About Us

About Us


In 2023 our dojo celebrates its 25th year of teaching the Bujinkan Dojo martial arts continuously in Dublin City. 

Since 1998, we've helped people learn a fascinating and adaptable martial art with a unique ability to encourage physical and mental flexibility.

But what exactly is it that we teach? We call it kobudo, which means old martial ways but it's sometimes also called Budo Taijutsu, Ninpo, Jujutsu, Taijutsu etc. 

It's a mix of several Japanese schools of martial arts that teach unarmed combat along with the use of weapons from Japanese history, philosophy and strategy. 

The schools we study include Gyokko Ryu, Koto Ryu, Togakure Ryu, Kukishinden Ryu, Takagi Yoshin Ryu, Shinden Fudo Ryu, Gikan Ryu, Kumogakure Ryu and Gyokushin Ryu. 

The dojo was founded in Trinity College, Dublin in 1998, by the current head teacher Alex Meehan. A journalist by profession, Alex started training in 1989 with Shihan Steve Byrne and was awarded a full teaching license in Tokyo in 2000 by Hatsumi Sensei. In 2017 he received the Dai Shihan certification directly from Hatsumi Sensei.

Dojo Facilities

Since 2011 we have been located at our current location in Harold's Cross, Dublin 6. It is one of the largest dedicated martial arts halls in Ireland, with 50 tatami mats, changing rooms, toilets and showers. There's also parking in the nearby Greenmount Industrial Estate. See below for full details on how to find us.

  • Fully matted training area
  • Large training area 125 sq metres
  • Large range of training equipment
  • Male & female changing areas
  • A kettle.

Our lineage

We are a branch of the International Bujinkan Dojo organisation. This organisation was founded in the 1970s by Masaaki Hatsumi, the ‘Soke’ or lineal inheritor of nine distinct martial traditions, with histories that stretch back several hundred years.

Hatsumi Sensei was a student of Takamatsu Toshitsugu, a noted 20th century teacher of old style martial arts, who passed away in 1972. As well as being a world famous martial arts teacher, Hatsumi Sensei is also a noted author and calligrapher, and his work has been exhibited around the world. (Image from the book, Masaaki Hatsumi: Dojo Giga | Heaven.)

Alex Meehan is a direct student of Hatsumi Masaaki, and holds a ’Dai Shihan’ rank awarded by the grandmaster. All certification issued by the Bujinkan Namiryu Dojo in Dublin comes from the Bujinkan Hombu Dojo, located in n Noda City, Japan.

Our lineage

Our Location

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.


When do you train?

We have classes three times a week, on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturday mornings. 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?

Sure, no problem. Just get in touch first to let us know you're coming. We ask that during these sessions, visitors refrain from taking pictures or videos, and turn their 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 any questions you might have 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 art 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.

I'm a member of the LGBTQ community, will I be made feel welcome?

Absolutely. The dojo is a place where people come to learn martial arts and all that matters is your ability to get along with everyone.

Basically, we're much more interested in whether you're a nice person than anything else.