Seminar In Mesa Arizona

Grappling Seminar At Mesa Affiliate Dojo

mesa grappling seminar We will be holding a grappling seminar in Mesa, Arizona in September. There will be multiple affiliate schools joining us for the seminar. Schools from Arizona, Colorado, California, and Washington will be representing and in attendance. Myself and four other professors will be teaching various grappling techniques from different arts. There will be Newaza of Judo, Jiu Jitsu, Aikido arm lock demonstrations that can be used on the ground, American wrestling techniques, Russian Sambo demonstrations and more. The art of grappling has evolved over the years and we have embraced the more complex versions of the sport and combined those arts into an extremely effective self defense curriculum. Our instructors all train and compete at the highest level and will be prepared to show you techniques that are only taught at the highest level. Each instructor will have an hour and a half. There will be an hour of drilling technique in live simulation and the last half hour will be available or a Q&A session. If there are no questions to be asked at that time we will continue sparring for the remaining 30 minutes until the next instructor is ready to teach. The Dojo holds about 40 people on the mat, that is about 20 paired partners drilling techniques. If we have more than 60 people register there will be 30 minute drills, then groups will have to swap partners so everyone can get some mat time. There will be a lunch break for 45 minutes, we encourage you all to snack light as the second half of the day will continue with drills and fight simulations. The last time we were in Mesa for an event like this our affiliate had not prepared the Dojo properly for our arrival. The mats were dirty and it was a very unacceptable environment for our instructors and students to teach and train in. In response to that we have created a set of guidelines to ensure that we can train in a clean, well maintained environment free of mat fungus and rodents. The Dojo literally had cockroaches crawling on the walls, we have taken all precautionary steps necessary to make sure that never happens again. There will be no Dojos affiliated with us that can not keep sanitary conditions for themselves and their students. We have advised our Mesa affiliate Dojo to hire a local cleaning service prior to our arrival and ask that the mats are thoroughly bleached to prevent any chance of staff infection or other bacteria that grows on training mats. The request was also made that a Mesa exterminator treats the property so that none of our out of state visitors experience cockroaches or scorpions in their gym bags and belongings. When this criteria is met, we will require pictures, and proof of the thorough cleaning. Once the property is cleaned and treated to our expectations we will reimburse our affiliates and cut them in on a percentage of the registration fees to help them cover any other costs associated with the event like water and electricity. Arizona summers are very hot and having the Dojo open for an entire weekend will probably cost them a few hundred dollars just gin air conditioning costs. We are looking forward to the event and hope to see you all there in a sanitary training environment.

Professor Matt Barton Retires

Third Degree Black Belt – Professor Matt Barton Retires

retirement of a legend

Competitive Jiu Jitsu is definitely a young mans game, the old school cats will still compete in the Masters series but the days of high level competition has passed after the age of 29. When you hit your 30’s there are still great matches to be had and great competitors fighting for first place on national platforms. When you hit your 40’s the game definitely changes, the body just doesn’t react like it used to (trust me I know), things ache a little more, the hips and joints don’t quite shift and rotate like they once did, it’s just part of the aging process and if you have been an active competitor in any sport you know this holds true across the board. Watch old NFL guys walk up a staircase and you will see the hobble in those knees, a life of sports takes it’s toll on the body and injuries are harder to recover from, even worse, injuries tend to resurface and show their ugly faces as we climb this ladder of life. The beautiful thing about Jiu Jitsu is that you can continue rolling through your 70’s and 80’s if you wanted to. Guys on the mats understand the level of physicality to exert to an older cat. If you don’t see yourself rolling at 70, you can still be active on the mats helping teach the younger guys especially if you competed or hold a black belt in the martial arts. When that time does come though, (not looking forward to it) to hang up the belt and Gi and call it a day, it will be a difficult moment in my life and I’m sure it will be difficult for any other life long practitioner of the arts. Imagine doing something most of your life and one day walking out that door for the last time knowing you will never return to those mats, it’s almost like retiring form a place of employment which can also be difficult for people leaving their jobs that actually liked working. Well, let me tell you a little bit about professor Matt Barton.

