Bujinkan - History - Yearly Themes

Yearly Themes

Since 1988, Hatsumi's teaching has focused on a particular theme, or focus, each year. This typically means that a specific ryū, or a certain set of techniques from specific ryū, will be taught. Hatsumi announces the year's theme each year at the Daikomyosai.

Depending on what years a student has studied in Japan, they may find that their focus reflects the themes or schools taught during their time. This is one reason why there are often noticeable differences in the techniques of different teachers in the Bujinkan. Although Ninpo Taijutsu is an overall theme of the Bujinkan, 2008 marked the first time that a Ninpo Taijutsu Ryū was the focus of the year. Prior to founding the Bujinkan organization and teaching the nine Ryū collectively (with particular yearly focus), Hatsumi awarded his students rank certificates in individual Ryū.

The themes so far have been:

  • Theme of 2012 – Sword and Rokushakubo, separately and with one in each hand
  • Theme of 2011 – Kihon Happo
  • Theme of 2010 – Rokkon Shoujou
  • Theme of 2009 – No theme / Talent, Heart, Capacity / Talent, Soul, Capacity
  • Theme of 2008 – Togakure-ryū Ninpō Taijutsu
  • Theme of 2007 – Kukishin Ryu
  • Theme of 2006 – Shinden Fudo Ryu
  • Theme of 2005 – Gyokko-ryū Kosshi jutsu (Bo and Tachi)
  • Theme of 2004 – Daishou Juutai jutsu (Roppo-Kuji-no Biken)
  • Theme of 2003 – Juppo Sessho
  • Theme of 2002 – Jutai jutsu (Takagi Yoshin Ryu)
  • Theme of 2001 – Kosshi jutsu (Gyokko Ryu)
  • Theme of 2000 – Koppo jutsu (Koto Ryu)
  • Theme of 1999 – Kukishinden Ryu
  • Theme of 1998 – Shinden Fudo Ryu
  • Theme of 1997 – Jojutsu
  • Theme of 1996 – Bokken
  • Theme of 1995 – Naginata
  • Theme of 1994 – Yari
  • Theme of 1993 – Rokushakubojutsu
  • Theme of 1992 – Taijutsu Power
  • Theme of 1991 – Sword and Jutte
  • Theme of 1990 – Hanbo
  • Theme of 1989 – Taijutsu and Weapons
  • Theme of 1988 – Taijutsu

No focus was announced for 2009, though Hatsumi talked about three things that are important for a martial artist, which may be loosely considered to be the yearly theme. He said that these things would become a bit of a theme for next year.

  • Sainou (Ability/talent)
  • Kokoro (Heart)
  • Utsuwa (Capacity)

Soon after this theme as was announced, Hatsumi proposed that the second aspect, Kokoro (Heart), be replaced by Tamashii (Soul), reasoning that the heart is constantly changing, whereas the soul is permanent and unchanging and therefore "essential to the person".

Read more about this topic:  Bujinkan, History

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