top of page
Card Mon.jpg


1960 - 2023


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 through
the most rigorous mental and physical training, is self-realization in the tradition of Zen Buddhism
Donn F. Draeger

Classical Budo



Ptobably one of the most important workshops that Budokan has hosted in recent years took place in the Lymington Dojo on Sunday 24 September.

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. 

...more to come...


Taijiquan,  Kanazawa and Zen

An interesting article on the relationship between all three by Dr. Wolfgang Herbert, Professor of Comparative Cultural Studies at the University of Tokushima, 5th Dan Shôtôkan Karate, Licenced teacher (Japan Wushu Taijiquan Federation) of Yang-style Taijiquan.

Click the PDF to read.


Kanji - Strong in Hand, Kind in Heart.png




this is what it will look like on the new Kamiza

for all

Budokan Dojo

New Budokan Kamiza 6th Oct 2021_edited.jpg

Original  Budokan Mantra Kanji

by Will Butcher

Within Budokan our mantra is "Strong in Hand. Kind in Heart." (Kokoro ni Tsuyoi te) and was formulated by Budokan SA many moons ago.

But what does this mean to you?

For some time, this has occupied my mind quite a bit.

So, here goes.


"Strong in Hand.  Kind in Heart" is a phrase that implies having a powerful, confident demeanour or ability to handle challenging situations while also maintaining a compassionate and empathetic nature towards others.


This expression suggests that someone possesses both physical or mental strength, as well as a gentle and generous disposition. It reflects the idea of being able to handle responsibilities and difficult circumstances with determination and effectiveness, while treating others with kindness, understanding, and empathy.


Comparing my thoughts on the subject to a few major, main line Japanese martial arts we will see a similar theme. For this I have chosen Aikido (AikiKai Foundation / International Aikido federation), Kendo (All-Japan Kendo Federation), Iaido (All-Japan Kendo Federation), Jodo (All-Japan Kendo Federation), Naginata (All-Japan Naginata Federation), and Shotokan Karate (Japanese Karate Association).


Iaido (All-Japan Kendo Federation)

It is a "Way" in which practitioners seek to train the mind and body through developing a spiritual appreciation of the relationship between life and death, movement, and stillness. 


Kendo (All-Japan Kendo Federation)

The concept of kendo

The concept of kendo is to discipline the human character through the application of the principles of the katana (sword) (Koken-Chiai)

(KO = associate, KEN = swordsmanship, CHI = wisdom/knowledge, AI = means to love/care for)


I have also heard Koken-Chiai meaning "through practicing swordsmanship with others we achieve the wisdom of understanding humanity".


The purpose of practicing kendo

To mold the mind and body. To cultivate a vigorous spirit, and through correct and rigid training, to strive for improvement in the art of kendo. To hold in esteem human courtesy and honour, to associate with others and sincerity, and to forever pursue the cultivation of oneself.

This will make one be able: to love his/her country and society, to contribute to the development of culture, and to promote peace and prosperity among all peoples.

Naginata (All-Japan Naginata Federation)

To introduce ways of enriching peoples', live through the training and perseverance required in practice and developing manners, commitment, and a will to live in the individual. Training in naginata also develops honesty, integrity, and a sense of what is right. 


Jodo (All-Japan Kendo Federation)

Learning and studying Jodo is in effect training your mind and body. What one learns is not only dexterity of movement, but also development of the spirit.

The benefits derived from training are obvious, but the main ones thought to be of the greatest value are:

(1) Develop Courtesy, Truthfulness, Sincerity, and Patience.

(2) Through regular practice, the body becomes stronger and more active.

(3) Through practicing the techniques, posture becomes improved.

(4) You gain confidence and have a better sense of judgment in everyday life.

(5) Overall, you will have better relationships with others.


Aikido (AikiKai Foundation / International Aikido federation)

The goal of Aikido training is not perfection of a step or skill, but rather improving one's character according to the rules of nature.


Shotokan (Japanese Karate Association)

The dojo kun is a five-point statement of principle for the Karate practitioner's conduct:


(Jinkaku kansei ni tsutomuru koto)
Seek perfection of character.

(Makoto no michi o mamoru koto)
Be sincere.

(Doryoku no seishin o yashinau koto)
Put maximum effort into everything you do.

(Reigi o omonzuru koto)
Respect others.

(Kekki no yuu o imashimuru koto)
Develop self-control.

To summarise "Strong in Hand.  Kind in Heart. ", to me means the notion of having a balanced nature that combines strength, resilience, and assertiveness with compassion, empathy, and benevolence towards others.

Darren Waghorne


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.

Screen Shot 2023-08-12 at 12.10.17.png

This s interesting.

Click the icon below and read the PDF


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.


SANDI GROOM pictured here with her three children was a wonderful Mum and the very first female to be awarded her Budokan Black Belt by Ray Ryan at a weekend workshop in Pembrokeshire  in 1976.

Read some memories from her son Lee here courtesy of Dave Wills, our first male Black Belt way back then.





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!




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

bottom of page