Awesome Teaching Crew
@ Raining Spirit Dojo
Sylph is the director and founder of Raining
Spirit Dojo, Melbourne, and has a background in Hoshin
Jutsu, and Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, both forms of what
are effectively Japanese Jujutsu Martial Arts.
Originally studying Hoshin Jutsu in Sydney, under Hoshin
Justu Australia Pacific at the Avalon Beach Dojo and
Bobbinhead Turramurra Dojo, headed by Sensei Geoff Smith
and Sensei Rose Smith, he was an active student, member
and Teacher of Hoshin Australia Pacific for 9 years
and received a Shodan Grade Black Belt (1st Dan) and
Teaching Certificate in the Hoshin Jutsu Ryu.
He has been an active student of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu
since 2009, under Shihan Craig Guest in Melbourne, and
holds a Godan Grade Black Belt (5th Dan) in the style,
as well as a Shidoshi License (Teaching License)
He has been an active children's, teenagers' and adults'
teacher for over 15 years, originally working for Hoshin
Jutsu Australia Pacific as a childrens' and teenagers'
teacher. He worked as a freelance martial arts teacher
in Melbourne at Guests' Martial Arts School across all
age groups while establishing the Raining Spirit Dojo in
May 2009, running weekly Kids, Teens + Adults classes,
initially under the Hoshin Jutsu Aus banner, then later
branching off to form his own interpretation called
"12-Phases Hoshinden Jutaijutsu" as the main art-form
studied at The Raining Spirit Dojo.
He also gets around the country teaching seminars and
workshop facilitation on topics such as "Martial Arts as
a Vehicle of Embodiment", "An Elemental Perspective of
Movement", "The Internal Inspiration Teaching Model" and
"General Introduction to Martial Arts and the Moving
Relationships". A passion for Oriental Meridian Theory,
Shiatsu Massage and Fitness and fascinated by the
different Elemental theories of cultures around the
world, the progression of Buddhist and Taoist ideologies
throughout martial arts, and the application of where
oriental philosophy meets western philosophy in context,
as well as the physics of movement, classes at the
Raining Spirit Dojo are fun and exciting, and you will
find Sylph laughing through most of his classes.
Sensei Reeve has been a key member of the
teaching staff at The Raining Spirit Dojo since 2012,
and teaches Kids', Teens' and Adults' classes throughout
Reeve currently holds a Shodan grade (1st Dan Black
Belt) in 12-Phases Hoshinden Jutaijutsu, and is
qualified as a Level 1 Teacher of the art. He has been
an active and passionate student of Sensei Sylph
Dominic's since 2010.
A fascination of, and natural talent for patterns and
forms, Sensei Reeve's understanding of principals shines
through his interest and study of fundamental Kata
Sensei Reeve and Sensei Ruari are part of the Black Belt
Dan level students who help Sensei Sylph Dominic run The
Dojo, and manage the expansion of the art, further
exploring variations on current techniques and plowing
deeper into the fundamental principals of movement that
make things work.
An incredibly important cornerstone of The Raining
Spirit Dojo, Sensei Reeve takes over Dojo Administration
in Sensei's absence, and co-runs The Dojo with the other
black belt students when Sensei is away for extended
Steven Leaford Sensei
Steven is an Adults' Teacher at The Dojo, and has been a
member of the teaching staff since 2013, since starting
his studies here in 2010. Steven's long background of
martial art studies over many decades include: Aikido,
Karate, Hoshin Jutsu and 12-Phases Hoshinden Jutaijutsu.
A passion for sword work (kenjutsu) and the details of
technique, he is an invaluable member of the Dojo
teaching staff, and holds a Shodan grade (1st Dan Black
Belt) in 12-Phases Hoshinden Jutaijutsu and is an
instrumental part of The Dojo's expansion and growth
over the last 8 years.
He assists Sensei Sylph Dominic with Technique creation
and in-depth study of the art, as well as class filming
and documenting techniques. Steven teaches class on
Wednesday nights and can generally be found having fun
in most other Adult classes throughout the week, from
knife defense, to walking cane defense, 12-phase study,
Kata (Patterns) and core-based cardio. If you're after a
serious core and abdominal workout, you better get along
to his classes.
