2009 / 12 / 2 [ Tony and B ]
Sensei Ismael Rodriquez and the Niji Dojo have been a blessing for our family. Our 14 year old son, Brandon, has developed a sense of self-confidence and focus that he previously lacked. At the Niji Dojo, under sensei Rodriquez' guidance, Brandon has reached new levels both physically and emotionally, Brandon is more physically fit and has an increased awareness of fitness principles as a result of his training under sensei Rodriquez. Always a good student, Brandon especially enjoys the opportunity to learn from fellow students and, in turn, to share what he has learned with others. We appreciate the excellent instruction and the core values, including respect, provided by sensei Rodriquez. We wholeheartedly recommend the Niji Dojo and sensei Rodriquez.
Tony and B. Gale Gibbs
2010 / 12 / 21 [ Caroline ]
Our 10 year old son began training at Niji No Hashi dojo about one year ago. Prior to beginning his training he was timid and always worried about getting hurt, as well as not having much physical strength. He did not start walking until he was three and was therefore behind other boys his age in terms of physical strength and ability. After a year with Sensei he has gained in confidence and in strength. From being afraid to jump, he now jumps over mats and off of benches and ladders, runs up walls, and even enjoys being attacked. He could not do a push up, now he does 40, he could do 5 jumping jacks, he now does more than 100, and often demonstrates, as well as leads the other students, in exercises. He was shy and rarely spoke out loud: he now helps the younger students and has developed into a strong and patient leader. Our son has gained confidence, self-discipline, a desire for excellence, and determination from his training. We have seen these things transfer over into other areas of his life including academics. He loves Ninjitsu, the dojo, and especially admires Mr. Rodriguez. When he first began his training, we only had to say “What would Sensei say?” to stop any disobedient behavior. Our son is a different child thanks to his training at Niji No Hashi dojo.
2009 / 11 / 30 [ Stephan ]
I want to take this time to thank you for all that you have taught our son . He has been taking lessons from you for over a year now and during that time we have seen our son mature into a young man. He is humble, confident, strong, compassionate, caring and extremely centered. He lives to come to the dojo. You have a key role in all that he has become and will be and for this we are forever in your debt.
He helps teach other students and because of this your teaching are being engrained in him. I thank you for talking to us when hi is not following our rules and taking the time to get him back on track. For this we are thankful. We have said more than once, "if you do not do this or that we will talk to Sensei" and that is all it takes to turn him around.
I would highly recommend this way to anyone interested in deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them. Not to mention you learn how to defend yourself in an ever changing world.
2009 / 10 / 28 [ Tomiko ]
It is such a pleasure to write a testimonial for Sensei Ismael Rodriguez. After a very unfortunate incident here locally he took it upon himself to offer up a free self defense class to help the ladies of the triangle feel safer and to arm them with some skills to protect themselves should they find themselves in a situation in which they would need to do so. The mere offering of such class shows the true nature of Sensei’s heart. He is certainly a man of integrity and is focused on people and not fame and fortune.
Few took advantage of this opportunity and that is regrettable but for those of us who did show up, we were very appreciative.
Sensei is deeply knowledgeable in this art and is such a fascinating man to learn from and listen to. I greatly enjoyed this class and took away a lot of things to consider should I ever find myself in a precarious situation. I highly recommend that if he offers this type of class again that anyone able take full advantage as you will not be disappointed.
I can only imagine how his regular students must respect him and benefit from his teachings. Just from the 3 weeks I worked with him I was extremely pleased with what I was able to do and feel more confident that I am able to defend myself using the basic techniques I learned in this short period. I praise Sensei for being compassionate enough to offer this type of class and hope that he will consider doing it again as I will certainly encourage my friends and others to invest the time.
Tomiko D. Lane
2009 / 10 / 27 [ Kathy ]
I've always been interested in taking martial arts classes but didn’t like the theatrics and acrobatics that I've seen with some programs. I was looking for a program that focused more on self-defense. This is particularly important for women these days. A friend told me about the traditional Japanese martial arts of Ninpo and Jujutsu that are taught at the Niji No Hashi Dojo under Sensei Ishmael Rodriguez. She assured me that the training is more practical for self-defense. And I totally agree. I've been training at the dojo for almost 2 years and have learned so much. I am now trained to have a constant awareness of my surroundings. Even though I can't do all the techniques and patterns perfectly due to limitations from an old knee injury, I have built my confidence and feel assured that if I am attacked, I will have a fighting chance to defend myself and escape my attacker. You don't need a lot of physical strength to train in this program (although you will become stronger as you train). There are so many simple techniques (as well as advanced techniques) that you can learn and apply that will inflict enough pain on your attacker to buy time so you can escape. If you practice them over and over, the techniques become part of you and you can automatically react to your situation. I highly recommend this discipline for all women who want to learn self-defense and build their confidence, strength, and stamina.
