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Krystal Locke 09-26-2012 02:33 AM

Interesting new dojo? (Shinkai-kan, Medford OR)
Anybody have any info on or experience with this guy?

His brand shiny new dojo is right next door to work, and I hope to take or watch a few classes, see how his stuff feels.

Can anyone speak to the guy's credentials?

Michael Hackett 09-26-2012 11:26 AM

Re: Interesting new dojo?
His listed nidan in Roppokai under Okamoto Sensei is interesting. Okamoto Sensei demonstrates some amazing things - and is believed by some as a pure charlatan and by others as a genius. You can find YouTube clips of Okamoto Sensei and judge for yourself. Assuming you think what you are watching is real, then the next question is can Haight Sensei offer his students something similar. Let us know what your experience is there - It Has To Be Felt.

Carsten Möllering 09-27-2012 03:57 AM

Re: Interesting new dojo? (Shinkai-kan, Medford OR)
I know a swedish aikidō teacher who alos practices roppokai and what can be felt oft it in his aikidō is definitely amazing.

Cliff Judge 09-27-2012 09:23 AM

Re: Interesting new dojo? (Shinkai-kan, Medford OR)
Notice the detailed training history? That's a good sign. Looks legit to me. You can probably google those organizations and teachers and shoot them an email if you want to follow up.

Decent sword lineage btw...I'd look him up for that before the other stuff. :)

Krystal Locke 10-06-2012 12:28 AM

Re: Interesting new dojo? (Shinkai-kan, Medford OR)
So I went and gave it a shot tonight. he and I were the only people there, and he kindly gave me an hour and a half. He started out explaining everything, every Japanese term, etc., but stopped over-explaining when he saw that I knew most of what he was saying and let me ask if I didn't.

I had a very simple class in Daito Ryu basics. From an aikido perspective, it was shomenuchi ikkyo, but the terminology was different. Some slight differences in details, and some huge differences in body movement concepts. He liked things much squarer than I am trained to do. He was also far more inclined to stop my movement if he didnt think it was just so than I am used to.

Bottom line, he could move me. And his pins hurt as much as aikido pins.And he didn't have a lot of handwaving bullshit, although he did talk a bit about "looking through the eyes of the heart" and some other woo sounding stuff. Thing is, the concept behind the odd imagery worked, at least on him.

Under the header of "It Had To Be Felt", I'd have to say that Richard Haight of the Shinkaikan dojo is a real deal.

Now, do I think that someone trying to teach a ryu-ha (or three) from a storefront a few doors down from the 24 hour grocery store in a fairly rough town is going to have an easy time of it? Nope, but I wish him great luck and excellent students.

I dont feel like I can effectively chase two rabbits right now, no time, no money, and I am quite committed to my home dojo. But I wish Haight Sensei good luck and good training.

R H 10-13-2012 06:12 PM

Re: Interesting new dojo? (Shinkai-kan, Medford OR)
Thank you, Krystal for the review. I enjoyed having you over!
Best of all to you and yours.

Krystal Locke 10-14-2012 09:35 PM

Re: Interesting new dojo? (Shinkai-kan, Medford OR)
Well howdy. Yeah, I totally appreciate the time you spent with me. And with my pal Christine who also enjoyed the class you let her try. You are kind and generous with your time and teaching.

I told a couple folks at my work that I enjoyed training with you, so you may get a few more people checking out your dojo. I really hope some of them turn into good students.

R H 10-15-2012 02:03 PM

Re: Interesting new dojo? (Shinkai-kan, Medford OR)
Well, thank you Krystal for the support. Christine was wonderful. And she informed me of this review you wrote. She also let me know that I would be welcome to visit with your teacher for tea, etc.
Please let your teacher know that I would be happy to meet up, and I would also extend the invitation for him/her to visit my dojo were he/she to be in the area. Guess, I need to get some tea and cups ;-)

Janet Rosen 10-15-2012 06:39 PM

Re: Interesting new dojo? (Shinkai-kan, Medford OR)
Sounds like a good dojo!

Krystal Locke 10-16-2012 12:32 PM

Re: Interesting new dojo? (Shinkai-kan, Medford OR)
I am afraid we've made our sensei sound far more formal than he is with the talk of tea and such. Funny image, Michael Friedl doing formal chado. He'd probably pull a quarter out of your ear, then tell a wildly off-color joke.

Next time I see him, I'll tell him to get out his bowl....

Howard Popkin 10-17-2012 05:03 PM

Re: Interesting new dojo? (Shinkai-kan, Medford OR)

Richard Sensei was indeed a student of Okamoto when I arrived in Japan in 97.

While It has been 15 years since I have seen him, I can vouch for his honesty. He is a very genuine person and has been living there all this time.

I have no reason to doubt him whatsoever and I look forward to training with Richard Sensei sometime in the near future.

Best wishes,


R H 10-18-2012 03:33 PM

Re: Interesting new dojo? (Shinkai-kan, Medford OR)
Thank you, Howard Sensei for the generous words of support!
Has it been that long since we first met? Wow, time sure flies!
Maybe one of these days when you're in Portland, Teruko and I can make our way up there for the weekend to enjoy your company.

Take care,

Howard Popkin 10-18-2012 03:36 PM

Re: Interesting new dojo? (Shinkai-kan, Medford OR)
It would be a pleasure, June 8, 9 :)

Best wishes,


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