Bushin is a mixed martial art based on street fighting. It was founded in 2009 by Shihan Cailey Barker, following a culmination of 30 years of martial arts experience. He felt that most martial arts fail to bridge the gap between traditional culture and modern day reality. His belief was that many traditional styles have great discipline and structure but lacked practical street application and flexibility to adapt. Conversely many modern styles teach good fighting skills but don’t retain the philosophy, culture and attributes of a true martial art. Meaning “Martial Spirit”, Bushin is a complete martial art that bridges the gap between martial philosophy and street fighting.
Bushin is a highly effective method of street fighting…not cage fighting or spending hours doing traditional forms, but practical street defence based on tried and tested techniques. Incorporating the best of a variety of martial arts, Bushin encapsulates it all: the effectiveness of Thai boxing, the flexibility of Jeet Kune Do, the traditions of Shorinji Kempo, the speed of Wing Chun and the subtlety of Tai Chi. Not to mention the grappling of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and the weapons work of Kali. Bushin does it all.
Bushin’s approach is simple and effective: learn, adapt and test. Learn the structure but gain the ability to be flexible and adapt…and pressure test it in sparring to see if it works. You need padwork to release stress, exercise to sweat and music to inspire. Bushin does it all…every lesson….If you want to learn practical street fighting, sweat, laugh and cry, then Bushin is for you!
Bushin is literally translated from Japanese as “martial spirit”. Its meaning implies we should always approach our training and life with the spirit, energy and enthusiasm of a martial warrior. Nana korobi ya oki as the Japanese say…”if you fall down seven times, get up eight”! Bushin comprises two Japanese characters (kanji):
- Bu. The Japanese character “bu” is more commonly used in the word “budo” which means “martial way or art”. Bu comprises 3 characters, which literally translates as “to stop two spears”, which gives the notion that true martial arts should only be used to prevent conflict and as a means of self defence.
- Shin. The character “shin” means “spirit” or “mind/heart” in Japanese.
The Bushin logo is encapsulated by the “enso”, or Zen circle. Similar to the Chinese ying-yang symbol or the Japanese manji, the enso symbolises enlightenment, strength, elegance, the universe and the void. It is the circle of life and shows all things are inter-connected.
In Zen Buddhist painting, the enso symbolises an expression of the moment when the mind is free to simply let the body and spirit create. The brushed ink of the circle is done in one movement with no possibility of modification: it shows the expressive movement of the spirit at that time. The broken circle expresses that imperfection is an essential and inherent aspect of existence. The Bushin enso was drawn by Shihan Cailey Barker when founding this unique martial art. To him it expressed the end is merely the beginning.
Become a Black Belt!
In Bushin we believe grades are important to measure progress and motivate you to improve your game. Depending on your ability and attendance, it generally takes around 4 years to get a Black Belt. Bushin has a progressive syllabus which builds all the way from basic striking and grappling through to weapons. The ultimate objective of a black belt is to make you an accomplished street fighter so you can handle yourself in any situation, against many people, armed or not.