Professor Matt Barton

Professor Barton dedicated his life to martial arts. He started in Karate, eventually transitioned into kick boxing, then kung fu, and in his late 30’s he began practicing Jiu Jitsu. He earned his black belt by age 40 and competed in many of the Masters Series level of competition. He took home 1st place many times against some fierce competitors. He stopped competing as he approached 50 and volunteered to teach the kids class at his gym. He trained and produced young champions during his time there. Parents loved Matt, he was an amazing teacher, friend, and jiu jitsu practitioner. Matt taught class for about 10 years until he hit his 60’s when he decided to retire and travel. Matt became a true globe trotter, traveling the world and training at gyms from the U.S. to Brazil. He maintained that lifestyle for about 5 years and returned to the states to settle in for a bit. He returned to the gym and started training again through his 70’s earning himself his 3rd degree black belt. This guy is a true inspiration and role model to children and adults the same. I’m sad to see him go, but he is officially ready to retire.

Joining Long Island Retirement Community

I want to officially send professor Matt Barton off with with the sincerest of goodbyes. Matt will be heading to Long Island, NY to officially settle down with his wife of 51 years. The two of them will begin living out their 80’s in comfort and style at The Amsterdam at Harborside Long Island Retirement Community. This retirement facility is one of the nicest 55 and over communities on Long Island. It’s a place for a champion and a man of Matts kind to retire and live out the rest of his days in style. There is a Jiu Jitsu gym on Long Island, I will be emailing Matt monthly to encourage him to go train. The mid, body, and spirit benefits from jiu jitsu training and at 80 years old I think he still has what it takes to get on the mats and rough the young guys up a little. Oss!

Need A Property Manager For Oklahoma Dojos

We Are In Need Of A Property Management Company For Our Dojos

property manager

Hey affiliates, sorry for the recent spike in posts and email notifications but there has been a lot to talk about the last few weeks. Most of these emails are about good things, so you can feel good about receiving them, especially this one because it’s about the growth of our community. Forget the one last night about the white belt that needed dental reconstruction, not necessarily a positive email notification but it needed to be shared. Ok, back on track! We have more affiliate locations opening up the second part of 2018 and are in need of a property management company to help us locate properties that will be good for the growth of our affiliate community. We are also contemplating the purchase of these properties, that would be ideal as we continue to grow. Property ownership just makes our brand and our affiliate community stronger. We have discussed internally that we would be willing to float the note on these properties as our affiliates get up and running, property rent would be rolled into the affiliation fees until the property was paid off. We understand this could take a very long time but we are in this for the long haul. There are many benefits to hiring property managers, I won’t go into all that here, just click the link in the text to learn more about what I am talking about. We will also be looking to hire an administrative assistant to help with the day to day tasks we have here at the Dojo. This person will start as a part-time member of the team and eventually grow into a full time position with remote opportunities. Someone local would be preferred so that they could visit the properties, connect with local affiliates, and act as an admin for this project. We know that there may be an individual out there that is extremely qualified to operate as our admin and we are open to having someone work remote if that is something that should present itself. If you or anyone you know are interested in a position with Open Space Dojo, just reply to the newsletter that sent you here to this article. After we receive your request we will send you an interactive document that will act as a resume for you to fill out. We will take the first 10 we receive and send out another news letter asking everyone to pause submissions until we have had a chance to thoroughly read through all the submissions for the administrative position. Guys and gals, as always we are thankful for your participation in all of this, we wouldn’t be here without you. The emails will slow down soon as this period of growth comes to an idle and we resume normal activity. Thanks again for your support.

