Soke Masaaki Hatsumi

Hatsumi Yoshiaki was born December 2, 1931 in Noda, Chiba Prefecture. He later changed his name to Masaaki. Yoshiaki's father introduced him to the martial arts (kendo) when he was only seven years old. In high school he was a soccer player, a gymnast, a boxer, and also studied social dancing, as well as Judo. In his college years, he continued to study boxing and Judo while he earned his major in Theater Arts.

Medical school came next, during which he earned his 4th dan in Judo, and was asked to come train personnel at the nearby Yokota US Army base. What seemed to take the Japanese years to learn, the larger and physically fit Americans picked up in months. This disillusioned Dr. Hatsumi, and he began to search for an art that could not be defeated so readily by mere speed and strength... a warrior art.

When he was 26 years old, this search led Dr. Hatsumi to Soke Takamatsu Toshitsugu in Kashiwabara City west of the Iga region in Japan. Takamatsu-sensei agreed to teach him this still secretive art. As often as possible, Dr. Hatsumi made the trip to Soke's house that took over half a day, one-way.

After mentoring Dr. Hatsumi for fifteen years and shortly before his death on April 2, 1972, Soke Toshitsugu Takamatsu granted Dr. Hatsumi license and authority as Soke of the nine schools that now make up Budo Taijutsu