Bujinkan Buyu Lander

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Archive for the category “BBLD Updates”

Themes for the new year.

This link is for the annual theme message from my teacher,  Jack Hoban.  It is important that we follow what he is working on.


If you are going to train with us this year,  the book “Verbal Judo” is mandatory reading.  Have it done soon so that we can start applying it.   I am thinking that the end of January is not unreasonable.

When I (hopefully we) train with Jack later this year we will learn more if we have a head start.  Even if you can’t make it to his seminar, you can bet that we will be working on what I gain there for months.

I have some pet projects for the beginning of this year,  but training should be in full swing by the end of February. There will be training opportunities this month and next.  I’ll be in touch.

For now, plan on working on your sword skills for a month or two, and we will see where things go from there.  Bring a boken and iaito to class for a while.



Katana Basics Class

masamune01We are pleased to announce a 3 session beginner class (February on the basic handling, cutting and moving with a katana.

Sessions will be on Tuesdays, February 11th, 18th and 25th, 2014.  From 7:00pm to 8:30pm

  • Strength and coordination drills for sword work.
  • Proper movement technique for cutting.
  • The difference between cutting practice (tameshigiri) and fighting (budo).
  • Sword fighting scenarios (waza) for beginning budo.  This is not to be confused with sparring.  A waza is a non-competitive 2 person training form that has been handed down through our martial tradition.
  • We will supply the opportunity to try tameshigiri using live blades on paper sheet targets.

Students will be expected to practice skills for a minimum of 20 minutes each day between class sessions.

Cost is $10 per session.  Students will need to purchase a boken (practice sword) before the first session.

If you are interested or have questions, please provide your contact information in the form below.

A new Women’s Defense opportunity.


So, you have taken a women’s self defense class, and you have hit the guy in the padded suit. You probably left that class feeling empowered and more confident in your abilities than you have in a long time, but as time goes on that has faded a bit. You probably learned in your class that self defense skills are perishable, but have not been able to keep those skills fresh. Well don’t feel bad, you are not alone. Many people who have taken defense classes in the past would like to do more, but just don’t have the time.

To help with this, we have organized a womens defense club. We will meet for 1 or 2 evenings every 3 months in order to refresh some of the skills that you have learned, share some experiences, and generally offer each other help in maintaining a defensive mindset.

It doesn’t matter where you learned your previous skills.   Ladies who have attended women’s defense classes or other martial arts are welcome to learn and share their experience as they see fit.

The class will be guided by subject matter experts, and the occasional guest instructor as available.  The club will be an ideal venue to ask those “what if” questions and work through scenarios to that you might personally find challenging or scary.

There will be a suggested reading list that will not be mandatory, but will be discussed periodically.  The book list will almost certainly expand based upon the recommendations of members.

Finally, the club will also act as a mentoring opportunity for the young ladies in our lives. Members will be encouraged to bring their teenage or older daughters for the chance to realize that mom is not the only one who is saying that they need to be aware and empowered.

The cost of membership will go toward the purchase of supplies such as practice pepper spray, better equipment for the physical training and to generally improve the quality of future meetings of the club.

Meetings will cost $25 per night, and there will be a discounted rate of $10 per night for daughters of club members. The first meeting of the club will be at the Lander Fire Hall on Tuesday February 4th, 2014 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. After that we will meet every 3 months if there is enough interest.

An RSVP would be appreciated so we can plan, but drop ins will be welcome as well. Please fill out the contact form below if you are interested in attending or if you want to be on our email list to be informed of upcoming events.

Back to the beginning.

Due to the much needed and appreciated rain this week, the “Danger Room” flooded.  Didn’t appreciate that quite so much.  Once the equipment dries out, it is going into storage, and we are going back to the park.

Four years ago, this spring, I started the school in the park, and now we are going back again.   I’m looking forward to the simplicity, quite frankly.

Want to learn how to use a staff?

bo_staffWe are pleased to announce the first of our martial arts for beginners seminars.  The class will be a fun and relaxed introduction to the basics of stick work for the martial arts student, the actor or the casually interested.  No experience or special physical ability is required.

The following concepts will be covered:

  • Basic grip techniques.
  • Basic footwork needed to maintain control of the staff and balance.
  • The relationship between speed, power and accuracy.  When each is appropriate, and how to create them.
  • Spinning the staff for combat effectiveness (and because it is cool…)
  • Practice combat forms (kata).  The student will learn several movement sequences that can be practiced later to reinforce the material learned in the class.Rokushaku_Bo_002_large

Some equipment may be available to borrow, as well as some to purchase.  It would be preferable to purchase your own rattan or hardwood staff prior to the class.  They can commonly be found for sale on the internet.  Your staff should be roughly the same height as you, slightly taller would be preferable.

bujinkan 250 001

Location:  Lander City Park
Date: Saturday, June 15, 2013
Time: 9:30 am to 12:00.
Cost: $25 per student.

To enroll, click here

Questions?  Email bujinkanlander@gmail.com or call 307-463-4522

Martial Arts or Women’s Defense?

