About Deveau Martial Arts
What is the martial art taught at Deveau Martial Arts?
The art taught at Deveau Martial Arts is Bujinkan Ninpo Taijutsu; commonly known as Ninjutsu.
What is Ninjutsu?
The system is an efficient martial art in that it emphasizes realistic combat situations in a safe, friendly and secure atmosphere. The art is a scientific fighting method in which a student is taught to analyze each opponents body type and use their balance and weaknesses against them.
Ninjutsu is an art that has evolved in the feudal battlefields of ancient Japan and as a result has become a complete, competent martial art that covers all forms of weapons and hand-to-hand armed and unarmed techniques.
Within the curriculum are joint locking techniques, ground fighting training, close quarter combat, multiple attacker defenses, retention tactics, punching, kicking, blocking, koppo jutsu (bone breaking), koshi jutsu (organ/muscle attacks), pressure points, evading techniques (avoiding/redirecting attacks), and taihen jutsu (rolling, leaping, ground gymnastic type maneuvers). The weapons training include 16 different weapons such as the sword, six-foot staff, knife, net, and naginata. Also taught are healthy breathing exercises, meditation and energy work.
Do I have to be in top shape before I begin training?
No, in fact we get asked this question quite often. Before each class there is a half hour workout that includes stretching, strength training and cardiovascular exercise. But as each one of these exercise routines begin the students are often told to go at their own pace and are recommended to take breaks when they need to. The point is not to out do the person beside you but rather to listen to the messages that your own body is sending you. Progressively over time you will find that you can complete the half hour with ease and are ready for more.
I don't have time to train every week, are there pay as you go terms?
Yes, we realize that in today's modern world everyone has hectic schedules and can't commit to training every week. For this reason it would be uneconomical to pay the flat monthly fee when you might not be able to make it to every class, or maybe only a couple classes a month. To accommodate this we have a punch card that you buy and as you attend a class one of the six sessions are removed from the card. When you finish off the card you simply buy a new one.
Are there any social activities?
The dojo can be a hub for social activity. Usually twice a year we have an informal party, one in the summer and one in the winter. Many students become friends outside of the dojo and these friendships have lasted for many years. Many friends still keep in contact even though some have moved to different parts of the world.
Is there anyone I could car pool with?
Most of our students are from the South Cowichan area, but we have students coming up from Victoria and down from Nanaimo. There are car pools that take place and we would be happy to introduce you to the students that offer this. This helps to reduce your travel costs in attending the dojo.
Is this an occult?
Not at all. There are no religious practices that take place at the studio. There is a bowing in sequence that takes place at the beginning and end of each class but this has no religious overtones and is mainly to teach individuals to be humble and is a sign of respect to the instructor. In fact, during this bow the instructor also bows back to the students to demonstrate equal respect.
Doesn't training in martial arts breed violence?
Unfortunately, Hollywood has cultivated the image of Ninjutsu being a dark art that might be perceived as evil. This bad public perception of Ninjutsu and/or the martial arts in general is a misconception. The actual fact is that a true martial artist is not easily drawn into a combat situation. In fact, one of our black belts came from a dark troubled past that was often violent. Today he is a very calm peaceful productive member of society and gives 100% credit to the martial arts for helping him change. Moreover, it is a policy of Deveau Martial Arts that if a student is using their skills to harm others or simply to fight without provocation, that person will no longer train with Deveau Martial Arts.
Is the atmosphere that of a boot camp with the instructor yelling at us like a drill sergeant?
Absolutely not, the atmosphere is relaxing. John Deveau as well as his instructors are all very personable and friendly. When a technique or movement is taught the instructor will calmly demonstrate the move once quickly and then twice slowly breaking down each step in detail. Then the students are asked if they have any questions or need any clarification. Once all questions are answered the students get a chance to try the technique.
How long will it take to earn a black belt?
That depends on how much time you can devote to it each week. If one were to train consistently and dedicated much effort to training it can take between four to five years. But we would like to point out that the journey is more important then the destination. In other words one shouldn't be focused simply on attaining the belt, although this is a healthy goal, the individual should focus rather on perfecting their training and developing themselves as a martial artist. Once a person does this, before they know it, they will have achieved the level of black belt.
What age is too old to begin training?
We don't feel that there is a limit. We have had students come in and train in their 60's and they did quite well.