Welcome to Bujinkan Cairns Ninjutsu. We are a martial arts school or self defence school based in Cairns, in the Tropical Far North of Queensland, Australia. Authentic Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu is taught by Steve Joyce. Spending over 5 years training with Ed Lomax and then ten years in Japan training with Massaki Hatsumi Sensei and Nagato Shihan, Steve has been in the Bujinkan for over 18 years.
The Bujinkan was formed in 1972 by Grandmaster Masaaki Hatsumi. It means "Divine Warrior School" named so in honour of his teacher,Takamatsu Sensei from whom he received the grandmastership of 9 schools of ancient martial arts.
Here is a list of the 9 ryu-ha ( schools ) taught in the Bujinkan.
Introduced to the Bujinkan in 1993 I was suprised by a thumblock cranked on by a guy half my size. It all started one day when I got talking to my brother's mate about martial arts. At the time I was training in freestyle Karate and was enjoying my classes and would sometimes try to encourage others to start training. I can't remember the guys name and I never saw him at any Bujinkan classes after that day, but he did show me one thing that changed my life. At the time I thought I roughly knew what Ninjustsu was, and thought I had a pretty good idea what all the different styles were basically like. I asked this bloke what types of things he studied in class and he says " Just grab me and throw a punch." I thought to myself ' What an idiot, he's half my size and he'll let me grab him and punch at him, what is he goig to do thats so amazing?' So I grabbed and launched. He ducked to the side out of the way (to the outside of my punch I think) and then I momentarily thought to myself 'so what..thats....' and then the pain started. I was on my knees tapping before I knew it and I couldn't get him off my thumb. I was so impressed I got the details of the Dojo he was training at straight away. It was less than 2 kilometres from my house.
The Dojo was run by Ed Lomax who just happened to be the highest ranking representitive of the Bujinkan in Australia. Later when I was to hear Hatsumi Sensei and others itinerate the importance of sticking with a good teacher I was pleased to keep in mind I had found a great teacher in my own backyard from the start. Ed Lomax is now a true Shihan ranked 15th Dan. He continues to teach in Adelaide and around the world and visits Japan regularly.
After training with Ed for 5 years in Adelaide I moved to Cairns in April 1997 to look for work. I was pleased when I found a job. The only catch was that the job was in Japan, teaching English.
I moved to Tokyo in November 1997 and taught English for the next 10 years. After work and on the weekends I would get on the train and travel to Ayase, Asakadai, Atago and train with Hatsumi Sensei and Nagato Sensei. Learning at the highest level, I still find plenty of material to train through in my notes. I reaslise now that the notetaking was more useful as a review exercise than an achive of techniques. I continue to regularly visit Japan.
Grandmaster Masaaki Hatsumi
In 1957, young Yoshiaki Hatsumi was an avid martial artist working as a bone doctor in Chiba Prefecture, roughly two hours outside of Tokyo, the capital of Japan. Since childhood, martial arts had held his fascination, leading him to study various styles under several teachers. But Hatsumi was looking for something special and found himself drawn to an ideal that continually eluded him no matter how many teachers he studied with. He wished to explore real martial arts - the art of war - ancestor of modern sport versions.
He was told about an aging master of martial arts named Toshitsugu Takamatsu. The scant details of Takamatsu's life sounded like an adventure novel as he had spent 12 years as a young man inside a chaotic China instructing martial arts, eventually becoming a personal bodyguard of Pu Yi, the last emperor of China. His prowess as a master of Budo, the martial way, led him to be known as “Moko no Tora,” or the “Mongolian Tiger.” At the height of his notoriety in China, he was said to have thousands of students. The story enthralled Hatsumi, who immediately set out to journey the half-day train ride south to the ancient city of Kashihara, in Nara Prefecture, to meet this remarkable man.
Little did Hatsumi realize exactly who he was seeking out. Takamatsu was in fact the world's last “combat ninja,” trained since childhood in the ancient teachings of the legendary ninja warrior tradition. Incredibly, many of Takamatsu's exploits are still secret to this day, lest they challenge the accepted version of history in modern China.
Takamatsu died on April 2nd, 1972. Yoshiaki Hatsumi, who had changed his name to Masaaki on Takamatsu's advice, founded the Bujinkan Dojo, or “divine warrior school,” to honour his teacher. Hatsumi then spent the next 10 years studying the teachings of his master, with a small group of dedicated Japanese and foreign students.
In 1982, he travelled to America for a series of seminars where his skills, energy, and message reached thousands of people and helped fuel the “ninja boom.” This explosion of popularity consisting of television, movies, and magazines was a double-edged sword, granting Hatsumi a media platform for his wisdom and experience, but also gave opportunists - inexperienced or unlicensed instructors as well as outright frauds - bait to lure eager students into negative, costly, or even dangerous training. In time, these charlatans and false teachings succumbed to the legitimate skills and dedication of serious practitioners, who had quietly kept training around the world, maintaining ties with Hatsumi and his Shihan, top instructors, in Japan. Slowly, they formed strong groups and eventually their own schools.
Today, the Bujinkan flourishes, having matured with tens of thousands of students around the world. Long-time students have come to realize that the ideals, skills, and philosophy of this once secret and enigmatic art are not learned simply for self-defence, but rather personal growth. The physical lessons of Taijutsu forge the heart, mind, and spirit into tools to live a sincere and just life.
Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi
The Bujinkan's Soke, or "head of the family," is the enigmatic Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi, whose training approach emphasizes the principles underlying techniques as the surest means to understanding the heart of Budo. He founded the Bujinkan Dojo in honour of his teacher, Toshitsugu Takamatsu, whose exploits are legendary. Dr. Hatsumi, a former bone-setter, has penned over a dozen books, and is the former chairman of the Writers Guild of Japan.
Among his many honours are the title of Knighthood from Germany, Honorary Doctorate degrees in Human Sciences and Philosophy, Honorary Texas Ranger, and numerous Honourable Citizenship awards from locales like Los Angeles, California to Dublin, Ireland. Dr. Hatsumi's work has also been recognized by numerous government and law enforcement agencies, such as the FBI and the NSA. Dr. Hatsumi holds black belts in several arts, including Judo, Karate, Kendo, Aikido, Jojutsu, and has studied such western arts as Boxing.
On November 22, 1999, Dr. Hatsumi was awarded the International Culture Award, the highest honor given for cultural exchange, by a member of Japan's Imperial Household. Blackbelt magazine's 1986 Instructor of the Year, Dr. Hatsumi is best known for "opening the doors" of Ninpo to non-Japanese. A renowned artist, he currently lives and teaches in Noda, Japan.
Toshitsugu Takamatsu Sensei
also known as Moko no Tora (Mongolian Tiger), was a Sensei, a teacher, of martial arts. Recognized as the last practicing ninja, he was employed as such by the emperors of both Japan and China.
Born in 1887 into a family of samurai lineage, he was taught by his uncle, Masamitsu Toda, a phenomenal warrior, from whom Takamatsu Sensei inherited the martial art systems of Shinden Fudo Ryu, Gyokko Ryu, Togakure Ryu, and Koto Ryu.
When he was 13 years old, Takamatsu was given Menkyo Kaiden (full mastership) of Shinden Fudo Ryu. About that time he was attacked by a gang of youths, one of whom was armed with a sword. He defeated them all, one after another, but when the police arrived, Takamatsu was the one who was arrested. Only when it was over did he realize that he had beaten 60 people all by himself. His grandfather Toda came to bail him out of the Kobe Kiryubashi police station, and the event was headlined in the Kobe newspaper as "13 Year Old Judo Expert Easily Flung Away 60 Gangsters." Several sumo schools tried to recruit young Takamatsu, but his father prevented his joining.
Soon after, Takamatsu entered the dojo of the Takagi Yoshin Ryu, where he learned jutaijutsu from its master, Mizuta Yoshitaro. He mastered it and went on to inherit this school as well.
When he was about 17, an old master came to work at his father's match factory as security. This old man was Ishitani Matsutaro, possibly the greatest of Takamatsu's teachers. Toda warned his nephew not to challenge this new master to a sword duel, for he said that his style of Kukishin Ryu was stronger. Ishitani Sensei passed on to Takamatsu the systems of Kukishinden Happo Hiken. Takamatsu Sensei taught for many years at the Kukishin Ryu Dojo in the early 20th Century, under the auspices of the Soke Kuki Takuhara.
In his late 20's, Takamatsu left for China to test his training and work for the various warlords that fought over the provinces. This was a very dangerous time, and traveling on the open road between villages was perilous. He was involved in many fights, and several times he was charged with murder. He was always found not guilty by reason of self defense. His diary stated that he had fought 12 fights to the death as the result of challenges. By defeating every opponent without a single loss, he became the senior student at the school that trained the Emperor's bodyguards, and there he taught to over a thousand students.
He returned to Japan, and the name of Moko no Tora became legendary. Near the end of his life, he said that he thought he had killed more than one hundred men. Despite this, he was a very spiritual man, and became a Buddhist priest (although he later abandoned this after concluding that it was of little value). He was also the president of the Nippon Minkoku Seinen Botoku-kai (the Association of Japanese Youth Martial Arts).
Takamatsu Sensei had many students, and at the end of his life, he knew that he had faithfully transmitted the lineages that were in his custody, and assured himself a place in history.
Bujinkan Cairns Ninjutsu was started in late 2010.
Steve Joyce lived in Japan from 1997 to 2008 where he studied Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu (Bujinkan for short).
The Bujinkan is a system which combines many old Japanese schools of Samurai-jutsu and Ninjutsu. It is a complete system of self defense which covers all aspects of combat. Taijutsu is the common thread that links all these arts, which is essentially an ancient system of whole body positioning and movement where the core and major muscle groups are optimized and trained to work with the natural design of the human body.
Modern sedentary lifestyles unfortunately leads many people to actually forget how to move naturally with rhythm and flow, and before too long the body actually cannot move naturally anymore because the range of muscle and joint movement shortens and it becomes a vicious cycle, which requires effort to break free from. You cannot buy effort. Sure, you can pay someone to make an effort at something, but thats not going to make you more flexible, is it?
Stretching is an integral part of any martial arts system. Junan Taiso is a component of the Bujinkan that is not dissimilar to Yoga Asana. It is a basic stretch routine that is invigorating and therapeutic. I have personally turned to Yoga for more knowledge and variation in relation to stretching and continue to improve my own flexibility and that of my students(I wrap them up like pretzels).
I also teach my students how to stretch for themselves.
Currently the availability of lessons is very limited and beginners are welcome to book private lessons or for a small group by arrangement.
Announced once a week to intermediate and adavanced students.
Beginners to arrange private lessons.
$15 per lesson for group class
Private lessons available upon request