SENSEI MATT KEISER
(former Shinobu Seattle Budokan Sensei)
Sensei Matt Keiser with Shihan Alex Mordine and Sensei Philip Gigler
Sensei Matt Keiser began studying martial arts upon entering the U.S. Air Force in 1992. He has studied various systems, among them Aikido/Aiki-jujutsu, in Seattle and in Japan under Shihan Miyako Fujitani, former wife and training partner of movie celebrity Steven Seagal. He also studied Karate as a part of his Aiki-jujutsu training, and Kajukenbo Kung Fu. He quickly settled on Bujinkan Taijutsu as his "home base", training and teaching in the U.S., Turkey, Thailand and in Japan under Shihan Alex Mordine, head of the Shinobu Dojo, and with Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi, Soke (grandmaster) of the Bujinkan Dojo worldwide. In 1999 while training in Japan he received his Shodan (first degree black belt) in the Bujinkan. In December of 1999 he opened the Shinobu Seattle Budokan. He continued to serve as dojo cho until August of 2000, at this time he promoted Sensei Philip Gigler to Dojo cho of the Shinobu Seattle Budokan. He then decided to go back to Japan to further his training.
Matt prefers to look beyond the opinions of many martial arts instructors who describe their arts as "The best method" or "The most combat effective method". His philosophy is one of open-minded curiosity coupled with careful scrutiny and skepticism. His opinion of the Bujinkan system is that it is not the "Be all, end all" of martial arts, but that it is a very broad and potentially very effective system when practiced properly. Because of its broad scope, he considers the Bujinkan his "home base" art in relation to other martial arts. In other words, techniques and ideas from other arts can be incorporated into Taijutsu, but Taijutsu cannot usually be incorporated into other arts, due to their specific focii (i.e. Judo is for throwing, Karate is for kicking/punching, etc.).
His philosophy is reflected in his dojo motto "Shinjutsu No Ko Budo" or "True Old Martial Way", meaning that the "old martial way" was one in which a warrior could learn from any source, and could use anything he encountered in his life as something potentially useful, as opposed to blindly following a single teacher who supposedly had knowledge of the only "true martial way". Thus, to follow the "true old martial way" means to follow your own instinct, and to realize that your teachers are not authorities who have all the answers, but are students further along on their path than you are on yours.