We teach classical Japanese kobudo (old style martial arts) in Dublin.

Specifically, the focus of our school is the transmission of the martial arts taught by the Bujinkan Dojo in Japan. This includes the study of nine feudal-era samurai ryuha such as Togakure Ryu, Takagi Yoshin Ryu, Kukishin Ryu, Gyokko Ryu, Koto Ryu and more.

The formal name of this art is Bujinkan Dojo Budo Taijutsu, but it is sometimes referred to as Ninpo Taijutsu or just ninjutsu, in reference to the ninja-related aspects of some of the ryuha.

At the Bujinkan Nami Ryu Dojo in Harold's Cross, we pride ourselves on our attention to detail, our focus on the kihon waza (basics) as a route to higher skill and in our ability to create a relaxed and enjoyable training environment in which any dedicated person can grow and thrive.

The dojo was founded as the Bujinkan Meehan Dojo in Trinity College Dublin in 1998, changing its name to Bujinkan Namiryu Dojo in 2011. It is currently located in Harold’s Cross, Dublin.

The teacher is Alex Meehan, a licensed shidoshi, or instructor of the Bujinkan Dōjō. A journalist and author by profession, Alex started training in Bujinkan Ninpō Taijutsu in 1989 and was awarded a teaching license in 2000 by Hatsumi Masaaki, Sōke of the Bujinkan Dōjō, the rank of Judan Kugyo in Tokyo in 2009 and the title Yushu Shihan in 2015. He is also the recipient of various honours from the Bujinkan Hombu Dojo, or headquarters, including the Golden Dragon award and the Bufu Ikkan Shingitai Ichi Sho certificate.

Dojo members visit Japan two to three times each year to study with Hatsumi Masaaki Soke and his senior shihan teachers in Tokyo.

How much does training cost?

We are a non-commercial martial arts school. Profits are spent on improving the training facility and improving the quality of tuition offered.

Training is currently held on Mondays at 7:30pm, Thursdays at 7:30pm and Saturday morning at 11am. Classes last 1.5 hours.

The amount payable by each student depends on their circumstance and means:

Waged students - €90 (all classes every month)
Unwaged students - €70 (all classes every month)

In addition to these costs, we also levy a yearly membership fee of €50 which covers insurance costs and membership to the Bujinkan Dojo organisation in Japan. This is payable in January every year. New students are not expected to pay this fee until the start of the first full calendar year that they are training.

As we are one of the few martial arts clubs in Dublin to have its own full-time facility, complete with the costs that go with that, we ask that students pay by the month in advance by standing order or Paypal subscription.

How much does training cost?

How to find us

The dojo is located upstairs at 19 Greenmount Lane, Harold’s Cross, Dublin 6.

This location is within walking distance of Dublin City Centre but is also served by a number of bus routes. The closest bus stop is numbered 1344 and is located on Harold’s Cross Road. Buses serving this stop include 16, 16c, 49, 54a & 9. You can use the Dublin Bus route planner to work out how to get here exactly. http://www.dublinbus.ie/Route-Planner/

Although the entrance to the dojo is on Greenmount Lane, the premises is part of the Greenmount Industrial Estate complex and there is ample free parking in the estate for anyone coming by car.

View on Google Maps.


