How Effective is Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu as a Form of Self-Defense?

Bujinkan Budo Taijutso is a Japanese martial art that traditionally is used to teach self-protection using distancing, strategic angling and precise timing. In training, you are taught to focus on the development of your body and mind through your entire body’s movement. You are not really trained in isolated muscle or speed focuses. According to, modern applications of the art have been used internationally by the DEA, FBI, Special Forces and other police forces. The founder and International Director of the Bujinken, translated to “Divine Palace,” is Grandmaster Masaaki Hatsumi or Soke Hatsumi.

What Do You Learn Exactly?

When you learn the master principles of the style and art, you can apply kicking, punching, safety positions, footwork, and more. The guidelines for the Bujinkan are available online on This list of guidelines cite “peace” and “love,” as core foundations of the art and practice. They also call for participants with strong moral allegiance, physical health, patience and self-control. You are also not allowed to train in the dojo if you have a criminal record. Bujinkan Budo Taijutso is about mental health as well as physical wellness.

Is this martial art really effective to defend yourself?

Most of the backlash that Bujinkan receives seems to be opinion based. I found that most of the online community questioning the art’s effectiveness are only going by heresay and those who defend it cite it as an effective practice. In a forum on, one user argues that Budo Taijutsu is effective in a real encounter because it teaches you to be spatially aware which is, “key to surviving an altercation.” This style is taught and used internationally by trained government forces because it brings strong mentality and strategy into the fight, not just physical strength. In deciding whether or not it is an effective art, you should think about what would be effective for you to learn as a fighter.