Quotes from Soke Masaaki Hatsumi


“There are three kinds of Budoka: ones that try to look strong, ones that try to perfect their technique and ones that try to gain a good heart”

“In a real fight, you’ve gotta have “Dokyou” 度胸 guts. If you don’t have guts, you will be trembling in your shoes, wondering what you should do. And that’s when you die. But if you have guts, the answer will come to you in a flash. And you will be victorious.”

“The enemy who is against the laws of nature will lose his battle before he begins to fight. The first priority to the ninja is to win without fighting.”

“You are not just fighting one opponent. You are fighting the unknown!”

“In avoiding and dodging, don’t move too far: just enough is just enough. You get it, hm? But it’s not your head that needs to understand!”

“Your life is on the line. Practice well.”

“Finally, even as the victor, one is in danger, in that by defeating another, the desire of revenge is created in the vanquished.”

“When weak or injured always continue training as you should always be able to adapt in any condition”

“You must not stop in the middle of waza, make your waza alive, without a natural flow your waza cannot be alive.”

“The head is just another part of the body, and we must learn to overcome the tendency to make distinction between the brain and the other internal organs of the body. The body knows how to move if we let it, and it does not require active mental control to respond properly in a threatening situation. The student of ninjutsu works to eliminate the unwieldy process of first mechanically thinking through a response before actually carrying it out. This naturalness of movement results from learning how all the functions work in coordination and balance with each other.”

“You need to have ferociousness in a real fight!”

“Always be able to kill your students”

“Teachers have bad habits, those bad habits can mean the difference between life and death for his students”

“In budo, too, there are three important essentials: first, seeing and knowing oneself, one’s own strengths and limitations; second, the sword of discrimination, of decisiveness, for eliminating faults, weaknesses, and the unnecessary; and last, the sincerity, feeling, devotion, insight, and understanding of the heart.”

“The techniques are initially practiced with the consciousness directed towards understanding the purpose and practical application of the physical movements. Next, the student begins to work on making his technique a natural part of knowledge; in effect, allowing his body to develop the natural ability to perform the technique. Finally, the technique itself is dropped from consciousness as a technique, and becomes yet one more variation of the body and personality to handle things in an effective manner.”

“What I want you to do is just take it as it is. Don’t think too much. If you get involved with thinking about it, the whole thing gets lost or loses its purity. Don’t think during practice – DO! The more you think, the further from the truth of budo you get: Budo is NOT an academic subject!”

“By experiencing the confrontation of danger, the transcendence of fear or injury or death, and a working knowledge of individual personal powers and limitations, the practioner of ninjutsu can gain the strength and invincibility that permit enjoyment of the flowers moving in the wind, appreciation of the love of others, and contentment with the presence of peace in society.”

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