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 DaiShihan 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 1st Kyu, which is the 10th rank of 10 grades, on the journey towards a Budo Taijutsu black-belt.
'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 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 4th Kyu.
‘Mr Unbreakable’ – Daam brings a lightness to the training atmosphere at the club, whilst keeping it serious and real. With a head for Japanese martial art terminology, he’s the man to go to if you are trying to remember the names of the techniques we practice at the club. With previous experience in sword fencing at county level, Daam first began training at the Mushinzui Dojo Martial Arts School at the start of 2013. He currently holds the rank of 5th Kyu.
‘The Whomping Willow’ – Leaf’s stoic determination and commitment to his martial arts and fitness training is an asset to the group. When training with Leaf, you learn how to apply real-life techniques; techniques that you know will work if you have to protect yourself in a confrontational situation. With prior experience at a black-belt equivalent level in Kung Fu, Leaf first began training at the Mushinzui Dojo Martial Arts School at the start of 2014. He currently holds the rank of 5th Kyu.
Click here to find out about training at the Bujinkan Saffron Walden Dojo.