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Our Awesome Teaching Crew @ Raining Spirit Dojo

Sylph Dominic
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 between 2001-2013,
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.

Reeve Leaford

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 the week.

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 (patterns).

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 adventures overseas.

Steven Leaford

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 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 exams.

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.

Amber Gonella

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 (Aikikai) Australia.

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 consistently.

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 Jutaijutsu.

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 the kids.

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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