Karate days.

C M J has an extensive background in Martial Arts. After being inspired by Bruce Lee like so many others he studied Wado Ryu and Shotokan Karate for 5 years. The Training was always fun. Wado Ryu or the ‘Way of Harmony’ had a significant influence on Chris, and does to this day…

“It was a very dirty style and was banned from competitions as it was considered dangerous. I think these early days lead me eventually into the practise of Ninjutsu.”

‘Kumite’ or sparring became a speciality for Chris, with form or “Kata’ taking a lesser status. He remembers developing a somewhat dangerous reputation, which lead to him quitting Karate just after gaining his shodan or 1st degree black belt at 17 years old.

“Karate was a good start… although the violent aspects of competition Karate got the better of me…I always considered myself a Wado Ryu practitioner rather than a Shotokan man.”

— C M J

Life in Tokyo.

After studying English and Social Ethics at university (Social Ethics is applied moral philosophy and in this aspect too CMJ was influenced by Bruce Lee as he also studied philosophy) CMJ moved to Tokyo, where he worked teaching English as a Foreign language to the Japanese. Upon his return to the UK (London) and after looking at a number of possibilities he chose the art of Ninjutsu as it offered a more balanced and spiritual approach than Karate.The head of this art lives near Tokyo.

CMJ had been heavily influenced by early 80s music, in particular Japan and David Sylvian.

“Moving to Japan made sense as I had not only been studying Karate, which has Okinawan origins (Okinawa is an island in the south of Japan), but also as a result of my obsession with Japan and Sylvian’s music.(laughs)… Life in Tokyo, a song by the band Japan really changed my life in more ways than one.”

“Balance has always been important to me. I remember as a child walking down the street and if I turned one way to do something, I would immediately be obliged to turn the other way to restore balance.... “

— C M J

The Art of Distance.

In 1998 CMJ started studying Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, an art dedicated to preserving the spirit and techniques of the Ninja and Samurai. C M J started training at the Hammersmith dojo in London, England, after which he studied with Alessandro Viviani (Abruzzo, Italy) and then Pete Mo (Plymouth, England) and finally Agustin Martinez (Aix en Provence, France).There are 9 schools within the Bujinkan, including the important Gyokko ryu koshi jutsu (attacking the soft parts of the body) and Koto ryu koppo jutsu (attacking the structure of the body). He now teaches this art and currently holds the rank of 5th dan Shidoshi.

“Studying Ninjutsu and it’s associated arts is a real journey. I have been very lucky to meet some gifted individuals who have transmitted the art in part to me. The powerful destructive character of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu is somehow intrinsically linked to music making. You know… we sometimes have to destroy in order to create!”