Frequently Answered Questions

AUG2013 27-30.9.13-4593.JPG

To navigate these FAQs:

  • Click on the Table of Contents entry to find out more.
  • Click on the heading of an entry to return to this point.

If you don't find what you are after here, please do not hesitate to send us an enquiry!

Table of contents

What is the Club all about?
What does the name Bun Bu Ryo Do mean?
What disciplines are trained?
Does the Club do competitions, sparring and similar activities?

Is this only for experts, or can beginners become involved?
Do children train with the Club?
Are there any age, fitness, size, or gender restrictions on membership or training?
Will I hurt after training?
Do I need any special equipment?
What are the qualifications of the instructors?
Does the Club have insurance?
How would you characterise the culture and values of the Club?
Values are nice, but how do you ensure that they are maintained?
So how much does this all cost?
So when/where is training on?
But what if I'm unable to get to a training venue easily as I don't have transport?
What does the funny bird symbol mean?
What do you do other than regular training?
I'm convinced! How do I sign up?
Who are the current executive officers and what are their roles?

What is the Club all about?

The Club exists to promote the practice and appreciation of martial arts within the University and the wider community. It is a multi-disciplinary cooperative (lots of different styles are represented inside the Club) with an emphasis on Japanese arts. Many of the members train across a number of the disciplines, including Club instructors with each other.

What does the name Bun Bu Ryo Do mean?

The name is an old Japanese saying, which broadly translates to “the pen and the sword travel the same pathway”. It is a statement recognising the importance of fusing the intellectual and the physical into any practice that we do, and the Japanese origin of most of what is practiced in the Club.

What disciplines are trained?

There are currently twelve disciplines supported by the Club and three auxiliary activities. These are:

Disciplines:

  • Arnis
  • Jodo
  • Jujutsu
  • Karate
  • Kendo
  • Kyudo
  • Seitei Iaido
  • Systema

Activities:

  • Go
  • Punchfit
  • Martial Arts Fitness & Conditioning
  • Strength & Flexibility workshops

Click to take a look at the pages for each of these Martial Arts.

Does the Club do competitions, sparring and similar activities?

It depends on the discipline. Over the years, the Club has supported Judo, Karate, Kendo and Taekwondo, which have a wide philosophical base and are also competitive sports— with University, National and International level competitions. Japanese Jujutsu can be competitive, though the style practiced at the Club is primarily focussed on self defence and personal improvement. Systema training can involve heavy physical contact, but is not competitive either. Iaido does have competitions at the national and international level, though there is little emphasis on this in most training. And finally Jodo, as a pre-modern Japanese martial art does not involve competition at all.

Is this only for experts, or can beginners become involved?

The Club welcomes people from all backgrounds and levels of experience. All we ask of you is to come with an open mind, a spirit of sharing and a commitment to give it a go! Beginners are catered for in the normal class structure at any time of year. However, if you are unsure of what you might like or whether the type of training is for you, you can always join one of the Club’s “Taste Testers” that are offered in Semester 1 and 2.

Do children train with the Club?

The Club is focused on members of the University community, and therefore is a more adult-oriented club. Individuals can become full members from the age of 14 upwards. However there is some accommodation made for the children of existing members. In addition, Kendo does accept children from the age of 8.

Are there any age, fitness, size, or gender restrictions on membership or training?

A qualified no.

All of the activities of the Club require physical activity and this must be taken into account when you are training. One thing that is often said is that the things we do are often “harder than they look”. However, with most individuals, accommodation can be made to training practices that can increase your physical ability slowly. We have members ranging from children to mature adults who represent a wide range of physical ability and fitness levels. In addition, you can expect to make progress directly related to the amount of effort you put into training. So whether you progress quickly or slowly is partially up to your own commitment.

Will I hurt after training?

This depends on a number of factors.

First, all of the disciplines are physical and involve interpersonal contact to some degree. Some disciplines have a greater emphasis on conditioning/contact than others. However, all require a moderate level of activity, which can cause strain and discomfort while you are getting used to it.

Second, from time to time accidents will occur given the nature of the activities the Club is involved in. We take all reasonable steps to reduce the likelihood and severity of possible injury, but no regime can ever be 100 per cent successful in avoiding all risks.

These things aside, the Club, its instructors and members instil a strong duty of care for all participants. Participants are always asked to work within whatever limitations they may have, and training partners are charged with ensuring that the people they train with remain as physically and emotionally safe as the parameters of the activity allow.

Do I need any special equipment?

Not to begin with. If you turn up in comfortable exercise clothes you should be fine for your first few lessons. Because of the nature of the activities, it is recommended that you wear long exercise pants and a t-shirt (long or short sleeved) until you are ready to take the plunge and buy a uniform.

Uniforms, training equipment and other items can be bought through the Club at a discounted rate, but if you have your own equipment already feel free to bring it along. Equipment such as training weapons will have to be inspected by the instructor before you use them in order to ensure your safety and the safety of all participants in that session.

What are the qualifications of the instructors?

All of the instructors have a wide background in martial arts and senior level grades in the art(s) they teach, recognised by their relevant Association’s peak national body. Where appropriate, they also have nationally recognised coaching qualifications in their discipline, and have Senior First Aid and child safety Blue Cards.