Kathy W. Age 44
2009 / 10 / 03 [ Timothy ]
Hello, my name is Timothy Hardman, and I joined the Niji no Hashi Dojo about a year ago. If you looked at me then, you wouldn’t have guessed that I was dealing with bullies at the time, but I was. So I asked my father about seeing if I could join a martial arts organization. I had done tae kwon do a few years before, and I just didn’t like anything about it. Then we stumbled upon the Niji no Hashi dojo. We saw it one day while we were driving through town, and we returned a little while after that to see what it was all about. After one trial class, I was absolutely hooked. I felt like this is some stuff I could actually use in the real world if I did get in some kind of trouble. It wasn’t real flashy or anything, but just genuine, practal self defense, that also helped get me in better shape than I was. But for me, the best part about these amazing martial arts was the deep and intricate history behind the martial art. I am one of the few people who are absolutely fascinated by history, because it gives things a meaning, it tells you why things happen. Ninpo has actually been around for more than 2 thousand years, and after being around that long, you know these techniques that you’ll learn have been tested countless times. Also Ninpo is about escaping, not looking for fights and beating someone up.
I am extremely thankful for all the things Sensei Rodriguez and the whole Niji no Hashi family has taught me, and I will continue to learn and practice this amazing martial art for as long as I can.
2009 / 10 / 01 [ Maizul ]
Greetings. My name is Maizul Cobeo. I am 17 and I have been training at Niji No Hashi Dojo for a little over a year. There truly are not enough words to describe the profound impact that training at Niji No Hashi Dojo with Sensei Rodriguez has made on my life. The dojo is more than just a place to learn the mechanics behind various martial arts techniques. It's a place where you can go and feel safe. Niji No Hashi Dojo is a place where I can belong. When I train at the dojo, I feel comfortable with myself and those I train with. No one judges me for who I am or when I make mistakes. You don't compete with anyone but yourself. I learned early on that the level of success that you can achieve is dependent on how hard you are willing to work. Having recently joined the advance class, I know first hand that succeeding and keeping up with more advance students takes a lot of work and even more patience. While it is difficult, I do not shy away from the challenges for two reasons. The first is that the feeling of accomplishment that comes with mastering a technique is so good that I crave more. I want to be better because I know I can be. The second is that everyone in the dojo wants you to succeed. The feeling camaraderie at the dojo is astounding. Everyone treats each other with respect and is always willing to offer helpful suggestions. We take joy when our fellow students do well and encourage each other when we have difficulties learning techniques. Because there is no sense of competition, everyone helps everyone willingly. We do not hold back helpful advice because Sensei has stressed upon us that we want those we help to be better than ourselves.
Another invaluable lesson I've learned at the dojo is self control. Niji No Hashi Dojo does not teach you how to fight; it teaches you how to protect yourself and your loved ones. The spirit of compassion is in everything we learn and do. Sensei Rodriguez does not teach us aggression but rather humility and meekness. The techniques we learn at the dojo are not meant to be shown off because in spirit, they are truly for the sake of protection. I've learned that just because I have the power to do something doesn't mean I should. As a result of my training at Niji No Hashi Dojo, I've become a calmer person. I avoid trouble rather than running to it. I've learned to listen when I'm being corrected rather than taking offense because often times when I'm being corrected, it's for my benefit. As a result, my relationship with my parents has improved tremendously; I don't fight with them like I used to and by effect, they treat me more like an adult, trusting me with heftier responsibilities.