Brawl Breaks Out And Teeth Get Knocked Out

White Belts Brawl And Lose Teeth At Oklahoma Dojo

results of altercation

It was a great night of sparring, must have been 20+ guys on the mats battling for position when two newbies broke out in a fight. Guess what, white belts! For those of you that don’t follow my blog but are here reading this anyway, a white belt is the first belt you receive when training in any martial arts. From there, belt colors can vary as you make your way to brown and black belts. Those three colors though are the most common belt colors at the bottom and top of the totem pole. So when you’re a newbie, it’s best that you don’t get out of line when there are 18 other guys on the mats that wouldn’t have an issue straightening you out. These were some younger guys and they had gone at it before while sparring. Apparently they were getting too aggressive and one of the guys tapped and his training partner didn’t let the choke go. I get it, you wanna deck a guy that holds a choke after you tap, but there are two sides to every story and there are times when a guy doesn’t tap the body and instead taps the mat, that is no good for many reasons. There is a lot of noise going on while guys are training, and especially when they are sparring. If your partner is hard of hearing, he might not hear you tap the mat. When I’m getting choked, I’m either tapping the hell out of my partner or I am yelling tap with my last breath. A couple of swats on the mat might just sound like the guys next to you training hard. That being said, there should have been some sort of conversation that transpired after the incident, instead, the guy that got choked jumped up afterwards and started swinging! Well, it wasn’t his lucky day, he got caught with a right cross that knocked his front teeth out! Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up! He swung on his partner and got rocked! Obviously there was blood everywhere, they guys teeth were laying on the mats and people were pissed. Class ended immediately as guys scrambled to break up the fight and mop up the blood. The two front teeth were broken and this guy was going to need some cosmetic reconstruction on his teeth. The owner of the Dojo felt bad for the kid and found a talk radio podcast about cosmetic dentistry in Oklahoma. Apparently it’s a semi-affordable option if this guy wants to get his front teeth back. You can read more about Reflections Cosmetic Dentistry in Oklahoma here or even listen to the podcast. Seems like a legit option for any martial artist that’s had his teeth knocked out while sparring, or even when competing. Not the first time we have seen teeth on the mats, and definitely not the last time.

New Cargo Van Gets Detailed At Oklahoma Dojo

New Cargo Van At Oklahoma Dojo To Shuttle Students

newly detailed cargo van

Good evening brothers and sisters. We are excited to announce that we have purchased a new cargo van for our Oklahoma Dojo. The class has grown so much in the last two years that we have now purchased a van. A few months back the Dojo was in need of roof repair, now they have paid cash for a used cargo van. The need for a van became apparent when many of our young students were missing class because their parents either did not own vehicles or they worked late hours and were unable to shuttle their child to class. The other benefit this gives us is the ability to shuttle our team from the Dojo to the arena on competition day. We usually have about six to eight people competing each time there is a tournament, having the ability to shuttle everyone together will create a stronger bond among teammates and help to build camaraderie. The cargo van was purchased on Friday and was brought to the Dojo to be parked for the weekend. While inspecting the interior we noticed a pretty foul stench and realized that the carpets needed to be shampooed. The van had previously been owned and operated as a local delivery truck. The stench became worse as we spent more time in the cab of the vehicle. We contacted a mobile car detailer in OKC and they came down that day and gave the vehicle a complete makeover. They washed the exterior and interior of the van and even cleaned the engine compartment. Whatever the odor was leftover from the delivery company, it was now gone. The van looked amazing and we were ready to shuttle our team to practice and to tournaments. Having a reliable mobile detailer in the area made it convenient for all of us needing our vehicles thoroughly cleaned up inside and out. We scheduled the guys again for later in the week and we all lined up our cars to get cleaned. The van is ready to go, the kids now have a ride to class and back, and we all just got upgraded to a shuttle for competition day in OKC. This cargo van will serve it’s purpose for a very long time!

Young Kip Needs A Bone Marrow Donor Match

Help From The Dojo – Bone Marrow Donor Match Needed

kip needs bone marrow donorA young student at an affiliate Dojo is in need of a bone marrow transplant and your help is needed. A fellow martial arts practitioner and young fan of MMA is in need of an exact match bone marrow donor. Young Kip started his martial arts journey two years ago and has been promoted to second degree gray belt in Jiu Jitsu. Kip also had been competing regularly and brought two gold medals home to his Dojo with pride. A true champion on and off the mats, Kip needs your help now for the fight of his life. I will be sending out an email to all affiliates that will link to this article, you will then have the option after reading this to make donations at your local Dojo. Your professors will deposit the money collected and PayPal us the funds so we can get the money to Kip and his family. Money is only part of the donations we need. We need many of you to swab your mouths and apply to become a bone marrow donor. Both men and women are encouraged to find a donation center and give bone marrow. There are Charities that can find a bone marrow donor match, we encourage you to contact them and apply to become a donor. If you are unable to donate because of health reasons, money will help Kip and his family along the journey ahead of them. They will need assistance traveling and lodging during this fight. All affiliate Dojos should encourage their students to get involved to help make this martial arts community one that kicks ass on and off the mats. Kip has been a warrior, according to his professor he is still showing up to class on occasion and practicing. The beautiful thing about kids at that age is that they typically don’t have a deep understanding of the severity that is cancer. We have seen many kids win and lose the battle in our community and we will continue to give our love and support to our members and those outside of the Martial Arts community that we are so heavily involved in. I now bow in respect to all of you making the decision to make a difference. With over 50 affiliate Dojos and hundreds of students around the country we shouldn’t have any problems finding a bone marrow donor match for Kip. Thank you all that respond. Oss!

