The Bujinkan (Doyle-Bedwell) Dojo has existed continuously in one form or another since 1988. In 1989, one of our Senior Instructors, George Doyle-Bedwell earned his Shodan in the Bujinkan Dojo under the instruction of Shidoshi Edward Brown of the Bujinkan (Brown) Dojo in Toronto. George had begun training with Edward in 1985. With Edward's blessing George began teaching students officially. In 1999 George earned his Nidan and Shidoshiho and the Bujinkan (Doyle-Bedwell) Dojo, then called Bujinkan (Raiokami) Dojo, was recognized as an official offshoot of the Bujinkan (Brown) Dojo. In 2006, George travelled to Japan and earned his Godan, Rokkodan, and Shidoshi licenses and the Bujinkan (Doyle-Bedwell) Dojo was officially born as an independent Dojo in the International Bujinkan Dojo organization. However, George did not do this alone. The Bujinkan (Doyle-Bedwell) Dojo has been a cooperative effort since Patricia Doyle-Bedwell, our other senior instructor, came together with George and began training (and dating) in 1990. Together they have run this Bujinkan enterprise for 20 years. Currently George holds a Hachidan (8th Dan) and Patricia holds a Yondan (4th Dan) in the Bujinkan Dojo.
We have many Buyu (Warrior Friends) and teachers in the Bujinkan Dojo. We regularly train with Shihan Arnaud Cousergue of Bujinkan France; Shihan Peter King Amatsu Tatara Hichibuku Goshinjutsu Menkyo Kaiden; Shihan Bernard Grégoire and Shihan Francine Tremblay of Bujinkan Québec; Shihan Estelle Padeloup and Shihan Manolo Serrano of Bujinkan Montréal Dojo; Shihan Courtland Elliott; Shihan Eric Jobin; Shihan Craig Olson; Shidoshi Edward Brown; Shidoshiho Scott Wilson; and we try as often as possible to go to Japan to study with Soke Hatsumi-Sensei; Shihan Nagato-Sensei; Shihan Noguchi-Sensei, Shihan Oguri-Sensei, Shihan Seno-Sensei, Shihan Shiraishi Sensei, and Shihan Ohashi-Sensei. We have attended the Canadian Tai Kai in Toronto for the past three years (since it began) and we strongly encourage Bujinkan practitioners to attend as well, especially other Canadian practitioners.
Both George and Patricia have Mi'kmaq heritage and we consider this Dojo as Mi'kmaq run and operated. We incorporate aspects of our Mi'kmaq culture into our Dojo operations. For instance both Patricia and George begin the class at the front as a clear demonstration of our co-operation in running this Dojo. Another of those cultural aspects is welcoming people to our space, so rather than being exclusive we welcome people of all cultures, ethnicities, and genders. We want our students to feel we provide a safe and welcome environment in which to practice. We are also family oriented. Shidoshi Eugene Maloney is George's brother and he runs the Bujinkan (Maloney) Dojo and one of Nova Scotia's original Bujinkan Practitioners, Todd Murchie is also George's brother. It is our goal to work closely with the other Bujinkan Dojos in Nova Scotia, to provide a healthy Bujinkan family for our collective students.
There are three teaching ranks in the Bujinkan Dojo – Shidoshiho (junior instructor), Shidoshi (instructor), and Shihan (master instructor). All Bujinkan students are responsible to our Teacher Soke Hatsumi-Sensei. However, given the 200,000 Bujinkan practitioners worldwide, some level of organization is necessary. Shidoshiho are junior instructors who are under the direction of and responsible to a Shidoshi. As a Shidoshi you are considered to have the licence to open your own Bujinkan school. Naturally, Shidoshi are under the direction of one or more Shihan or senior Shidoshi, who subsequently are under the immediate direction of Soke Hatsumi-Sensei.
Normally Shidoshiho licences are requested from Soke Hatsumi-Sensei for students who wish to start or run a Dojo at some distance from their Shidoshi school as sort of an off-shoot or branch of the Shidoshi school. Moreover, the Shidoshiho candidate usually holds at least a Nidan Menkyo in the Bujinkan. The Shidoshiho licence allows the student to learn about teaching, running a Dojo, helping other students, etc. under the guidance and authourity of a Shidoshi. The Shidoshiho are not independent from their Shidoshi. In some Dojo senior students help teach unofficially, without a Shidoshiho licence. In the Bujinkan (Doyle-Bedwell) Dojo we have requested that all those who wish to have the opportunity to teach to apply for a Shidoshiho licence. Therefore, the only persons teaching in our Dojo are members of the Bujinkan Dojo Shidoshikai (teacher’s guild). Currently, there are four Shidoshiho students and one Shidoshi student in the Bujinkan (Doyle-Bedwell) Dojo and all are under the direct supervision of Shidoshi George Doyle-Bedwell:
Shidoshiho Patricia Doyle-Bedwell, Yondan, Bujinkan (Doyle-Bedwell) Dojo Co-owner
Shidoshiho Nathan Craig, Yondan
Shidoshiho Trevor Schellinck, Yondan
Shidoshi Daniel Schreiber, Godan
Shidoshiho Edward Switzer, Nidan
We also work closely with Shidoshi Eugene Maloney, Rokkodan. Shidoshi Maloney began as a student in the Bujinkan (Doyle-Bedwell) Dojo and achieved his Godan in 2007 at Daikomyosai. He is an excellent practitioner and a wonderful brother.
Shidoshiho Scott Wilson runs a Dojo in Tantallon, Nova Scotia under the supervision of Shihan Mark Vandehey. We stay in regular contact and teach at each other’s Dojo on a regular basis.