武神館磨仁登場 BUJINKAN Manitoba | Traditional Japanese Martial Arts in Winnipeg

Our Dojo

We are a small group of like minded practitioners of Japanese martial culture, with a special interest in the study of Bujinkan Kobudo. These martial arts are important to us. They are a significant part of our lives.

Based in Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada), our dojo is one of many within an international network of study groups, all affiliated to the Bujinkan Honbu [Headquarters] in Chiba-ken, Japan. We conduct our classes with the support and encouragement of Hatsumi-sensei, and under the direction of Anton Phipps (Bujinkan Phipps Dojo). We also enjoy, and appreciate, the fellowship of other Bujinkan practitioners, and enthusiasts, worldwide.

Bujinkan Kobudo martial arts training is multifaceted with far reaching benefits. It provides an excellent balance of practical self-protection and meaningful personal development. Dojo members come from all walks of life, and represent wide ranges of age, ability, background and motivation. Whether for self-protection or self-development, enthusiast or professional in the field, Bujinkan Kobudo offers something beneficial to everyone.


Bujinkan Friends
Bujinkan Phipps Dojo – Home Dojo of our mentor, Anton Phipps.
Bujinkan Tenchijin Calgary Dojo – Bujinkan training in Calgary.
Bujinkan Quebec – Great training in city of Quebec.
Bujinkan Gray Dojo – Shawn Gray (Canuck in New Zealand).
Bujinkan Dojo Argentina – Willy Iglesia (Argentina).
Bujinkan Czech Dojo – Lubos Pokorny (Czech Republic).
Bujinkan To Nan Dojo – Thomas Franzen (Sweden).
Bujinkan Kouryuu Dojo – Norm Smithers (England).
Bujinkan of the Upper Peninsula – Gabe Logan (Marquette, Michigan USA).

Other Interesting Links
Bujinkan San Fransisco FAQ – Good FAQ by Dale Seago.
Winjutsu.com – Worldwide dojo directory & other resources.
Sleepy Samurai – Excellent accommodations in Japan.
MSR Manitoba Keikokai – Shurikenjutsu training in Winnipeg.

Is Membership open to everyone?
Bujinkan Manitoba membership is open to the vast majority of people aged 18 years and older. However there are some limitations imposed by our headquarters in Japan.

Briefly summarized, membership is not open to people who: have a criminal record; are involved in illegal activities; are mentally unwell; and/or, are unable to exercise self-control. This is for the good of society, and the Bujinkan organization.

I have never studied a martial art. Is this a problem?
Definitely not! Having no prior training experience may work in your favor. Some people have a hard time letting go of the things they know [think they know] and adjusting their perspective. Coming in with a clean slate, and an open mind, is a great place to start from.

I have studied other martial arts. Is this a problem?
No. Most Bujinkan students have experience in other systems. Some come to the Bujinkan with a diverse palette of well developed skills. The issue is in clinging to what we know, or think we know.

If we cling to prior training, when we see similarity in technique we assume it is the same and say, "I already know this." There is no learning here. There is no evolution.

A more productive approach is to put aside what we know, and sincerely focus on what is being presented. Open up to new learning opportunities, and challenge yourself to assimilate the lessons they contain.

Do I have to be physically fit?
It helps if you are in good health but do not let a perceived lack of fitness stop you from training. Regular participation in our classes will greatly improve your overall physical condition and coordination. Members are encouraged to engage in some kind of supplemental conditioning between classes; stretching, running, swimming, etc. A healthy diet, including plenty of water, will help.

Prospective members with a pre-existing condition or family history of heart and lung disease are encouraged to consult with a physician prior to commencing any physical activity.

I am in my 30's/40's. Am I too old?
Considering that Hatsumi-sensei is now in his 80s, we would say no. However, Bujinkan Budo is a physical system and there may be areas of training that are problematic for you initially. You will be guided through these areas, practicing at an intensity level appropriate to your physical condition.

What is the average age of your adult students?
Most of our students are professionals, late-20's to mid-40's.

What is Bujinkan Kobudo?

Bujinkan Kobudo* is a comprehensive system which incorporates the strategies, and techniques, of some of the pre-eminent warrior traditions of feudal Japan.

*Kobudo, (古武道) old martial ways, or Koryu, (古流) old flow/style, are martial traditions that pre-date the Meiji-restoration (1868).

