Multiple members of Purdue’s Bujinkan Yanagi Shibu club said this martial art prepares people for dealing with intense and stressful situations.
Jeff Stuart, graduate student and assistant director of the club, said one of his friends credits his Bujinkan training for helping him deal with his own stressful situation. Stuart’s friend worked as a bouncer at a bar and when a patron got out of hand, even the biggest bouncer at the bar couldn’t restrain the man. Stuart’s friend was able to pin the man to the ground despite his smaller physique.
“I’m confident Bujinkan helped him in that situation,” Stuart said. “We try and develop to a point where, when put in a situation where you only have a short time to respond, our bodies can rely on instinct and know how to handle the situation.”
Stuart started training as a white belt at Purdue nearly eight years ago, but has advanced to a second-degree black belt.
“Bujinkan has helped me be more confident in myself as well as remain calm in times of crisis,” Stuart said. “The goal isn’t to learn to hurt people with this martial art, but to learn how to not get hurt yourself.”
Elizabeth Baker, a senior in the College of Agriculture and treasurer for the club, is a green belt, which is one step below black belt. She has been in the club for three years and joined after seeing a self-defense presentation given at Boiler Gold Rush her freshman year. Baker said the
focus of the club is on safety.
“We learn how to fall safely and focus on rolls in Bujinkan club,” Baker said. “I don’t feel I’m very athletic and have found I can do the moves just fine, so it shows you don’t necessarily have to be athletic to do Bujinkan.”
Tara Williamson, a junior in the College of Agriculture and Bujinkan club president, has been involved in the club for nearly two years.
“We have a lot of fun here and enjoy training together,” Williamson said. “Sometimes we get together and watch training videos and it helps us improve.”
According to the Purdue Bujinkan website, training involves punches, kicks, wrist locks, arm locks, foot locks, knee locks, throws, chokes, countless weaponry, firearms and ways to tie someone up.
Taylor Johnson, a sophomore in the College of Science, has just recently started coming to the club after hearing about it through a friend.
“It sounded like a fun thing to get involved with and it was something to keep me active,” Johnson said. “I already have a different mentality from when I joined the club. There’s a mutual respect for everyone involved in the martial art.”
The club meets from 6-8 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays at Memorial Mall, weather permitting, and Matthews Hall Room 304 otherwise.
“We have a family kind of atmosphere here and encourage people to come check it out,” Stuart said. “We’re looking for people with good hearts and that are interested in learning martial arts.”