MARTIAL ARTS: LITTLE Stanney instructor Dave Evans is hoping that the latest Hollywood blockbuster will encourage people in Ellesmere Port to join his classes.

Dave, 57, teaches a variety of traditional Japanese combat techniques and with the help of neighbouring Warner Bros. cinema at The Coliseum, he is trying to recruit new members who have been inspired by watching Tom Cruise's new movie The Last Samurai.

He said: 'My group, based at Little Stanney Village Hall comprises mostly of black belts and we decided that it was time to try and extend our numbers by adding some newcomers to the group. Warner Bros. have kindly allowed us to place a flyer on every seat when the film is showing.

Dave has been involved in a variety of martial arts for 40 years and holds 13 different black belts but now teaches Bujinkan.

The art, which is also known as Budo tai-jutsu, comprises of nine distinct Japanese martial traditions with skills having been passed down from master to student for 900 years.

Both armed and unarmed combative techniques are taught with the emphasis on possessing a wide variety of styles in self-defence.

Dave said: 'We use knives, bo staffs, chains, ropes and naginata (spear with a sword on the end). However, they are all safety weapons and our training is not about being the 'hardest' or the 'toughest' and our sessions take place in a relaxed and friendly atmo-sphere.'

After studying karate for over 20 years, Dave took up Bujinkan as a fresh challenge and went to train with the world's top teacher of the art, Masaaki Hatsumi in Noda City, north of Tokyo, and has now been out to Japan for training on six occasions.

He is no stranger to the big screen himself, having worked on a couple of films as a martial arts co-ordinator, even appearing in front of the cameras as a stunt double.

Dave said: 'I did Survival Island that starred Harrison Ford's brother, Terence and as well as instructing on the martial arts, I appeared in some of the fight scenes shot in Manchester's Chinatown as a double.'

In addition to his classes at Little Stanney, Dave works as a sports therapist, remedial masseur and at David Lloyd Leisure as a personal trainer.

The North West ninpo-kai dojo holds training at Little Stanney Village Hall on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8.30-10pm. For more details contact Dave Evans on 0781 693 1634 or e-mail him at