Budo Shingikan - Our Story
The idea for the Budo Shingikan came to me in the early 2000’s.
I moved to Arizona in the late 90’s and there wasn’t a whole lot of choices in the martial arts world in those days compared to where I was from in California, so I searched high and low for a teacher and Dojo that fit my needs. I finally did and it set my course in the martial arts for what eventually became the Budo Shingikan. Around 2006 when I first started teaching full time I taught anywhere I was able, the community center, other martial arts schools who would let me rent mat space etc. After a time I knew that there needed to be a new kind of martial arts school. The main reason why? I did not want to return to the strip mall Karate punch kick, kata and sparring formula that so many martial arts schools use as their American friendly sports oriented Dojo, so what was I going to do?
Well, I kept having this idea for a Japanese Dojo, but here in Arizona. It was to be an example in which students could learn what an authentic Dojo was like and an example to other martial arts schools on how to run a great professional business. This Dojo would not be driven solely by money, it would have the highest level of quick student service with a professional facility that had all the amenities, and it had to have a really great family friendly atmosphere. At the time, none of this existed all in the same place. No where.
Martial Arts Schools were either “McDojo” belt mills out to make as much money as possible or you had to move to Japan to find a good qualified teacher/school … nothing really in between. The cost of training in Japan was rather pricey and not an option for folks who had their roots set here in Arizona. Another problem is that every time I found a good legit school they taught out of their garage or if they had a facility it smelled of testosterone and sweat, came equipped with mats and other equipment that was at least 20 years old, simply put there was a general lack of professionalism all the way around and these schools took pride in that. Something was missing.
“So we pride ourselves in offering the best instruction in authentic Japanese martial arts, nothing sporterized or americanized, no sales gimmicks, no McDojo tactics. Just traditional, authentic, quality martial arts training, with the best martial arts business practices, and yes, we are a member of the Better Business Bureau.”
But what martial arts school was authentic and still popular? And that’s when I came across my Budo Shingikan School of Japanese Martial Arts idea. Not the standard watered down version which is often stripped down of authenticity to make it easy on Americans, i.e. we still use the Japanese language, our classes are taught as they are in Japan etcetera. I also wanted a professional business that was expected to be clean and tidy, a place that held itself to higher standards.
And what do you know, upon deeper review, I found that my idea was exactly what a lot of people were already searching for … the closest thing to the old style traditional training you can get in Japan in a professional and family friendly setting that everybody enjoys. The right amount of Martial Arts, all with its deep and fascinating history … as well as a balance of good and ethical business practices making our Dojo one of the most professional schools in the world. It’s very clean, extremely safe and offers the best of amenities while not sacrificing the quality level of martial arts taught. Plus it was what I spent my life dedicated to, my favorite type of martial arts, Japanese Martial Arts. Eureka!
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So, Mesa Arizona was The Budo Shingikan #1 location. This was before we expanded the corporate offices into Phoenix, AZ, before we had our satellite schools across Arizona (Prescott & Flagstaff) and now in other States. With the help of my loyal students we got the first location designed, got it built, even managed to borrow money for my house payment and personal bills when the Dojo opened … not for the thrill or stress I was searching for, but because that’s just how broke I was by that point. Good times? Matter of fact … the best times ever. It was the birth of a truly unique business and martial arts school the like nobody has seen before or since and the rest has brought me to where we are today. Budo Shingikan as you know it. We are so thrilled with the level of success we’ve achieved in such a short time and look forward to the future.