Nathan Scott has previously fulfilled the responsibilities of senior instructor for the Shinkendo/Aiki Buken/Toyama-ryu Honbu dojo, as well as otomo (attendant/assistant) to Obata Toshishiro Sensei while teaching out of state for a number of years. Formal exposure to martial arts began at the age of 13 (1980) with the study of Judo, and continued with cross training in Aikikai Aikido and later with informal research of a variety of other arts. Over the years, Scott has trained in several other arts, including Northern Shaolin Long Fist Gung Fu under fourth generation master Ken Hui Sifu, and naginata under Helen Nakano Sensei.
In March of 2005, Scott pursued a new professional career in a field in which he would find ample opportunities to apply his many years of studies within both pre-planned and spontaneous practical situations. This experience has proven to be an invaluable source of feedback, as well as confirmation that the time-tested methodologies, tactics, and teaching methods of traditional budo are in fact as effective now as they were in previous generations.
Currently, credentials include:
|Shinkendo||Toku-e rank; Kyoshi instructors license|
|Toyama-ryu||Rokudan rank; Kyoshi instructors license|
|Aikido||Godan rank; Kyoshi instructors license|
|Naginata||Sandan rank; SCNF Shoki-Cho (Executive Secretary)|
Kenji Oshidari trained with Branch Director Nathan Scott in the arts of Shinkendo, Toyama-ryu, and Aikido full time for approximately 10 years before being appointed the Head Instructor of the Tsuki Kage Dojo in May of 2009. Prior to this he gained administrative experience and teaching experience while acting in the capacity of Shibucho (Branch Director) and primary instructor for the dojo beginning in March of 2005.
At a young age, Kenji received a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, but decided to pursue other interests throughout his high school and college years. It was not until graduating from UCLA and joining the working world for a couple of years that Kenji would meet Nathan Scott Sensei and begin his own study of Japanese budo. For Oshidari Sensei, budo has now become a life-long pursuit of self-realization, as well as a source of historical perspective on modern socio-political-economic dynamics, and a framework on which to base important daily & long-term decisions.
Oshidari Sensei traveled with Scott Sensei to Japan in 2008 for additional training, and is continuing to deepen his studies under his continued guidance and that of other instructors.
Currently, credentials include:
|Shinkendo||Hyaku-e rank; Shidoin instructors license|
|Toyama-ryu||Nikyu rank; instructor authority|
|Aikido||Ikkyu rank; instructor authority|
After training extensively under Obata Toshishiro Sensei as a full time, direct disciple at his Honbu Dojo, Scott eventually became the senior student at the headquarters and taught a Saturday Aikido class for a period of six years (February of 1997 to February of 2003). In September of 1997, Scott founded the "Tsuki Kage Dojo" at Loyola Marymount University in Southern California, and assumed the positions of Shibucho (Branch Director) and Dojocho (Head Instructor). Due to increasing conflicts of interest, Scott took a leave of absence from the ISF/AB/KTRR in March of 2005, and finally in November of 2008, resigned his membership completely from Obata Sensei's organizations. Although the members of Tsuki Kage Dojo were given the opportunity to continue their former affiliations, the entire dojo membership unanimously opted to decline.
In May of 2009, Dojo Founder Nathan Scott transferred ownership of Tsuki Kage Dojo to his most senior student Kenji Oshidari due to unpredictable scheduling demands at work. Currently, the dojo is conducting training independent of any organizations under the direct leadership of Head Instructor Oshidari Sensei and the teachings / authority of Chief Instructor Nathan Scott. The Tsuki Kage Dojo was originally founded as a conservative minded, not-for-profit, non-competitive dojo, and we have never deviated from this mission. As a result, we have been able to maintain our focus solely on providing quality training for those who wish to train with us.
The Tsuki Kage dojo ("Moon Shadow" school) is a small, non-commercial martial arts group located in Gardena, California. The goal of the dojo is to provide an intensive, traditional training atmosphere in which like-minded serious students can forge their bodies, minds and spirits through the study of traditional Japanese budo. Instruction includes: Toyama-ryu, a set of sword forms once taught to the Imperial Japanese Army; and Aikido, a primarily empty handed self-defense method with a curriculum ranging from historical battle field techniques to more modern self-defense methods - as well as various supplementary weapons and other teachings. Ranks are earned through rigorous testing procedures on an as-needed basis. Sincere students are always welcome!
In modern times, the various martial art ranking systems - in particular the Dan-i system - have become abused to the point of being almost without value. There is a common belief that rank indicates a proportionate level of skill of the recipient in a given art, but nowadays it is clear that this has become an inaccurate assumption more times than not. Rank these days seems to more accurately reflect the time in the art a person has, which is interestingly closer to the logic held in the classical systems that issue older-style densho (documents that reflect increasing levels of initiation). However, consideration towards time in an art can also be somewhat flawed logic, since - for example - a person training five days a week will accumulate five times as much experience and material retention as a person training once a week in the same dojo - every week! Which student can be considered more serious, or more deserving of deeper levels of initiation? The one who enrolled first, or the one who trains five times more often every week?
There are of course other factors that are often considered in regards to rank promotions, such as a person's age, prior experience/ranking in another art (related or otherwise), social/professional position, contribution to the art, number of students they may have under them that are paying dues, etc. But the point is that skill and ability now represent only one of these ranking considerations in most arts, and apparently, is now held as the least important factor for the masses that now claim to be training for reasons of self-development.
Martial arts (budo) are physical, combative traditions by definition, with an historical significance and context that must be adhered to in order to deserve being classified as a "budo" (martial arts/ways). Self-development reflects one of many facets gained through the serious study of orthodox budo, which in turn uses physical combative/self-defense methods as its vehicle, again, by definition of the term "martial art". Martial arts used to be practical and effective out of necessity, but more and more people are attracted to the arts for other reasons, and do not place proper importance or respect on the physical forging, or, the physical & intellectual methodology. They often lack the desire for relentless, austere, self-training (shugyo), which IS in fact the "michi" (Way) of self-development for budo. Merely maintaining membership and joining in special training opportunities is simply not enough. As such, martial arts enthusiasts and interested parties are encouraged to consider the totality of an instructor's training background rather than focusing on any one factor.