Palo Alto Ninjutsu, San Francisco bay area
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The personality of the Ninja - upright and beautiful. By Masaaki Hatsumi

Calligraphy by
Masaaki Hatsumi


Ninjutsu, the art of the Ninja, is a 1000+ year old Japanese martial art. The form taught at Palo Alto Ninjutsu belongs to a school named Bujinkan which is headquartered in Japan and records close to 900 years of continuous lineage of 34 grandmasters from the 12th century AD to date.

Bujinkan is headed by sōke (grandmaster) Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi, who was named a Living National Treasure by the Japanese government. Bujinkan's Ninjutsu which is also referred to as Budo-Taijutsu, is made up of nine different disciplines that were merged together over time into one large system. It consists of a vast number of techniques and styles ranging from empty handed combat to a wide variety of weapons including knives, staffs, swords and more. 

Ninjutsu is an extremely effective combat system and greatly promotes the development of both body and mind. It is non-competitive and at no point are students required to win battles in order to progress. This makes it suitable and enjoyable for people of a wide range of ages and capabilities, and of both genders.

The benefits of practicing Ninjutsu are the development both of the body and of the mind. Results frequently experienced by Ninjutsu trainees include:

  • Improved body posture
  • Improved movement
  • Better flexibility
  • Knowledge in self defense
  • Improved concentration
  • Improved awareness
  • Better coordination
  • Improved response timing and effectiveness

There are many different fighting styles in Ninjutsu and one may find in it similar elements to other martial arts such as Judo, Jujitsu, Aikido and Karate. It's their variety and the way these elements are bound together that make Ninjutsu unique. 

Ninjutsu uses a ranking system that consists of 6 to 9 basic levels (kyu) and 15 advanced (dan). The basic levels use colored belts and the advanced ones are various degrees of the black belt.

Some of the main categories found in Ninjutsu are:

  • Locks & controls
  • Falling & rolling
  • Throws
  • Chokes
  • Weapons
  • Punches, kicks & blocks
  • Full contact grappling
  • Striking vital points
  • Escapes & counter techniques

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