When do you train?
We have classes three times a week, on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturday. We also have a monthly workshop, generally on the first Saturday of the month, that lasts a full day. There are occasional seminars with visiting teachers and these generally get announced on our Facebook events page.
Can I come and watch a class?
Classes can be watched by appointment. All you need to do is get in touch via e-mail and ask about watching a session. We ask that during these sessions, you refrain from taking pictures or videos, and turn your phones to silent. Classes last an hour and half, but there is generally a break half way through, and at this point you can ask questions or leave if you need to.
What is the ‘Bujinkan Dojo’?
The word ‘Bujinkan’ means or ‘hall of the divine warrior’, or ‘hall of the warrior spirit’. The word ‘dojo’ means ‘way place’ or ‘place where the way is studied’ Put together, ‘Bujinkan Dojo’ means ‘place where the way of the Divine Warrior is practiced.’ The Bujinkan Dojo is the name of the international training organization based in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. It is headed by Masaaki Hatsumi, the current generation head of nine traditions passed to him by Toshitsugu Takamatsu. Dr David A Hall’s ‘Encyclopaedia of Japanese Martial Arts’ (Kodansha USA, 2012) is the definitive work in English on old style Japanese combative arts. This is the entry for the Bujinkan Dojo featured on page 56: “Bujinkan - Modern combative arts school founded by Hatsumi Masaaki. Based primarily on the teachings Hatsumi received from Takamatsu Toshitsugu, the school encompasses the curricula of nine classical traditions (koryu). Like several modern budo schools, Hatsumi’s Bujinkan is an eclectic system which combines classical skills with a modern approach appealing to would-be martial artists. For example, a kyu-dan grading system has replaced the classical mokuroku-menkyo licensing system. In addition, selected skills of various classical ryu have been incorporated into a hybrid mix in order to make it more appealing to modern budo students. This process began with Hatsumi’s teacher Takamatsu Toshishugu. (See Watatani and Yamada, 1969:537.)
What does ‘Budo Taijutsu’ mean? What about ‘Ninpo Taijutsu’?
‘Budo’ means ‘Martial path or way’ and ‘Taijutsu’ means ‘body methods.’ Taken together, ‘Budo Taijutsu’ means ‘Martial arts of using the body.’ The Budo Taijutsu studied in the Bujinkan Dojo encompasses lots of different kinds of Japanese martial arts and the term Budo Taijutsu is used to refer to all of them. ‘Ninpo Taijutsu’ is another name for the martial arts we study. ‘Ninpo’ means ‘perseverance method’ and is a term used to describe the approach to martial arts used by ninja.
What does ‘Nami Ryu’ mean?
Nami Ryu is the bugo, or martial arts name, given to Alex Meehan by Hatsumi Soke. It means ‘wave dragon.’ Many of Hatsumi Sensei’s senior students have such names – they are only used in connection with the administrative functions of the dojo.
What kind of martial art is Budo Taijutsu? What do you practice?
As explained above, Budo Taijutsu is an umbrella term for the arts practiced in the Bujinkan Dojo. As part of this study, we practice the following disciplines of Japanese budo:
  • Taijutsu (unarmed fighting)
  • Bikenjutsu (sword fighting)
  • Bojutsu (staff fighting)
  • Sojutsu (spear fighting)
  • Naginatajutsu (halbard fighting)
  • Yoroi Kumiuchi (armoured grappling)
  • Juttejutsu (truncheon fighting)
  • Nawajutsu (rope and chain methods)
  • Shurikenjutsu (projectile weapons)
Taijutsu (unarmed fighing) makes up the majority of the material studied, as the weapon and ancillary arts all strongly relate to taijutsu.
How is this material taught? Does the training include kata or forms, as in other Japanese martial arts?
Kata form an important part of the Bujinkan martial arts, but not in the way most people would understand. In traditional Japanese martial arts with older roots, such as ours, kata are generally performed by two (or more) partners and are quite brief, reflecting the reality of combat encounters. They are rarely if ever performed solo (as is common in other arts) and they teach the art's basic concepts: typical attacks and common ways of dealing with them.
How does rank work?
Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu places far less emphasis on formal ranking than most other Japanese martial arts. There are nine kyu grades (beginning with 9th and advancing through first), signified by a green belt worn by the practitioner. These are followed by ten dan grades, signified by a black belt, with the final rank, 10th Dan, further subdivided into five classifications. The kyu ranks, essentially, are ‘preparation to become a student’ of Bujinkan budo and each rank takes an average of three to six months to achieve. The student is considered to be ready to really begin learning at first dan or first-degree black belt. This usually takes a dedicated student between three to four years of regular study to gain. Students may be licensed to open their own dojo from 5th degree blackbelt