Does the Club have insurance?

Yes. The Club has its own Public Liability, Professional Indemnity and Sports Injury cover arrangements. These are funded as part of the Club membership and discipline specific affiliation fees paid at the beginning of each Academic year.

How would you characterise the culture and values of the Club?

The core values of the Club (the Dojo Kun) are:

  1. Integrity
  2. Perseverance
  3. Compassion

We take these values seriously, and they are expressed in the Club’s key objectives, which are:

  1. Providing a safe environment for instruction in the martial arts.
  2. Promotion of good health and vitality.
  3. Development of positive self-esteem and self-confidence.
  4. Development of a person as a positive role model in the community.
  5. Developing healthy community attitudes and values.
  6. Developing the mental and physical tools for improving personal safety and security.
  7. Facilitating the preparation of students for competition where appropriate.

Values are nice, but how do you ensure that they are maintained?

The Club is bound by its constitution and its charter documents. They include instructor and member codes of conduct, formal policies addressing activity based risk assessment, policies and protocols for addressing issues relating to harassment, discrimination and intimidation, and specific positions within the Club that deal with these issues. We have an Activity-based Health and Safety Officer, and a Harassment Officer, whose roles are to deal with issues, confidentially, efficiently and appropriately.

We have no tolerance for behaviour that makes the experience of others unpleasant or unsafe, and we reserve the right to exclude individuals from participating in Club activities if they create such an experience.

So how much does this all cost?

There are two components to the costs of training. The first is registration/insurance costs and the second is training fees. The Club is not-for-profit. All instructors volunteer their time to teach. Fees go directly to cover costs such as insurance, hall hire, and equipment maintenance. Currently they are:

Membership Fees:

Fees cover core costs such as membership of the relevant National/State organisation and insurance. Members are liable for the base Club registration fee and affiliation fees in the disciplines they train in.

Training Fees:

The Club is a not-for profit organisation and training fees solely go to hall hire and incidental costs.

All fees are (infrequently) subject to change, so please contact the Secretary for an updated list.

Plase refer to http://www.bbrd.org.au/fees/ for the current fees applicable.

So when/where is training on?

Take a look at our Class Timetable page for a weekly overview of what is on or visit the specific discipline page for a shortcut to the information you want.

But what if I'm unable to get to a training venue easily as I don't have transport!

We are keen to help members that might otherwise find it difficult to make it to training because the main dojo is at the other end of West Street from the University. We have car pools that go from USQ to the Dojo and back each night. We can also see what we can do if you are elsewhere in Toowoomba. Just let us know that you need a lift!

What does the funny bird symbol mean?

The Club's mon , or symbol, is a representation of the Club's core values. Its form is that of a Japanese sword's hand guard (tsuba) with a fountain pen nib in place where the blade would normally slide through (hence pen and sword, which forms part of the Club's name). The bird is a phoenix (ho-o), which is the symbol of the University of Southern Queensland and an important symbol in China and Japan representing high virtue and grace. The leaves it is holding in its beak are from the ginkgo tree. This tree is associated with tenacity and memory, and is a traditional samurai symbol.

What do you do other than regular training?

The Club and its members do a variety of things other than just regularly train. Activities related closely with training include demonstrations and participation in community events such as Harmony Day and the Toowoomba Languages and Cultures Festival. In 2011, the Club provided demonstrations at a Tsunami relief benefit dinner, which was attended by the Japanese Ambassador, the Member for Groom and the Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor (among other dignitaries). The Club also participates in various competitions including the Australian University Games (all that training has to be put to use somewhere!) and participates in and organises special seminars and workshops with a variety of martial arts organisations and instructors, including those who have expertise outside the current regular activities of the Club.

The Club also has a social side. We regularly have dinners and outings, and members also participate in a variety of other activities and Clubs, including Addicted to Anime, Southern Beekeepers Association, Toowoomba Permaculture Working Group and the Toowoomba Japan group (to name just a few).

I'm convinced! How do I sign up?

You can download a membership application form (and exercise pre-screening declaration) from the Club's web site: www.bbrd.org.au

Once you have filled out the paperwork you can return it to Sian Carlyon, the Club’s Treasurer (contact details below). Alternatively, you can bring it along to any of the regular training sessions or wherever you see a Club stall/demonstration throughout the year (such as O-week, Harmony Day, Toowoomba Multicultural Festival and USQ Open Day to name a few).

Fees are payable before training so that you are covered properly. If paying a monthly training contribution, this must be done at the start of the month. Direct debit details are available for the Treasurer, Sian Carlyon enquiries@bbrd.org.au for those interested.

Who are the current executive officers and what are their roles?

Executive Committee
President: Michael Baczynski
Secretary: Matt Green
Treasurer: Sian Carlyon
General Member: Brady Albrand

Technical and Training Committee:
Tracy Campbell (Seitei Iaido)
Eric Tavenner (Shinto Muso Ryu Jodo)
Michael Baczynski (Arnis, Jujutsu, Kendo, Kyudo, Systema & FlexiFit)
Dave Johnson (Karate)
Raymond Udery (Go)

Special Office:

Harassment Officer: Sian Carlyon