Niji No Hashi Dojo is an important part of my life. I'm still learning lessons in self control and discipline in all areas of my life and I know that Niji No Hashi Dojo plays an integral role in helping me learn those lessons
2009 / 7 / 30 [ Daniel ]
My name is Daniel Callahan and I have been training at the Niji Nohashi Dojo in Cary for close to six months. To be honest I had never heard of Ninpo before, but I went to my first class on the recommendation of a friend and fellow student and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’m still excited to go to classes every week. I have more confidence that in a bad situation I would be able to defend myself and/or my family. I feel stronger and more agile due to the techniques we practice and the exercises’ we perform so my overall confidence has improved as well. When you’re in class, you’re not just learning self-defense techniques; You learn the history and traditions of Ninpo; You learn patience and discipline; and you learn to speak some Japanese. You also teach. As you advance you help to guide the newer students in their training. Sensei says the other students are my brothers and sisters, and I feel that very strongly when I’m in class. We train hard together and I respect them all. We don’t compete but we encourage each other, and no other student has ever made me feel awkward for messing up or taking a little longer to learn a technique. Sensei Ismael is a fantastic instructor and he always makes every class fun even when we’re covered in sweat. He has something new to show us every class and I enjoy his stories about the history of Ninpo. Sensei Ismael has my utmost respect and loyalty and I hope to continue training with him for years to come.
Daniel Callahan Age 31
2009 / 7 / 30 [ Maria ]
As a parent, I am always looking for real, deep, meaningful experiences for my daughter. She's been in ninjutsu training for a bit more than a year now, and I am very happy with all aspects of the program. The training regimen is demanding both physically and intellectually. Every person can progress at his or her own pace, which provides valuable lessons of training with people of varying ages and experience levels - after all, in the real world, you are unlikely to be attacked by your perfect age/weight/level mate!
Just as much as defense technique or breathing lessons, we value Sensei Rodriguez's wise, funny, memorable and always timely talks, situating defense arts in the larger scheme of things - respect to others and yourself, relationships, worldview, confidence. He is a great role model.
2009 / 7 / 30 [ Raye Sheffield ]
I have been a student at this dojo for almost two years and am currently at the fifth level out of ten in my training. When I first came to this dojo with my sister I felt very shy and hesitant to start training, however, sensei made sure that we felt comfortable coming in. While he effectively taught us new moves in simple step-by-step instructions, he never pushed us to do something we weren’t comfortable doing or he felt we weren’t ready for. Not only did I receive training from sensei, but I also learned from other students, especially those of higher rank. There is never a competition between students, and everyone is so friendly that it made the learning process that much easier for me. Now from all the training I’ve received over the couple of years, I feel like I am better prepared to defend myself in a real-life situation. Sensei has taught us many moves and techniques that are practical to use in a realistic situation, such as if a person confronted me with a knife. So I know that if ever the situation arises, I have learned numerous moves that I can use to ensure my safety or the safety of my loved ones.
2009 / 7 / 30 [ Andres ]
After many years of traditional, non-traditional, and military close quarter combat training it is refreshing to go back to very traditional martial art roots. Niji No Hashi Dojo provides exactly that, a very traditional training environment with a solid foundation and focus on the practical aspects of martial arts. Finding a good martial arts school is challenging, finding a great one is exponentially more so. Having recently relocated this was a concern, especially after having great instructors in the past. I found Niji No Hashi Dojo after extensive iterations of checking out schools. The instruction at the Dojo is exceptional and this, coupled with the strong bonds amongst the students, makes for a healthy environment that fosters solid personal and collective development.
2009 / 7 / 23 [ Daniel ]
My name is Daniel Murphy. I am 54 years old. In 1985 I as hit by a drunk driver which I sustained a traumatic head injury which effected my eyesight, hearing and coordination. From 1987 to 1991 I was a homeless indigent living on the streets of Fayetteville N.C. . Lots of times I would be beaten by drunken GI's or gangs of youths looking to have fun at my expense because I was a homeless bum. I always wished that I could defend myself, but at that time I was in no condition physically, mentally, or spiritually to fight back. I made a promise to myself that one day I would start fighting back and learn to defend myself.
