YAMANEKO DOJO FOUNDER
Dai Shihan Jeffrey Prather is one of the founding fathers of the Bujinkan in America. For fifty years he has trained in Japanese martial arts. Prather Shihan started in Chito Ryu karate in 1967. By 1975 he had earned his karate black belt. He entered the Bujinakn in 1980. He is one of Soke's most senior and trusted Dai Shihan, and is the third most senior Jugodan (15th degree black belt) in the USA. The Yamaneko Dojo is an official branch of Hatsumi Soke's dojo. Shihan Prather is a double recipient of Hatsumi Soke's Gold Medal. The first was awarded for his development of the Close Quarter Combat course for the U.S. Marine Corps and the Army Special Operations Forces, the second for hosting the 1995 Tai Kai, which he had the honor of hosting a second time in 1999. Shihan Prather also holds a 10th degree blackbelt in Shinkengata (real life combat) and is a repeat inductee in several martial arts halls of fame. He has written books on a variety of subjects and has written articles for Black Belt magazine, SWAT magazine and numerous other publications. He has instructed tens of thousands police, intelligence and military personnel worldwide. Shihan Prather has also served in traditional ninja roles as DEA Special Agent and Special Snowcap Operator, Army Special Forces and DIA Intelligence Officer.
Carlos Reyes has been training in the Dojo since he was 16. Since then he has found a strong appreciation within this martial art and its philosophy. Carlos continues to train and eventually earned his shodan (first degree black belt in 2014. With this he continues to expand his training in order to help others around him. Carlos is currently a Sandan (third degree Black Belt) and is a graduate from the University of Arizona with a dual major in Foreign Affairs and Arabic. He teaches Tuesdays.
Michael Bueti has been training in the Dojo since 2014. He holds a Bachelor's in Physiology and Exercise Science from the University of Arizona and has worked as a professional massage therapist for the past 14 years. Michael has a passion for helping people reach their physical potential. He found in the Bujinkan an art that encourages individual achievement, and that hard work and an open heart can take you far. Michael is currently a Nidan (second degree Black Belt) and teaches on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month.
Joe Clifton is a shodan (first degree black belt.) He has been training since 2007. He holds a Master's in Business Administration, and has held management positions with HEDY, Vision Quest and the Tohono O'Odam Nation. 'Big' Joe has done extensive work with at risk and underprivileged youth. He also teaches on the White Mountain Apache reservation.