Bujinkan Oliver

We teach Japanese Kobudo (old style martial arts) in Poole, Dorset

The Bujinkan Oliver Dojo has been teaching Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu (Bujinkan Ninjutsu) for past 25+ years.

David Oliver started training in Hatsumi Sensei’s Bujinkan arts in 1984 and over the past 30+ years has attended multiple Tai Kai with Hatsumi Sensei, as well as traveling widely to practice with many senior teachers around the world. He’s made more than 10 trips to Japan and was promoted to Judan Kagyo Happo Biken (15th Dan ) in March 2009.

The Bujinkan Oliver Dojo visits Japan once/twice a each year to study with Hatsumi Masaaki Soke and his senior Dai Shihan teachers in Tokyo.

He runs the Bujinkan Oliver Dojo in Poole Dorset and has hosted some of the Bujinkan’s leading practitioners for seminars in the UK, including Doug Wilson (Japan) & Alex Meehan (Ireland).

Rossmore Leisure Centre Herbert Ave, Poole BH12 4HR

Bujinkan Oliver Dojo Training Information

We currently only have classes once a week for Children & Adults on a Tuesday evening, but we are also looking to run regular training workshops. We also host occasional Bujinkan seminars with visiting International instructors and these will be posted on our Facebook events page & Twitter.

You can come a spectate a class by making an appointment via e-mail and ask about watching a session. The Bujinkan Oliver Dojo asks that during these spectator sessions, you refrain from taking pictures or videos, and turn your phones to silent.

The Bujinkan (武神館) is an international martial arts organization based in Japan and headed by Masaaki Hatsumi. The combat system taught by this organization comprises nine separate ryūha, or schools, which are collectively referred to as Bujinkan Budō Taijutsu. The Bujinkan is most commonly associated with ninjutsu. However, Masaaki Hatsumi uses the term Budo (meaning martial way) as he says the ryūha are descended from historical samurai schools that teach samurai martial tactics and ninjutsu schools that teach ninja tactics.

Bujinkan Training

The Bujinkan organization incorporates the teachings of the martial arts lineages (ryūha) that Masaaki Hatsumi learned from Takamatsu Toshitsugu under the banner of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu. These are:

Togakure-ryū Ninpō Taijutsu (戸隠流忍法体術)
Gyokko-ryū Kosshi jutsu (玉虎流骨指術)
Kuki Shinden Happō Bikenjutsu (九鬼神伝流八法秘剣術)
Koto Ryū Koppō jutsu (虎倒流骨法術)
Shinden Fudo Ryū Dakentai jutsu (神伝不動流打拳体術)
Takagi Yoshin Ryū Jūtai jutsu (高木揚心流柔体術)
Gikan Ryū Koppō jutsu (義鑑流骨法術)
Gyokushin-ryū Ryū Ninpō (玉心流忍法)
Kumogakure Ryū Ninpō (雲隠流忍法)

‘Budo’ means ‘Martial path or way’ and ‘Taijutsu’ means ‘body methods.’ Taken together, ‘Budo Taijutsu’ means ‘Martial arts of using your body.’

Budo Taijutsu (body combat art) is the Bujinkan system of unarmed defence using strikes, throws, holds, chokes, and joint locks. It encompasses skill such as koppo jutsu is the “way of attacking and/or using the skeletal structure”; “koshi jutsu” is the way of attacking muscles and weak points on the body; jutai jutsu is the “relaxed body method” teaching throwing, grappling and choking techniques and dakentai jutsu which emphasises strikes, kicks, and blocks

Kyu Levels | White Belt 10th Kyu – 1st Kyu

The Bujinkan Dōjō has a series of kyū (grades) below the level of shodan. The new student starts at mukyu (“without grade”) and progresses from kukyu (9-kyu), the lowest rank, to ikkyu (1-kyu), the highest. Unranked (mukyū) practitioners wear white belts, kyu grade practitioners wear green belts (men) or red belts (women), and those with ranks of shōdan and above wear black belts. In some dojos kyu-level practitioners – especially in children’s classes – wear colored belts, though the actual color of the belt varies from place to place. Currently, both male and female Bujinkan practitioners now wear green belts over a black ninjutsu gi and on their feet they wear tabi (soft-sole tabi for indoor training and jika-tabi for outdoor training) at most dojos.

Dan Levels

There are fifteen dan grades in the Bujinkan, although only ten are formally recognised (10th dan has five levels within it). With the exception of fifth dan (see below) there are no fixed criteria for attaining each grade. Different dojos have their own approaches based on the cultural environment and the instructor’s preference.

Typically the study of tenchijin ryaku no maki (scrolls of heaven, earth and man) guides progression from 9-kyu to shodan (1st dan) and comprises all the fundamental techniques required for advanced study thereafter. Until 4th dan the student is expected to focus on developing strong foundations and to perfect their form. At 5th dan, the training focus changes to becoming more responsive and responding naturally in dynamic & increasingly challenging situations.

In order to attain fifth dan (godan), fourth dan practitioners must submit to a sakki (or godan) test before the sōke to establish that they are able to sense the presence of danger and evade it, which is considered a fundamental survival skill. After passing this test, a practitioner is considered to be under the protection of the Bujin, or Guiding Spirits, and is entitled to apply for a teaching license (shidōshi menkyo). A shidōshi (士道師) is entitled to open their own Bujinkan dōjō and grade students up to fourth dan. A practitioner between first dan and fourth dan may become a licensed assistant teacher (shidōshi-ho) if backed by and acting under the supervision of a shidōshi. In the Bujinkan, a person ranked tenth dan or higher is often referred to as a Shihan.

The practitioner’s level is displayed by the color of the art’s emblem, called wappen (ワッペン) inscribed with the kanji “bu”(武) and “jin” (神). There are four kinds of wappen (9 to 1 kyū, 1 to 4 dan, 5 to 9 dan, and 10 to 15 dan), sometimes augmented with up to four silver, gold or white stars (called hoshi) above or around the emblem, representing the individual ranks.

In addition to the kyu/dan system, a few practitioners have earned menkyo kaiden “licenses of complete transmission” in individual schools. These establish that the master practitioner has learned all that there is to learn about the particular lineage. Whereas the kyu/dan ranks are often made public, those who have earned menkyo kaiden rarely divulge their status, sometimes even being reluctant to recognize their actual dan ranking to outsiders.