You know the scenes in action movies where the hero takes out five attackers with bare hands and walks away with a few scratches?
After meeting with Frank Hill, those situations seem a lot more plausible. He runs a martial arts studio in Fraserville called the Mystic Mountain Dojo, where he offers training in taijutsu, a natural movement martial art that is based on a consolidation of nine schools of Bujinkan. This is an international martial arts organization based in Japan and headed by Masaaki Hatsumi that teaches a combat system most commonly associated with ninjutsu.
Students at Mystic Mountain Dojo learn to approach their opponent as if he is their friend, with the intention of controlling rather than injuring. Jack Reacher would approve.
A retired paramedic, security manager and certified protection officer, Frank has worked with law enforcement, the military and security specialists and conducted seminars, lectures and workshops globally. He has studied under the Grand master in Japan for over 35 years.
In his studio on Tapley ¼ Line, he offers a variety of classes serving ages from 3 to 6 for junior, 7 to 17 for youth and adults, and has offered a women only class when there was sufficient demand. The classes involve mental discipline as well as physical traininge. Even the youngest students practise a brief period meditation during the classes. Ultimately students learn to control all body movement to become perfectly still for an extended period of time, demonstrating mind over matter.
The discipline he instills is clear from the outset. On the program website is a section called Dojo Rules and Etiquette, outlining the studio philosophy. It is a place of sanctuary, discipline and mutual respect and those attributes are reinforced by the studio rules.
The instructor demands control of the room, and instructions must be followed without argument, contradiction or interruption. Respect is required for and from all participants- competition between individuals is discouraged. Movements are practised in a slow and controlled manner ensuring all parties understand the pace and the risk of injury is minimized. No free-wheeling moves or showing off is allowed. Due to the close contact between participants, there is a focus on high levels of personal hygiene as well as appropriate attire. Students are also asked to check any poor attitude at the door.
It all sounds serious, but Frank makes sure the curriculum includes plenty of fun as well as physical activities through games and exercises in a healthy, supportive environment. Classes for elementary students are available after school or on weekends, and travel to the studio on the school bus can be arranged. Parents are welcome to relax in the lounge area of the studio during the program or pick up their children at the end of class.
Day camp programs are also available during Spring and Summer school breaks. High school and adult programs are offered Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings.
Over the years, Frank has seen his students develop personal discipline and increased self-esteem as they learn to better understand and manage themselves and their environment. To give it a try, the studio is currently offering a free, two-day pass where participants can test their mental and physical strength under the expert tutelage of a master, but don’t call him that- he prefers to be addressed as Sensei, which means “teacher” in Japanese.
For more information about this studio, visit the website at www.mysticmountaindojo.com. KG