About the Dojo
The Bujinkan Mushinzui Dojo was originally started in 1991 as the Bujinkan Dronfield Dojo. The Bujinkan Dronfield Dojo which was founded and originally headed by the then 5th Dan, Barry Steele, was located in the North Derbyshire town of Dronfield (near Sheffield).
After a relocation in the mid 1990’s to Nottingham and following Barry’s retirement from training, the Bujinkan Dronfield Dojo was run by the current Dojo Head, Daniel; the first student of the Bujinkan Dronfield Dojo.
In 2003 following a work related relocation, the Bujinkan Dronfield Dojo was closed for seven years, during which time Daniel acted as an assistant instructor at the then main Dojo of his teacher, 15th Dan Shihan Norman Smithers.
Following Shihan Norman Smithers' relocation to the North of England, in 2010, the Bujinkan Dronfield Dojo was re-opened in Saffron Walden. The dojo was renamed in honour of Daniel’s main teachers Barry and Norman, whom in his view, taught and continue to teach ‘Mu no Shinzui’ - the pith or essence of Bujutsu.
Meet the Team
Daniel, our chief instructor and Dojo head, is an 8th Dan black-belt Shidoshi, who began studying Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu in 1991.
He first trained with Grandmaster Hatsumi Sensei in 1994 at the UK Taikai in Cheshire, and in 1996, after winning a travel bursary from the University of Nottingham, undertook his first trip to Japan to train with the Grandmaster and his senior students.
Since this time, in addition to training with teachers in the UK, our chief instructor periodically travels to Japan to train with Grandmaster Hatsumi Sensei and his senior students.
Rachel, our assistant instructor, is a 2nd Dan black-belt. She began studying Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu in 2000 as a student of the Bujinkan Dronfield Dojo in Nottingham. In 2003 Rachel became a student of Shihan Norman Smithers and in 2004 she travelled to Japan for the first time to train with Grandmaster Hatsumi Sensei and his senior students.
Rachel is currently on sabbatical from the Dojo after a period of maternity leave. She hopes to return to training and teaching at Mushinzui Dojo Martial Arts School soon.
Meet Our Seniors
When not at the club you might find Sharon dressed in chain mail as part of ‘The Vikings’ crew, helping re-enact key historical battles across the UK. In addition to her depth of old-world knowledge, which she uses to educate the masses in the ways-of-old, Sharon also holds a black-belt in Shotokan Karate. Sharon first began training at the Mushinzui Dojo Martial Arts School at the beginning of 2011. As the Dojo’s most senior student, Sharon currently holds the rank of 4th Kyu, which is the 7th rank of 10 grades, on the journey towards a Budo Taijutsu black-belt.
James is one of the five originals that started training when the Mushinzui Dojo reopened in Saffron Walden in 2010. Following a few years training to the level of 6th Kyu in Wado Ryu Karate, James began training at the Mushinzui Dojo Martial Arts School. James is currently studying forensic science at a top UK University, and comes back to train at the club in his holidays. James currently holds the rank of 5th Kyu, which is the 6th rank of 10 pre black-belt grades in Budo Taijutsu.
Toby is also is one of the five originals that started training when the Mushinzui Dojo reopened in Saffron Walden in 2010. Like James’, Toby’s martial arts training career began with Wado Ryu Karate, where he also achieved the level of 6th Kyu. Toby is currently studying Astrophysics at a leading UK University. He first began training at the Mushinzui Dojo Martial Arts School in 2010 , and comes back to train at the club in his holidays. Toby currently holds the rank of 5th Kyu, which is the 6th rank of 10 grades, on the journey towards black-belt.
'Mr Strong' - Sam is the dojo strong man; you know you are doing things properly when they work on Sam. Sam first began training at the Mushinzui Dojo Martial Arts School towards the end of 2011. Sam has a particular fondness for sparring, he particularly enjoys the full contact Kendo-like sparring, where we suit-up in full Kendo armour and defend against attacks with a bamboo sword. Sam currently holds the rank of 5th Kyu.
'The Joker' – Doug is the dojo’s wild card. Whilst training hard, Doug likes to keep the mood light with his quips and jokes. Together with Sam and a few others, Doug unconsciously catalyses a playful spirit amongst the Dojo members. Doug first began training at the Mushinzui Dojo Martial Arts School towards the end of 2012. He currently holds the rank of 5th Kyu.
Click here to find out about training at the Bujinkan Saffron Walden Dojo.