Bushinkai testimonials

Ben Gaunt 1st Dan

Ben Gaunt 1st Dan

Ben Gaunt is a blackbelt with Bushinkai and one of our longest serving members

I’ve been studying at Bushinkai for nearly 7 years. Even when I’ve lived in Basingstoke and Sheffield, I’ve attended classes – lessons are worth traveling for!

I feel invigorated after every lesson; martial arts are good for the body and for the mind.

Each session strikes a perfect balance between safety and physicality. Lessons are hands-on, practical and energetic – yet the safety of students is never compromised.

Most importantly, every technique works. If it doesn’t work, we don’t learn it.

Simon cleverly fuses traditional Karate techniques with modern methods, and we test everything practically by sparring and grappling. Knowing these techniques work gives me a calm confidence when dealing with conflict, outside, in the real world. Simply put, I can walk the streets at night and never feel worried. Thankfully, I haven’t often had to put my karate skills to test outside the Dojo, but when I have – I’ve been pleased with the results!

Classes are great fun and the students are a great bunch of people!

Pete McHugh and Graham Winstanley

Pete McHugh and Graham Winstanley

Peter McHugh is a blackbelt with Bushinkai having previously studied other martial arts including Shotokan Karate:

After studying the martial arts for over 15+ years and moving from style to style, I finally settled at Bushinkai. Having been looking for a martial art, that had a combination of both traditional and modern arts including aspects of ground work, weapons and the kind of strikes found in arts like Muay Thai.

Studying at Bushinkai is great –  the atmosphere is relaxed and the students and teachers are good to get along with. The teachers there as well as myself have an open mind to training and encourage others to do the same. The instructors are always willing to help others from beginner to advanced the teachers will help out. None of the instructors there think they’re better than others and are approachable and easy to talk to.

Most styles just give you the next belt as it looks good on the club. What I like about Bushinkai is that if you want the next belt you have to work for it.

Mark Hardman Bailey is a Shukokai brown belt who has also trained with Bushinkai:

Hi my name is Mark Hardman Bailey. As well as training with Bushinkai I also train in Shukokai Karate and I am a 1st Kyu brown belt. I am grading for my 1st Dan next summer.

When I trained with Simon in Bushinkai I was amazed. I am still a white belt his club but what struck me the was the self defence and the energy that was in that Dojo.

I would highly recommend you try his class. Although his training one of the toughest he is the nicest person and really flexible and a cool man.

Graham Winstanley has studied martial arts for almost 50 years and prior to joining Bushinkai was a blackbelt in Jujutsu. He achieved 4th Kyu purple belt in our club:

My name is Graham Winstanley and I have been training in Bushinkai Karate (Hakuda Kempo Toshu Jutsu) for three years and have attained my 4th Kyu, Purple Belt. I have also gained my coaching qualification C5 (assistant instructor).

Prior to joining Bushinkai I achieved my 1st Dan in Jujitsu and have trained in Judo, Aikido and Karate.

Bushinkai covers different aspects of practical self defence, throws, strikes, locks, practical Kata Bunki, applications and the psychology of an attacker. Each Kata is accompanied with a weapon a part of the training I find interesting.

The class is friendly and all the senior grades are helpful.

Simon also gives an in depth history of the origins of Karate and Bushinkai, something which is invaluable for the students old and new.

My fitness and co-ordination has improved. I enjoy all aspects of Businkai training especially close in fighting techniques, take-downs and finishes. Simon also teaches Tai Chi a class which I also attend and have gained my red sash.

Bushinkai offers the beginner a practical solution to self defence under different circumstances and the ability to stand up for oneself and others.

I would recommend the Bushinkai Academy to anyone.

A reunion of Bushinkai alumni Dan Sanchez, Sean Chriscole, Steve Chriscole, Simon Keegan, Graham Winstanley, Bob Carruthers, Ben Gaunt

A reunion of Bushinkai alumni Dan Sanchez, Sean Chriscole, Steve Chriscole, Simon Keegan, Graham Winstanley, Bob Carruthers, Ben Gaunt

Steve Chriscole is an Iaido 3rd Dan and has studied martial arts for around 33 years. He trained with Bushinkai from around 2001-2004 and took his blackbelt with our club:

I think I starting training with Simon in Bushinkai around 2001. It was not easy for me to be there. I had just been through a difficult transition with a previous teacher, and now, I (being considerably older than SImon) started to be taught by a much younger guy. I already had 10 years or so of Karate behind me, but now I was starting again.

The good thing about training with Simon was I never felt like I was out of place. At the time he was learning a lot too, and I was in catch up mode, but I enjoyed the classes. They were friendly, hard, but informative.

I was on my own journey, and i discovered some things through training in parallel in other arts. But I always enjoyed Bushinkai. In the end, I had to make my own way. I started to explore things in a slightly different way and I parted company with the training. But the nice thing was , that even though I am sure it was difficult for him, Simon let me go my own way.

We have stayed friends. He put me through my dan grading and we have collaborated from time to time. We have gone our seperate ways in some ways, but in others, we have come together.

My short few years with Bushinkai I will remember with fondness. Because I found a friend. Thanks Simon.


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