Through Bujinkan Kobudo, Hatsumi Masaaki has kept the strategies, techniques, weapons tactics, philosophy, and training methods of these traditions alive. Traditional training patterns continue to be practiced as they were centuries ago, with their essential teachings intact. The essence of all training is still perseverance and survival.

Bujinkan Kobudo does not specialize in the particular kinds of applications that many modern martial arts do. That is, it does not emphasize primarily grappling and throwing as in Aikido, Judo , or BJJ; striking and kicking as in Karate or Taekwondo; or particular weapons as in Kendo or Filipino stick-fighting. Nor do its practitioners need to borrow from other systems to fill any holes in technique, or strategy.

Being based upon a number of comprehensive martial traditions, Bujinkan Kobudo freely employs everything in one seamless expression. Everything from devastating strikes to disrupt the neuro-muscular system; to subtle manipulation and immobilization of the joints; to full-body throws and powerful ground control techniques; to traditional weapons, unconventional weapons, unconventional applications of common weapons, and concealed weapons are taught. The full spectrum of protective action is covered.

The entire body is used in a natural way to harmonize and amplify simple movements, rather than relying solely on brute force or speed. The subtle destruction of the attacker's balance and rhythm through efficient use of timing, distance and position are the primary focus of not only the taijutsu (unarmed) "body skills" of Bujinkan Kobudo, but also the associated weapons systems.

These principles allow even smaller persons to effectively manage the aggression and energy of larger, more powerful, opponents. As they do not depend on the attributes of youth, the principles and techniques of Bujinkan Budo remain accessible, and practical, throughout one's life.

In summary, Bujinkan Kobudo is intended to preserve, and enhance, the lives of practitioners on all levels. From the simple joy of effective movement, or as a physical model for moving successfully through life, to the same applications needed by those who developed these strategies, and techniques, in feudal times. Our practice offers something beneficial to people from all walks of life.

Dojo Leadership

Adam McColl is the leader, dojo-cho, of Bujinkan Manitoba. A veteran Correctional Peace Officer, with over 30 years of martial arts training experience, he is currently the only certified Bujinkan instructor [Shidoshi] in the Province of Manitoba. This combination of skills development, and life experience, enables him to convey a sense of appropriate context, both moral and legal, in his instruction.

Always a student. Sometimes a teacher.

Adam began studying Bujinkan martial arts in 1984, under Allan Collins in Ramsgate, Kent, England. He made his first trip to Japan in 1989, and has made numerous return trips since then to learn directly from Hatsumi-sensei and the Japanese Shihan. He has also visited Dojo throughout Europe, Canada and the USA, and continues to attend seminars each year to learn from other knowledgeable instructors.

Prior to his involvement with Bujinkan martial arts Adam studied Judo, Shotokan Karate, and Doce Pares Eskrima. Along the way he has also explored other martial arts, fitness and health modalities. This diverse training background enables him to assist individuals experienced in other movement systems acclimate to our training.

Hatsumi Masaaki: Founder of Bujinkan Kobudo

In addition to being a retired Sekkotsu-i, [接骨医] Osteopath/bone setter, an artist, actor and musician, Hatsumi Masaaki is also lineage holder (Soke) and master-instructor (Shihan) of numerous classical Japanese martial traditions. These traditions form the basis of Bujinkan Kobudo.

Hatsumi-sensei studied many different martial arts, with many teachers, during his youth and young adult life. By his mid twenties he had achieved high black belt (dan) ranks in Shito Ryu Karate (6th dan) and Kodokan Judo (4th dan). He also achieved menkyo-kaiden, [免許皆伝] license of complete transmission, in Asayama Ichiden Ryu Taijutsu, Shinden Fudo Ryu Taijutsu, Bokuden Ryu Jujutsu, and Shinto Tenshin Koryu Kempo.

Staring Into the Face of Budo
Through one of his early teachers, Hatsumi-sensei met the renowned master-instructor Takamatsu Toshitsugu. In regard to this meeting, Hatsumi-sensei said that he found himself “staring into the face of Budo and found it glaring back. It was like stepping through a pin prick, from darkness into a vast brightness.” This encounter marked the beginning of a 15 year apprenticeship under Takamatsu-sensei, culminating in his succession as the Soke of Gyokko Ryu Kosshijutsu, Koto Ryu Koppojutsu, Gikan Ryu Koppojutsu, Hontai Takagi Yoshin Ryu Jutaijutsu, Shinden Fudo Ryu Dakentaijutsu, Kukishinden Happo Bikenjutsu, Gyokushin Ryu Ninpo, Kumogakure Ryu Ninpo, and Togakure Ryu Ninpo.

