Hayabusa Ninjutsu Part 1: Katana and Bo Staff

''Hayabusa Ninjutsu 隼 忍術 is a specialized Japanese tactical combat school in Ottawa, Canada.''

It's around 7:45 pm when I show up at the dojo. I'm immediately greeted by Marc Cooper. He introduces himself and compliments my beard. I thought that was a nice touch. Marc is the owner and instructor of Hayabusa Ninjutsu. He's fully licensed from Japan and is a Shidoshi-Ho. Here's Marc receiving the Shidoshi-Ho license from his teacher. His teacher is Stéphane Meunier of Montréal. Stéphane Meunier is the founder and master instructor of Budo Montréal.

From all of the different martial arts dojo that I've visited, what I've come to understand is that the lineage is very important. If you train at Hayabusa, you know it's the real deal because of the lineage described below.


- Grandmaster Hatsumi 

- Ishizuka Sensei 

''In this short documentary, the well known martial artist and historian Dr. Kacem Zoughari speaks about various aspects of the art widely known as 'ninjutsu', as well as his own personal journey in the art and its practice. Topics covered include the master-student relationship, the historical ninja, and actual practice.

Dr. Zoughari holds a PHD in Japanese history with a thesis about the transmission of classical japanese martial arts and has practiced the ryûha of the Bujinkan for more than two decades as a personal disciple of Ishizuka Tetsuji, the eldest student of sôke Hatsumi Masaaki. In the summer of 2012 he will move to Japan for a teaching position at an exclusive university.''

- Stephane Meunier Sensei of Montréal

- Marc Cooper Sensei of Ottawa

It's now around 8:00 pm and Marc lends me a gi and we then get started. I actually really liked how the 120 minutes session unfolded itself. First, all of the students have access to the Hayabusa Ninjutsu curriculum and everybody works at their own pace. I shadowed Marc as he met with every group of students and demonstrated what they were going to wok on the following hour. Practice makes perfect and the best practice the basics.

10-15 minutes later, Marc gives me a bo and he gets me to practice the basics. As a teenager, I've always wanted to try a bo and I got my chance. It was awesome. As he teaches me the basics he also talks about the differences between real-life Ninjutsu and Hollywood Ninjutsu. I thought this was really interesting and I'll be sure to look out for the differences the next time I watch a movie. The main difference from what I understand is that a ninja will always protect it's body (he'll never open himself up like you see in the movies). The training of the bo is called Kuki Shinden Ryu Bojutsu.

After, I worked with a katana and that was really cool. Training with the katana is called Shindenfudo Ryu Iaijutsu. Here's Marc holding the katana I trained with:

It doesn't look like much but my shoulders got a great workout from wielding the katana. As I'm writing this blog 24 hours laters, I still feel the burn in my shoulders and forearms.

Lastly, Marc gathered all of the students and they all worked on their Kusarifundo skills. If you've ever seen a martial arts movie and the hero takes on the villains with only a scarf, well that's what they worked on. I'm actually looking forward to going back to Hayabusa Ninjutsu and try it.

If you train at Hayabusa Ninjutsu, Marc can also train you in the following:

- Close quarter combat
- Disarming: knives and firearms
- Close quarter knife fighting
- Japanese weaponry
- Military weaponry
- Grappling & submissions
- Counter-custody tactics
- Weapons of opportunity
- Hostile scenario management

As always, here are my three reasons to try Hayabusa Ninjutsu:

1) You will learn so much (the art, the history behind the art and biomechanics). I'm pretty sure Marc knows all of the bones, joints and arteries of the body. He must of named over a dozen last night.

2) With every class, you will feel more confident and your physical literacy will improve.

3) Who hasn't dreamt of training with weapons?

I've been invited again and do expect more posts to come. My posts will be a mix of what we did and the history behind Ninjutsu. For now, like your parents use to say, don't believe everything you see on the television.