Finally in October 2008 with me looking for a martial arts school for over 2 years I finally found what I was looking for in Niji No Hashi Dojo run by Sensai Ismael Rodriguez. I walked in and knew right away I was in the right place. I don't know how to explain it but I just knew in my heart that this place was right for me. I am interested in martial art wisdom not breaking boards or competition. I asked my wife to get me enrolled for a Christmas present. Well in January 2009 I started my training. The first thing Sensai taught me was PATIENCE ! Ninpo is a martial art that one does not acquire quickly or easily. I found out that the students in my class did not think I was "nuts" for beginning this martial art at the age of 54. They treated me with respect and as a equal no matter what level they were training at. Sensai and my fellow students are always,always there to answer any questions I may have or help me to learn a new technique. Sensai Rodriguez is a caring and sincere man who has the utmost passion for the art of Ninpo. Sensai Rodriguez is always looking out for the safety and what is best for his students. He passes on to us generations of wisdom that he has learned from his Sensai. I highly recommend Niji No Hashi Dojo to train your body mind and spirit. So is a true martial art is what you are looking for, Ninpo under Sensai Rodriguez will be the answers to your prayers. Daniel Murphy (Murph)
2009 / 7 / 15 [ D ]
Hello and I am 17 years old. I’ve been a member of the Ninpo Federation for about nine months now. My Sensei, Ismael Rodrigez, has taught me very well on techniques he has shown to myself and the other students. When I first started out in Ninpo I was looking forward to becoming a true warrior and to learn fast. I soon realized that it takes a lot of patience to become a true warrior and that if you learn things slower that your form will be much greater than if you were to learn it fast. When I am training I feel a lot stronger and faster to respond to attacks then I did in the past. I would definitely recommend this martial art to anyone who has the patience and wants to experience something great. It gives me great honor to train and teach others Ninpo. I am looking forward to become someone who will learn all these moves and to put them into good use. Plus I am looking forward to learning martial arts even more so then later I can become a true warrior physically, mentally, and spiritually.
2009 / 6 / 28 [ Ritu ]
My name is Ritu Prasad, I’m seventeen years old and am finally writing the testimonial that Sensei said was due yesterday.
It’s hard to describe in so few words all that the dojo and this martial arts have done for me, even in just the two years I’ve been here. But to begin, I’d like to give Sensei my utmost thanks; it is because of him that I am able to write this now as a changed person.
What drew me and my best friend to this martial arts initially was our love of all things Japanese. What made us stay was our awe and admiration for the art of the ninja; something we had never truly heard about before, but something that captivated us completely.
By training in the dojo, together and with other members (Sensei fondly refers to them as our ‘Dojo brothers and sisters’ and we all really do seem to be part of a large family here) I began to notice that as my interest grew in the martial arts, I was growing as a person. When I walked down the street I was keeping an eye on who was around me. When I went out with my family at night, I was running through patterns in my head. After a hard day of school when I felt lazy and worn out, I’d get up and practice my blocks and strikes, or maybe even pick up my wooden katana and instantly I’d feel that much better.
I’m not scared to take a walk alone anymore. I’m not the weak, lazy thing I was when I first walked into the dojo. I’m forever changed, forever for the better.
It doesn’t matter how old you are or how young you are, joining the Dojo and training in this martial art is still going to be a life changing experience that could save your life one day. I encourage anyone and everyone to visit the Dojo at least once or twice- I guarantee that what you find won’t disappoint.
From my experience with other martial arts places, Niji no Hashi Dojo has the best environment and most useable teachings. This dojo is not a place where anyone becomes a high rank if they pay enough or stick around long enough. Well, you do have to stick around long enough, but you’ve got to work, work, and work! Here, there are no three year old black belts like there are in some taekwondo places. There is also no sense of competition. Everyone is here to help each other and become the best that they can be. I’ve worked with several higher ranking members and none of them has ever been anything but extremely helpful and kind.
In conclusion, if you have read this I hope you are considering joining us at Niji no Hashi dojo. I know that one of the things I’m going to miss most when I leave for college is training at the dojo- it has given me a sense of strength and calm that can’t be found anywhere else.
2009 / 9 /26 [ Karena ]
My name is Karena and I have been attending the Niji Nohashi Dojo for about 2 years and I’ve really enjoyed my time there. The school itself has an environment where there is respect towards the teacher and the art, even when some of the students are young. The other students I’ve met are calm and dedicated and inspire me to be the same. The classes are small but they promote better relationships with your teachers and with the other students you train with in your class. I get a lot of individual help when I’m training which has helped me tremendously. There is also no pressure about gaining belts and moving up. Respect isn’t given by the color of your belt here and I have always felt that it is more a commitment to understanding and learning that drives students. Personally, I have health issues so I have had to learn patience and to accept myself as I am. Sensei Rodriguez has really helped me in this and I feel very fortunate to learn from him.
2009 / 3 / 31 [ Dina ]
My name is Dina Malen. In September 1994 I brought my five years old son, Steven to Niji-Dojo School in Brooklyn NY.
