Shidoshi David runs the officially licensed Dojo. David has been training in martial arts for over 30 years with experience in Kung-Fu , Jujutsu, Aikido and Iaido. Whilst searching for a more traditional system David discovered the Bujinkan and started training with Shihan David Heslington at the Sevenoaks Dojo. Having passed his Godan test (5th Dan) in 2015 under the Sword of Dai-Shihan Peter King the head instructor in the UK , David established the North Kent Dojo. David is supported in the Dojo by his senior student Keiran Smith
What is the training like?
Training at the Bujinkan North Kent Dojo takes the form of paired exercises/practice. Unlike other sports based martial arts, there no is competitive aspect to our training. Rather, the opposite is the norm. In order for training to be safe and productive, there is a need for trust and co-operation from both partners. If you are constantly getting injured during any form of martial arts training, then we are clearly doing something wrong. The practice of any martial art should be to protect, maintain and promote the health of the practitioner’s body, not to damage it.
Classes are comprised of mixed ability students, from beginners to black belts. We do not divide a class into grade, weight or age groups, so you could find yourself training with a complete beginner or one of the senior black belt students. In the Bujinkan, we feel that everyone has something to offer during training, no matter what grade they are. Instruction often takes the form of what is known in Japan as ‘Ishi Shoden’ (person to person/one to one transmission).
Practice during a class can encompasses both armed and un-armed techniques. The un-armed aspect is similar to traditional Japanese Jujutsu and includes techniques such as striking/punching, kicking, joint locking/manipulation and throwing. Some of the most commonly used weapons in training are the Katana (Japanese sword), Rokushaku-bo (6ft staff) and Hanbo (3ft staff).
A typical class lasts for around 1.5 – 2 hours and will usually comprise the following areas of study:
Junan Taiso – Stretching and warm up exercises
Ukemi – learning to roll / fall safely
Kihon – fundamental basic techniques (punching, kicking, joint locking/manipulation, throwing)
Followed by the particular lesson of the day, which may be based on the year’s current theme or a particular school, technique, idea or weapon.