We are a Dojo, not a studio. A studio focuses on the competitive aspects of sport martial art and can be readily identified by trophy displays. The Bujinkan (warrior spirit school) Yamaneko Dojo (Mountain Cat Training Hall) has no trophies.
We emphasize traditional training for real life situations. At the beginning and end of every class we perform what is called rei-ho (dojo etiquette,) bowing in and out to the Kamidana.
The Kamidana or Kamiza (spirit house or spirit shelf) is the spiritual seat of the traditional martial arts school. The Kamidana consists of a small house holding a calligraphy, photo or sculpture by or of the art's founder.
This is not religious worship, but a sign of reverence for the tradition of our art. If this practice conflicts with personal, religious, or cultural beliefs you do not have to participate in rei-ho.
Teachers and students also exchange mutual bows of respect. There are never arguments with the referee as with sport-based martial arts competitions, because there are no competitions possible in our way.
Our system is much older than the popular judo, karate, or tae kwon do arts, and retains its warrior heritage intact. Our 800 year old tradition is ideal for actual personal defense since it requires no speed or strength, but relies on instinctive and natural movements.
The Bujinkan has nine ryu-ha or martial arts systems and a myriad of weapons. Hatsumi Soke has trained Prather Shihan in all of these, and he faithfully teaches the ryu-ha and weapons each year. Many newer and younger teachers have not be so trained and therefore cannot so teach.
Further, having spent his entire career in the traditional ninja warrior roles as a soldier, intelligence officer and federal special agent, the breadth of Prather Shihan's experience is unique. As for teaching kids and tots, Prather Shihan is four times a father and has taught from the kindergarten to college and every grade in between. He has also taught many disabled and disadvantaged students.
Adult Training Schedule
Tuesday through Thursday and Saturday at our indoor dojo located at 4518 East Broadway Blvd, Tucson, AZ 85716. 7- 8:30 pm (Wed 730- 9 pm).
Hatsumi Soke's 2017 training theme is Kanin doshi or Dokusan - to persevere to integrate mutual respect, both self respect and respect for the opponent.
Having trained with Hatsumi Sensei since 1982 Prather Shihan
agrees that training in respect is sorely needed.