MARTIAL arts enthusiast Paul Stubbs has reached the highest rank possible in Ninjutsu and recently opened the country’s only full-time dojo in Swindon.
The 45-year-old ninja and father of two, from Ermin Mews in Stratton, was a fifth Dan black belt back in May 2003 – and was featured then in the Swindon Advertiser – but he now stands at the level of 15th Dan and among an elite group of just 20 in the UK.
Paul was a production operative in Hawksworth Industrial Estate in 2003.
Now he is fully focused on maximising the potential he sees in Bujin Martial Arts, the Ninjitsu school he has finally moved into dedicated premises.
Based out of BSS House on Cheney Manor Industrial Estate, the school currently runs evening classes for 50 pupils across all age groups, though Paul is confident there is a market to make daytime classes work too.
“There are thousands of shift workers in Swindon.
“If they want to come in the daytime, we are open,” he said. “Most martial arts hire school halls. Ours is dedicated to Ninjitsu.”
Paul has dedicated 25 years of his life to this art.
He makes two trips every year to Noda, Japan, at a cost of thousands of pounds, to train with the sport’s grand master Dr Masaaki Hatsumi.
It is these trips and these lessons with the art’s greatest teachers which have elevated Paul to a level only 300 people around the world occupy.
The level of 15th Dan cannot be surpassed, although Paul is sure he will continue to improve on the knowledge and ability he has already shown with more trips to the sport’s home nation.
It is the belief and faith Paul has in this sport which has encouraged him to take the plunge with a full-time tilt at running his Ninjitsu school.
“I just got to the point where we needed to get somewhere we can do this properly and get the full facilities we want,” he said.
“I love this art, not just for the physical abilities, but it is life changing. It cultivates you as a person.
“It’s the art that’s all encompassing. Not only the physical skills, it’s the mental skills, it’s the lifestyle, the mental benefits, the character building.
“It’s practical for everyday life. What you learn in the dojo you can use in the office.”
For more information and to get involved with Bujin Martial Arts, visit their website at: www.swindonselfdefence.co.uk