Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Bujinkan UAE Top 10

December is the traditional time when everyone looks back over the year and reflects on what actually happened and what it all means. This is when you take stock of how the year went by, and you make decisions to better it next year. Its a time of celebration and festivity and a season to let the old move out and new move in. This is time when you reflect and instrospect, on your life, and living in general.
This is also the time when every media publication and outlet will publish their top 10 lists, each in their own field. So keeping with the spirit, I have tried to list out a top 10 this year for Bujinkan UAE. If you have a few top moments of 2014, please share it with me below as a comment.

These are my favorite moments from 2014.

#10 - We started regular classes again at KO Gym in Dubai Marina in June. As you already know now we have classes every Wed & Sat at 8pm.

Training at KO Gym, Dubai Marina
 #9 - Our Friday classes lead by Shidoshi Juan Pablo at the Shangri-la Hotel in Abu Dhabi have been on full swing. This is by the beach and really a fantastic venue to have classes.

Training by the beach in Abu Dhabi
#8 - Our new Website was launched thanks to Fred who did a great job on it. if you havent checked it out its Thanks to the website and social media we now have a strong presence in the international Bujinkan Community and had a few visiting shidoshi and black belts during the year. We can expect more buyu and high ranks from around the world stop by Dubai in the years to come.

Happy faces after class at KO Gym, Dubai Marina
#7 - A whole bunch of new Buyu have joined us this year and we are really happy now with the spirit and energy that the classes have. A few buyu have left the country and we are sad about that but know we cant do anything since change is the only constant and Dubai is never really a permanent home for expats.  

Visiting Shihans / Shidoshi
#6 - Our Facebook Bujinkan UAE Group and FB Page have seen more activity than ever before. New members, posts from others, etc make it a really vibrant social community. We are also slowly growing on This is the best place to be updated on upcoming events.

Shihan Arnaud class.
#5 - In March we had a demonstration at the Maraya Cultural centre and a good year of succesful Bujinkan Socials. Our last one in December had around a dozen of us meeting up. Its a good way to unwind and talk non-budo stuff and just chill and relax. We went to the Belgian Cafe in Tecom and had lots of fun. We hope to have more in 2015, and hope you can attend. 

Maraya Japanese Cultural Centre.
 #4 - This year was great for Bujinkan UAE for grades. Hassan (who is now in Qatar) passed his Sakki Exam in Japan earlier this year. It was conducted by a Japanese shihan and was awarded the Menkyo Shidhoshi Diploma and his Godan (5th Dan) by Soke. He will soon start teaching in Doha.
Fred was awarded his Shodan (1st Dan) Black Belt by Shihan Marcelo and now holds the title Shidoshi Ho.
Shidoshi Juan Pablo was recommended for his 7th Dan this year and will receive the diploma shortly.
I was recommended for my Godan Test by Dai Shihan Nagato Sensei (and Shiraishi Sensei) in November during my trip to Japan and subsequently passed my Sakki test and awarded my Shidoshi Menkyo by Soke. A lot of buyu have gone from MuKyu to grades this year and that includes Ben, Rami, Ahmed(sr.), Kathy, Leila, Rym, Adam, Sabrina, Irshad, Marcel, Joyal, Ahmed (jr.), Maria Napoli, Anton and a few others. This is great news for Bujinkan UAE as it shows constant growth and that comes with traning. We wish 2015 brings in more grades and ranks, and most impotantly more knowledge.

Grading at Safa Park
 #3 - We had an extremely succesful 2 day seminar organised by Shidoshi Juan Pablo. It was a seminar with Shihan Marcelo from Argentina. This was by the beach and covered Taijutsu and Sword fighting basics. We had a strong attendance of 30 people and are really thankful to all the buyu who could make it. We can expect a repeat seminar in 2015.

Seminar with Shihan Marcelo
 #2 - Our First seminar of the year was with Dai Shihan Arnaud Cousergue. It was in April this year and was well received by everyone. We had around 35 people who attended this 2-day seminar. We also got considerable PR coverage in the UAE for this seminar. Dai Shihan Arnaud will be joining us in April 2015 once again for a "Kihon Happo" (基本八法型), seminar and it well be yet another fantastic training opportunity for all of us.

Seminar with Shihan Arnaud Cousergue
 #1 - The highlight for me personally of 2014 was my trip to Japan and training opportunity with all the top Shihan at the Hombu Dojo. Of course, it so happened that I got my shidoshi diploma after I passed my Sakki test but the connections I forged made the trip more worthwhile. Japan in itself is a fantastic destination to visit and being able to train with the likes of Japanese Dai-Shihan's Nagato, Noguchi, Shiraishi and Seno and Gaijin Dai-Shihans like Arnaud, Lubos, Petrocello and others... that made it really memorable. I thirst to go back there and to keep connections alive. I cant wait to go there again. Perhaps you can join me??

Happy new year from BUJINKAN UAE
December is also the time when you make resoltions for what you want to do and be in 2015. We intend to immerse ourselves in training in 2015; its going to be a great year for Bujinkan UAE. This will include a team trip to japan in June. (And maybe a second one in December) We hope you are able to join us for traning soon and hope you are our co-passengers in this journey of self-discovery.
On that note, we wish you a very Happy New Year and sincerely hope all your dreams for 2015 come true. Dont forget “If we’re growing, we’re always going to be out of our comfort zone.” The more comfortable you get with being uncomfortable, the faster you will grow. The year of the sheep should remind you to not be like one.
I wish you plenty of moving forward and lots of progress in 2015.
Happy New year! :)
Stay Happy Train Hard
Gambatte Kudasai

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