikido. Dissatisfied with these styles he tried western boxing, classical kobudo, and finally ninjutsu, under Toshitsugu Takamatsu, 33rd grandmaster of Tokagure ryu. Hatsumi journeyed weekly across the countryside from his home in Noda City to the training hall of Takamatsu in Kashiwara City. Before his death in 1972, Takamatsu awarded his title of soke, or head of the family, to Hatsumi. Having since trained a new generation of master teachers, Dr. Hatsumi has retired from active teaching. He devoted his first twenty years in the martial arts to what he calls the “front,” or omote — rigorous training, unquestioning respect for seniors, and traditional concepts of the Japanese warrior morality. His next twenty years were devoted to the “back,” or ura — the warrior’s capabilities. In 1971 he co-authored Stick Fighting, and in 1981 he wrote Ninjutsu: History and Tradition. (STEPHEN K. HAYES)

The Grandmaster’s Book of Ninja Training.

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Masters and Personalities

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