The key to success in Ninjutsu’s Budo Taijutsu is consistent practice of the thirteen basic techniques contained in Sanshin no kata and the Kihon happo. It is from this basis that all of our Budo techniques start and end.
In the beginning, it is easy to overlook this part of our training and underestimate the value of these simple kata. Most of us have never looked at them deeper than the basic form. But, underneath the surface, there is a myriad of hidden skills to learn. From our henka, or variation of the basic kata, to a deep understanding of the principles being taught, each kata is an endless journey that should be explored to it’s fullest.
Even now at rokudan(6th dan) I practice these techniques diligently. Many times I hear people complain that they know the kihon happo or sanshin no kata, so they should do something else. Yet, when I watch their technique it is clear that they have not been practicing these kata enough! I am always observing all the student’s practice. It is a great feeling to see some students grasp this basic principle and go with it, and it is frustrating when others do not hear the words of wisdom that I am saying. Practice the basic thirteen techniques, know them inside and out, only then will you begin to grasp Budo Taijutsu!
“When I was taught the Gyokko Ryu Koshijutsu Kihon Gata, there were in this engendering of fundamental form the eight methods. I was told that this kihon happo is the origin of all budo. So I say to you earnestly, you make this the basis and teach it to your students.”
–Toshitsugu Takamatsu as told to Maasaki Hatsumi.