Self defense, Tucson AZ lessons that pay off in later life


I want to thank you for everything you have done for me over the last eighteen years.

Twenty years ago I was going through a lot of changes. I had been discharged from the Marine Corps early for flat feet as well as going through a separation and divorce from my first wife. I had come to Arizona for a “short” visit with my parents to clear my head and find a new direction.

I remember one evening I was sitting in the back yard talking to my father about how I wasn’t ready. Ready for what I didn’t know, but I knew if I was ever called upon that I was not ready.

Then in July of 1997 while flipping through the Tucson, AZ phone book for something completely unrelated, a little red add caught my eye. Surely it was just a coincidence.

After watching two self defense classes , the first was taught by Amy Young, the second by you, I knew that even though I hadn’t been looking for a martial art to train in, I had found what I was looking for.

I dove in with both feet. I trained as much as I could; Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. I trained at class, at home at work, I trained anytime I had a free moment. I remember practicing while reading a novel. I trained so often that when Monday classes were added I was told by one instructor to not attend, because they didn’t want me to burn out.

After fifteen months I took my first black belt test, and I failed. So I kept at it and two months later, November 1998, I tested again and earned my sho-dan rank. Up to that point that was the hardest part, then I was told I now had to teach.

Once I was in front of students and passing on your teachings, I realized how little I knew. So I avoided and put off every promotion as long as could after that. However every time I got comfortable you seemed to sense it and promote me again, and forced me to grow again.

Once I made yon-dan I decided that rank didn’t matter, at least to me, my technique or skill didn’t magically become better because I had a new rank. And while that is partly true, it is also a lie. After eight years of being a yon-dan I had fallen into that same trap, I was well beyond comfortable in my rank.

The only reason I traveled to Japan to test for go-dan is because you wanted me to, as my teacher I respect you greatly and strive to not have my actions reflect poorly on you.

Because of your instruction, both in the dojo and on the range, I have become a better person, husband, and teacher. And while only God knows if I am ready for that moment that I may called upon. I know, unlike twenty years ago, that I can put my faith in what you have taught me as well as Gods will, and I will go forward without fear.

Thank you again for everything.

Very respectfully,

Mitch Hayes

“In a world where discipline and values seem to be taboo, Bujinkan Yamaneko Dojo offers both to children and adult alike. I like the fact that my son is not only taught an ancient martial art, he is also taught to respect others as well as himself. He is taught to be good to his friends and family, to take pride in the things that he does and see them through to the end. Additionally he is learning a very important lesson that everyone must learn, that failure is to be expected and even okay as long as we use that experience to learn something new. I see him learning to calm his mind and starting to take the time to do things right. I’m very happy with the Bujinkan Yamaneko Dojo”
– Dojo Dad
“The Yamaneko Dojo provides an enjoyable, yet powerful, environment to fortify our lives as individuals and as a family unit. The benefits that we have experienced from training with the dojo as a family aren’t easily captured by words; we’ve shared rigorous challenge, witnessed amazing feats, felt the support of our teachers and peers, and grown together in skill and spirit. Prather Shihan is a gifted master teacher and this is clearly apparent both in the depth of the teaching and in the examples set by his senior students and instructors.
If you are looking for a constructive environment, physical conditioning, practical defensive skills, the tradition and profound depth of ancient Japanese martial arts, or just to spend some quality time around good people, the Bujinkan Yamaneko Dojo has this to offer.
– The Garsha Family
“I am new to the Tucson, AZ dojo and I was absolutely amazed at how welcoming everyone has been. I had been wanting to take up a martial art and didn’t quite know where to start. Thankfully I came to the right place! I have trained with a few different self defense teachers and they have all been extremely knowledgeable, kind, and patient. The classes that I have been to have been smaller (its not a big studio sized class) so it has been really awesome to get one-on-one instruction from the teacher while I practice with other students in the class, who have also been super nice and very helpful. So far, it has been a humbling experience for me. It’s more than just learning a martial art, its a new way of thinking, fun, and on top of all that, I’m learning skills that could potentially save my life. I definitely recommend checking out the dojo if you’re interested in taking up a martial art but don’t want compete, or even if you’re just looking to brush up on some really useful self-defense tactics.”
– New Student
When you join our dojo you will also become a member of the Soke’s international Bujinkan Dojo.
You will receive your official Bujinkan membership card, certifying that you are an active member of Hatsumi Soke’s worldwide martial art school!
You will also receive your Bujinkan USA Yamaneko member handbook, which details, dojo manners, testing, history, ryu-ha and much more.


Yamaneko Dojo
518 E Broadway
Tucson AZ,

Alabama Shibu
US 431
Brownsboro, AL

Fargo Shibu
Fargo ND,

Fudomyo Shibu
Albuquerque, NM
Fudomyo Dojo.com

Las Vegas Shibu
Las Vegas, NV

Lemitar Shibu
Lemitar, NM


New Mexico Institute of Mining Technology
Shibu, Socorro, NM,

Northern Arizona University
Prescott, AZ

Ohio Shibu
1791 West Second Street
Xenia,  OH

Reno Shibu
4842 Meadow Springs Dr
Reno, NV

Scottsdale Shibu
9170 E Thunderbird Rd.
Scottsdale, AZ


Sells Shibu
Tohono O’odam Reservation

Showlow Shibu
1152 East Deuce of Clubs
Showlow, AZ

Sierra Vista Shibu
Sierra vista

Socorro Shibu
Soccorro, NM

To learn more about our school, please contact us today.

Bujinkan USA
4518  East Broadway
Tucson, AZ 85711

Click here for directions

(520) 241-7690

© 2019 BUJINKAN USA. All Rights Reserved.


Self Defense Newsletter.

Subscribe Now!