Cognard Shihan 8thDan in CA & AZ (June 2018)

Cognard Shihan 8thDan in CA & AZ (June 2018)
From: Andrea Debiasi posted on 4. Jun 2018, 10:52pm

“Kokusai Aikido Kenshukai Kobayashi Hirokazu Ryu” (KAKKHR), in cooperation with “Los Angeles Aiki Kai” & “Arizona Aikido”, cordially invites you to a series of June 2018 seminars with André Cognard Shihan 8th Dan (Hanshi, Dai Nippon Butoku Kai): Los Angeles, CA (June 16-17 & 27-28), Bakersfield, CA (June 18-19), Santa Ana, CA (June 20-21), San Diego, CA (June 22-24), Irvine, CA (June 25-26), Phoenix, AZ (June 30 & July 1).
All levels and affiliations are welcome.
Check out the details in the dedicated Website:

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  • Shirakawa, Ryuji in Calgary, Alberta Sept. 21-23 2018

    Shirakawa, Ryuji in Calgary, Alberta Sept. 21-23 2018
    From: Andrew James Barron posted on 28. May 2018, 02:23pm

    Calgary Aikikai is excited and looking forward to training with 6th Dan Ryuji Shirakawa Shihan of Sendai, Japan this September. This is the only seminar he will be conducting in North America and should not to be missed. All are welcome to come train with this dynamic and energetic Sensei. Info at :

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  • Shihan Ruriko Masutani Passes Away

    Shihan Ruriko Masutani Passes Away
    From: Matthew Streiff posted on 16. May 2018, 01:30pm

    Sad news that Shihan Ruriko “June” (Masutani) Harris, of Springdale, PA, passed away on Sunday, May 13, 2018. Also known as Ruriko Masutani, June was the beloved friend of Nigel Beckford, Matt Streiff, Alan Pelton, Skip Fox, Bob Intrieri, Martin Pachol, Greg Yakich, Barbara Brandom, Will Graves, Jim Weldon; step-mother of Darla Liston and family. June was the proud founder and executive director of Aikido of Pittsburgh. Shihan Ruriko Masutani founded Aikido of Pittsburgh in 1968 after she emigrated from Japan as a Christian exchange student. Born in Himeji, Japan, Shihan Masutani began practicing Aikido as a child in the early 1950’s under the guidance of her father. After moving to the United States and finally settling in Pittsburgh, Shihan Masutani continued training and began teaching seminars up and down the east coast. She taught Aikido in Pittsburgh for over 48 years.

    Along the way she has made many friends and taught thousands of students. In Pittsburgh she opened dojos in East Liberty, Squirrel Hill, Fox Chapel and finally Etna. June had a special way with people, students, teachers, people on the street, nurses and caregivers… she was always known and always loved by those she touched.

    Her journey in life has had Aikido and martial arts threaded throughout. From her early years as part of the United States Aikido Federation (USAF) then a member of the Aikido of Ueshiba association and her later years as an independent instructor, Masutani Sensei always sought to give her students and friends the best, regardless of affiliations and associations.

    June was always a very independent person. Austere in many ways, she cut away frivolousness and got to the heart of training or relationships. She built a community in the Aikido and martial arts world that has a lasting legacy in those that she taught. She will be missed but will forever be remembered.

    Celebrate June’s life with her friends at a memorial service on Sunday June 3, 2018 at 2 PM at Aikido of Pittsburgh, 401 Butler Street, Pittsburgh PA 15223. Arrangements made by Perman Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc., 923 Saxonburg.

    In addition to the memorial service on Sunday June 3rd, the senior instructors of Aikido of Pittsburgh will hold a memorial Aikido seminar in her honor later in 2018. The burial will take place after that seminar.

    Please check the Aikido of Pittsburgh website,, or our Facebook page for more details on the seminar and burial date.

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  • Toshiro Suga, 7th Dan, 1-3rd June 2018

    Toshiro Suga, 7th Dan, 1-3rd June 2018
    From: Scott Reed posted on 16. May 2018, 01:30pm

    Toshiro Suga began aikido in 1968 at Hombu Dojo and moved to France in 1971. He was a senior student of Tamura Nobuyoshi Sensei and gives seminars all over the world. Please join us for his annual course in Edinburgh, Scotland!

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