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Seisa
4/18/2011 5:14am,
Long time lurker, joined today to post this as I saw the Oxford Booj listing on Daily Info.

Seems they have a website now. I travelled down to Oxford a couple of times: (http://www.oxfordshadowwarrior.co.uk) for a couple of lessons about a year, a year and half ago.

I have 15 years experience in Muay Thai so I just wanted to see if the Booj is as ridiculous as everyone on here says it is. I kept this to myself and pretended I had no experience.

So, to start:

Aliveness:

1: No sparring/contact, performance demonstration/forms only.
2-3: Compliant partner drills, board breaking, point sparring

It's either of these two really. With my background I found the training laughable. No sparring whatsoever, no pressure testing, only overly-compliant 2/3 man drills. Seemingly typical Booj ridiculous stances and overly long punches.

Equipment:

2-4: Bring your own.

As the Booj uses "traditional" Japanese weapons like the sword along with the authentic "ninjer" weapons like the claws and sand (?), it seems everyone buys their own wooden equipment and brings it with them.



Gym Size:

5: We train at the park

They train at South Parks in Oxford on Tuesday and Thursday nights. I think this is because in the dark you can't see just how ridiculous a technique is. They claim it is because "in the street, a real fight won't have even ground like in a hall" and "you need to be used to uneven ground". It is the first time I have trained outside, and while it is nice to be in the fresh air, I felt so dumb rolling around in the grass with a load of overweight middle aged men/similarly overweight younger weaboos when I could be training something useful.


Instructor/Student ratio:


8-9: Smaller classes, instructor or highly qualified (master level) assistant instructors in small groups.

There are 2 instructors, one is a huge german guy who has some useful skills. I think he had trained some other arts before the booj though. The other instructor doesn't seem to have as much skill, but tries to cover that up with using unnecessary force on unresisting opponents. As it is the booj I think they are both highly ranked, though that means nothing.


Atmosphere/Attitude

8-10: Open, supportive but challenging, bizarro hippy ass-beating love fest.

They are nice guys, it's just a shame they believe their own hype. They hero worship their headmaster, Hasumi, and make all new students do "research" on the background of the "art".

After training has finished everyone sits down and talks about their experiences. I thought this was very creepy. Everyone says what they learned from the class, sucks up to the teacher a bit and talks about what elements (?!) they felt the class had. I.e., "this wrist lock felt like wind"

Striking instruction

1-3: No striking.

This was ridiculous. As they do not spar, they do not practice punching. They do the stupid Booj wind up and lunge punch, and we spent some time punching a tree once. When it comes to actual techniques they tend to take advantage of an overly compliant partner and hit them without resistance. This seems to make them think they are badass, but against a resistant opponent their punches are worthless.

Grappling Instruction
4-5: Limited single sub-range (standing, clinch, ground only).

I am reluctant to call it grappling. Again, the over-compliant drills, a few thows here and there, but no groundwork, only a few arm/wrist locks which wouldn't work on a struggling opponent. I resisted a bit and they were unable to get the locks on me. Would be destroyed in a ring.


Weapons:

2-3: Compliant partner drills and preset encounters

Pointless and redundant training. Overly complicated techniques and compliance.

In conclusion, this stuff will get their students killed or at least severely injured. They don't realise it because they drank all the kool-aid, but they belive hasumi's hype and believe they will be able to defend themselves on "the streets". The sense of smugness/confidence they have in their art is misplaced.

I don't know whether all Booj is like this, this was the closest club to me.

battheo
4/18/2011 1:44pm,
Hey man, welcome to Bullshido!

Thanks for the review dude, it's awesome to see things like the Booj get called out on this side of the pond as well. I always liked to think that Britain's smaller size helped to keep the fakers and frauds quieter than in larger countries, but that's just not the reality.

Disturbingly, over the course of the last 12 months or so, I seem to hear about more and more ninjers popping up in England. I just hope they stay away from my little island. You do kind of wonder how anyone who has an interest in the martial arts as well as an internet connection can justify training ninjer style.

Anyway, cheers man. Next time I hit the mainland, I'll definitely be avoiding that place!

diducdat?
4/18/2011 6:44pm,
I always get the British ninjers threatening me over the net. So yes, their art is extremely useful. Providing me with hours of laughter.

shinobivoid
4/18/2011 7:38pm,
I think alot of the things you said are true, alot of their techniques are usless in a real fight.But i think their idea of training outside on different and uneven ground levels is somthing that could be very useful, for example if you trained yourself to spot areas in the ground that would disrupt your opponents footing you could possibly use that to your advantage. I also think that some of the strikes they use can be very affective, such as the chops to the neck, strikes to eyes etc. I think there is much you can use from it, and you can disregard everything else that you dont think would work. Im glad to see someone actually test it for themselves before rushing to talk trash and dismiss it.

feral00
4/19/2011 9:44am,
I was going to do this myself once, just to see what really goes on in one of these classes. The school I saw actually was a dual Shotokan and Ninjitsu school, but when I went to see a class it had secretly vanished. Sadly I missed my opportunity.

Eddie Hardon
4/19/2011 4:12pm,
[QUOTE=Seisa;2536316]

I have 15 years experience in Muay Thai so I just wanted to see if the Booj is as ridiculous as everyone on here says it is. I kept this to myself and pretended I had no experience.[Quote]

You have 15 years experience of MT yet decided not to inform the instructor? Did they notice your exceptional striking ability because it should have stood out as clear as Day.

It's good manners to inform the instructor. I'm familiar with BBs not disclosing their skillset before training yet it becomes obvious in the training itself.

I have no experience of the Booj group so have no opinion. Did you go there in with the intention to mock or to 'expose' them on Bullshido? If so, Why? Brownie points?