For 15 years, 1957-1972, Hatsumi-sensei made regular trips across Japan, by overnight train, to study with Takamatsu Toshitsugu. Between visits, he would practice the lessons given to him with a very small group of students. He would also pour over letters and other documents received from his teacher to help guide his practice until they met again.

Hatsumi-sensei was taught the strategies and techniques of the many martial traditions Takamatsu-sensei had inherited from his teachers. Training focused on what Hatsumi-sensei now calls Jissengata, [実戦型] Real-fighting technique, and Shinkengata, [真剣型] True-sword technique. On the surface, these terms refer to training for the realities of violent confrontation (not competition). On a deeper level they imply delving into the 'truth(s)' of life/living; vehicles for sincere self-study and illumination.

The Next Generation
Hatsumi-sensei spent the years following Takamatsu-sensei's passing deciphering much of what he was taught. In the mid 1970's he formally established the Bujinkan Dojo and dedicated himself to passing on the strategies and techniques as he had learned. The name Bujinkan, [武神館] Hall of the Divine Warrior, was chosen to honor the memory of his teacher, and the legacy he had passed on.

From the mid 1980's to 2001, Hatsumi-sensei traveled around the world each year teaching special 3-day seminars (Taikai: Big Gathering). At the peak he was teaching between five to seven Taikai a year, teaching in as many different countries and to as many people as possible.

During his travels Hatsumi-sensei received numerous requests to give lectures, demonstrations and guidance to international organizations. The list of awards, letters of recognition and achievements associated with these events is impressive in both scope and volume.

Now in his 80's, Hatsumi-sensei continues to teach 3 times per week at the Bujinkan Honbu Dojo [main branch], and the Tokyo Budokan. He also continues to produce books and videos highlighting the many aspects of Bujinkan martial arts. The current series of books include direct translations from the densho [transmission scrolls] of ryūha [traditions] associated with Bujinkan Kobudo, and other historical documents from Hatsumi-sensei's personal collection.

Future Generations
In early 2009 Hatsumi-sensei announced plans to construct a much larger facility to serve as Hombu Dojo. Ground was broken on the new site in 2014. Once complete, the new Honbu will serve as a 'home' for all members of the Bujinkan, and help preserve the heritage of the Bujinkan for future generations.

Our Training

We see great value in the traditions that form the basis of Bujinkan Kobudo. Forged in a time of great civil conflict and upheaval, they have been handed down through many generations as a means of self-improvement, self-fulfillment and self-protection.

Our training encompasses all aspects of the Bujinkan Dojo curriculum. Study includes such proficiencies as close quarter grappling and striking, swords and other edged weaponry, long and short staff, spear and halberd, chain and rope weapons, and other unorthodox weapons.

New members focus on the fundamentals of taijutsu [unarmed technique], bojutsu [staff/stick], and kenjutsu [sword]. Collectively, these three pillars provide an excellent framework for studying the other disciplines, armed and unarmed, associated with Bujinkan Kobudo.

In addition to ongoing armed and unarmed training, established members study a wide range of related martial sciences, strategies and tactics. Our approach melds these different aspects into a single, unified system promoting improvisational adaptability in all contexts.


Group Classes: Tues/Thurs 7:30 to 9:30pm

Our class format is small-group, and semi-private. Training occurs outdoors during the Spring, Summer, and Fall. We move indoors during the colder Winter months (Nov to March).

Group classes usually run for two hours, with the time divided into the following blocks:

• Weapons Fundamentals [Buki-kihongata] 30 minutes
• Unarmed Fundamentals [Taijutsu-kihongata] 30 minutes
• Technical instruction [Waza and/or Koshikigata] 45 minutes
• Personal practice, or conditioning [Kiso] 15 minutes

:: FAQs related to our martial art, and training.


How much does it cost?
Ongoing training is $80 per month. An annual membership of 2,000 Yen is collected, and submitted to the Bujinkan Honbu (Headquarters) in January of each year. The latter is a requirement to be considered a member in good standing.

Do you teach children?
At this time our training is open to those 18, and older. For those under 18, we recommend a grappling based system; Judo or Gracie Jiu-jitsu. Both systems offer excellent physical, and social benefits. They also provide a great foundation for studying other martial arts, including Bujinkan Kobudo, later in life.