When I met Sensei Ismael Rodriguez I knew from the first sight that he has wisdom, kindness, strength, power of mind and all the best man's qualities I wanted to raise in my son. Steven went to school 5 days a week for 6 years and it became his second home. Not only he learned ninja lessons and stepped up to brown belt but he grew from a shy little boy into a mature kind man with strong mind and a good heart. He learned how to use his mind and skills to defend himself, how to manage strength, how to be kind to people, how to forgive.
When Steven was 17 during admission processed in college he had to write an essay about a person who influenced his life the most and with no doubts he picked Ismael. His essay "Silver Line" touched my heart and won a top century scholarship award.
Now I have 5 years old daughter and I wish Ismael's school was close so I could take her too. But even we live far away I feel safe that I know someone I can trust with my life and ask for advice at the time I feel no way out. That's why in my heart I called Ismael my kids' Godfather.
For everyone who found his way to Ismael's Martial Arts school I want to say: you picked the right place.
Please feel free to send this to your friends, colleagues, families.
Thank you, Ismael.
2009 /3 /16 [ Mark ]Being in my late 40’s, I am one of Niji No Hashi Dojo’s older students. I studied other forms of martial arts in my 20’s and early 30’s but became discouraged with the lack of practical, real world techniques. I also experienced some long term effects to my knees from some of the stances and the emphasis on frequent, high kicks. So I dropped out for about fifteen years.
A couple of years ago, upon noticing that I was becoming an “old guy”, I realized that I needed to start some regular exercise. I’ve tried various things - the gym, treadmills, etc – but never stayed with it. I found myself bored and realized that I needed to do something that used my mind as much as my body. From experience I knew that martial arts could meet both needs. So I started looking for a new school.
I realized that I needed something that “old guys” could do. I also wanted a school where I got individual attention from the Sensei and wasn’t just a number in a balance sheet being trained by other students. I was considering Aikido when I noticed a new martial arts school on my drive home from work and decided to see what it was all about.
I didn’t recognize the style at first, but as soon as I walked in, I knew I was on the right track. No flashy technology or gadgets. No high pressure sales. Instead, a traditional Japanese dojo and a Sensei who’s first question was “what are you looking for in a dojo?” I signed up the next day and, two years later am quite sure I made the right choice.
The style is practical, adaptable and based on centuries of practice and refinement. Sensei and Sempai are incredibly helpful and are tolerant of my challenging work schedule. Our school is disciplined and orderly but the students all care about one another’s progress and well being. The physical and mental challenge I sought has been met. It would take decades to learn all they have to teach. Due to the adaptable style, I’m also confident that I can continue to train through my 50’s and beyond.
If you are looking for a way to exercise your mind and your body; a way to increase your confidence and improve your sense of inner balance; a place of order and tradition; and a way to learn practical self defense, then I encourage you to join me at Niji No Hashi Dojo.
2009 / 2 /16 [ Joseph ]
I joined Niji No Hashi Dojo in the hopes that my being there would help my son stay interested. And so far, that has been successful and I pray he continues. But now, I go for me. I had always wanted to try martial arts but never had, and now that I’ve found Sensei Rodriguez, I’m glad I did it. I’m 37 years old, and even though I’ve been training for less than a year, I’m already in better shape than I have been in 15 years. I’ve never been one to exercise, but the joy I get from Genbukan Ninpo has me working out at home on days when I’m not at the dojo. I’d like to thank Sensei Rodriguez and everyone at Niji No Hashi Dojo for everything they’ve done for me, and everything I know they’ll continue to do. I highly recommend this for anyone who has ever been interested in martial arts.
2008 / 3 / 8 [ Mark and Lisa ]
We feel incredibly fortunate to have been introduced to Sensei Rodriguez. Our youngest son, who has just turned 7, has been training with Sensei at Niji No Hashi Dojo in Cary, NC for some time now. We are continually impressed with the level of thought and care that go into Sensei’s teaching. We watch as our son’s level of competence, confidence and self-respect increase with every class. Sensei seems to intuitively know what the kids in the class need to hear at each lesson. He knows when to push for a little more from them and when to lighten things up a bit. Our son is learning not only the martial art, but also, he is learning life lessons that will serve him well toward a happy and fulfilling future. After raising three other children, we can’t emphasize how wonderful it has been to have the guidance we give at home being reinforced by Sensei in classes. Sensei stresses respect of teachers and parents; care and concern for fellow students; the importance of being helpful at home with siblings and family members; the importance of doing well in school and listening; taking responsibility for oneself; and, especially the characteristics of honesty, effort and having an open mind. Our child is truly learning the art of self-defense with a compassionate heart and we are very thankful he has this opportunity. The best thing is ….. he loves it and can’t wait to go back for more!
