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Kinkan Dojo

Traditional Japanese Martial Arts

This is a very well managed, friendly club led by Jason. By learning a traditional, authentic Japanese martial art my son is not only learning the physical practice of self defence but also mentally he is learning more about himself, self control and self discipline. My son is truly inspired and his self confidence has increased tenfold. The members are all so welcoming and they all have great respect for each other, pity this isn’t compulsory to learn in schools!

Gill Gooch

Son Jared 3rd kyu

Genbukan Kinkan Dojo: London’s Premier Traditional Japanese Martial Arts Training Centre

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to be fit before I can begin training?

This is normally the first question I receive from prospective students. It goes without saying that for us to get the best out of life we should live a healthy lifestyle. Martial arts training maintains and enhances whatever fitness regime you may be following.


However, training is a process of building skill, strength and fitness over time, and you need to start somewhere. It really doesn't matter what your fitness level is when you start martial arts, as your fitness levels will only improve with consistent training. Don't let a lack of perceived fitness deter you from starting training. For many people their sole reason for starting martial arts training is to get in shape.


""Those who do not find the time for exercise will have to find the time for illness."   Earle of Derby


Am I too old to participate?

This is the second most popular question I receive from prospective students! How old is too old? The oldest student I taught was 65 years of age, and there wasn't anything in the training he couldn't do just as well as the students 30-40 years younger than he was!


Of course you will have to take your age into consideration if you have had previous injuries, etc. However in my experience I have never come across a student who felt too old to participate in the training once they had given it a go. Age can sometimes be used as an excuse to not do something that looks like it may be difficult, and you will never be forced to do something you are uncomfortable with in the dojo. I find that people with a positive attitude don't worry about how their age may affect them. Jump in and try!


""Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter."   Mark Twain


How long does it take to get to Black Belt?

The answer to this question depends upon many different factors, and the length of time it takes will be different for everyone. Determining factors include natural ability, previous martial arts experience and attitude. On average a student who is training twice weekly as well as some self training at home should achieve their Black Belt within 4-5 years, but again I emphasise this depends on the factors indicated above. Its a cliche, but its the journey that is the most important element. The destination is just the culmination of all your experiences and personal development on your journey.


What is the difference between traditional Jujutsu and Brazilian Jui-jitsu?

Traditional Jujutsu is an ancient aspect of Japanese culture. It contains unarmed combat techniques that were used by warriors in real life or death situations. There are no rules in these situations, any technique can be utilised in order to protect the life of yourself, or those you care deeply about.


During the Edo Period (1603 - 1867) Jujutsu was at its most popular and was developed the most, due to this being a very peaceful time in Japanese history. There were many warriors but no battles for them to test their skills, so the testing was conducted on a much smaller level and usually with unarmed techniques.


In the latter 19th Century Judo was developed as a safe system to test martial arts skill without the risk inherent in applying techniques used for real fighting. Therefore, Brazilian Jui-jitsu, like Judo, is a modern adaption of past traditional techniques. Brazilian Jui-jitsu mainly focusses on ground fighting and is conducted in a competitive setting.


In the Genbukan the focus is on traditional Jujutsu along with modern self defence applications. The techniques come from schools that have lineages going back hundreds of years.


The student should find the system that personally fits them the best.

The techniques demonstrated or described within this web site are to be used for legitimate purposes only, in appropriate self-defence situations. Do not depend on any video, audio or manual for your safety. Your safety depends upon you and your judgement. If you are a beginner seek the guidance of a qualified, experienced and competent instructor. This material is presented for educational purposes only. When you train in any martial art or self defence system you are consenting to participate and therefore there is an assumption of risk. Use this information at your own risk. If you misinterpret or misuse any of the techniques or concepts expressed in this web site somebody could be seriously injured or killed as a result. Therefore the information contained within the web site should only be used as a supplement to competent personal instruction, safe and diligent practice, personal evaluation and balanced with the moral and legal application of any technique or tactic.


©2011 Kinkan Dojo & Shoto Tanemura Sensei, All rights reserved

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