Every year Hatsumi-sensei chooses a theme to be studied over the next 12 months.This theme is usually a particular school or weapon which is given special attention during the year in addition to normal training.
With nine different schools of martial arts to study, having a theme like this helps ensure a common thread in the training around the world.
The yearly theme is a good opportunity to look at one aspect of the Bujinkan in detail and is often the topic of weekend seminars held throughout the year.
The theme for 2017, as chosen by Hatsumi Sensei, is Kannin Doshi (Perseverance of mutual respect. Respect yourself and respect your opponent.).
Muto Dori and Women‘s Self Defense are the physical aspects of training again this year.
- 2016: Katana
- 2015: Nagamaki
- 2014: Shin In Bu Do
- 2013: Ken, Muto Dori.
- 2012: Kaname (vital/pivot point, such as the pin which holds a Japanese folding fan together) and the weapon for the year is Katana.
- Kaname is often interpreted as meaning the vital/pivot point of the technique being applied, but perhaps this is a misinterpretation. It may actually refer to the vital point within ourselves when we are applying the technique.
- 2011 Kihon Happou 季翻初崩 Kihon Happou 季翻初崩
- 2010 Rokkon Shoujou (禄魂笑浄) Tachi (main weapon for 2010).
- 2009 No Theme / Focus on “Sainou Tamashii Utsuwa” – Ability/Talent, Soul/Spirit, Capacity/Container. Study Rope Sword
- 2008 Togakure Ryu Ninpo Taijutsu
- 2007 Kukishin Ryu
- 2006 Shinden Fudu Ryu Dakentaijutsu
- 2005 Gyokko Ryu Kosshijutsu (Bo and Tachi)
- 2004 Daishou JuitaiJutsu (Roppou-Kuji no Biken)
- 2003 Juppo Sessho
- 2002 Takagi Yoshin-ryu
- 2001 Gyokko-ryu
- 2000 Koppo-jutsu
- 1999 Kukishinden-ryu
- 1998 Shinden Fudo-ryu
- 1997 Jo-jutsu
- 1995 Naginata / Daisho
- 1994 Yari / Kodachi
- 1993 Bo-jutsu
- 1996 Ken-jutsu
- Previous themes included Kusari-Fundo, Hanbo and Jutte