Arizona Bujinkan Ninpo & Budo Kai
Equipment: 2 (unless the floor mats used by a gymnastics group that shares the space count)
Gym Size: 6
Instructor/Student Ratio: 10
Striking Instruction: 4
Grappling Instruction: 2
Weapons: Not Sure (didn't stick around for weapons year)
This review is from only a couple months attending one fairly short class once a week (the maximum amount of training until invited to the other two weekly classes).
It is BBT so what I was working on mostly was rolling, the Kihon Happo, and some joint-lock/take-downs with very little if any resistance. The classes begin with self-monitored stretching, bowing in as a small group with a mantra, and then the rolling stuff. The second half of the class consisted of working on applications of the Kihon Happo, distance training in slow motion, and some other rather mild stuff. Apparently this is typical of BBT training from what I've read from others on here. I saw very little progress from the people I was began with before I left. Though, the top instructors did give use noobs plenty of attention. I guess if you want to lounge around with a bunch of people in socks and learn to be really quiet while doing practically nothing, it's a great place to be.
Cliquish but not assholes. Sincere seeming people, but I have doubts about the comparative effectiveness of the "art" itself that weren't at all shaken by 2 months of periodic "basics". Maybe I was overly disappointed because I looked over what areas the syllabus seemed to cover and found that when it came to striking, there wasn't any real way to test the strikes ...no grappling ...poor excuses for throws (unless having someone stand there while you lock their joints up and push them over their center-line is a throw in fast motion - I don't know, didn't see it) ...no sparring, randori, or anything even close to a fight ...and where the **** were the weapons? Ah - but you have to master the Kihon, then you will have the right postures and control and whatever the hell to touch a bokken.
At the very least, I can say I didn't blow too much money to figure this out the annoying way. $40 a month or $15 a class. Maybe you get what you pay for. Or, maybe it's all bullshit through and through.
Until invited? Holy balls...
Other than that, I had a similar experience for a couple months. Nice people, bad martial artists. Although the instructor also gives kung fu lessons (although he wastes time with **** like Shaolin rope dart, apparently), and an assistant was pretty well-versed in TDK (dunno if he was ATA or some similar TKD light school though), they seemed pretty unfazed by the bad training procedure.
I've read this review a few times. Why it is in black type is beyond me. Some kind of ninja joke?
This school is above average, perhaps one of the best. You have several top ranked instructors, and they were all ranked in Japan for godan, judan, and jugodan levels. The head instructor, Peter Crocoll, trains in Japan for several weeks every year. The other instructors, most of whom teach when he is in Japan, have also travelled to Japan many times, some also on a yearly basis. Peter has extensive training in other arts, as do most of the black belts. Peter has been training since the eighties, and travelling to Japan, so if you are looking for the Bujinkan, you have come to the right place.
As far as the rest of the review, I don't really think you can judge most of the curriculum based on two months of classes. Which if I remember at that time, was once a week. Yes, you would not start out on weapons if your investment in time was, eight classes? It was by invitation only when I started out.
Which incidentally, brings us to the location. The new dojo is very nice. Beyond the decorations, the mats are thick and more than adequate for throws and rolling.
There is a once a month seminar held at the dojo, or weather permitting, in a park. There is a beginner's class, which helps develop rolling skills and basics. There is a general class one day a week and then an advanced class which is also invite only. Other events are held also, sometimes an outside instructor.
Once you develop to the point where you can be trusted with weapons, the weapons training IS extensive. During my time there, the majority of training was with the katana. There was also considerable training with the bo, hanbo, and jo. Less frequently was the yari. Still less the naginata, kunai, rope, kyoketsu shoge, shurikenjutsu, knives, even some handgun training and at a couple of seminars, archery.
As far as the taijutsu, that does take some time to develop the skillset - perhaps years, and if you ask some, a lifetime. We did striking, kicking, throws, joint locks. Ground work. Ukeme, rolls...but then in only eight classes you would have experienced very little of what is offered.
If you are down on Bujinkan, I don't know if attending a Bujinkan school is the best idea as far as time investment. But if you are interested, then you can't go wrong at this place. The people are very nice, and have a wide variety of interests outside of class. There were a couple of people in law enforcement and corrections, so apparently whatever the training is, has worked for them. If they seemed cliquish, perhaps they have seen only too many noobs show up that left after a few months...
As far as the other commenter, I trained with this group for ten years, including the year this was posted. I don't ever recall the instructor giving kung fu lessons, much less rope dart. As far as "bad training procedure" I think some elaboration was in order.
Finally, ranks. This is not a McDojo. You will be investing several years to get your first black belt. There are only three belts, white, green and black. Then the black levels which go to fifteen.
In summation, this is an excellent Bujinkan school. If you aren't interested in Bujinkan, and you can certainly read plenty about it from this website, I would suggest judo or jujitsu. If you want to train Bujinkan, you will be training at one of the best locations in the country.
Last edited by vaquero de las nalgas; 8/22/2014 3:56pm at .
Alright Cowboy, that's interesting, but would you concur with their aliveness score?