Introduction to Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu

Interested in Learning Japanese martial arts?

We organise regular eight week beginners’ courses. The next start date is Monday, October 5th, 2015

These courses cover all aspects of training in the Bujinkan dojo. No previous experience is necessary as we start from the most basic skills – kicking, punching, locks and throws, how to stretch and drills to teach you how to fall without hurting yourself. The Bujinkan has a very wide weapons syllabus and in the Beginners’ course we look at the basics of hanbo jutsu – fighting using a three foot staff.

Training is held on Monday evenings from 6.30 pm to 7.30pm in our dojo in Molesworth Lane, Dublin 2 (just behind St. Ann’s Church on Dawson St.). Training is open to both men and women over the age of 16.

The cost of the course includes:

– 8 weeks tuition every Monday
– Training manual
– Black training uniform (dogi) with white belt

Cost is €70.
For students and unemployed it’s €50

Places on the course are limited, so book online now:


You can book your place directly from this page.

Eventbrite - Introduction to Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu

If you have any questions you can email me ( alternatively, you can phone me on 087-2492951.

What Previous Beginners have said:
“A fantastic intro to martial arts in a very friendly environment. Doesn’t take long to learn the basics and it’s super exercise too. Ninjas do it with attitude.”

Sinead McGlynn

“The eight weeks flew by. I loved that technique is more emphasised than strength (meant girls like me actually had a fighting chance) and I liked the titbits of Japanese history and culture thrown in. The atmosphere was more relaxed and female-friendly than some other clubs I’ve been in too”.

Aileen Power

You can also sign up for further details on the course using the sign up form below.


QR Code for Bujinkan Beginners' Course Sign up


Beginners Application Form

It is recommended that you view a class before starting the beginners’ course if you wish to do this please e-mail, phone or text.

Jishin Dojo A5 Flyer

Interview with Gillian Booth Shihan (Part 1)

With 38 years of martial arts under (several) black belts, Gillian Booth is one of the highest-ranking shidoshi in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu. She is also surely one of the most deadly, as a former national champion of Judo and 15th Dan rank in Bujinkan, along with yellow belts in a smattering of other martial arts. This is the woman that Buffy has nightmares about.

In the first part of an interview with Aileen Power, she spoke about her training career in Judo and Bujinkan, what inspires her, and why we should use the force – but not too much.

Gillian is not the first instructor to find Bujinkan via a career in Judo. She may be one of the most interesting though.

Her martial arts career began with the sport martial art – and almost finished with it. She admits it’s “a very harsh sport”.

“It’s a bit like rugby – only you can’t run away with the ball. You just have to keep holding on – tackling each other, trying to throw each other. I mean, how many 35-year old professional rugby players are there? You’ll find few people very active in Judo in their thirties. Most are a bit broken and injured and can’t continue to train.”

After fifteen years and two serious injuries, she found herself in the “bit broken” category and retired from Judo. Her addiction to the feeling of flow and nagare – “the battle of wits and minds and bodies” kept her flirting with martial arts, picking up grades in Hapkido, Kung Fu, and Aikido.

By the time her partner recommended she try Ninjutsu, she was almost ready to hang up all the belts.

“I said ‘no no, I’m a mature woman now, I’m over my adolescent martial arts phase’. But I went along, and sure enough I loved it.”

She found a lot of parallels between Bujinkan and Judo.

“There was a lot of similar feelings; a lot of similar angles and timing and distance and rolling and ukemi. Bujinkan gave me the opportunity to use everything I had ever learned in Judo, but to also have a curriculum that was inexhaustible. There was so much to learn.”

The was also a stark difference at training level:

“In Bujinkan there was a little bit of discomfort and inconvenience and injury risk, but it wasn’t like being run over by a bus every time you went to training”.

The physical impact on the body came down to the different use of power and force. “The striving we have in our art is to always look for that sweet spot using the least amount of power – it’s not how you can force the sweet spot with a lot of power.”

It’s the sweet spot that explains how those with less traditional strength can be so powerful at Bujinkan.

“There are people still training who are 70 or 80, and women training, who’ve been able to find their way in the dojo by using less energy, less power and being smarter about how they move.”

It’s encouraging talk for anyone who is not 22, 50% muscle mass and able to bench press twice their weight. In fact, employing your natural strength could ultimately be counterproductive, she says.

“Whenever you’re training and you feel like you have to use power to affect something – try use less instead of more. Think ‘how can I cut back the power and get this to work instead of trying harder?’ Or ‘how can I manoeuvre my body or manipulate the timing or the distance so that I use less power?’”

Her simple advice is “don’t try meet force with force, or strength with strength. Redirect that force, and if you can get that mental mindset and adapt that to your body movement, not only will your skill level sky-rocket, your longevity will also increase.”

There is no higher example than 81-year old grand master Hatsumi Sensei, who she describes as an “amazingly inspiration” along with his senior teachers.

“They’re very inspirational, not just because they’re great at budō, but because they are creative human beings and old men who are still very active and still enjoying what they do. They’ve still got that sense of childlike fun in what they do.”

As she enthralled her audience of students at the Dublin seminar, kyu grades and 15th Dans among them, it’s clear she is still enjoying herself too. After 38 years of the male-dominated, injury-prone and challenging world of martial arts, she still manages to stay inspired and in turn be inspirational.

Those who she used as uke at the seminar told me they barely felt pressure from her fingers as she twisted and threw them into submission. She told us that, on a 1 to 10 table of force, her teachers in Japan seem to work at a zero. She considers herself only able to manage one or two.

With her ‘use the force – but not too much’ mantra, it’s clear she does practise what she preaches. Let’s hope she continues to do so for another 20 years.







The first training of the year will take place on Monday, 7th of January at 8.30. There will also be dojo soji (dojo cleaning). The first training of the year is an important event and I expect all students to attend. If you are interested in the rituals and traditions associated with New Year’s training in traditional dojos in Japan there is a nice article here.

Introduction to Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu

Our next beginners’ course takes place starts on Monday 21st of January, 2013. The course is open to men and women over the age of sixteen. There is a Facebook page for the event here. The first six people who sign up and pay for this event will receive a free dogi (uniform).

Embu Dublin Culture Night 2012

This is a video of an embu (demonstration) which took place as part of Dublin Culture Night 2012. The embu was organised by the Bujinkan Meehan Dojo but also had members of the Bujinkan Nevin Dojo and the the Jishin Dojo (that’s us!) It was great fun to take part in (despite all the opening night nerves) and was well received by the crowds. Click the link below to view.


Beginners’ Course

The beginners’ course starts tomorrow. There are still some places left so if you are interested please get in touch. Those of you who have already signed up will be receiving an a email later today with some details of the course.


A really interesting post by Jon Haas on the subject of stretching. It provoked a lot of discussion at training on Thursday. Interestingly although the Japanese shihan are really flexible none of us could ever remember a class in Japan which started with stretching exercises. Find the article here