So whats changed?

So whats changed?

So I bet your probably wondering what this is all Seal Martial Arts Kobudo business is all about?

Jamie is a Yondan in the Bujinkan right? How can he have a system that goes up to 8th Dan?!

It’s simple really, I have been a Yondan in the Bujinkan for a long time and have pursued a lot of training in other systems with regular seminars and my personal training in FMA (Filipino Martial Arts) that the time has come for a restructure of how we run the dojo.

The Seal Martial Arts Dojo has been largely independent for a long time with us gradually moving away from the Bujinkan for a number of reasons.

The first one being that the Bujinkan has changed significantly in recent years and now it’s near impossible to know who to follow. The Bujinkan as it was is dead and it has evolved into something different now. I feel that the quality control is all over the place depending on which dojo you are associated with and while I have my personal preferences for Shihan that I like training with I also can’t run my dojo in the way i need to without some form of clarity. As an instructor I’m inherently quite analytical so Seal Martial Arts Kobudo is my attempt to outline our system in a clear and concise way for the students who train in the dojo up to black belt (Shodan) and beyond.

Secondly I have called our art Seal Martial Arts Kobudo because it is significantly different to the traditional Bujinkan system. There are lots of additional techniques and some of the less logical techniques and kata have been removed to keep the system simple and effective. There is far more focus on striking, dynamic kicks and combos and sparring features prominently as a part of the art. This is not always common in the Bujinkan but we think you should set aside 10 mins for sparring at the end of the lessons where possible as it helps the students learn to exploit openings in the opponents guard. 

In many ways i can’t turn a blind eye anymore to a lot of the excuses i see in the Bujinkan. The Bujinkan isn’t comparable to many other martial arts and the philosophy is always that budo is all encompassing so there is no point in comparing it to Karate for example as that’s restricted by a set of rules and regulations while the Bujinkan is not. Let’s be realistic though it’s all well and good talking about using the Bujinkan and all it’s weapons and tactics in a real confrontation but often a Shihan would have a hard time fending off an amateur MMA fighter due to the nature of the training in the Bujinkan. I feel the Bujinkan has become more of an academic pursuit for many Budoka and it’s somewhat removed from reality based self defence such as Combatives. 

Bujinkan instructors often look down on other arts because of the politics within the organisation and a feeling of superiority which is a shame as they are missing a lot of good material from other systems.

My point is i don’t think it’s a good idea writing off other arts because you have been told by your instructor that the Bujinkan is the most comprehensive art for realistic self defence as it’s simply not the case. All instructors will tell you that regardless of the art being studied. You have to use your initiative and introduce an element of chaos to your training in order to test your ability to deal with an opponent that’s actually trying to attack you. Theory just won’t cut it unfortunately, stress testing is key. 

Seal Martial Arts Kobudo is now an independent system in its own right comprised of techniques and weapons from the Bujinkan (Ninjutsu), FMA (Filipino Martial Arts), Combatives and some aspects of Karate. I chose to call the art a system of Kobudō (古武道) as it’s a combination of old martial arts with many of the arts being practiced by the Samurai as well as the Ninja. It’s not in reference to Okinawan systems just to clarify that point.

Because i formulated the system from techniques and weapons systems that I know it means that by default I become the 8th Dan of Seal Martial Arts Kobudo. This will soon be licensed under BMABA so Seal Martial Arts Kobudo will officially be a martial arts style in its own right separate completely from the Bujinkan. This does not mean I’m completely turning my back on my studies in the Bujinkan but my dojo teaches a separate style which i feel will serve them better for reality based self defence and will also enable the students to continue further studies in the Bujinkan should they wish to in the future. 

Overall that’s all thats really changed. The students now have a clearer path up to black belt (Shodan) and beyond up to 7th Dan (Nanadan). We have the ability to test and adjust our art as we wish to without breaking the rules on teaching the techniques traditionally. The art is now officially Seal Martial Arts Kobudo (Not Bujinkan) so there won’t be so much emphasis on all things Ninja related, We are martial artists first and foremost with Ninja skill sets. I’m officially an 8th Dan in Seal Martial Arts Kobudo but I’m still a 4th Dan in the Bujinkan nothing has changed there we just decided to license our own separate system.

I heard someone saying that martial arts like Karate are like a bonsai tree they are great at what they do but they are fairly limited. Budo is like all the space around the bonsai ever changing. I agree with this point to an extent which is why these changes are necessary to our system, there is far more on offer than just the Bujinkan you should give all martial arts a go and learn what you can from them to become a better martial artists (Budoka).