Dojo closed until further notice

Unfortunately the Arc: Health & Fitness gym has closed due to the developing situation with the COVID-19 illness. As a result Kizen dojo is also closed until further notice.

Doug and Bryan thank their students for their unyielding support and patience and will do our best to resume training as soon as safely possible.


守破離 – Shuhari

Last night I mentioned this as we were training through the Kihon Happo. Shuhari is a philosophy that was adopted by Aikido but has been applied to the arts, business and also science.

Below is my attempt to understand the concept and how we can apply it to our training.

守 – shu “obey”, “protect” – The student learns and absorbs the fundamentals, the way, rules, techniques to the letter with discipline and repetition. A single path to mastery.

破 – ha “break”, “detach”, “digress” – The student understands the fundamentals. Through innovation, the teachings/techniques can be adapted or broken where necessary. Rules/processes can be discarded to allow discussion and ultimately improvement of the discipline itself.

離 – ri “separate”, “transcend” – The teachings have been completely assimilated and become second nature. The practitioner becomes the ‘rule’ and can completely depart from the forms.

Essentially, learn the forms, break the forms, transcend the forms.

Although I must point out that in no way suggesting that we should break the rules too early and depart from sound teachings, but merely offering the concept as a guide to help realise your own skill level. From there, I believe that improvement can be made.

Of course, I feel that even if we are able to get to the Ri stage in our lifetime, learning never really stops.

If you have questions on this concept or my understanding please feel free to comment.

Bujinkan – Beginner’s Course


Have you ever wanted to begin Martial Art’s training but had no idea where to begin?

Martial Art training has a wealth of benefits including developing your fitness, a heightened sense of concentration and focus, and of course increased self-confidence. It’s important to find the right martial art for you, though. That’s why we have devised an beginner’s course to introduce you to Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu.

Our 6 week beginner’s course is designed to teach the correct foundations of Bujinkan training, with each class building on the skills and techniques learned from the previous lesson. You will cover:

– Striking (Basics of kicking and punching)
– Break Falls (Landing safely on the mats)
– Basic Locks (Joint manipulation)
– Basic Throws (Upsetting an attackers balance)
– Bukiwaza (Introduction to basic weapon techniques)

Course Times:

The course will begin on 26/09/18 at the Arc: Health & Fitness at Glasgow Caledonian University, every Wednesday from 8:30-9:30pm. (Please arrive at the reception for 8:15pm). (Address and Map, opens in new page)

Wondering if you can take a look at a class before you sign up? Why not come and take a peek on a Wednesday before the 26th – it’s free to watch and get an idea, ask some quick questions to the instructors (when they are not in the middle of teaching).

Pricing options:

Basic Course
Description: No frills, just your instruction.
Price: £50 / £35 for students with valid ID
Deposit required: £20

Upgrade 1
Description: Basic package + a uniform and belt
Price: £65
Deposit: £25

Upgrade 2
Description: Basic package + uniform/belt + syllabus book up to black belt
Price: £75
Deposit: £35

Sign up terms!

Please understand that by clicking the PayPal buttons below to pay your deposit or full amount, you confirm you have read all our class rules, agree with them, and are eligible to participate (read rules here, opens in a new window).

Please note deposits are not refundable, and full amount payments that request refunds will not receive deposit amounts back either. This is a commitment price, and will be treated as such. You will be required to pay the outstanding moneys, if you choose the deposit only option, on the first lesson. First lesson attendance on 26/09/18 is mandatory for participation as it covers important safety issues.

Please choose from either the deposit or full payment dropdowns below, to be taken to PayPal for payment. Payment name is “Elizabeth Faulds”. Please choose a uniform size if you are selecting any of the upgrade options. Uniform is sized by your height.

Please note that deposit is REQUIRED for registration. A cash payment for full amount MAY be accepted on day, but space on the course would not be guaranteed in this circumstance. For help with these terms, go to Contact Us (opens in new page).

Course option – deposit ONLY
Upgrade 1 or 2 uniform size

Course option – FULL payment
Upgrade 1 or 2 uniform size


Budo – along the path

learn ninjutsu lessons in Glasgow class

One of the best things about having this dojo is watching people grow and change. Even for those considered by society to be “finished” in their development (who have their own children and even grandchildren), it’s a beautiful thing and a privilege to see them opening up, taking in new ideas and different paths for the journey.

