Here are a few reviews we have pulled off the internet from Yelp, Google, etc.
I have been training in this Dojo for nearly 7 years now, and I can honestly say that not only is it one of the longest operating martial arts schools in the Antelope Valley, but it is also one one of - if not the - finest.
Yes, It is a bit hard to find (tucked away in a pseudo industrial park), but once you do find it you are introduced to an easily accessible bit of Japanese Culture and Martial Arts.
In this school one will learn Japanese Jujutsu. This art is the "father" of Judo, BJJ, Aikido, and more. This art teaches throws, joint locks, and grappling, as well as striking methods that aim to create a well-rounded student.
Also taught is Batto-Do - a style of swordsmanship that utilizes the Katana in both test cutting and in kata (forms).
If interested, there are also classes offered in Japanese Language and Culture, as well as fitness and even Military Combatives.
The head instructor, Derek Morris, in addition to the years he spent living in Japan, has created and maintained relationships with the heads of our arts, and it allows us to benefit from these connections. We get instruction that is undiluted, and as a result, we get a level of understanding that is unsurpassed in most dojos. This first-hand knowledge and relationship allows students the opportunity to visit and train in Japan if desired. Numerous students have made the trip (myself included), and it enhances your life and training in many ways.
It can become cliche to say that martial arts training makes you a better person, but its true. Training allows for changes in health, in fitness, and in personal development. You become more focused, more determined, and more self-aware. Morris Sensei, and the other instructors will ensure that as a student, you too will develop these traits.
This dojo is NOT in the business of belts and fees and tests and fees and contracts. Here you will WORK for your rank - and value it that much more.
There are NO CONTRACTS and NO HIDDEN FEES. You pay your dues, you train, and you learn. If you progress, you are rewarded. If not, you work harder. That is quality training. This dojo wants you to succeed and grow, and if you desire that, the instructorrs will see to it.
Stylistically and culturally, this is the closest you'll get to training in Japan, and it's certainly an Island in the AV's sea of poor quality martial arts schools.
I strongly suggest this school if you are interested in Japanese Martial Arts, Language, or even culture.
Found a wonderful little Dojo where the emphasis is on learning instead of testing for belts. Both our kids are involved and love it. Derek is very unpretentious and low key, but takes teaching very personally. He is all about preparing you from day one to avoid getting into a fight. To be aware of your surroundings. Very much about mastering and knowing your own body. Derek has even trained my wife!
Our son Connor has been a part of the kid’s jujutsu class at the dojo since he was 5 years old. While it started out as a fun form of exercise and playtime for him, what he did not realize was how much more it was teaching him. Even at 5- years old, he began learning self- control, focus, discipline and even some techniques to protect himself, whether from a fall from his bike or a stranger in the park.
Connor is now nine, and over the past 4 years, his experiences at the dojo has helped him develop far more than martial arts skills. He has learned that average is not good enough. He has learned always to do his very best in order to grow, and he has developed respect, both for himself and others. Connor loves jujutsu, loves this dojo, and hopes with all of his heart to one day earn his black belt... not to be the tough guy, but to follow in the footsteps of his sensei and become a sensei himself. And we couldn’t choose better role models for our son than the senseis and sempais at this dojo.
I started training here on the recommendation of a friend who had deployed to Iraq in the Army. When I began training here I had no idea how much this dojo would become a part of my life.
The Hidden Dojo (nicknamed such since it can be a little difficult to find) offers classes in Japanese Jujutsu and Swordsmanship but also focuses on building on a person's mental character and overall health. It's a very well rounded dojo, not only teaching the traditional but also very practical combatives and women's self defense.
Whether you are new to martial arts and or a practitioner of many years you'll find not only an effective art to train in but also many great instructors and fellow students to train with.
The current head instructor, Derek Morris Sensei is also fluent in Japanese and he offers a very good beginner's Japanese language course. The class is much better than many books and cds you'll find offered on the internet or on amazon (I've gone through several).
I definitely recommend training here (I often kick myself for not starting when my friend did, lol). If you train hard not only will you find yourself developing skills to defend yourself but you'll find you've become more confident and have developed character wise as well.
The Hidden Dojo/Shindenkan Budo focuses on Japanese Jujutsu and Japanese Swordsmanship, but also offers classes in self defense, Japanese language, fitness and military based combatives.
I have spent most of my life as a martial artist training alongside Derek Morris Sensei. Though the Hidden Dojo/Shindenkan Budo stays true to it's Japanese roots, I find it to be the most well rounded/open minded school I've ever had the pleasure of training with. Training methods span the globe using elements from many styles of martial arts.
The Hidden Dojo goes beyond the "teacher say... student do" method of teaching. Careful instruction ensures a path towards continued learning. However, students will also find that they learn from each other. Students are led to discover the details of a technique and at every level discover more about what once seemed basic.
Several times a year, students are given opportunities to train amongst the highest ranked instructors as well as the heads of our arts. Such unique experiences often take place right in Lancaster, but also offer an opportunity to train across the country as well as in Canada, Europe and Japan.
Though students of the Hidden Dojo/Shindenkan Budo develop physical skills, they also cultivate strong character, mindful living, and creative thinking.
The Hidden Dojo is a humble dojo. But high quality martial arts, high quality instructors turning out high quality people... that's what they are about.
As an instructor I hope to model my school after the school that has given so much to me.
-JP Mamaril Sensei - Dojo-cho
Saratoga Budo/Shinsenkan Budo
Saratoga Springs, NY