About Us

Northampton Kouryuu Dojo is part of the International Bujinkan Organisation with its headquarters in Japan. Bujinkan literaly means "Hall of the Warrior Gods" and is headed up by 34th Generation Grandmaster Dr Masaaki Hatsumi (Right). Dr Hatsumi has thousands of students all around the world and has taught  for the FBI, The Metropolitan Police and other security services.

Dr Hatsumi learnt the art from his teacher Toshitsugu Takamatsu (Left) who in turn learnt it from his teachers Ishitani, Mizuta, Toda and others. Takamatsu was the last real Ninja being employed on missions in Manchuria, Mongolia, and China in the 1920s. He took part in many real fights and killed many men in life and death struggles.Dr Hatsumi was a direct student of Toshitsugu Takamatsu for over 15 years and before his passing in 1972 Takamatsu made him Grandmaster of 9 seperate martial arts traditions.

Bujinkan Kouryuu Dojo Senior Instructor Norman Smithers is the head of the Bujinkan Kouryuu Organisation, part of the Larger Bujinkan Organisation. Based in Yorkshire Norman has Dojos in Scotland,Nottingham, Harlow, as far away as Malta and of course here in Northampton. Norman served five years in the French Foreign Legion and Nine years in the British Army where he was in the shooting teams for both armies. He started martial arts in 1982 with Feng Sau Kung Fu as well as the Bujinkan in the same year. Norman has visited Japan over twenty seven times sometime staying to study for months at a time. He holds 15th Dan in Bujinkan Martial Arts and was given the name "Kouryuu" (Ferocious Dragon) by Dr Hatsumi and that has since became the name of our organisation within the larger Bujinkan Organisation.

Northampton Instructor: Gary Arthur

Gary Arthur is the chief instructor of The Northampton Kouryuu Dojo. Gary has been studying the Samurai Arts for over 33 years starting in November 1985. During that time he has studied all over the UK and Europe, America and Japan. He holds black belts from a variety of organisations including two Shodans, a Nidan and a Yondan (4th degree black belt) in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu. He is a direct student of Norman Smithers (15th Dan). Gary is a fully qualified security trainer, holds teaching awards in Physical Intervention and Conflict Resolution Management and  PTTLs in adult education.  He holds a degree in archaeology from Leicester University and is married with two children. Gary has worked as a police officer and now as a security trainer, and has taught security and self protection on behalf of colleges, Councils, Security companies, the British Army, Transport for London, and the NHS. He has also taught western swordfighting to Reenactment groups and to schools.