The Hoshinjutsu crest symbolizes a combination of the Japanese Go-Dai and the chakra system of esoteric yoga. The Go-Dai elements of earth, water, fire, wind and void are combined with the corresponding chakra colors of red for earth, orange for water, yellow for fire, green for wind and blue for void. Our belt system is founded by these combined elements. The universal yin-yang symbol in the center of the crest represents the balance between mind, body and spirit which is reflected throughout the Hoshinroshiryu Jutaijutsu system.
This design was developed during the first few years of Hoshin's creation in Hillsdale Michigan. This original crest is protected today in order to boldly and clearly preserve the legacy of Hoshinjutsu and the lifework of Dr. Glenn Morris, our founder.
Following tradition, crests are worn on the back of the student's dogi until after they have successfully completed a Hoshin Firewalk ceremony. After achieving this right of passage, the student may wear the crest on the front left side of the dogi over their heart.
Seen by some as a more modern style of Ninjutsu, the Hoshin Roshi Ryu was founded by the late Dr. Glenn J. Morris, a lifetime martial artist, literary scholar, and worldwide presenter. Dr. Morris began studying martial arts while in his teens and had the great opportunity to travel the world during his time in the US military and while working within corporate America. This travel allowed him to continue studying various martial arts and select aspects of those arts that fit within his ideals of a balanced internal and external martial art.
In 1981, Dr. Morris, began working at Hillsdale College in Southern Michigan, USA. Over the following year, circumstances lead him to assemble the previous years of training and knowledge into an academic course. The techniques that had been learned from other martial arts were examined and dissected. Any technique that was being critiqued for inclusion into the system was judged upon its effectiveness, ease of assimilation, and if it had the potential to inflict the most amount of pain/damage to the body and its energies. If the technique met those qualifications, it was then reassembled and modified into a simple format which could be easy for an inexperienced or beginner martial artist to learn. Upper body strength techniques were kept to a minimum to make the course more compatible to the general public, and woman in general. Importance was not only placed on the physical techniques but also on the strategy and transformation of consciousness involved in them.
After the initial completion of this research and compilation of internal and external martial traditions, Dr. Morris was then introduced to the ways of the Ninja thanks to Stephen Hayes. Dr. Morris and a few of his top students attended a seminar being hosted by Stephen Hayes who was the top ranked Ninjutsu instructor in North America at that time. This was also when Dr. Morris and his students had their first chance to see and learn from Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi, the 34th grandmaster of what is now referred to as the Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu. This was truly an eye-opening experience for Dr. Morris as he and his students watched Dr. Hatsumi destroy some of their favourite and most feared techniques. Dr. Morris then knew that he was about to embark upon a long and fruitful journey, learning the ways of the ancient ninja.
Dr. Morris began learning the Ninjutsu art, as all westerners did, through Stephen Hayes. Mr. Hayes’s experience in other ancient traditions such as Mikkyo and the like gave Dr. Morris a great example of how some people were teaching the internal and external sides of the martial arts together. Through this training with Mr. Hayes, Dr. Morris and his students began to learn about the principles of the Japanese Godai, what is known as the five elements (Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, and Void). A principle that would be of great importance to all those who would study Hoshin in years to come.
The system of Hoshinjutsu was being formed as Dr. Morris began teaching it at the Hillsdale College Physical Education Department, with the first class having more than twenty students enrolled. This first course took place every Friday afternoon for two hours. Dr. Morris felt a physical education course on a Friday afternoon would draw only the most interested and dedicated students. His assumptions were correct, in total over 300 students enrolled in this course and which resulted in achievements of at least two belt levels. Within the course, a five level belt system was developed based on the Japanese Godai. Each belt level required students to study and do reports on classic martial arts literature such as “The Book of Five Rings” by Miyamoto Musashi, “the Art of War” by Sun Tzu, along with learning yogic exercises, healing and physical self protection techniques. A great emphasis was placed upon chi kung, meditation and esoteric self protection from both the Eastern and Western Traditions. This course was the roots of Hoshin, from which it continued to evolve and spread worldwide.
During that time, Dr. Morris continued his study of the art of Ninjutsu under the tutelage of Mr. Hayes. After a time, Dr. Morris was then asked by Dr. Hatsumi to begin studying under Shidoshi Kevin Millis and another chapter in Dr. Morris’s Ninjutsu training began. Dr. Morris and Mr. Millis created a great relationship built on a mutual respect for each others specialities. It was said that quite often when Mr. Millis and Dr. Morris were training together that Dr. Hatsumi would commonly ask “so who is the sensei today?” Both Dr. Morris and Mr. Millis would end up pointing a finger at the other and smile and reply that the other was the instructor that day.
In 1993, the first of Dr. Morris’s four books were published: Path Notes of An American Ninja Master, Shadow Strategies of An American Ninja Master, Martial Arts Madness and Quantum Crawfish Bisque for the Clueless Soul. These four books discussed much about his research, along with the relationship he began to create with Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi. By this time Dr. Morris had received his eighth degree black belt in Togakure Ryu Bujinkan Ninpo (what would later be called Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu). Dr. Hatsumi knew of Dr. Morris’s belief in the combination of the internal and external sides of the martial traditions. A belief that was slowly becoming extinct among many of the new, or up and coming practitioners of Ninjutsu. Most focused on the external sides of the traditions, while Dr. Morris continued to explore, research and teach the internal side. Dr. Hatsumi asked Dr. Morris to continue teaching this internal aspect of the arts, and help to keep them from becoming extinct.
