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.

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Beginning Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu

As we have a new beginners’ course starting soon I asked one of our more recent students to write a post about starting training in the dojo. Many thanks to Aileen Power for doing this.

Enter the Dojo: Beginning Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu

There’d probably be something wrong with you if you weren’t intimidated waiting outside your first beginners’ class. God help me, mine was on a wet February night when the silhouettes of regular students outside the door seemed even bulkier and more menacing in shadow. I stood silently recounting the website’s words, ‘strikes’, ‘punches’, ‘locks’, ‘throws’, with rising panic.

The good news is that it was the only uncomfortable five minutes I ever had in Bujinkan.

I’m three months and one just-out-of-the-wrapper belt into Bujinkan now. Along with five others, I’ve transformed from nervously awkward beginner to awkwardly enthused student.

Those menacing shadows turned out to be friendly, welcoming, even sweet – but more willing to impart said throws and punches than I feared outside. The difference is the easy, smiling camaraderie threaded throughout. It makes sense – you can’t stand there and be bruised and bent and struck by someone you don’t like and who doesn’t like you. A couple of weeks ago another student bit my arm and all I could do is laugh. He shrugged. We moved on.

Way before the, eh, biting though, there are the basics. We started with the fundamentals everything else is built on: form (kamae), rolling (ukemi) and break falls. Grasp them, practise them; rinse, repeat.

Potential beginners should know, and Tom won’t be pleased at me saying it, but you don’t have to be at your ‘ideal’ fitness level to start this. It’s too easy to put these things off until you can run the four-minute mile, or bench 40kg again, or the kids go to college so you can put in a gym.

Do. Not. Wait.

Bujinkan is the activity that will inspire you to get fit, not the other way around. I get pangs of thinking ‘if only I started this when I was 20 – what an inky black belt I’d have now and such wicked party tricks’.

Start now. And if you are 20, expect me to take out some of my frustration on you.

About six weeks in, it transpired that there is a whole Bujinkan world outside the dojo window. Ireland is spoilt, and Dublin in particular, with clubs packed with experience and talent. Seminars and workshops pop up often. Go. The new words and moves you (literally) throw around after are very gratifying. One very senior female instructor I saw at a seminar moved with such deadly grace I was almost inspired to practice 12 hours a day in a basement, Old Boy style.

Which brings me to an important point for all the ladies out there. Bujinkan is not a testosterone-fuelled boys club. You are not born at a disadvantage to it. Bring your built-in agility, flexibility, and ego-free mindset and you’re off to a good start. The experience of being able to throw a man, twice your weight and three times your strength, over your shoulder is incredible. I mean, ridiculously enjoyable. You’re going to want to do it again immediately. Which of course, you can.

I haven’t been able to put my finger on exactly why this is so fun yet. Why I wince and gasp in pain through laughter. Why I leave the pub early for it, stay up late reading about it, and am itching to write about it.

Maybe there is a little something wrong with me after all.

Meh. At least I’m fitting in.”

 

New Training DVD

The Bujinkan Meehan Dojo has released a new training DVD – Tenchi Ryaku no Maki which covers techniques from the first two books of the Bujinkan training syllabus Ten Chi Jin Ryaku no Maki (The Book of Strategies of Heaven, Earth and Man). The DVD was produced with Duncan Stewart Shihan who is Japan resident Jugodan. It is an excellent resource and I’d thoroughly recommend it to all Bujinkan practitioners. It is available as a DVD or digital download here

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.

Stretching

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