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Founded  in 1970

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Strong in hand, kind in heart

Welcome to Budokan


We have been established for 47 years in the UK and we cater for all adults of all ages, shapes and sizes.


Budokan teaches four traditional Japanese Budo -  martial arts disciplines or ways.

Karatedo – Aikido – Iaido and Zazen -  or seated meditation.


Our members enjoy a progressive syllabus of traditional Japanese martial arts, taught to them by some of the best instruction available in the UK today.  


We hope you enjoy visiting our site.


© Budokanonline 2017



Individually hand-made and polished to a professional finish, visually attractive and the practical answer to comfortable meditation or a simple seating solution for improved posture.

Go here for a list of all of our highly skilled Dan grades, who make up the teaching and instructor base for Budokan.

Come in an meet some of the people past and present in Budokan.

The range of books available on the Japanese martial arts and philosophy is considerable.

This list is based on many years of reading the relevant material that has stood the test of time.

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with Passmore Sensei are available by arrangement at SenSpa in Brockenhurst.

Click here to contact him by email for further information.


Budokan is a member of the Nine Circles Giri discount scheme on mpst of their clothing and equipment.

If yoiu are a member of Budokan and wish to benefit from discounts  on offer - just email us and we will send yiou our username and passward.

You can then buy direct.




Lymington Dojo


Sunday 22 October

2 pm






Annual Gathering


Workshop at 2pm

Lymington Dojo


Dinner at 7pm


The Manor at Sway.





Learn how to do it to and for yourself





16C Japan



Budokan has many Teachers Maaters and Students to whom we owe so much.

We have now created a permanent presence  on the site, so that we can all remember who they are and be eternally grateful for the contribution they have made in the practice, promotion and dissemination of Japanese Budo.


Kindly visit the page.

Zen has been described as a special teaching without scriptures, beyond words and letters, pointing to the mind essence of our being, seeing directly into one’s nature, attaining enlightenment.

Zen is not a sect, but an experience.

It is the practice of self-searching through meditation to realise one’s true nature, with disregard of formalism, with insistence on self-discipline and simplicity of living.

The Zen spirit has come to mean not only peace and understanding but devotion to art and work, the rich unfolding of contentment, opening the door to insight, the expression of innate beauty and the intangible charm of incompleteness.

It has been said, that if you have Zen in your life, you have no fear, no doubt, no unnecessary craving and no extreme emotion.

Neither illiberal attitudes nor egotistical actions trouble you.

You serve humanity humbly, fulfilling your presence in this world with loving-kindness and observing your passing as a petal falling from a flower.

Serene, you enjoy life in blissful tranquillity.

Such is the spirit of Zen.

To study Zen, the flowering of ones nature, is no easy task


Paraphrased from Zen Flesh Zen Bones.



The devil lies in the detail.

That's why workshops are important

Training in Japanese Budo takes place primarily in the Dojo and now more and more of this learning process is taking place online.

Developing these skills often takes years and is achieved by the simple expedient of repetition, repetion and repetition.

In order to achieve the speed, timing and control required for footwork, strikes, attacks, balance, flexibility, evasion, throws and immobilisations, in the context of Aikido for instance, takes patience, resilience and discipline.

And of course, it is progressive, in that over time, students can actually measure how they are getting on with other students at various levels of accomplishment.

Whilst that may be going on during the weekly training sessions - it is in the Worshops held at various Dojo at various times of the year, where the detail is learnt.

These workshops are usually conducted in a less frenetic manner than that found in the weekly classes, so that students of all grades can begin to understand and discuss the how and the why of the mechannics of body movement and weapon control, for instance.

Attendance at these workshops is encouraged as this is where the detail is found in movement, body mechanics and sound technique.


And all this can begin to be understood and recalled with the help of a growing online source of reference on this site.

Jo Suburi as in Kaeshi Waza at Lymington Dojo 24 September 2017.

Modern day practitioners of Japanese Budo do not include the essence of the spirit of Budo, because of the absence of the spirit of Zen. Shinto and Zen Buddhism and a better understanding of Bushido. more...