Mark and Lisa Lee
2008 / 11/ 4 [ Rudolph ]
It started with my 11-year-old son, who had some anger management issues, and after 30 days of training at Niji No Hashi Dojo, I was so impressed with his progress, I join and sign up my 13-year-old son.
As a former four sport athlete and a student of three self defense arts, The physical and mental part of the training in Genbukan Nipo Bugei, is definitely the most effective self defense art I’ve ever studied, hands down!”
And the instructors are as good as any of my coaches. Sensei is truly passionate and caring teacher. His love and passion for his craft fells the Dojo. It gives you as sense of belonging and all the students teach each other with the same passion. The training is long, hard and intense. But after every class I could feel myself getting better and better in the art of nipo, and some times the feeling was overwhelming.
With, the upper belt students and the students from New York who visit the Dojo often and Sempai Marcia
The knowledge, the history of art the of nipo just seems to flow through out the Dojo. I would highly recommend this school to every one.
2007 / 12 / 13 [ Jim ]
As a former corrections officer at a maximum security jail, I can say that the training at the Niji No Hashi Dojo is extremely efficient. The school is very traditional and respect for ourselves and our school is a top priority. Sensei Rodriquez cares deeply for all of the students and is constantly reminding us that we are not there to impress him or the other students. We are there to train to our own ability level. The school offers real life traditional training for children and adults. I am very confident that the techniques that we learn in the dojo would be very effective in real life situations. There are several students that have prior experience in other martial arts, and we all express a similar feeling that when we found Ninjutsu we felt that this is what we were expecting the martial arts to be like all along. Give it a try and you will understand!
2007 / 12 / 13 [ Nick ]
Having been subject to the training in a Tae Kwon Do dojo, my black belt counts for nothing compared to the realism this school offers. It's traditional, commitment filled, and beneficial training stays true to true martial arts.\n\unlike the day-care like, gym-like atmosphere of other martial arts organizations, what Genbukan offers is training. It's nothing fast or flashy, but if you keep at it- it works. It’s unparalleled, at least in my young experience, in what it offers: true self defense for real life situations I’m but a beginner at this organization; and its discipline oriented, guiding, and helpful instructors add to an already nearly flawless martial arts experience.
2007 / 12 / 13 [ Bill ]
Sensei Rodriguez is a wonderful, compassionate, knowledgeable instructor with decades of experience. He travels to Japan regularly to train with Grandmaster Tanemura of the Genbukan organization. I have seen Sensei working with kids, adults, seniors; both men and women. He's wonderful with all ages, genders, and sizes.
2007 / 12 /13 [ Mic ]
What I love about Niji Nohashi dojo is that most schools I visited they
where more into sports and getting to the next level rather than just taking there time and making sure that they got the technique right. Another thing is that I have noticed that most of these skills we learn are for quick and precise movements and are practiced every day to improve the accuracy of the block, strike, and dodge. It is also a great place to learn how to be a better person and be a better human being. The thing I probably like most about the dojo is how traditional it is every time I step into to it I feel like I am transported to a place back in time before war and just practice on my technique, and feel a sense of spiritual refinement. Also the people are more than willing to share information rather than just keeping it all to them selfs.
2007 / 12 / 5 [ Melissa ]
I just wanted to let you know that my son Evan loves coming to your dojo and learning traditional ninjutsu. He loves it so much, I hear him talking to others about it and how he doesn't learn to fight but to defend himself. He thinks of himself as a "ninja-in-training." I appreciate you teaching him. Not only does he love going to the dojo and being active, but he loves learning something new and challenging everyday. He has been coming to the dojo for almost 3 months now and is excited to get there every time. His attention span and his behavior have greatly improved in school, too, because of the lessons of focus and discipline you have taught him. He is taking what he learns in the dojo out into the world and is applying it. His teachers can see a difference, and Evan feels better about himself as well. I am so proud of him, but most importantly, he is proud of himself. Now his cousin has joined and already you can see the benefits after only 3 classes. Thank you so much for this gift to our family.
