Training

Training in the Bujinkan involves training in classical weaponry (spear, sword, halberd, and other weapons), as well as empty handed combative techniques. All the techniques stem from the nine schools encompassed by the Bujinkan organization. Additionally, history, philosphy, strategy (Hei-ho), and other areas of knowledge are covered.

Class starts and ends with rei-ho, which may involve a formal ceremony or a less formal bowing to one another to maintain a sense of respect and honoring of the traditions. The primary mode of transmission in classical martial arts is to copy what the teacher shows. The sensei (one who goes before or preceeds) will show the technique several times. The students will copy what they have seen. The teacher comments on what he observes and shows the technique again. The students copy, hopefully better, and so it goes. 

It is important to note that in classical martial arts the kihon or fundamentals are the key to success in the art. In many modern arts, basics are often seen as something shown for tradition, but are then abandoned for a more modern movement. This is not the case in the Bujinkan. What you are shown on day one is crucial to understanding the art ten years later and cannot be cast aside for "the good stuff." Kihon are "the good stuff" and your success will be based on your ability to reproduce the fundamental movements and the depth of your understanding of them. These fundamentals are the "engine." No technique in the  art exists without that engine.

Classical martial arts, when presented correctly, have a depth that most modern arts cannot match. Training is often described as "tanren" (forging) or "shugyo" (deep or austere training). The rewards of the training are very satisfying when a student has a moment of realization on a particular aspect of a technique, and then they dive deeper into the movement. It is a lifetime of study. 
 

Tatami omote straw matting for cutting practice.