Photo By Alberto Lung
Photo By Alberto Lung

9-9 My son began training with Sensei Rodriguez at Niji No Hashi Dojo when he was only three and a half years old. Even over a year later, he wakes up most mornings and asks if it is “Ninja Day", as he truly enjoys spending his time working with his Sensei and learning Ninpo.

Sensei Rodriguez has a great rapport with his students, pushing them to do what they didn’t know was possible, and most importantly, teaching them how to be a “proper" individual by stressing that they have responsibilities as part of a larger community and family. Sensei Rodriguez has talked to the students at length about helping around the house, cleaning up after themselves, and helping people who need assistance, and my son has shown an increased interest in following through with those tasks of his own accord, doing things like making the bed and carrying his dishes to the sink after his meal, both without being prompted.

I have watched my son learn not only how to do many of the rolls and strikes you would expect from having a child in martial arts, but he also learned the Japanese terminology for them. He can fluently count to 20 in Japanese as well. It gives a level of authenticity that is unmatched at the type of “belt-factory" dojos I attended as a child.

Most importantly, the key lesson that Sensei Rodriguez has instilled in my son is that, while the boy is learning many ways to protect himself, he knows NOT to use these lessons unless he absolutely MUST—a lesson that, as a parent sitting and watching these sessions, I am very glad to see repeated each week to a mind so young. – Phil H.

——————————————————————————————————— Dear Sensei Rodriguez, 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 about how he doesn’t learn to fight but to defend himself. He thinks of himself as a “ninja-in-training." I

appreciate that you are teaching him. Not only does he love going to the dojo and being active, but he loves learning something new and challenging every day. He has been coming to the dojo for almost three 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 you have taught him that stress focus and discipline. He is taking what he learns in the dojo out into the world and is applying it when he must.

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. His cousin has joined your school recently, and already, everyone can see the benefits after only three classes. Thank you so much for this gift to our family.

—Melissa Brewer

——————————————————————————————————— 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 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 as he works 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 for 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 that he loves it and can’t wait to go back for more!

—Mark and Lisa Lee

——————————————————————————————————— My children Raymond and Kristina Castro have been training at the Dojo since they were 5 and four years old.

When Raymond began at the dojo he was very shy and very quiet. Since then he has emerged as a confident student who is no longer afraid to express himself. When Kristina began at the dojo she was a rambunctious four year old who need something to spead her energy and focus.

When she was seven years old she was diagnosed “Insulin Dependent Diabetic". Because of the Dojo she has been able to keep her Diabetes under control and has emerged a confident young girl.

Nancy & Ray Castro

——————————————————————————————————— As a single mother, I have raised my son alone since he was two years old. In addition to a struggling with a 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—I was 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 to provide a positive male role model 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 Sensei Rodriguez also told me that personal teaching times would be set aside for my son and another student with similar issues.

In the eight months that my son has been involved with Ismael Rodriguez’ school, there have been ups and downs with my son’s illness. Throughout all of that, Ismael Rodriguez has been available—not only spiritually and emotionally—but as a role model, he’s also always been just a phone call away. Ismael Rodriguez has been an absolute godsend.

—Eileen Marks

——————————————————————————————————— This is a testimomial to sensei Ismael Rodriquez and the Niji Dojo. I brought my son Ryan to niji dojo 2 yrs. ago.

The attention and instruction has really made a diffence in his life. I would like to thank sensei Ismael Rodriquez and niji dojo from the bottom of my heart for the time and effort they have given to my son.

I believe the valves this school teaches have made ryan a better person and would help anyone to improve themself. My daughter Katerine started taking lessons for about a year.

The school has increased my daughter’s confidence and has gotten her into better shape. I would highly recommend this school to anyone who is thinking about learning self defense or trying to get into shape. The school the instilled confidence and gotten my children into shape. Niji Dojo is a great school. John Knutsen