Ninjutsu Brighton - Yatagarasu Dojo
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Raven has trained in the martial arts for longer than she likes to admit. She started at a young age with Judo, and advanced to tournament level. This began a passion that eventually meant she trained in Cempa freestyle kickboxing, Taichi, Jeet Kune Do and White Crane Kung Fu. Later on, she moved away from the Chinese arts to more traditional Japanese styles. She trained in Wado Ryu Karate, Shotokan, Aikido and the sword martial art of Iaido.
A constant martial art that she has trained in for a number of decades has been Bujinkan Ninpo Taijutsu, or commonly known as simply Ninjutsu. She felt this particular art addressed all of her needs and through it she was able to develop her physical skills, mental maturity and personal development.
Ninjutsu allows her to move freely and in a way that enables self-expression. It goes beyond the simple mechanics of fighting, in fact she dislikes the overly macho nature prevalent within the martial arts world. She feels the balance, the harmony between femininity and masculinity is out of balance and she goes some way to inject harmony back into the martial art world before it becomes brittle and breaks. It is like the Japanese sword that is both made of hard steel and soft steel, without both natures the sword becomes useless. As the reader may by now realise, Raven takes a philosophical outlook to martial arts training.
Raven is currently Judan 十段 (10th Dan). She holds a shidōshi menkyo, which means she has a licence and permission to teach the nine schools of the Bujinkan that was awarded by Soke Hatsumi, the Grandmaster of the nine schools who teaches in Japan.
Raven's warrior name is Yatagarasu, the namesake of her dojo. This name has its origin in a mythical crow, or raven, of ancient times. Yatagatasu was a guide to Emperor Jimmu to find new lands, although more specifically Yatagatasu was a guide in a spiritual journey, which indicates divine intervention within humankind. The traditions of the raven bird is not limited to Japan alone but appears as a mythical creature of divine origin in a number of other cultures and religions, that all indicate a charactistic of divine guidance, judgement or divine provision.
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