Is there contact in your training?
Yes. The majority of techniques are practiced "hands-on" with one, or more, training partners. All techniques are practiced in a dynamic fashion with an emphasis on timing, distance and position. Partners provide realistic attacks, adjusting intent and speed to the ability of the person they are working with.

As a result of this "hands-on" training approach, our classes involve a great deal of body contact with the hands, feet, knees, elbows and heads of other participants; being thrown, tripped or otherwise brought off of one's feet and dropped to the ground by other participants; and having pressure applied to joints and other anatomical points by other participants. Practice also involves exposure to, and physical contact with, training weapons.

Some emotional stress is to be expected; an integral part of our practice involves stretching personal comfort zones and psychological limits. This is a necessary part of discovering our greater potential.

Are there a lot of injuries?
Physical injuries are rare. When they happen, they are of the bump, bruise, strain, sprain variety: the nuisance type injuries common to dancers, joggers, tennis players, etc.

To limit injury: we continually stress safety and the correct body mechanics relating to every technique we practice; and, remind students to practice at an intensity level appropriate to both themselves AND their training partner. We also encourage students to engage in some form of 'active recovery' between classes; a balance of aerobic activity and yoga type stretching.

Do you teach private classes?

The following martial traditions form the basis of Bujinkan Kobudo:

玉虎流骨指術 Gyokko Ryu Kosshijutsu
虎倒流骨法術 Koto Ryu Koppojutsu
戸隠流忍法體術 Togakure Ryu Ninpo Taijutsu

本體高木揚心流柔體術 Hontai Takagi Yoshin Ryu Jutaijutsu
神傳不動流打拳體術 Shinden Fudo Ryu Dakentaijutsu
九鬼神伝八法秘剣術 Kukishinden Happo Bikenjutsu

義鑑流骨法術 Gikan Ryu Koppojutsu
玉心流忍法 Gyokushin Ryu Ninpo
雲隠流忍法 Kumogakure Ryu Ninpo

Most predate, or date back to, the Sengoku-jidai, (戦国時代) Warring States period of Japanese history, 1467 – 1573, when combative expertise was a daily necessity.

Prior to the 20th century most Japanese martial traditions conducted the bulk of their training outdoors. More often than not, the conflict they faced occured in natural environments, under less than ideal conditions. Training outdoors prepared them for that context. It also reinforced their connection to nature/the natural world.

Training to be prepared for all situations, and contexts, is as important today as it was for the founders, and early practitioners, of the traditions we study. For this reason, we continue to explore the application of Bujinkan Kobudo principles, and techniques, in different contexts, and under varying environmental conditions.

"Training in nature, where there is not only a lack of footing but one is attacked by the wind and rain, is greatly different from training in a dojo with wooden floors or mats, and with air conditioning installed." - Hatsumi-sensei

Next Workshop: Surviving Edged Weapons

It makes sense to start the season with our most requested workshop topic!

Not a 'knife-fighting' workshop. The emphasis is on disparate confrontations where the defender lacks a weapon and must regain initiative to prevail.

Date: May 25th 2014
Times: 10am to 2pm
Cost: $50
Registration deadline: May 21st
Contact us for registration info


Step One: Research

Joining our dojo means making a commitment. Being interested in Bujinkan martial arts is a start. However it will take more than interest to stick with it.

Prospective members are encouraged to research Bujinkan martial arts, and Japanese martial arts, and culture, in general, prior to contacting us about joining. If you are resistant to exposure to the underlying cultural paradigm, we recommend you look elsewhere.

See this blog post for more on this cultural paradigm, and joining a dojo.

Prospective members are also encouraged to consider the following questions:
• Why do you want to study Bujinkan Kobudo? Why not another martial art?
• What are your motivations, and goals, for studying Bujinkan martial arts?
• Will the other obligations in your life accommodate involvement?

Exploring these questions will help determine if our training is right for you.

Step Two: Experience

Prospective members can choose from one of two options: a one month interim membership ($80); or, two trial classes ($20)*. Use these classes to gain a tangible experience of what it feels like to be a member of our dojo, with no obligation to continue.

No uniform or special equipment is required. Prior experience is unimportant. A good attitude, and a willingness to do your best with what is being presented, are all you need.

*Join our dojo, and your $20 trial class payment will be put towards your initial membership.

Contact Us

If you have a genuine interest in joining our dojo, contact us to schedule your start date. When you do, please tell us a little about yourself and why you want to study Bujinkan martial arts.

