Some popular questions on
Bujinkan and the Brighton Dojo
What is Ninjutsu?
What is the Bujinkan?
What does training involve? What happens in a class?
What sort of things do you learn in a class?
If it is a really old martial art, how is it still useful?
Do I have to be physically fit?
Who turns up? Will I be really bad compared to the others?
When and where are the classes?
What should I wear to class?
How much does it cost?
Am I too young to train?
How do I get in touch with you?
Some useful phrases
Ninjutsu is a catch-all term for Japanese styles of martial art that were not just used by Samurai, but used by villages and families to defend themselves against the Samurai. Typically held together in clans, groups of villages or families, these fighting arts adapted over time into the Ninjutsu we know today. As with many martial arts of the region, there are strong influences from early Jujutsu and from Chinese arts (Most notably the Gyokko Ryu) Ninjutsu today is free-flowing martial art, which emphasises the feeling of technique, adaptability, improvisation, and a strong spirit with a good nature.
The Bujinkan is run by Hatsumi Masaaki, current Soke (Grandmaster) of the nine schools which make up the style. It is a rapidly growing international organisation, with people on every continent. Despite being large, it is still a friendly group, as you can see by turning up. The atmosphere is very positive, everyone is friendly and open.
Just to give you a general idea, a class normally starts with everyone lining up and bowing, as a matter of respect to Soke Hatsumi, and to the people we train with. Then we have a warm up, where we make sure we are fully stretched and ready to do exercise. For the main part of the class, you will usually get a training partner, and spend time practicing with them. Every so often the instructor will stop the class to demonstrate, or give new instructions, and then you will carry on. You might be partnered with a complete beginner one week, and a 5th degree black belt the next, it is all part of the fun.
From time to time we run courses especially for beginners, which are run along mostly the same lines, but are not part of the main class. Keep watching the news page for more information!
We cover a huge variety of things in class, which can seem daunting at first! We cover striking (punches, kicks, elbows, knees), grappling, throwing, traditional and improvised weapons, and the most important part: staying alive.
The world changes, but people stay the same. We do train with a lot of traditional weapons that you are not likely to encounter today, but the things you learn from using them are still relevant. Defending yourself against a person with a baseball bat, stick, or barstool uses the same principles as defending against a sword, short staff or unarmed attacker. We concentrate on learning why we do things, on the core principles of each technique, so that we dont rely on set forms, but instead on our own experience, intuition and ability to improvise.
No, you dont have to be physically fit to start training with us. If you are unfit to start with, you will get fitter the more you turn up. If you haven’t done any exercise for a long time, or you have a medical condition that may affect your ability to do a martial art, then please consult with your doctor beforehand. Feel free to turn up and watch a class, and to talk with the instructors to get a feel for what it is all about, and to get their experiences of teaching the wide variety of people we have had through our doors.
Everyone starts somewhere, and everyone feels like they are terrible at it when they first start. It is true of anything, not just Ninjutsu. The truth is, we are all learning – you never stop. Some people in the class have been training in the martial arts for over thirty years, others might be on their first lesson. What matters is that if you turn up and genuinely want to learn things, then we all welcome you. If you are partnered with someone who seems better than you, they will be more than willing to help you. Everyone in the class benefits by helping others to improve.
Keep an eye on the Contact page for details.
If you have a Gi (martial arts trousers and top) from another style, that will do fine to start with. If you don’t, then a t-shirt and tracksuit bottoms is probably best. Remember to take off any watches, jewellry and so on that may get damaged, or cause you damage, during class. Most of the class wear the Gi trousers with a t-shirt, and sometimes the jacket on top. It is also good to train in socks to practice for low grip situations.
Membership costs are approximately £20 a year (depending on the exchange rate), running from January to January. For class cost please call 07824-353019
As for equipment “you can either acquire your own, or the instructor to put an order in the next time the club buys some kit. We recommend the first thing you get is a Gi – the jacket and trousers. If you are buying your own, make sure to ask for a black, medium weight gi. If you keep at it, you may want your own wooden and padded training weapons, too.
Unfortunately, we do not accept students under the age of sixteen. There are some Bujinkan dojo that run a safe and specialised curriculum for younger members, for instance the Hemel Hempstead Dojo.
Our contact details are here.
Onegaishimasu – Literally, Please assist me
Shikin Haramitsu Daikomyo – Translation difficult, but the general meaning is: Everything holds the start of understanding, or variations. This is the phrase said at the start and end of class.
Arigato Gozaimashita – Thank you very much
There is also a good glossary at kihon.com