Takamatsu-sensei was born on March 10, 1889 in Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. He began studying martial arts at the age of nine and mastered various styles from Ishitani Matsutaro, Mizuta Yoshitaro Tadafusa, and his grandfather Toda Shinryuke. Takamatsu-sensei was already an accomplished budoka by the time he was a teenager, having won challenge matches against other martial artists and sumo wrestlers. As a young man in his twenties he retreated to the mountains of Kobe to continue his rigorous physical and spiritual practice.
After leaving the mountains he soon returned to China, and for the following 10 years he encountered many life and death situations in true fighting. He reportedly fought many strong Chinese martial artists in mortal combat and used his budo to defend himself against even wild animals.
In 1919, after mastering the combat arts, Takamatsu Sensei returned to Japan in order to master spiritual studies. He became the head monk at a mountain temple of esoteric Buddhism in the Yamato district. In the 1950’s, he taught martial arts in Nara Prefecture; in 1957 he met Hatsumi Masaaki (Yoshiaki) and groomed the young man to become the successor to his rich martial arts legacy. Referred by Hatsumi Sensei as the “last true combat ninja,” the venerable Takamatsu Toshitsugu passed away in May of 1972, at the age of 84 years.