Its grading time again and what makes Budokan unique in the modern day ranking system is that Budokan does not charge a fee for grades or ranks.


Because Budokan believes its not the grade or rank that counts - but the person receiving them.


For Budokan - it is not “on the day” - it is every time you step into the dojo for training throughout the year.


This was our compromise.


Budokan confers these grades and ranks onto its exponents of Japanese Budo disciplines that it teaches, in much the same way as the Classical Bujutsu Menkyo system operated and still found in some Ryu in Japan today.


This from the late, great Donn F Draeger in a lecture in April 1976.


“The menkyo system has a great integrity. There are far fewer levels. Generally there will be between three to five levels of menkyo over the whole life span. Compare that to modern systems. Depending on the system, there could be as many as ten kyu in some systems and ten different grades of dan. So there is already twenty subdivisions under the present system. The warrior system, from three to five; I have heard of one with nine and I have heard of one with two. So, my experience is, they will range from two to nine levels; far less than the kyu or the dan system. So, what the kyu and dan system means is, no big thing.

Now, I will explain it to you on the basis of a hypothetical standard. The lowest possible menkyo can be called okuiri. This relates to Zen. Oku is “secret”; iri means “to enter”, making entrance to secrecy. If you remember yesterday’s lecture, I gave you the difference between the use of okuden in China and Japan. In China it was to “confirm” enlightenment. “You have arrived son, here is your certificate”. In Japan it is a certificate to allow you to enter onto the path that will lead you to enlightenment. Prolonged.

The okuiri then is your lowest award. It is a teacher's license of the very lowest grade and it varies with the ryu. The most conservative of them will require four years of training. That is usually done under a headmaster. Untiring, unswerving dedication to a system. Four years minimum. In some ryu that goes up to as high as eight years, apprenticeship.

The next one is called mokuroku. Mokuroku simply means some kind of a register or a catalogue. Your name, after you have gotten through this stage is now entered in the official catalogues of the ryu. The registries. Before that your name does not appear.

There are usually two levels here. The lower one, shomokuroku means “beginning”. Sho, hatsu and go, “afterwards”. It is not always true. Some do not use this, but it is possible two levels of mokuroku. This shomokuroku is at least from eight to fifteen years. The gomokuroku should even go higher, seventeen, training, resident training under a headmaster, not a correspondence course.

The next one, menkyo. Menkyo means “license”. You are now considered to be a licensed instructor. This is the level where you can stand on your own feet and your ryu will back you up as authorized to teach. Before that you were more or less an assistant. Menkyo runs roughly fifteen, seventeen years, up to twenty five years of training. No compromise in this by the way, no matter how good.

Beyond that there are others. Generally, it is kaiden. Kaiden, around thirty years experience.

Those are the levels. Now you can see why this would not work in a commercial school.”


A system steeped in the traditional values of Bushido, recognised as the code of conduct of the warrior - or in this context - the Japanese Samurai.  The Classical Arts did not use the Dan-Kyu system from about the 8 Century to around 1877.

This was the time of the Meiji Restoration, which signalled the end of the right to carry arms in Japan - especially swords in public - which triggered the demise of the Samurai.


In 1833, a year after he founded the Kodokan, Jigaro Kano, the founder of modern Judo, introduced the Dan-Kyu system, in order to raise funds to run the Kodokan.


And the rest is history.


For a period, Budokan conducted their activities where there were only Yudansha, who wore black belts along with hakama and Mudansha who wore only white belts.

Interestingly, Mu means literally “nothing” - the same as that found in the practice and training of Zazen.

Budokan instructors then felt the need for colour belts to distinguish skill levels in Mudansha.

So Budokan introduced - green and brown only.  No certificates.

All other dojo had the right to issue their own.


Only Dan grade certificates were issued and therefore recognised by Budokan and this tradition still prevails to this day.

Grades and Rankings.

Why Budokan prefers the Menkyo method, whilst adopting the more modern Dan-Kyu ranking system and found a compromise.