Melissa Brewer, Raleigh, NC
2007 / 7 / 6 [ A.E. Sheffield ]
When I was very young and addicted to Saturday morning cartoons, I dreamed about Ninjas. My interest in Asian culture continued throughout my life but somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew I really wanted to take a martial arts class. Instead, I took about 16 years of dance classes.
One day, I decided to search “Ninjutsu” on yellowpages.com to see if by some miracle there was a school near me. Imagine my excitement when I discovered this dojo! As soon as I walked in and saw the Kamidana, bamboo accents, and the black uniforms; I knew this was the place for me. I didn’t even bother looking at other schools.
I been taking classes for quite a while now and I haven’t regretted it, not even when I suffered a mild shoulder separation during a warm-up roll! Sensei is a very warm person who has never made me feel stupid for making a mistake, Sempai is very strict (sometimes intimidating) but well-meaning, and my classmates almost feel like extended family. It’s wonderful to be part of a place that stresses rituals and etiquette as well as techniques. It’s even more wonderful to know that everyone is learning at their own pace, so there is no competition for rank.
2007 / 5 / 24 [ Eileen ]
As a single mother I have raised my son alone since age two. Secondary to a strong family history of cancer he has not had the benefit of male role models such as uncles or grandfathers. When my son was recently diagnosed with bipolar disorder I felt helpless faced with an illness I did not understand and I did not know how to fix. My son went through many changes. I reached out to psychiatric professionals and therapists who provided treatment and medications to help manage his illness, and then I reached out to Ismael Rodriguez for positive role modeling in the art of Genbukan Ninpo Martial Arts. From the first meeting I had with sensei Rodriguez I discussed my son’s illness openly and not only was I assured that it would not be a problem, but Mr. Rodriguez also told me that time would be set aside for my son and another student with similar issues. In the eight months my son has been involved with Ismael Rodriguez there have been ups and downs with my son’s illness. Throughout all the ups and downs Ismael Rodriguez has been available not only spiritually and emotionally, but also just a phone call away. Ismael Rodriguez has been a godsend.
2007 / 5 / 8
Here want my wife had to say about Ninjutsu Defense arts CenterI participated in a women’s self defense class with Sensei Rodriguez at Ninjutsu Defense Arts Center. I came home to try out some moves on my very tall and strong husband. He tried to do a choke hold on me from behind, and to my surprise, using the techniques Sensei had taught me, I was able to get away. I feel that it is very important for women to be educated in self defense just because you never know what might happen, and it is important to be able to defend yourself and your children. It is better to have the knowledge and to never use it, than to not have it when you need it. My son also takes classes from Sensei Rodriguez, and I feel it has been very good for him. It has taught him discipline and not aggression. It is also an excellent form of exercise for him, and he loves going. Sensei is a great role model for the kids, and I highly recommend the classes for both women and children.
2006 / 10 /31 [ Mike ]
The Niji No Hashi Dojo provides instruction and training based on Genbukan Ninpo Bugei. I have found the training and instruction fascinating due to the message that compassion is first, the completeness of system, a never ending opportunity to learn, and the quality of the instruction. Instructors Sensei Ismael Rodriguez and Sempi Marcia Young Rodriguez are extremely talented martial art practitioners whose styles are complimentary, excellent teachers, care about each student's progress, are dedicated to safety, and love passing knowledge to their students. Sensei interjects a bit of humor into the class while Sempi is tradition, dedication, and all business. Both exude passion in their own
unique way and have an eye for identifying minor flaws in a technique. Perfection obtained through repetition seems to be the philosophy. Daily drills provide the repetition to build muscle memory while simultaneously providing a workout that builds endurance and muscle tone. Genbukan Ninpo Bugei contains unarmed hand to hand techniques, ground fighting, weapons training, and techniques for armed versus the unarmed confrontations. It is a complete system taught in this Dojo with the Goals and Objectives of:
* No competition between students.
* The competition is within yourself to improve at your own pace. Train at your level, capability, and pace.
* Safety, improving your health and longevity is of utmost importance because if you are hurt you are not training.
* The training should not punish your body to force sedentary golden years.
* Perfecting the techniques and quality not belt levels are what is important.
* Defending yourself is the last resort after all other options are exhausted including running.
* If you must defend yourself there are not rules or limitations.
