When one begins to walk the path of Bujinkan Budô he is often puzzled by the apparent complexity of the system taught by Hatsumi sensei.
This apparent complexity only fools the one believing in the world of manifested illusions. As we know ninjutsu is genjutsu, i.e. an illusion itself or better said an ability to see through the illusions surrounding us.
In fact, from the outside, the Bujinkan is similar to a giant tree with roots hidden in a deep past far away from our daily concerns and understandings. This huge tree digging its roots deep and far has a common trunk which is the Tenchijin but the main branch is the Gyokko Ryû. The other main branches are important, too, but the Gyokko Ryû gives us the Kihon happô and the Sanshin no Kata which are the true fundamental technique of everything we study in the Bujinkan.
The Bujinkan has only one door allowing the practitioners to learn the other branches of the art and this door is the Gyokko Ryû. Back in 2009, sensei asked us to teach the basics to the beginners and this was including an extensive time of training the Ukemi, the Kamae, the Uke Nagashi, the Sanshin no Kata and the Kihon Happô.
In Japanese, the word Kihon consists of Ki – fundamental or 基 and Hon – true, book, main or 本. In fact, in Japanese there is a saying “this is the A B C” (korewa kihon desu) これは基本です。 The Kihon of the Gyokko Ryû are the true fundamental techniques of the Bujinkan.
Many practitioners never had the chance to study these fundamentals from the Gyokko Ryû extensively and at a certain point in their practice this lack of basics shows and prevents them from reaching the next level. This door, if avoided, will not allow you to reach all the branches of the tree.
Today the Bujinkan represents a big group of practitioners but this vast number is only an illusion of knowledge if the basics are not mastered. Training correctly is your responsibility and understanding the whole tree is your sole objective on the path. Many are lost on the path to excellence and no one except themselves can be blamed for that.
Remember what Aristotle said: “A great city is not to be confounded with a populous one.” please help us to make the Bujinkan a great martial art, not a populous one.