The Japanese input into the History of Martial Arts is certainly one of the oldest,..
enduring even to Modern Times and Places.
The continuing influence of these Ancient Methods and Traditions obvious. Japanese Martial Arts and Traditions… still grow.
Budo and Bujutsu styles alike. Martial Way and Martial Technique.
Though veiled by necessity the Ninja Arts and Traditions are lil’ different.
The modernization and unification of the Japanese Nation also provided opportunity for other forms of employment.
Such is and was the case with…
and all that…
that entails. Herein.
The History of Japan’s unification as a Nation contains many Tales of War and Diplomacy. Geopolitics.
The Military Systems put into place from around the 1500’s strived to put an end to the Power divisions of the Feudal Lord System then prevalent. Battles and Skirmishes, Treaties and Alliances…
all shifted Power…
though each provided a little to bind the Country as One under such Rule. Eventually.
In and over such times of Martialness…
Three of these Warlords (Daimyo) came to dominate the Political Arena therein.
Oda Nobunaga,.. Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Ieyasu Tokugawa.
Actions therein intended to bring together and end the Warring States.
Consolidation and Central Authorities enacted or rearranged.
to Unite a Nation.
Several centuries it took before the locally divided systems and approaches…
opted for another.
As Power of the Local Warlords eventually waned…
a Nation was thus reborn.
Herein and therein the Japanese Language:
♦The Clan or Family…= (…RYU…).
♦The Grand-Master… = (…SOKE…).
…THE MONGOLIAN TIGER…
…WAS A cub.
Though Japan… in the early 1900’s was well into Modernization…
some things may never change.
The Training that is.
Takamatsu Toshitsugu grimaced and looked down again on the pain.
Bloodied and torn they continued to strike. Ninjutsu Training for him at this time meant lil’ more than persistent and constant body conditioning. Against trees, sand, gravel…
…whatever surface O Sensei insisted on that eve.
Tonight was gravel.
Stony sharp edges meant pain.
Takamatsu had learnt very quickly that O Sensei being his Grandfather,..
was not always a positive.
His hands, proof enough of that.
Takamatsu’s father himself had requested the placement,..
hoping to toughen up a 9 year old it seems.
Best reflected in one of O Sensei’s favourite quotes:
“…Even when you are faced with Death… Die Laughing… “.
O Sensei… SOKE TODA SHINRYUKEN MASAMITSU.
Grand-Father of Takamatsu…
…with some typical NINPO advice.
Unknown at the time though;..
was the Truth that soon enough…
and in his own Times and Places.
Takamatsu Toshitsugu would too… eventually.
Take up the mantle of Grand-Mastership of these Ancient arcane Arts of War.
But that is another of Our World Legends…
altogether. Linked above… therein.
Ninjutsu in the Western World as a Martial Art Tradition…
is still quite young.
Middle aged perhaps… some 40 years only.
Confined Shinobi Style in Japan for many of our centuries.
An Ancient Tradition therein.
The many Disciplines, Styles and Arts of War that merged and coalesced did so over Times and Places.
A United Nation…
Echoes of the Tokugawa, Hattori Hanzo…
and the Iga Wars versus such as Daimyo WarLord Oda Nobunaga.
Brought much into the Arts of War and Ninpo that Soke Shinryuken had Studied.
Toda Shinryuken Masamitsu.
Within the Toda Family/clan itself for example some 10 consecutive generations had long been immersed in such Arts as that within Togakure Ryu Ninpo and several related or associated Samurai/Ninja Arts.
Shinryuken’s Father,.. Toda Daisaburo Chikahide and Grand-Father Toda Eisaburo Nobumasa… had both served long Terms as Soke of several Martial Arts Traditions/Ryu as well.
Gyokko, Koto, Shinden Fudo, Kumogakure and such.
Martial Families and Clans.
Studying forms of both unarmed and weaponry.
Classical Martial Forms. Ninja mods added to.
It took almost a year.
A year before Shinryuken realised…
Politics was not a plus.
To his Study of the Arts of War.
1855… the relevant year therein.
The Tokugawa Regime of Governance had sought many reformations and wholesale changes.
To many aspects of the Geo-Political scenes and arenas.
Power and Class systems were brought under more direct Shogunate Authority which in turn became more centralized with hereditary Posts a norm,..
rather than say Martial prowess…
impressing so and upon Society.
Politics of Change.
Shinryuken had come to the attention of those given responsibility in KYOTO to form a National Military Academy.
As one of the representatives of the Martially inclined TODA Family.
He was soon enough… given responsibility therein.
First Chief Instructor…
Tokugawa appointed to school the Military Academy’s Martial Skill-sets thereof as well.
Oft referred in the annals as “… Hiken…”
Shinryuken… of the Secret Sword.
A renowned Sword-Master with a growing reputation for all-round Skills.
the vagaries of Politics… therein.
By 1855… he knew.
Time… for another Way.
Seeing first hand the effects of political ploys…
being deployed against close friends, mentors and advisors.
Political plays that decimated the ruling Council and rearranged Power structures of Governance.
Where men of Rule and Law… get relegated and replaced. By others more favourable…
to that and those styles of Governance.
Time indeed for a change,..
in deed and in fact as well.
The Shinobi School.
With only slight adjustment in approach Shinryuken shinobied on per se.
Setting up both a Chiropractic Clinic and Martial Dojo.
In the Kobe area.
For such as… grand-son Takamatsu…
later that is… to attend. 1900’s.
i, Shiro too…
much later is and was… that though, as well. 1984.
Foregoing Public Life and Duties for a more Community minded approach.
To the Arts of War. Martial… and Arts Training thereof and therein also.
Having learnt many and several Ways he sought to and eventually taught…
a more unified approach also.
Hardened by Time and circumstance he impressed this need upon All his Students.
Related Family… or not.
His Works and Legacy even acclaimed in later Journals of Japanese Martialness.
The BUGEI RYUHA DAIJITEN Encyclopedia… 1963,..
for example;.. includes:
玉虎流骨指術 …a Koshijutsu Ryu.
虎倒流骨法術 …a Koppojutsu Ryu.
神伝不動流打拳体術 …a Dakentaijutsu Ryu.
…though not an official nor complete listing by any means,..
does note at least three of the Ryu Traditions associated closely with Shinryuken and the Toda Clan personages and Families.
Such Japanese works of Literature and Classics do much to continue to convey the rich multitude of talent belonging to the Masters and Representatives of the Martial Traditions.
Tending to highly illuminate the indirect references that oft go on behind the scenes of many Modern Institutions. Clan links and Families that made up much of the Geo-Political Arena.
By doing so…
one of the few Ways to view…
a more panoramic overview of Ancient Society.
That those therein,.. enamored of the Arts of Self-Defence…
do have and provide. Hopefully.
With Experience gained from Masters.
Our World Legends.