2006 / 10 / 31 [ Bill V ]
When I was in college, about twenty years ago, I trained in a traditional Tae Kwon Do school. I enjoyed the exercise, gained in self-confidence, and felt like I was part of an extended family. When I moved away from that town, I began my search for a school to replace it. Most martial arts schools, regardless of style, were fight schools – interested in trophies or rapid advancement to claim a particular rank or title. Most places had little or no connection to a larger organization, never mind roots in Asia.
Then I discovered Niji No Hashi Dojo in Cary. Sensei Rodriguez is an instructor in Genbukan Ninpo and KJJR Jujitsu. The dojo is tough, but fair and is taught in a traditional Japanese manner using Japanese as much as possible. Sensei and Sempai Young work with us, and push us – but there is no expectation that we must keep up with the others in the class. The only competition is within – to better ourselves. The school is very traditional, with ties to an international organization based in Japan. Sensei is a personal student of the Grandmaster, Shoto Tanemura. He and Sempai Young continue to go to Japan to continue their own training.
At this point, I am seriously overweight. Sensei and Sempai work me hard, but with compassion. At times when he thinks I am too tired, Sensei stops me and makes me take a break so that I don’t hurt myself by being sloppy due to fatigue. Because of my size, they also have been very careful to only introduce me to techniques they think I can do without hurting myself. I’m taking small steps, but each step brings me further down the path in my journey to better fitness and health. I walk to my car after class absolutely soaked in sweat, but I feel better and have more energy than when I left my house earlier that evening.
Part of the reason for the feeling I have at the end of class is the spiritual nature of the art. The heart and soul are important components to training – it’s more than just physical. I feel tired, but my mind feels sharper and I feel enriched spiritually at the end of each class. Another reason for that feeling is the camaraderie of the other students. As I mentioned earlier, there is no competition with anyone other than you. As such, the other students are more than willing to help you during a training session. The dojo rei reinforces this as we bow in together, work out together, and bow out together in ceremonies and patterns that are repeated around the world.
2006 / 12 / 19 [ Michael ]
Since childhood, I have always desire to learn a Martial Art. Back then, there were few Dojos and saving for college was my parent's priority, therefore I would not have the opportunity to learn a Martial Art until I could afford the education. As time passed, this goal slipped to the back of my mind until my mid-forties when a friend demonstrated Brazilian Jujutsu. My first training experience lasted approximately 6 months at a Dojo where you received instruction from the Sensei until you committed to the school. Next, I trained in Muay Thai for a little over 3 years earning a black belt until the school closed. Muay Thai is very physically demanding, excellent conditioning, and is focused on striking techniques. Compared to other Martial Arts, Muay Thai contains only a handful of strikes with hands, elbows, knees, and legs. These basic strikes are combined into a large variety of combinations and trained by repetition and sparing. The simplicity facilitates proficiency and makes it very effective. When this school closed, I located a Dojo where I could continue practicing Muay Thai and learn Combat Hapkido. This is where I meet a practitioner of Ninjutsu who was kind enough to teach me in the community park on Sunday mornings and sporadically at 5:00 am on the weekdays. He introduced me to his old Sensei who invited me to become a student. I drove 50 to 60 miles one way 3 times a week to train for a little over 2 years earning a black belt. My Sensei joined the Genbukan and contacted Sensei Rodriguez asking him to take me as a student.
My goal is to study, learn, and practice Ninpo for the rest of my life.
The teaching is based on honesty, peace, patience, dedication, and communication, with the goal of avoiding confrontation. I desired to learn and practice a martial art that was physically and mental beneficial, not harmful to the point of limiting the longevity of training and the quality of life in my senior years. I sought an art where the size of the opponent was not an automatic handicap and the variety of training incorporated all potential aspects of a real world encounter such a standing, ground, and knife defense. I love to learn and with over 2,500 techniques for hand to hand combat, ground fighting, and weapons I will learn until I decide to stop. Sensei Ismael Rodiguez and Sempai Marcia Young Rodiguez are; passionate about teaching Ninpo, extremely talented practitioners and teachers, dedicated to safety, patient, demand integrity, have an unbelievable eye for minute detail, and ensure your proficiency at your level before advancing you to the next level. My goal is no longer measured by rank. It is to be considered a friend and good Martial Artist by Sensei and Sempai Rodiguez. This can only be accomplished by dedication, loyalty, honesty, patience, and perseverance. If you do not visit this Dojo and give the training a chance you are missing a valuable opportunity.