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1960 - 2024


The classical budo, or "martial ways" are not combat systems like their forerunner, bujutsu,or "martial arts"; nor are they sports like modern judo, kendo, or karate.They are first and foremost spiritual disciplines, whose ultimate goal, achieved throughthe most rigorous mental and physical training, is self-realization in the tradition of Zen Buddhism

Donn F. Draeger

Classical Budo


Its always on the first Saturday of December every year. And has been as far as anyone can remember.
It is early enough in the month so as not to interfere with peoples plans for family and friends for later in the month and their preparations for the coming year.

This end of year workshop is also always devoted to taking an in-depth fresh look at the building blocks of our disciplines.
This year the theme was Kokyu Nagare - meaning slow breath flow in time to slow or medium movement in a totally relaxed physical and mental way.
So the Iaido group were given a close up of “knowing your sword” with all the primary names of each of the parts considered important.
Nest up they were given a simple move that required them to perform each of the four building blocks of Iaido - Nukitsuke - Kerioroshi - Chiburi and Noto all in one slow with breathing move.
And this was followed by an in-depth  look into each one of the four basics of Iaido eventually allowing medium and fast movement to concede with medium and fast breathing.
After going through the kata as a whole, the karate group had four sequences of Ananko selected for them which they went through slowly concentrating on sound stances and tsugi ashi - the feet movements mostly found in Sanchin Kata.

The out of these four sequences just 2 techniques were chosen for a close up of them in total coordination and timing of breath, movement and stillness.
The Aikido group were probably in the best place for this theme to be able to learn  to synchonise movement and breathing of two people into one.
It is taught primarily to students of the correct skill levels to learn to “copy & ride” the responses of their attack as a prelude to the practise of kaeshi waza - or counter attack knowing this can only be achieved using total muscular relaxation along with the creative imagination of knowing the required route to take to be able to apply kaeshi waza with little physical exertion required.

It is this type of precise that illustrates that real power is an expression of soft breathing that allows the pure muscular relaxation required to bring the flow of energy to powerful fruition.
After long hours of training it suddenly just happens one day and the most prominent question that follows is “Did I just do That?”.

And you can train the brain body synthesis into doing just that more often as progress in this area takes place.
The only thing that will prevent it happening is if there is a reversion to a default position of using muscular power once again.


Top left clockwise to the right.

Darren Waghorne 6 Dan receiving his Kyoshi Certificate of Title from David Passmore Sensei.

Mike Clapham with part of his group on the day just finishing off Ananko.

New Shodan James Bryden working on his stances during the Karate session.

Toby Mellows at the beginning of the end of his Juji Nage with his friend and fellow Budokan colleague Keith Molyneux.






It takes a lot of self sacrifice, discipline and loyalty to occupy the lofty spaces of high Dan Grades in traditional Japanese Budo.

Standing here in his home Dojo in Bargate, West Lothian, Joe is holding his Budokan 6 Dan Karate certificate, accredited to him on 25 June 2023 and awarded to him recently.

Well done.



Ptobably one of the most important workshops that Budokan has hosted in recent years took place in the Lymington Dojo recently.

For over 50 years Budokan has taught and practice ZAZEN using the simple method of SHIKANTAZA or Just Sitting in a traditional Japanese Budo setting.

It has proved to be of immense influence in self-discipline, improved attention span and the ability to concentrate for long periods of their Budo training, including their Zazen - or seated meditation.

Budokan students - whether still active or not in their martial arts - nevertheless in the majority of cases continue to practice their meditation regularly as they have found the benefits of meditation (which are well known) help them to manage their emotions as they have grown older in this mad, mad world we are living in today.

And this is why we are introducing an online programme to teach yourself Practical Meditation outside of the disciplined world of Japanese martial arts in your own home, with the backup and guidance of experienced long term adherents of meditation made up of the teachers and others attending the workshop.

Each participant was provided with a 48 page bound document to take away with them to support their experiences on the day and to help them understand the content in context.

Here are a few takeaways that have come in so far........


"For me one of the main takeaways of the Sunday session was, the importance of correct posture and the need to be aware of your posture during your meditation session and to self correct in order to keep a relaxed body to aid breathing correctly." 

Firstly, as it was a class in how to teach practical meditation, the step away from extending the breath beyond more than a few seconds was interesting, however on reflection unsurprising. It has been many years since this was the focus of my practice and settling on a comfortable rhythm is certainly the key.

 It feels very personal and I like how you have managed to give it quite a beautiful flow through your thoughts. I think you have put a lot of thought into how the content is constructed and what you have chosen to say and leave implied.

It's as simple as breathing, or, it should be! So, "how hard can it be?"
We all breath sub-consciously but when we start to think about it things go awry.
Getting back to the basics of simply just sitting and breathing was the aim.


We publish news stories, schoLarly articles and academic papers

from Aikido to Zen in all things Traditional Japanese Budo,

that we hope will be of interest to both teacher and student alike.

All articles and papers will first appear here on the Homepage.

After that they will be posted on the Budo Research page under the name of the discipline or context.

When a single discipline reaches 12 or more articles or papers it will be given its own page.

All papers are the responsibility of each individual author and do not necessarily reflect the views of

Just click on any of the links below to read more.

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This s interesting.

Click the icon below and read the PDF



First they published A Short History of Karate.

Now Michael Cowie and Robert Dyson are soon to publish another little gem this year.

Budokan has been given a glimpse of their work and you can too by clicking on the image below.

And its not that little either!




University of Derby Buxton 2011.

The scene of the First Open Traditional Japanese Budo 2 day Seminars in the UK for decades with Budokan heavily involved in the creation, organisation and management of the event with great back up from the University and from a legion of like minded people passionate about Budo,like the very well known David Ansell who helped initiate the event and played an important part in its success.


Basic Karate Blocking techniques and Deflections.

A quick run through of some Aikido Basics

On the art of drawing the sword  -  Nukitsuke

Basic Karate Striking techniques

Basic Aikido wristwork and handling the Bokken

On the art of putting the sword in the scabbard - Noto

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