That seems to be the big question everybody is asking me these days.  While updating my Women’s Defense curriculum, I found that all of the information and differing opinions about the best way to teach a short, effective defense class tailored to the needs of women was overwhelming, and quite frankly confusing.  Some instructors encourage the use of pepper spray, tasers or firearms, while others claimed that those things are ineffective for most people.  Some national organizations claim that martial arts are ineffective for women, while others encourage you to maintain your skills by continuing to study.  So, how do you sort through it all?  By using the same method that is taught almost universally in any defense system anywhere:  Trust your instincts.  You know what is best for you.

Let me Elaborate…

As of the time that I wrote this, I have spent over 24 years studying unarmed and armed self defense including the use of knives, sticks, firearms and just about anything else that I can.  I have trained with law enforcement officers, soldiers and civilian experts, and I ask a lot of questions.  Does that make me a tough guy?  Not really, but it means is that I have a great deal of information on the subject of self and others defense.

That being said, let me give my completely honest opinion of “Women’s defense”:

Is there a set of skills that you can learn in 3 hours that will enable you to absolutely keep you and your family safe from any physical attack?

Of course not.

Why would police, military and martial artists invest in literally years of training if we could just take a 3 hour “Women’s self defense class” and be done with it?

Is there something so special about being a woman that there are ways of fighting that apply to women exclusively?  No, not really.

So, Should there be special classes for women, and will it really work?  Yes and yes.  Surprised?  Consider this:

  • Many women have been unintentionally taught to be timid and to give in to the demands of an aggressor.
  • Those same women are much less likely to give themselves permission to defend themselves until they have lost the advantage and are in a situation where they have a reduced chance of succeeding.
  • Women who are forced to physically defend themselves are most often targeted by a “predatory” person who is looking for someone smaller and weaker than they are, and who is looking to get something from them, such as money or a sense of power and superiority.
  • Because young women don’t typically physically fight each other for social status the way young men tend to, they often have little understanding of their natural capacity to defend themselves.

In order to break the self doubting mindset that leads to victimization, a “Women’s self defense” class is very valuable, and there are many organizations (including our dojo) who offer just such a class.  The goal of our class is to:

  • Awaken your natural self protection instincts.
  • Make you realize how capable you already are of defending yourself.
  • Encourage you to take the responsibility for your personal safety, especially if you have come to rely on other people to make sure that you are safe.

Can I do that in 3 hours?  Yes I can.  8 hours would be better, but I can get you started in 3.

Is a  Women’s Defense class enough to keep you out of trouble? 

So, what do your instincts tell you?  Trust them.  Only you know the answers to the question.  Let me offer some of the following ideas for you to consider:

  • The Women’s self defense class is essentially an introduction to tactical skills.  It will dramatically increase your odds of survival when being targeted by a predator, but there are more things that you can learn that will increase your skills still more.  Do you feel safe enough, or should you seek further training?
  • The physical defense portion of Women’s Defense teaches that you can dish out more damage than you thought you could.  This is a powerful piece of information to have.  Once you have those skills, you need to keep practicing them.  Is there something you can do that will help you build on what you have learned, and give you many new skills that you have not even considered yet?  There are also some martial arts that will not help you at all.  If you feel that the physical portion of the class was valuable, but you need more, I suggest further unarmed combat training.  What makes one martial art or training program better than another?  It depends on the focus of the training, and your focus while training.  Contact me and I will give you my opinions.

What about a handgun or pepper spray?

Weapons such as pepper spray and tasers are a commitment.  In order for them to be effective, you have to have them ready when you need them.  You also have to be able to use them smoothly, accurately and proficiently.  This requires some training and also requires practice.  They won’t do you any good in the bottom of your purse or back at home when you are surprised…  If you are willing to carry them as a weapon, they can greatly increase your odds of survival, but you have to be willing to adopt certain aspects of a “warrior’s mindset” that goes well beyond the scope of a Women’s defense class.  If they sound like something you are interested in, you will want more training, and I can offer it.

Firearms are even higher maintenance that the other weapons.  I am a strong supporter of carrying firearms, as they can make an 85 pound girl as formidable as a 300 pound football player.  That being said, there is a significant amount of physical, emotional and legal training needed for somebody who carries a firearm.  That training is available, and can be enjoyable.  Don’t skip it if you are going to carry your gun.  Just don’t.

If you are interested in a Women’s Defense Seminar, or more in depth training to reinforce what you have previously learned, please contact me at:

Bujinkan Buyu Lander Dojo

We have a roof!!!

Training will be located mostly indoors at 425 Lincoln in Lander, WY starting in October, 2012!  Park in the lot next to the Kids Museum, enter through the glass door in the alley behind the building, proceed down the stairs to the far room.  The map can be found in the links to the right of this update.

This will make winter training much more pleasant. We will still train outdoors occasionally, as the curriculum requires, but for the most part we now have a facility with a roof and bathrooms.

It also means that Ninja Kids will be held through the winter.  Ninja Kids will not be held in December, as it is usually a very busy month for everybody.

See you there!

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