The Japanese say “Keep going!” and it is ever true with the Bujinkan. Even if you can’t get to class every week, there is something about the Bujinkan that drives people to personal growth that is hard to define. It’s not just the inspiration we receive from Soke and our wonderful teachers, it’s not just the family aspect of the dojo, it’s not just the physical processes, but it is all these things and more, I think.

Accepting that there is no such thing as a fixed destiny, that you can change your life at any point — it’s incredibly liberating. It helps us journey towards our truest and best selves, at the same time acknowledging that there’s no such thing as perfection, only doing our best.

It might sound pretentious if you haven’t experienced these things, but I want to let you know it really is out there. I’m a pragmatic type, not drawn to the mystical, but to me, this is more than just a martial art. My own experiences and those I’ve observed tell me it is so.

On the other hand, if you want to just train for the sake of fitness and self-defence, that’s an option too. It’s your choice, to make at any point.

Gambatte kudasai.

Humbly, Beth 🙏

Welcome our new shidoshi (instructor) – Bryan Kirk!

Kizen Dojo's newest Bujinkan instructor, Bryan Kirk

Bryan passed the sakki test (test for 5th dan and instructor level) in Paris, with Dai Shihan Arnaud Cousergue. For many years now, the test has been administered by 15th dans around the world with our Soke’s approval. (And just for your information, he passed first time and it was superbly done!)

Having instructed our Wednesday class with Doug for a few months now, and having spent many years of dedicated training, we are more than proud to welcome him into the ranks of Shidoshi, a Bujinkan specific title for instructors that is achieved once the 5th dan test is passed.

Time and time again, Bryan has gone above and beyond, showing duty and dedication to the club and the art. He is always volunteering his skills to help promote and run classes. He has travelled to train in Japan and Paris, and attended many other seminars as well as regular training over the years. We wish him all the very best.

Well done, Bryan, and “gambatte”.

Full class details


Our new Wednesday Bujinkan classes are now fully operational in Glasgow. If you’ve been thinking about attending our martial arts class for the first time, or you have taken a break from training but want to get back, please come along.

See our class locations and details page for full details on locations, times, and themes. Or contact us for any specific questions (but please make sure you’ve had a look around this site first as there is plenty of relevant info here).

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Hall troubles

…or, it’ll be hall right.

A dojo is more than just its location. So, when we learned with only about 24 hours notice that the next lesson would be the last one we’d be having at this particular venue, it wasn’t the end of the world.

Of course, at first, you feel a little aggrieved. After all, it wasn’t anything we had done. We’d always paid our rent, behaved well, done our best to keep everything clean. It turned out that the ancient heating system that was constantly breaking down needed full replacement and every single club, community group, and private party that wanted to use the lovely Langside Halls would have to find somewhere else until it was fixed.

“How long are we talking here,” I asked, still a little confused, “weeks, months, years?” I chuckled a little, to show that the last one was a bit of a joke.

“We don’t really know,” they replied, deadpan. “We’re thinking more months and years.” I was a little stunned to say the least. Now I’ve had some time to process, it makes sense that a project to renovate a building of advanced age, with historically important features and limited funding would probably not take place overnight. But still. We had better start looking for a new place permanently than wait for this to be finished.

It’s not the first time a venue has been swept out from under us. It’s the third. And one time I moved it myself. That’s four times moving venues in less than 10 years. But it doesn’t really matter. One time we went without a permanent base for many months, going between dance studios and gyms as itinerant budouka while we sought out a good location. We thought we’d found it. It turns out it was just another stop on the journey.

But the journey’s worth making. A dojo is more than just the location. It’s not even just about the instructor. Of course, it’s my vision of the Bujinkan that provides the guiding principles for what our dojo is about, but if it had just been about puffing up my own ego, I’d have got sick of it years ago. There is so much crap to put up with when running a dojo. But it’s worth it, because it’s not just about me. It’s also a bunch of students who support you and can’t wait for the next class because their love for the art helps renew your faith every single time.

And it’s thanks to this that we’ll be finding that new location and moving as many times as it takes. In the spirit of “Kizen” or “fortitude”, we’ll keep on keeping on. I extend my personal thanks to those guys who have gone out of their way to contribute to the club. You’re brilliant. We’ll be in our new home soon.

Gambatte kudasai,