Why not share your extensive MT experience and point out MT Schools you've trained with and give an insight or guide for those who would wish it?

So, who's next for the hatchet job? The Budokwai?

Seisa
4/19/2011 4:28pm,
You have 15 years experience of MT yet decided not to inform the instructor? Did they notice your exceptional striking ability because it should have stood out as clear as Day.

It's good manners to inform the instructor. I'm familiar with BBs not disclosing their skillset before training yet it becomes obvious in the training itself.

I have no experience of the Booj group so have no opinion. Did you go there in with the intention to mock or to 'expose' them on Bullshido? If so, Why? Brownie points?

Why not share your extensive MT experience and point out MT Schools you've trained with and give an insight or guide for those who would wish it?

So, who's next for the hatchet job? The Budokwai?

Well, as I said, initially I went down to see what the fuss was about. It wasn't ever to "expose" anyone, I've only ever trained MT. I would have rather been pleasantly surprised that the techniques worked.

I don't give two fucks about impressing people on here, otherwise I'd tell them all I do BJJ and I omoplata'd a terrorist to death.

The main reason I joined was to let people know what my personal view of the club was. I think I was fair, as I said they are nice people, I just don't think their training is realistic.

There wasn't much striking in the classes I did, I had to do their lunge punch when it was necessary, and also a few knife-hand strikes. Nothing that would have given me away as a MT practitioner. You're right that I should have told them my background, this is the first time I've trained outside of MT, I stopped training a few years ago due to a knee injury. In future I will be upfront.

Eddie Hardon
4/20/2011 2:58am,
I don't give two fucks about impressing people on here, otherwise I'd tell them all I do BJJ and I omoplata'd a terrorist to death.

There wasn't much striking in the classes I did, I had to do their lunge punch when it was necessary, and also a few knife-hand strikes. Nothing that would have given me away as a MT practitioner. You're right that I should have told them my background, this is the first time I've trained outside of MT, I stopped training a few years ago due to a knee injury. In future I will be upfront.

You do give 2 fucks. It was your first post; usually a first post is in Newbietown to introduce yourself and experience.

BJJ? Good choice. In the interest of fairness, you might decide to keep your MT training to yourself...and share your experience afterwards with all of us. Me? I'd certainly tell the instructor. But that's just me. If you're curious, I'd get crunched...but it wouldn't worry me.

Seisa
4/20/2011 6:12am,
You do give 2 fucks. It was your first post; usually a first post is in Newbietown to introduce yourself and experience.

BJJ? Good choice. In the interest of fairness, you might decide to keep your MT training to yourself...and share your experience afterwards with all of us. Me? I'd certainly tell the instructor. But that's just me. If you're curious, I'd get crunched...but it wouldn't worry me.

If you read my post, you'd see that I only joined to tell people about this school. I trained with them a while ago, but just recently saw them advertising. The advert jolted my memory. I'll wander over to Newbietown later.

Cullion
4/21/2011 3:27am,
I didn't know there were ninjas in Oxford. Interesting.

Eddie Hardon
4/21/2011 5:33am,
If you read my post, you'd see that I only joined to tell people about this school. I trained with them a while ago, but just recently saw them advertising. The advert jolted my memory. I'll wander over to Newbietown later.

I read it, mate, I read it.

Just don't expect uncritical acceptance of your Posts.

Good Luck.

Seisa
4/21/2011 11:40am,
I didn't know there were ninjas in Oxford. Interesting.

A cursory google search throws up another club, the "Ryuko Dojo", this time with a 10th dan instructor.

Not exactly secretive, these here ninjas!

Tranquil Suit
4/22/2011 2:26pm,
Nice review.

"We train at the park" is closer to a 0 then a 5 though, since there is no actual gym/dojo.


On the other hand

http://www.antekprizering.com/alimuhammad5528.jpeg

Muhammad Ali trained under water, so...

Sam Browning
4/24/2011 8:43pm,
At least on Bullshido, there is no requirement or expectation that one tell the instructor of the school one is reviewing about your previous training, or that you are going to write an article. That would ruin our ability to do dojo reviews.

Jim_Jude
4/25/2011 2:32am,
Long time lurker, joined today to post this as I saw the Oxford Booj listing on Daily Info.

Seems they have a website now. I travelled down to Oxford a couple of times: (http://www.oxfordshadowwarrior.co.uk) for a couple of lessons about a year, a year and half ago.

I have 15 years experience in Muay Thai so I just wanted to see if the Booj is as ridiculous as everyone on here says it is. I kept this to myself and pretended I had no experience.

So, to start:

[....]


Pointless and redundant training. Overly complicated techniques and compliance.

In conclusion, this stuff will get their students killed or at least severely injured. They don't realise it because they drank all the kool-aid, but they belive hasumi's hype and believe they will be able to defend themselves on "the streets". The sense of smugness/confidence they have in their art is misplaced.

I don't know whether all Booj is like this, this was the closest club to me.

Years and years of experience in LARP compliant training doesn't equal fight-applicable skills. I'd put money on anyone with 5yrs of Combat Sambo up against a 20yr Bujinkan vet, 9 of 10 random matchups I'd win money on. For REAL fighting, there are better arts out there. The Bujinkan guys who are notorious for their realism in training (such as the Israelis) bring non-compliant training elements from other arts such as Judo & Krav Maga. Those guys do Bujinkan training, esp the grappling heavy stuff from Kukishin & Takagi Yoshin Ryus, with resistance. It's good stuff when you really do it.

Jim_Jude
4/25/2011 2:35am,
At least on Bullshido, there is no requirement or expectation that one tell the instructor of the school one is reviewing about your previous training, or that you are going to write an article. That would ruin our ability to do dojo reviews.

Exactly. Full disclosure would "ruin the sample", so to speak.