Authentic Ninjutsu and Samurai Bujutsu from Soke Anshu Christa Jacobson (宗家 暗主)

Archive for July, 2012

BUDO RYU DAIKOMYOSAI 武道流大光明祭 2012 – 武術, 忍術, 古流, 武道

GAMA-SAKU (鎌作; a.k.a kama-zukuri)



The image to the left (how to make a shinobigama) is taken from the ninpiden; 1560 by Hattori Hanzo. Image to the right depicts a shinobigama taken from the Iga NinjaMuseum.


GAMA-SAKU (鎌作; a.k.a kama-zukuri)

The art of making sickles

NINIDEN (忍祕傳); 1560

The blade should be 5 Sun (approx 15cm) in length and 9 Bu (approx 2.7cm) in width and should be made with a double edge on both sides.

The handle should be 5 Sun (approx 15cm) and 5 Bu (approx 16.5cm) or 6 Sun (approx 18cm). The end of the handle where the blade is should have a ring clamp of 8 Bu (approx 2.4 cm) and should be 1 Bu (approx 3mm) in thickness. To make the handle the wood from the Japanese evergreen oak; however you can also use the wood from the red cinnamon tree or the wood from the nara oak tree as well. The blade should be “V” shaped and symmetrical.

* Refer to the drawing on the right for the final shape of the kama.

* Hattori Hanzo made a mistake in the beginning of the text, setting the length of the blade at 5 “Bu”. This seems too short for a blade; however the measurements written next to the drawing reads 5 ”Sun” which is more appropriate for this shinobi tool.

* The term that is used in the text to indicate that the kama has a double edge is moroha (両刃). Although Hattori Hanzo uses the term, which translates double-blade or double-edge, it does not mean two sharp edges. To understand this better, one should read this as one sharp edge that is sharpened on both sides. So when you sharpen the blade, sharpen one side of the bottom of the blade, then one side on the top of the blade, this is also to be understood that the sharp edges are on opposite sides of the blade.

* It is noted that even though artistically Hattori Hanzo does not draw the kama with a “V” like image, he does state that the blade should be “V” shaped. This is easily understood when looking at the shinobigama that is displayed in the Iga Ninja museum.

Budo Ryu; School of the Warrior Way:


Kuroro Kagi – Kura no Kagi


Soke Christa Jacobson

Kuroro Kagi / Kura no Kagi
——- Images (Top Left) me with various Ninki (shinobi tools) in the Budo Ryu Hombu Dojo.  (Bottom Left) close up of the ninki that I am sitting by; taken from my personal collection. (Top Right)  This image was taken from the Ninpiden written in 1560 by Hattori Hanzo of the Kuroro Kagi with a description of its use.  (Bottom Right) Is a picture of various Kuroro Kagi that is displayed in the  Iga Ninja Museum; Japan.  ——-
This tool is used to easily break in or simply enter in a storehouse or residence which is locked up tight.  With this Ninki (shinobi tool) you can easily unlatch or unlock the door.  However, there are various sizes of kuroro kagi and historically the kuroro kagi (also called kura no kagi) is nothing but a simple key, not a lock breaker.  This is why the Ninpiden says that you need to take many of these in different sizes on your mission so that you can simply open the door instead of breaking the lock.
However; if you do not know the type of door, take a middle size tool, which should fit most locks and in fact, if you can get a smaller kuroro kagi in the lock, even if it does not fit exactly, with the simple shift in your body leverage, you can easily break the lock with the kuroro-kagi.  Any budoka highly trained in taijutsu will recognize this shift if they were in this position.
The tool is made of iron, and the handle is made of cypress wood. Attach a string to the handle and carry it against your hip.
The measurements of the kuroro kagi as written in the Ninpiden:
* The iron L-shape it should be 1 Shaku, 2 Sun in total length. (approx: 36cm)
* It should be 2 Sun in width.  (approx: 6cm)
* 1 Bu and a half in thickness.  (approx: 4.55mm)
* The handle should be 5 Sun long.  (approx: 15 cm)
* The chord is 6 Sun 8 Bu long. (approx: 20.4cm)
Budo Ryu; School of the Warrior Way



Inyo no ho (陰陽の法) Methods of Light & Dark

Soke Christa Jacobson

Last night in class I was trying to get across the understanding of the principals of “Inyo” (also called Yin & Yang in Chinese martial arts).  Literally meaning “dark and light” this is used to describe how polar opposites or seemingly contrary forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, and how they give rise to each other in turn in relation to each other.


“For every dark night, comes a bright day” we have all heard this, but to understand it, you have to realize that for every bright day, a dark night will fall.


Many natural dualities—e.g. dark and light, female and male, low and high, cold and hot, water and fire, earth and air—are thought of as manifestations of Inyo (respectively).


Inyo are not opposing forces (dualities), but complementary opposites, examples are (1) light / positive means hard or masculine but in contrast to that there is the other side of (2) dark / unseen means hidden or feminine.  This is where my warrior name from the Tomo-ryu stems from: “Anshu / Dark Master” (暗主; also interpreted as informal master).


Everything has both In and Yo aspects as light cannot exist without darkness and vice-versa, but either of these aspects may manifest more strongly in particular objects, and may ebb or flow over time.


Look at the martial arts that we all train in.  Regardless of what art / school / organization we all learn many kata / waza, to learn the concepts of war.  When we are learning kata, the teacher will tell you when they “do this” you “do this” but how many really look at what “they do” as the positive and what “we do” as the negative?


The facts are the same attacks that we receive we are also training in our taijutsu to become effective in.  Same as life, just because someone tells you that “this is bad” remember that “this” only bad from their perception, but from your perception “it” might be the right thing to do, which is why you should always follow you heart.


So what is positive and what is negative?  That is a matter of perception that you choose on your path, you should never judge anyone by the path that they choose to follow, just because it is a negative thing for one, does not mean that it is not a positive thing for another.  Remember that, and learn how to follow your heart and move with the energy that surrounds and penetrates us all.


Everything in life has to have balance.  Just like breathing, when you breathe in, this is positive, you are taking in life.  When you exhale, this is negative, as you are letting life go.  Some see breathing as a good thing and choose to live, while others see breathing as a bad thing, and choose to die.  Understanding balance, you have to understand that with every positive is a negative, and with every negative is a positive, it is all a matter of personal perception.


In guerrilla warfare we are taught to take the enemies advantage, (positive) and use it against them (negative).  You grow stronger as they grow weaker.  Understanding and applying this principal all revolves on the relation of Inyo and taking what they see as their positive and making it their negative.  When you are in a negative situation in life, find the positive within it, every negative has a positive.  Find the positive and make it work for you rather than against you.


I hope that you all enjoyed today’s lesson, take care, be safe and good luck in your journey of Budo.


Anshu (暗主) Dark Master

Why I Succeed – Hatase ru (果せる)

Soke Christa Jacobson


Anshu Christa Jacobson
21st Soke of the Tomo Ryu Tradition
Headmistress of the Budo RyuSchool of the Warrior Way
Founder of the Budo Ryu Online University
Owner of the Ninjutsu Super Store
Chief Editor of the Shinobi no Mono Magazine
Founder of the Ninjutsu International Federation
Professional Model and Artist