Watashi No Dojo

Welcome to Watashi No Dojo!A dojo is a place to study the martial arts. It literally means ‘place of the way’. ‘Watashi no’ means ‘my’. Watashi No Dojo is ‘my place to study the way’.

It is YOUR martial arts school!

Operating as usual

[11/26/20]   Happy Thanksgiving all! If you are reading this, I am thankful for YOU!

Thanks to Stephanie Burnside, her awesome husband Josh and Jacob McCarthy for inviting me to help out with classes this morning at Premier Martial Arts Arcadia. If you are near the Arcadia area, stop by and check them out. Bring a friend and get yourself signed up for classes with an awesome team who will become an even MORE awesome martial arts family!
I will also be helping out this coming Tuesday and Wednesday, so message me with any questions and join me for class!
have a great weekend all!

Time for an online fight. A caffein kumite, so to speak. Who here prefers tea over coffee or vice-versa? I'm a coffee (black, Guatemalan blend) sort of guy.

Recieved this a while back and it really made my day. Remember, you are affecting those around you whether you know/like it or not.

Hey Sensei,

I just wanted to thank you for everything you taught me while I was learning under you. I learned a lot from you, and it wasn't just martial arts. The stories that you would always tell helped inspire me to enjoy life more, and I started to try and be more outgoing and talk more, like you. You taught me how to say what I feel, and that's really helped me a lot. Not to mention the martial arts you taught me helped me become stronger. I always felt really weak before I learned from you, but now I have a lot more confidence in my strength. I just wanted to thank you for everything you've done for me.

Thank You,

[06/17/20]   A lot of "virtual tests" lately. I'm so proud of all of you. Keep up the outstanding work! Can't wait to see you all in person when AZ gets this whole Covid-19 business under control! Stay safe all!

[04/24/20]   Been having a great week of private virtual lessons. Let me know if you want to schedule a block of time. Not many left. Stay safe and be well!

[03/17/20]   Classes through the City of Tempe Parks and Rec have been canceled until May 3rd.

[03/17/20]   Classes at Life Time Fitness have been canceled until further notice.

[03/14/20]   The COT WILL hold classes as usual this weekend, but all classes thereafter have been cancelled until May 3rd. Keep you posted.

If you've ever worn one, you know the struggle is real!

The calm before the storm.

Want to prevent rape and attacks? Take self-defense or, better yet, sign up for a long-term martial arts class.


Want to prevent rape and attacks? Teach people to rise to the occasion of being a good person. Teach them not to rape and attack! Be an example to all because we are all teaching by example whether we know it or not.

Classes like mine should be a hobby, not an insurance policy!

Thank you Daniel for the amazing pixel likeness of me.

What a kind surprise today from one of my young students. Thanks, Evangeline! What a wonderful addition to my Christmas tree next year!

Next read?

Thank you for the kind words and thank you to Life Time Fitness for the recognition. Come join us for classes every Monday and Wednesday!

From a very young student. Her dad told me that he didn't know what she wrote but, "she asked me how to spell sensei." I love it!

[12/31/19]   Last evening to train at Life Time Fitness before the new year. Come join me on the mat!

Watashi No Dojo's cover photo

[12/24/19]   I got a wonderful compliment from a grandparent watching class tonight.

“We are both educators and I just wanted to tell you that you are a WONDERFUL teacher! You connect with your students in a way that I wish more people in education would!”

Thank you! You just made my evening.

Watashi No Dojo's cover photo

Accidents happen in the dojo. You may have read my thoughts about how all martial arts training is flawed and that the flaw is safety. If not, scroll down and check it out.

The other day I had a young student get accidentally head-butted and it split his lip open pretty badly (no stitches, but a lot of blood). He is fine and is back training with a smile on his face (albeit a crooked one....I'm joking).

I have seen split lips, cuts around the orbital socket, broken fingers, broken toes, broken ribs, broken noses. I've seen people knocked out and choked out. Shoulder dislocations. I've even seen a broken leg at a tournament once (VERY gross compound fracture). Cuts from bladed weapons and welts from whipping ones.

What are some accidents that you have seen in the dojo? Please share.

Kind words from a great person and long-time martial artist.

"John is both one of the best martial artists and one of the best teachers of martial arts I have ever met (and I’ve been taking various arts for over 30 years).

He is great with kids. My boys left other dojos despite quality instructors because the sensei’s lacked the personable qualities that John has. He motivates them, challenges them, and makes them laugh.

His capacity to train adults is even more impressive. His blend of Okinawan Karate and Japanese Aikijujutsu may be unparalleled in the Valley."

Chinese Muay Thai Fighter Gou Dakui Knocks Out Both His Opponent And Referee At The Same Time!


Chinese fighter Gou Dakui inadvertently knocks out the referee before scoring a second-round TKO Gou declared the winner after initial confusion as incident ...

Recently, a young student asked if I had ever been in a sword fight (ha!). I told him the following story:

I was driving back to Coe College after a day of training martial arts.

As I was driving up First Avenue towards the school a guy in a pickup truck next to me at a red light yelled something "not-so-nice". I looked over and saw a man I had never seen before sitting next to a good friend of mine (he was grinning ear-to-ear). Knowing this was a set-up (for his passenger), I yelled back at the two of them stating how I was going to, basically, kick both of their posteriors! Now, these were two very big guys! Football lineman big! At the time I was tall but skinny. "Easy pickins"!

They followed me back to campus rather "aggressively" yelling the whole way! I pulled over into the gravel parking lot next to the Coe apartments. My friend exited his truck quickly and started toward me. I exited my car with my WWII katana in hand! I unsheathed the sword and moved towards my good buddy (who was still playing along). His buddy opened his door and started out, but quickly saw what was in my hand. He slammed himself back into the truck with wide eyes yelling, "NO! HE HAS A SWORD!" I raised my katana over my head and as I swung down, I opened my arms to give my buddy a big hug!

As we both laughed, his passenger just melted into his seat in relief discovering that HE was the butt of the joke!

THAT was the closest I've come to a sword fight. I HAVE had the side of the tip of my finger cut off by a sword during a training session, but it grew back to my surprise (although the nail grows strangely flat on that side).


John R.'s review of Tapout Fitness North Scottsdale

Support the little guy!

yelp.com Well...first of all...it's closed now, so no review is really needed. The fact that it closed within its first year says it all. I was in charge of the martial...

Preparing for classes at Life Time Fitness in Tempe. Come join me!

Watashi No Dojo's cover photo

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Videos (show all)

Bottle Cap Challenge
Sensei John punches out a defenseless candle flame!
Perfect Solution!
More explained
Iowa Seminar
Zoie's first private lesson with John Sensei.
John Sensei precision striking with WWII katana.
Tameshigiri in the park.
Punching the flame



1616 W. Ruby Dr
Tempe, AZ
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