The only way that Dr. Morris felt he could truly honor this request was to teach these internal aspects in his own martial system, Hoshinjutsu. The following excerpt from Dr. Morris’ book “Path Notes of An American Ninja Master”, pg 136 summaries Hoshin. “I consider Hoshinjutsu to be a close but honed-down approximation of the ancient ryuha as well as a modern introductory course that enables students to enter the world of the true or combative martial arts without fear, and to have the confidence to follow their hearts far beyond the techniques represented by sport, the color of their obis, or the limitations of their instructors. Hoshin provides a vehicle for attaining the advantages of flow or enlightened movement without the risk of surviving endless battles with others. It forces the issue to conquering one’s own fears while entering unknown territory in the company of friends.”
Dr. Morris was the spirit of Hoshin with his zest for life, unique personality, profound intelligence and tremendously witty sense of humor. On April 1, 2006, Dr. Glenn Morris unexpectedly left this physical world. Upon hearing of Dr. Morris’s death, Dr. Hatsumi honored him by awarding him with his Judan or tenth degree black belt in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu. An honor that is held in high regard among all who knew him.
Dr. Glenn J. Morris
Hoshinjutsu was developed by the late Glenn J. Morris, PhD (1944-2006), a master instructor in the martial arts, organizational psychologist, corporate consultant and author on such topics as martial arts, transpersonal psychology and Taoist meditation. Dr. Morris trained in the martial arts for close to fifty years. He extensively studied such diverse martial arts as Jujutsu, Judo, Tai Chi, different forms of Kung Fu, Savate, Okinawan Karate, Budo Taijutsu/Ninjutsu, Boxing and Wrestling. He earned his first black belt in 1965. He taught self-defense courses in Germany while serving in the U.S. Army. He began teaching his Hoshinjutsu system of meditation and martial techniques at Hillsdale College in Michigan in 1980.
Dr. Morris was a Sifu (instructor) in Tien Tao Wei Shen Chi Kung and a member of the Chinese National Institute of Chi Kung. The Wu Shu Federation of South Africa formally recognized him as a Master Instructor of the martial arts. He held the title of Kyoshi in the Yi Tsung Fighting Society. Dr. Morris earned the rank of Rokudan (6th Degree Black Belt) in Nihon Karate-jujutsu and was awarded the title of Oshihan in the art. Dr. Morris was also a friend and student of Grandmaster Maasaki Hatsumi, the head of Bujinkan Budo Taijustu, a system comprised of 9 different Samurai and Ninja Warrior traditions, of which Dr. Morris held the rank of Judan (10th degree Black Belt).
Dr. Morris was inducted into the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame. He was an elected member of the prestigious World Head of Family Sokeship Council and given the honor of being named the “Soke of the Millennium” in 2000.
Dr. Morris obtained a PhD in Communication with specialization in Organizational and Industrial Psychology from Wayne State University and a Sci.D. in Transpersonal Psychology from Eurotechnical Research University. He continued to gain experience in various subjects pertaining to health and healing including Humanistic Psychology, bodywork, Gestalt Therapy, Rubenfeld Synergy, Chinese Medicine, meditation and hypnosis.
On April 1, 2006 Dr. Glenn Morris passed on and left the Hoshinjutsu system as his legacy. His colorful life, enlightening books, amazing seminars and engaging personality will forever stay in the hearts of all those he touched.
Posthumous Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu 10th Dan Promotion
by Shihan Kevin Millis
Greetings fellow friends and Buyu I hope this letter finds you well. As many of you may know my recent trip to Japan had a number of objectives that I was attempting to achieve. Primarily to continue training with Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi, my teacher and friend, but also on this occasion I had the very important and solemn task of returning the remains of our Soke and charismatic leader to what would be his final resting place. Along with that sacred mission I was to meet with Hatsumi Sensei, making what would seem to be a personal request for Dr. Morris to receive his 10th Dan grade upon his death, completing his transition from physical to spiritual warrior.
Sunday morning August 20th, brought us to the tatami of the honbu dojo early. It was obvious that training that day was going to be intense as over 93 students took the dojo floor in hopes of finding something personal to reflect upon. Training was progressing well and due to the heat and what would now be called Sunday protocol we took a mid session break. It is typical now on Sunday during this break for Hatsumi Sensei to sit and paint pictures and autograph books for the many visiting students and most of the 93 who attended training formed a line to await their gift from Soke.
Watching the “gift line” with care, I caught Soke as he was finishing his last piece for a student and pulled him aside asking for some time for a “small talk about Glenn”. Sensei spun about still seated and we began to talk with Shihan Mark Lithgow graciously translating our thoughts. Those that know Lithgow Sensei know him as a kind, knowledgeable and generous person who is a treasured member of the Bujinkan. At this time I presented him with the photo memory booklet that was available at Kaizen and the painting that Irena Mandic, Glenn’s widow, had created. Sensei enjoyed the many photos of Glenn and remarked how he was “quite handsome when he was young”.
Sensei then unwrapped the canvas protective wrapping and turned the painting in his hands to view. It was an exotic and dramatically colored spider and Sensei marveled at its beauty. Irena had also cleverly mixed into the paints some of Glenn’s ashes and as I mentioned that to Sensei he looked up at me with eyes glittering quite obviously amused and entertained at the idea. One can only imagine what he must have thought about Glenn’s young, insightful and clever wife. He commented on its incredible beauty and directed us to place it on the kamidana where it will now proudly reside.
At this time Sensei motioned for us to look at the rank tiles that hung above the kamidana of those ryu members that had previously died. Glenn's new 10th Dan tile hung there proudly and Sensei stated that "now all who come to the Bujinkan honbu will bow down and show their respect each time we begin and end our training". Attempting to keep my frayed emotions in check I marveled at this great man, who was as usual, many steps ahead of me and my thought process. Hatsumi Sensei loved Glenn and with wonder I realized I never did have to ask Sensei for anything, he had already done what had been in his heart as well… pay tribute to his friend who was now riding the winds of eternity.