Note to Prospective Members

We follow a non-commercial approach, used by smaller dojo in Japan, which is very different from the typical martial arts school here. This does not mean that there are no financial obligations associated with training. It means we do not subscribe to the mentality of the student being a consumer, the art being a product, or the instructor being a salesman.

You will not find the latest fad being sold. Nor will you get lost in a large group, or go through a class without direct instruction relevant to your current level/ability.

In our dojo, instruction is personal, with each member receiving feedback relevant to their experience, level, and ability. The group leader provides guidance and instruction through example. Members follow the examples given, and use them as a foundation for their personal practice.

There is a process to studying Bujinkan Kobudo properly. To gain an accurate and practical understanding, members must fully participate in that process, without cutting corners.

Each member, regardless of experience, is expected to take responsibility for their own development. This includes: attending classes regularly; refining lessons learned through personal practice; and seeking guidance when they have questions. The nature of this approach requires that new members integrate well into the group, and develop a constructive relationship with the group leader.

Can you balance the demands of life, work, and family with a desire to study a martial tradition?

In addition to attending group classes, you will need to undertake some personal practice to progress. Engaging in a daily conditioning regimen will help prepare, and maintain, your body. Reviewing key foundation movements between classes will accelerate your development, and deepen understanding. Members are also encouraged to read widely.

Most members attend two group classes each week. This level of involvement, with daily personal practice between, has the potential to yield measurable, steady progress. Members attending less than this must do more personal practice to ensure they step on the mat in good physical/mental condition; fully present & ready to go.

Prospective members should do an honest assessment of their current obligations [family, work, friends, etc.], and personal motivations, to determine whether their life will accommodate that level of involvement.

Is This Right For You?

That is tough to say. Let's start with who our training is not suited to.

If your primary motivation for joining is weight-loss/fitness, we suggest looking elsewhere. While you will experience some physical changes, there are much more efficient modalities to achieve weight-loss/fitness related goals.

If you are looking for competition-focused training, we are not for you. We don’t have a competition team. It’s just not what we’re about. If you want to compete, we recommend checking out a good Judo, BJJ, or MMA school. You will get some awesome training, and be much happier.

That said, our training does involve a great deal of body contact; with the ground, other people and training weapons. If you are unwilling to work in close proximity with others, enduring all that entails, - giving them your body to punch and kick, grab and twist, throw and choke, strike at with training weapons, AND exhibiting the necessary self-control when they reciprocate - our training is not for you.

Who It Is Suited To

Are you intrigued by Japanese martial culture?
Are you a professional, career minded person looking for a positive outlet?
Do you want to try a different physical, and mental, movement regime?
Are you willing to move beyond your current comfort zones?
Do you want to train in a smaller, more personal setting?
Do you want to learn specific skills to handle pressure and stress?

If any of those sound like you, then our training may be a good fit for you.

Bujinkan Manitoba Intro Course is offered 3 times each year. Each course runs for six weeks, and is limited to 8 participants. Classes last 1-hour, and run 6:30 to 7:30pm on Thursday evenings.

The purpose of this course is to present foundation concepts, and principles, that you will build on when you join our dojo. It is not a self-defense course. It is a stepping stone into our ongoing training.

By the end of the six weeks you will: understand the relationship between structure, and breathing; understand the relationship between structure, and power/force; be able to fall, and roll/tumble, without anxiety, and without hurting yourself; and, feel comfortable in the dojo environment.

No uniform or special equipment is required for Intro Course. Prior experience is unimportant. A good attitude, and a willingness to do your best with what is being presented by the instructor, are all you need.

When your Intro Course is complete you will officially join Bujinkan Manitoba and, later, the Bujinkan Honbu. As a continuing student you will need to purchase the appropriate training attire and training equipment. These items can be purchased through the dojo, or sourced from other suppliers. For safety reasons, all training weapons bought from other suppliers must be cleared for dojo use.

Course Dates for 2015 are:
Jan 15th to Feb 19th
May 7th to June 11th
Oct 8th to Nov 12th

Bujinkan Manitoba | Contact us

We go to great lengths to keep our website relevant and informative so that your time here is not wasted. Please read all pages of this site before contacting us with questions about our dojo.

If after reading our website you have questions left unanswered, by all means contact us. However, please note, we no longer answer questions such as, "What styles do you teach?", "What times are your classes?", "How much does it cost to join?" or, "Where are you located?". Through a little effort on your part, the answers to these questions, and many more, can be found on this web site.

Thank you for your time, and consideration.

*Please read the text above before sending email.