Interview with Anshu Christa Jacobson of Budo Ryu Ninjutsu Dojo
Property Type: Ninjustu
1. Who is the dojo’s founder and what prompted him/her to build the school? Is there any rich history behind its making?
I founded the Budo Ryu Ninjutsu Dojo back in 2004, I wanted to bring back the tradition of Japanese Bujutsu, something that I felt has been lost in the modern world. To do this I established the Budo Ryu Ninjutsu Dojo, meaning School of the Japanese Warriors Ways of Stealth. After receiving Menkyo Kaiden in Tomo Ryu Shinobijutsu from Master Ichiro Kobayashi and full permission from my other Masters, The Budo Ryu Ninjutsu Dojo was established.
2. What forms of Japanese martial arts do you teach in your school? Can you please share with us the history behind them?
The Budo Ryu Ninjutsu system of martial training was developed by the collection of 7 Japanese Traditions and combining them into a way of training to fully develop one’s mind, body and spirit as one. Each of these ryu has is own specialty in certain aspects of warfare and combat tactics. The Traditions that are taught in the Budo Ryu Ninjutsu Dojo are:
- Tomo Ryu Shinobijutsu
- Tenjin Ryu Bushi Jujutsu
- Koto Ryu Koppojutsu
- Togakure Ryu Ninjutsu
- Gyokko Ryu Kosshijutsu
- Koka Ryu Dakentaijutsu
- Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaijutsu
Through the training the student will learn each of these arts individually and as they train they then understand movement and the principals and how to move in and out of all of the 7 traditions when they need to. Instead of having one set strategy (DO / 道) the Budoka learns 7 different combative strategies. This is the understating of the Budo Ryu, to be able to move freely in and out of each of these old family traditions to fit any situation in life.
3. What are the principles and concepts that you uphold and try to instill in your students?
The principals that we teach is a collection of understanding called NINPO (忍法) these are the methods and understanding of the Ninja. In the Samurai Arts, teaches the feeling of “bushido” that is stressed to the student; this can be understood as a means of “winning”. Winning was not the main action to the ninja, the idea of the ninja was to “not lose’ so if a samurai pulled their Japanese Swords on a ninja, and the ninja threw powders in the eyes and used evasion skills, the samurai would see this as cowardly, the ninja would see this as creating an opportunity to get back to their family, and in this even if they did not “win” they did not lose either.
This is the foundation of thought with the school; the understanding and importance of family. So at the Budo Ryu Ninjutsu Dojo, we do not fight for ourselves, for the “win”, we learn the 7 arts of Budo to protect ourselves and our families; to become better people and to understand the art of Ninjutsu.
4. Why do you think it is important for people to learn martial arts?
I think that it is very important for people to have the ability to protect themselves, but more importantly I feel that people need to have the opportunity to see who they truly are. So many times you see people wishing that they could do this and that. In the Ninja arts, all areas of weaponry, stealth, hand to hand combat, survival skills and so much more is covered. To not just learn how to punch and kick but to learn self empowerment and to have the ability to understand life this is why I feel that it is important to learn the martial arts.
5. What difficulties and obstacles have you encountered so far with regards to teaching martial arts and how did you overcome them?
#1 – I am a woman, so no matter how many videos that we do, DVDs that we produce, and books that I write, the majority of this martial art culture is male dominated and with that, there is always going to be the thought that a woman cannot do what a man can do. I will admit over the past 5 years it has got a lot less now that I travel all over and do so many seminars, training camps as well as all of the DVD’s and Books that we produce; but because of the image of combat being so dominated by men, it is still there, but it always will be too.
#2 – INTERNET POLITICS! It is amazing how many people actually get on forums, message boards and free video sharing sites to talk negative and false statements of others in the martial arts.
I never thought that the Budo Ryu Ninjutsu Dojo would grow to where it is today, but as the school has grown larger there are those that want to discredit us, make up false and ridiculous statements. Anytime that someone reads a negative comment online, one should understand that it is a cowardly attack, as the person just has a user name (that is usually not their real name) and a lot of bad and hateful things to say. We, as martial artiss, should not pay any attention at all to those that want to slander our schools or our organizations as this is not an act of Budo, in fact slandering others, personal attacking someone for “your opinion” and belittling others go against what many of us learn in the martial arts.
I feel that every student needs to find the best teacher for them, if they like the way that a certain individual teaches and they can relate to them, then that is the master that they need. For someone to not ever met another person, train with them or talk to them in any way, and then to go online and negatively talk bad about someone is a dishonorable action.
This world is getting worse as greed, hate and crime gets higher and higher. We need to stay focus on our training and make our skills as sharp as the sword that we carry. By taking time away from the things that are important like family and training we are taking time away from making us better as a people. We all need to stay focused on the things that are the most important.
6. What advice and/or insights can you share with our readers who want to pursue their interest in the Japanese form of martial arts?
GO FOR IT! Learning the Japanese arts will help you in all areas of life not just in combat. There are so many ways to learn martial arts today with the internet and such that anyone can find the right program and the right master if they just look for it. This shows the great growth of the martial arts. As the centuries move on, the masters of the present keep finding new ways to relate the old ways to the students. Just as we grow, Budo must grow with the times too and hopefully the people who truly want to learn these old traditions will have that opportunity to not just help themselves but become better people and help those around them.
Thank you for the opportunity to touch someone’s life through the message of Budo, I deeply appreciate it. Take care, be safe and Good Luck in your Journey of Budo.