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The Art of the Samurai

The traditional martial arts of the samurai are almost lost today. Most modern martial arts have been adapted to become more relevant in today's society as they are no longer required for war. The majority have become sports; jujutsu became judo, kenjutsu became kendo and iaido, etc. which has significantly changed the techniques and emphasis of the training in these styles.

At Bushijutsu, we keep the spirit of the samurai alive by training in the techniques of koryu (old school) arts to help maintain these traditions which are fast becoming lost.

Bushijutsu literally translates as "The Art of the Warrior", this style includes the study of kenjutsu (art of the sword), jojutsu (art of the short staff) and taijutsu (art of the body, empty handed combat). Studying the arts of the samurai also incorporates strict etiquette and discipline as well as knowledge and history of the samurai. Each art incorporates training in basic techniques, partner practice and forms

Our Kaiso (founder) Sensei David Nips established our school in the spirit of the samurai, with over 25 years of martial arts experience.


The Art of the Sword

Kenjutsu was the main art studied by the samurai. As such there were literally hundreds of different schools, all with slightly different methods and techniques.

However primarily we study the curriculum from Kasumi Shinto Ryu and Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto Ryu, one of the oldest remaining schools of kenjutsu.

The art consists of the study of techniques using katana (long sword) and wakizashi (short sword). Students begin with bokken (wooden swords), move to Shinai and Bogu (bamboo sword and armor) for sparring, then Iaito unsharpened metal blades and eventually Shinken (live blades).

This comprises of five areas of study: - kihon waza (solo basic techniques), kata (solo and partnered prearranged forms), kumitachi (sparring), batto waza (drawing techniques) and tameshigiri (test cutting).


The Art of the Staff

Jojutsu was developed in the early 17th century as a way of combating the sword. The Jo is usually 128cm long so gives the user 30cm more reach then a standard katana.

There weren't many schools of jojutsu, it was sometimes taught as an additional skill in kenjutsu schools. The main and original school of jojutsu is Shinto Muso Ryu which is the curriculum we study. Jojutsu is still taught to Japanese Police today.

The art consists of the study of techniques using Jo (short staff) usually against Bokken (wooden sword) and/or Shoto (wooden short sword).

This comprises of three area's of study:- kihon waza (solo basic techniques), uchikomi (partnered basic techniques) and kata (solo and partnered prearranged forms).


The Art of the Body

Samurai studied unarmed combat as part of their training. However there weren't any schools which studied just unarmed combat, it was instead part of the kenjutsu schools broader curriculum.

These arts were known as Taijutsu or Jujutsu. Our curriculum comes from a combination of Aikido, Jujutsu and even modern Karate techniques to give a complete system of unarmed self defence.

The art consists of complete range of unarmed combat techniques including Atemi Waza (Striking techniques - kicking, punching, blocking), Kansetsu Waza (Joint manipulation techniques), Nage Waza (Throwing techniques), Dori Waza (Defense against weapons).

This comprises of five area of study: kihon (solo basic techniques), kata (solo and partnered prearranged forms), kumite (free sparring) and tameshiwari (test breaking of boards).



Everything you need to get started

It's easy to start with Bushijutsu, we offer a FREE introductory lesson, however bookings are essential so please click on the booking button to reserve your free introductory lesson.

After that it's just a simple monthly fee to continue training. There's no joining fees. You will need your own uniform and equipment (depending on the art) before you apply for your first grade.

Once a member, you get access to the members section of our website which contains all the information you will need for your training, advise you of any upcoming events as well as allow you to apply for gradings. You will also be provided a digital member card on your phone that you scan at each class.

We don't carry cash at classes so payments can be made online or by Credit Card/Visa Debit at the dojo.


Training FeesPrice
1 art - per month$60
2 arts - per month$100
3 arts - per month$120

Children's EquipmentPrice
Kenjutsu Kit - Junior Bokken, Carry Bag$60
Dogi (uniform)
Modern karate style uniform: Jacket, pants, belt
Grading & Tournament FeesPrice
Mid Level Grade Fee$20
Full Licence Grade Fee$50
Competition Application Fee$30

Adult's EquipmentPrice
Kenjutsu Kit - Bokken, Saya, Carry Bag$90
Jojutsu Kit - Jo, Bokken, Carry Bag$100
Dogi (uniform)
Traditional uniform: Uwagi (jacket), Hakama (pleated pants), Kakuobi (wide sword belt)






Honesty & Sincerity


Duty & Loyalty


We offer Kenjutsu and Taijutsu classes for children aged 7-12 years. Adults and teenagers (12+ years) can choose to train in any or all of the three different arts, Kenjutsu, Jojutsu and Taijutsu.

The safety of our students and visitors is important so you will need to read our Dojo rules below before attending and abide by these at all times.

Dojo Kun - Rules



Samurai did not have a formal ranking or grading system, they were tested in combat, you either lived or you died. Black belts are only a recent concept, instead students were typically granted licences or certificates after a certain amoumt of time which recognised the student had completed their mastery over the techniques learned. There was also a strong emphasis on passing on your knowledge and continuing the ryu (schools) lineage. So traditionally ranks were awarded in recognition of mastery over a set of techniques and licence granted to pass these techniques on.

In our school we have developed a system based of some of the more common ranks used with their approximate time to study, although of course the samurai studied full time our ranks are not equivalent to the time spent by the samurai. Ours students are tested in two ways, through Shinsa (gradings) to assess ones own understanding of technique and through Shiai (tournament) competition against another to simulate the combative aspect of the samurai life.


Adult ranks across all arts use the traditional ranking system, children's ranks use the modern belt system. At the start of a new rank, students are issued a makimono (scroll), cataloging the techniques they will be learning at that level. Students then have a minimum time frame you spend studying these techniques.

Each rank is divided into 4 levels to give feedback on your progress until you are ready to apply for a full licence.

You will receive a certificate at the completion of each of these levels and there is a minimum amount of time that you need have completed before you can be assessed which varies for each rank. The final level is a comprehensive assessment of all the techniques at that level.

Once successful you will receive the licence for that level and the next ranks makimono. Shinsa are held regularly and you can apply provided you meet all the criteria.

**Gradings require that student has current membership and full uniform**

Adult Ranks - (Kenjutsu, Jojutsu, Taijutsu)

RankMin. TimeMin. Time
between levels
Nyumon1 year3 months
Okuiri2 years6 months
Sho Mokoroku4 years1 year
Go Mokoroku8 years2 years
Menkyo20 years5 years

Children's Ranks - (Kenjutsu, Taijutsu)
All ranks are min. 1 year with min. 3 months between tests

RankMin. Age
White Belt7 years
Yellow Belt8 years
Green Belt9 years
Blue Belt10 years
Red Belt11 years


Informal Shiai are conducted regularly to allow students an opportunity to test their skills against other students. Once a year we run a formal Shiai (competition) where students compete within their rank groups in a knockout style tournament in solo forms, partnered forms and in higher levels sparring and test cutting.



If you have any questions or would like to find out more about our art, please contact us below
or complete the form on the right to book your FREE introductory lesson.

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