Ruari McKinnon Sensei
Sensei Ruari is a Martial Art Teacher and student who
has studied at The Raining Spirit Dojo since 2010.
He can usually be found continuing his studies in
Sensei's Friday night Adults class each week. Alongside
the other black-belt students of The Dojo, Ruari plays a
crucial role in the direction that The Dojo heads in and
he helps prepare other students for their Black Belt
An invaluable member of The Dojo and the expansion of
the art as a whole, he currently holds a Shodan grade
(1st Level Black Belt) in 12-Phases Hoshinden Jutaijutsu
and a Level 1 Teaching Degree in the art, as well as a
Shodan Grade Black Belt in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu
(Ninjutsu). He studied Hoshin Jutsu for over 3 years
between 2010-2013, in which he holds the rank of Green
Belt under the Hoshin Jutsu Australia Pacific system. He
also holds a Blue Belt in Brazilian Jui-jutsu.
Ruari is passionate about the real world applications of
what he and all the other instructors teach at the dojo,
including fitness, realistic self defence,
self-confidence and self-empowerment. A passion for
ground-work and martial art skills applied on the ground
in street-style fighting scenarios, he brings these
skills to The Dojo and writes techniques to help the
students gain confidence and skills defending themselves
on the ground.
Sempai Amber has been a part of the Dojo community since
early 2014 and started assistant teaching with the Kids'
classes in 2015. She currently attends Adults' classes
throughout the week and holds a Purple Belt in 12-Phases
Hoshinden Jutaijutsu and a Red Belt under Aikido
Amber enjoys studying the modern and traditional
applications of both the armed and unarmed techniques,
along with learning and practicing self-confidence and
empowerment while enhancing her fitness slowly and
A passion for evoking and supporting individual
brilliance, she is a strong member of The Dojo Teaching
Crew, and runs Kids' classes throughout the week where
her loving and compassionate approach helps new students
feel immediately welcomed to The Dojo. She is quite
involved in performing arts in High-school as she
completes her Year 12 study this year, and plays both
the Violin and Viola, playing in several orchestras. She
has been in several productions with her school both as
an actor and musician, enjoys horse riding and art and
comes from a whole family of martial artists.
Amber is a fantastic role model for students, and the
smiles of the students when she walks onto the mats
speak for themselves.
Jack Ditcham Sempai
Jack Sempai is one of the budding young martial-artists
of The Dojo's future, who joined the assistant teachers
program in 2017 and studies in the Adults' classes
throughout the week.
Holding the rank of Yellow Belt in 12-Phases Hoshinden
Jack is currently in High School and balances his love
of Martial Arts with his school work and social life,
his music as a french-horn player and his family.
A fascination for Japanese Sword study (Kenjutsu) and
traditional weapons such as Rope Dart (20ft rope with
weighted end) and Spear (Yarijutsu), he takes his
dedicated approach to studying martial arts and brings
it to inspire the students in the Kids' classes which he
helps teach throughout the week. He is fast becoming a
well-known fixture here @ The Dojo, and is well loved by
Stephen Said Sempai
Sempai Stephen joined The Dojo teaching crew early 2018
after studying with the Sensei's since 2015, he
currently holds a Yellow Belt in 12-Phases Hoshinden
Jutaijutsu and brings a great warm smile, a gentle and
caring approach and an authentic compassion to his
teaching and to the students who he see's in the Kids
and Teens classes throughout the week.
In his own words: "I really enjoy teaching the kids
classes. That age group are on the cusp of becoming self
conscious. Catching kids in that moment where they throw
themselves into trying new things while forgetting to
care about what other people think of them is beautiful
and inspiring to be around".
"I love hanging out with my partner and my kids, I love
to cook, I love to read (sci fi, fantasy, historical
fiction, history), I love watching movies and
documentaries, I love eating, I love gaming (board
games, rpg’s, and computer games), I love writing, I
love mountain bike riding when I can & I love trying
to be near mountains, especially during winter."
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