天略の巻 Ten Chi Jin Ryaku No Maki
While there is no set syllabus for the entire Bujinkan organization, instructors generally work off the instructor’s manual known as the Ten Chi Jin Ryaku No Maki (“Scrolls of the strategies of Sky Earth and Man” or TCJ), published in circa 1978. While training has changed much since that time, the TCJ remains an extremely important work.
For example it is recommended by one senior Japanese Shihan that a student should focus on the Ten Ryaku up to Shodan, the Chi Ryaku up to Godan and the Jin Ryaku up to Judan. During practice in the Bujinkan Hombu (Headquarters) I asked one of the Japanese Shihan about the relevance of the Ten Chi Jin and he stated that before Judan one should master the TCJ, but once mastered one should ‘forget it’ and move beyond these initial forms.
The Ten Chi Jin is a book of three sections (‘Ten’, ‘Chi’ and ‘Jin’), with each section broke into several sub sections as follows.
天略の巻Ten Ryaku no Maki
- Ukemi Taihenjutsu – Includes multidirectional rolls, flips & somersaults, breakfalls, leaping, climbing and walking methods, as well and integration of these methods.
- Kyū Kamae – Nine basic postures that form the basic shape of the subsequent movements.
- Kihon Happō Gata – The core 8 movements that are fundemental to Bujinkan martial arts.
- Sanshin no Kata – Drills which help train the body in correct movement.
- Taihenjutsu Mutō Dori Gata – Introductory exercises which combine ukemi taihenjutsu skills with the correct timing and angling needed to avoid weapons.
- Hōken Juroppō – A variety of striking forms done principally with the hands and feet.
地略の巻 Chi Ryaku no Maki
- Hajutsu Kyūhō – Various techniques for escaping grabs, basic strikes and joint locks as well as receiving methods.
- Torite Kihon Dori no Kata – A selection of basic restraints used on a grounded opponent.
- Happō Keri Henka no Koto – Various kicking combination drills.
- Gyaku Waza – Basic joint locking techniques of the wrist, arm and shoulder joints.
- Nage Kata – Basic projections using the hips, upper back, joint locks and beyond to throw an oppenent.
- Shime Waza Go Kata – Five chokes and strangulation techniques.
人略の巻 Jin Ryaku no Maki
- Suwari Gata – Forms from traditional Japanese seated postures.
- Keri ni Taishite – Defences from kicks.
- Nage Kaeshi – Throw counters.
- Haibu Yori – Attacks from behind.
- Tata ni Taishite – Defences from strikes.
- Mutōdori Gata – Forms against armed opponents.
- Santo Tonkō no Kata – 9 Forms which introduce the student to the taijutsu of Togakure Ryū Ninpō. It sits atop the knowledge gained from the correct study of the previous sections and expands into other areas, such as the use of hidden and thrown weapons. These 9 techniques can be further divided into unarmed forms (1-3), defence against weapons (4-6) and escaping from multiple armed opponents (7-9).