Applying for Membership

Required Reading

Before you contact us, we ask that you do your homework. The koryu bujutsu are not at all like the martial arts taught today in the United States. Even those with considerable martial arts experience find that the differences are significant, and most of what they know and believe simply does not apply. Please read the articles listed below before you contact us:

If you have not already purchased and read Donn Draeger’s 3-volume series, “The Martial Arts and Ways of Japan,” you should do so now. The same goes for Koryu Books’ “Classical Warrior Traditions of Japan.” All new members are expected to also read (and think about) Dave Lowry’s In the Dojo and Dan & Jackie DeProspero’s Illuminated Spirit. All are available through or Amazon links.


Students of a traditional dojo recognize that membership fees support the existence of the dojo, and are not simple payments in exchange for instruction. Membership is a long-term substantial financial commitment. There is no “pay as you go” plan. Our various fees are as follows:

Regular: Shinto Muso-ryu $125 per month; Tenshin Buko-ryu $85 per month.

Mat fee: $10 per session. For practitioners who are members of other related dojo.

Registration fee: $50. This is a one time fee for new regular members upon enrollment.

Shutokukan annual membership fee: Shinto Muso-ryu $60; Tenshin Buko-ryu $35. This annual fee helps cover insurance and PayPal expenses.

New members must also purchase weapons and uwagiobi, and hakama. This typically involves an additional initial expense of about $250. We will provide you with details on what you need and where you can purchase it after you have been accepted as a member. We do not sell these items ourselves.

How to become a member

Membership and instruction are privileges not rights. We do not accept people merely because they want to join. We must be convinced that you will produce a net positive value for the ryu. We invest substantial amounts of our time and energy into your initial training; it is only worthwhile if you are in it for the long haul. We are not interested in “tourists” or “collectors.” To distinguish the serious seeker from the casual, we require you to observe one training session via Zoom, participate in a group interview, also via Zoom, then observe one live training. During this period, we will talk with you and get a feel for whether you will fit with the group. If we think that you will contribute to both the dojo and the ryu, we will provide you with the appropriate membership forms and waivers, give you information about how to acquire your equipment, and invite you to begin training at the next regular session.

Please note that the koryu are generally not appropriate for children or adolescents, and the minimum age requirement is sixteen-and-a-half.

If you have completed the readings listed above, have considered carefully their contents and the information on this page, then we invite you to submit a formal application by clicking on the button below.

Membership Application