What kind of person is training suited to?
Training is open to men and women of 17 years of age and older. Training does not require great strength or stamina, though this would of course be an advantage. The Bujinkan teaches one to use as little physical strength and effort as possible. With this in mind neither age nor fitness level are a barrier to training.
Is this self defence?
When one starts training in the Shoki dojo, the training will focus on the techniques that are easiest to learn and to apply effectively. It is very important to note that becoming truly effective in a pressured situation can take years of study and dedication.
This system incorporates a broad syllabus, which includes material ranging from striking, to fighting from the ground, to grappling, to weapons. There is a certain amount of scope for focusing on the aspects of this syllabus that interests you the most.
How about a flavour of what you study?
The main goal of the dojo is to practice Hatsumi Sensei’s art through the interpretation of Shirashi Sensei’s teaching. This system focuses on using a very specific movement method that allows one to control opponents who are stronger than you.
This is a traditional Japanese martial art with a lineage which stretches back hundreds of years. This colours the format of the class, and Japanese culture permeates the whole system, from the uniform we wear, to the opening ceremony, to the weapons and schools that we study.
Much of what we do in class looks similar to a jujutsu class, and indeed 6 of the 9 schools that we study are jujutsu schools.
The atmosphere in the class is light hearted with a playful approach to the techniques. Please see what a typical class consists of here.
3 of the 9 schools included in the Bujinkan are ‘Ninja' schools. We do not teach assassination techniques, how to mix poisons, wear hoods, or practise stealth. We do however train with shuriken, and practice other ninpo techniques. The movies are not a good reflection of Ninjutsu.
What about the weapons?
In the Bujinkan, we practice with a vast array of weapons, from swords, to various staffs, to chain and rope, to spears and halberds. This is far from an exhaustive list. We also practice in Japanese armour. Unlike other arts, in the Bujinkan you will be introduced to these tools right from the start. The 3 foot staff is usually the first weapon to be studied.