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ABOUT THE BUJINKAN BUYU DOJO TRAINING

The Bujinkan is a set of nine Japanese martial art schools (or styles):

- Togakure Ryu Ninpo

- Gyokko Ryu Koshijutsu

- Kuki Shinden Ryu Happo Hiken

- Koto Ryu Koppojutsu

- Gikan Ryu Koppo

- Shinden Fudo Ryu Dakentaijutsu

- Gyokushin Ryu Ninpo

- Kumogakure Ryu Ninjutsu

- Takagi Yoshin Ryu Jutaijutsu


Included are hitting, grappling, escaping, and weapons systems. These martial arts are not sport martial arts. Therefore there are no formal competitions or tournaments. Ranks are awarded when the student demonstrates competency and an appropriate level of commitment.

Training is for:

- Acquiring the capability of defending self and others

- Maintaining a compassionate attitude toward others

- Cultivating a natural lifestyle

The current Grandmaster is Masaaki Hatsumi of Noda, Japan.

Initially, the curriculum will consist of:

- Junan Taiso conditioning and flexibility exercises

- Ukemi injury prevention

- San shin no kata exercises for developing a strong body and clear spirit

- Kihon Happo fighting scenarios

For adults, the training will evolve eventually into a wider curriculum including:

- Kata advanced fighting scenarios from the different ryu-ha

- Henka fight variations

- Budogu martial art fighting tools:

- bojutsu stick-fighting (including, hanbo, jo, rokushakubo, yari, and naginata/bisento)

- tantojutsu and kenjutsu blade-fighting

- kusari-fundojutsu flexible weapons-fighting

Dojo Etiquette:

Black Japanese martial arts do-gis (training uniforms) and an appropriate colored belt are worn in our training. If you already have a white training uniform, there is no need to buy a new one until you wish to or the old one wears out. Belt ranks are as follows:

Children:

Rank Color Time in Grade (approx.)
Shoshinsha White 1 month
9th kyu yellow (no stars) 4 months
8th kyu yellow (1 star) 4 months
7th kyu yellow (2 stars) 4 months
6th kyu green (no stars) 4 months
5th kyu green (1 star) 4 months
4th kyu green (2 stars) 4 months
3rd kyu brown (no stars) 4 months
2nd kyu brown (1 star) 4 months
1st kyu brown (2 stars) 4 months
Junior Dan blue Transfer to adult class at approx. age15

Adults:

Rank Color Time in Grade (approx.)
Shoshinsha white 3-6 months
9th-1st kyu green 4 months per kyu
1st-4th dan black 1 year per dan
5th dan and above Black Receive from Japan only

Although we take a relaxed approach to the training, certain formalities (bowing, etc.) are observed while actually involved in giving and receiving instruction. In the children's class, adults are addressed as Mr. or Ms.; the teacher can also be called Sensei.

In the adults class, we do not use honorifics as a rule, but they are not inappropriate. Geniality and respect between all training members, student and teacher, is the rule and will be observed. Students should also be aware of certain politenesses that will make them more comfortable if there should be an opportunity to go to Japan and study or if a Japanese instructor visits us.

Treat your seniors with respect, your juniors with care. In Japan there is what is known as a sempai/kohai or senior/ junior system. This system is not part of American culture. However, due to the inherent danger in all real martial arts training, more experienced members must ensure that new members are safe and feel so. It is also their responsibility to make all new training members and guests feel welcome in the dojo. New members must be observant and are encouraged to ask questions of the more experienced.

The classes are conducted in a supportive, non-competitive atmosphere with the emphasis on safety. The reason for this is because, as mentioned, the techniques are real and have not been adapted for use as a sport. They must be practiced in a certain way or injury will result.

Realistic fight distancing is used at all times. Therefore the speed at which technique exchanges occur must be appropriate for the level and ability of the participants; training dynamics must be mutually agreed on in advance by "attacker" and "receiver."

All members train together when possible. There is no "caste" system. Rank and seniority bring more responsibility than privilege.

Bowing:

Training begins with all members kneeling in seiza facing the front wall of the dojo. The instructor intones the following motto:

"SHI-KIN HARA-MITSU DAI-KO-MYO"

[This phrase cannot be translated directly into English. One interpretation is: "A moment of true interaction between mind and spirit may lead to Enlightenment." There are many others.]

All clap twice, bow once, clap once, and bow again. The teacher turns to face the class, and the senior student calls:


"SEN-SEI NI REI"

[Bow to the teacher]

Students and teacher bow to each other at the same time and say:

"O-NE-GAI-SHI-MAS' "(before training)

[Please assist me]

"DO-MO A-RI-GA-TO GO-ZAI-MAS' "(after training)

[Thank you very much]

You will find that most of our training is done in pairs. There is very little "shadow- boxing." You can do that at home. When working with a training partner, it is customary to bow before and after a training segment. Exchange names if you don't know each other well.

Philosophy:

Our philosophy is simple: Protect life. Live according to nature and the natural law. All people's lives are equal (even if their behavior isn't) and must be respected, and if possible, protected.

Those that agree with this philosophy, will be instructed in the skills needed to support that philosophy, regardless of age, health, gender, or cultural distinction. On the other hand, we are not an "obedience school." If you cannot summon up the personal discipline to train with a friendly and courteous demeanor, you will probably feel out of place and quit the training. People who are looking for a competitive, aggressive atmosphere will probably be disappointed and quit as well. Make no mistake, however, the training is challenging. Once you acquire the skills, you will be capable of walking through life as a warrior knight.

Historical Note:

There is always some tendency to compare one martial art with another. This is natural. The Bujinkan system of martial arts, however, is not only a different style, it has different historical roots than the martial arts generally represented in martial arts schools in the United States. That makes comparisons difficult. Remember also that the Bujinkan is made up of nine different traditions. Therefore the range of techniques and strategic philosophies is much wider than in most schools that represent one tradition. A further complication is that when one person practices or teaches all nine, those differences tend to blur.

But let us address the historical or root differences. Perhaps an analogy will help. Compare the background of these two great American generals: George Washington and Geronimo. The comparison is hard isn't it? They were such different people, from such different backgrounds and cultures, even though they both lived in the same "country."

The analogy is a bit weak, but there were two different warrior cultures in Japan as well. For the sake of simplicity, let's refer to the "official" warrior cult as the samurai. That is the culture that spawned most of the karate styles being taught in America today, including Korean karate.

The Bujinkan is the counter-culture martial tradition of Japan. In other words, if you studied Washington's strategies before, you are now studying Geronimo's.

This issue will become clear with time if you like our training method and continue on.

Gambatte Kudasai [Keep going, don't give up!].

BACKGROUND | ABOUT THE TRAINING | THE SHOSHINSHA STAGE | WHAT TO BRING | DIRECTIONS

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