ACADEMY INFORMATION & COMMON QUESTIONS:
Thank you for inquiring about Kami No Kanazuchi Kai. The following are Common Questions about Aiki Ju Jitsu & Hap Ki Do:
What is Aiki Ju Jitsu? That's not easy to explain to a layperson. All martial arts share the same basic philosophy, i.e., disciplining the mind by disciplining the body. This isn't some mystical, pagan teaching. In fact, our Christian forefathers took it as gospel. Unlike its sister, sport Ju Jitsu, Aiki Ju Jitsu is a pure self-defense system based on the ancient Japanese Daito Ryu method which traces its beginnings back to the Emperors bodyguard up and through the end of World War II. In short, the goal is not competition but pure self-defense. From the very first day, the new student learns to stand his ground and fight! The grandfather of Aikido, Hap Ki Do, and modern Ju Jitsu, Daito Ryu is the root of all combat arts. Mr. Merriman is fond of saying that, "It aint pretty but it is effective!"
Why is Aiki Ju Jitsu better than the others? There is no such thing as a superior martial arts style. Each has its own unique strengths, limitations and benefits. However, again, Aiki Ju Jitsu is a combat martial art designed to quickly end a confrontation via bone breaking, locking, choking and strangling. Soke Merriman is an acknowledged anti-terrorism expert and has taught his system all over the United States to civilian and military warriors. Accordingly, given the violent nature of the art, it is only offered to Christian Adults, military personnel and law officers!
Who started Kami No Kanazuchi Kai? On January 1, 1997, after teaching Hap Ki Do and police tactics for over 12 years, Instructor/Attorney Pat Merriman culminated a life-long dream when, with he founded his own system of Ju Jitsu in Springfield, Missouri, based on his 4th Dan Hap Ki Do and 5th Dan Aiki-Ju Jitsu training. He met ninth dan Anglican Catholic Bishop Scott Sikes and, after one year of intense work, history was made when they reviewed their extensive backgrounds in grappling and developed the "hybrid" Kami No Kanazuchi Kai Ju Jitsu based on Christian rather than zen Buddhist principles. Thereafter, in 1999, Soke Merriman was inducted into the Hall of Fame and promoted to 8th dan for all his hard work in creating this art.
Hap Ki Do vs Aiki Ju Jitsu? Basically, Hap Ki Do incorporates more sparring and is much more comprehensive. Mr. Merriman is not shy about stating that, of the two, Hap Ki Do is the more comprehensive of the two arts. The difference lies in the teaching methodology. Hap Ki Do is technique oriented and brings the student along more slowly to develop good falling skills, control and expertise. Kami No Kanazuchi Kai Ju Jitsu puts less emphasis on quantity of technique and emphasizes concept. In other words, where a Hap Ki Do student will have mastered 154 different joint locks and throws by black belt, the Aiki Ju Jitsu adept will have incorporated less than 15 but will be able to apply them in any combat situation. In adddition, Hap Ki Do does not allow ground fighting (in the lower belt ranks) but emphasizes conditioning, control, ethics, and the law on use of force. The goal is to take civilians and teach them street smarts along with basic technique. Aiki Ju Jitsu takes a previously-trained warrior, soldier, or police officer and hones their pre-existing skills for quick knock-outs and submissions. Many students cross-train in both systems after Mr. Merriman has selected them for that honor.
What do you mean by concepts"? Originally, men like Bruce Lee had desired to develop a method of self-defense which moved from the antiquated rote memorization of a list of techniques which might/not be relevant. Simply put, in any given scenario, each encounter will be different. Accordingly, that encounter will dictate the technique that is implemented. Thus, Merriman and Sikes believed that the formula: principle + attack = technique; was a superior starting point. However, before these concepts are implemented, the student spends at least one year developing himself mentally and physically first. In other words, technique and control are taught then concept is introduced to the student so that he/she has a base to build from before even starting down the path of combat training. Along with this ethic comes the CQB tactics which have saved numerous soldiers and civilian contractors in these troubled times--threat awareness and identification, evasion, improvised weapons, emergency first aid, and the constant honing of our "presence", i.e., the way we present ourselves to our fellow man and our environment. It is not weakness to say that the "best" fight is that fight that never occurs because we present a hard target image to the predators who stalk our streets. And, of course, emphasis at the black belt levels of modern firearms--the weapon we are most likely to encounter in the 21st century.
Why is the "Cost" for Instruction? The truth is that a student does not pay anything for instruction. Rather, Mr. Merriman passes on what he has learned in the same manner that it was passed on to him over 40 years ago. The student pays with his/her own blood, sweat and tears. Of course, life would be grand if we could simply go through life and not contribute filthy lucre (money) toward a common cause. So, a monthly stipend of $100 is due on the first day of each month to pay for rent, lights, heat and air conditioning. In addition, there are testing fees to cover the promotion costs for the student and the Board who sits for the test (usually on the second Saturday of the even-numbered months). But, Mr. Merriman will not even talk about money with a new student until they have tried TWO CLASSES FOR FREE! That's right, no charge! If it is not your cup of tea, we will not force you to pay. So, pull on a pair of sweat pants and a plain, white T-shirt and do the hardest part--walk in the dojo for the first time.
But, what if I am going on vacation for a couple of weeks or a month, can we pro-rate tuition or toll it during the time I am gone? No, sorry. Like a daycare center, fitness centers and other activities, tuition is due whether you are actually in the dojo or not in any given month, i.e., we don't let you come and go as you please. The reasons for this are simple--there is no annual contract but,  our costs for utilities are the same whether/not you are here;  each student pays the same amount for the same course of instruction and promotes on the same testing dates--no one is special;  space in the dojo is limited and, we cannot hold a spot open for a student who is not contributing toward the common cause;  bookkeeping is a chore, keeping track of an individual's coming/going is onerous, burdensome and no one is special; and  because it is your obligation to support the program even if you are on vacation and, not physically present in our dojo. Therefore, we have a one-year waiting list if a student withdraws/does not pay their monthly tuition for any given month. We are making a time commitment to you, so, you can make a financial commitment to us. Regardless, Mr. Merriman will review an individual hardship on a case-by-case basis to be fair, i.e., if a student were to be gone for several months (like an entire summer which forced them to miss a testing date) and wanted to return to training once they returned to the ryu.
What about Women and the Seasoned Citizen? There are plenty of dojos that teach one-size-fits all martial arts magic but, we DO have a women's catalogue of techniques (for the unique challenges facing American females) and aiki-based martial arts are infinitely malleable to fit the individual student. Mr. Merriman has trained every type of human being from those suffering from spina bifida, amputated limbs and even Downs Syndrome. All you need to have are pride (enough to not quit) and concentration (the ability to follow simple instructions).
But, I don't live in North Dakota? That's OK! Anticipating his move in 2012, Soke Merriman took his top 5 instructors and sat them down. Mr. Simmons had already started a satellite school in Oklahoma and Mr. Cheek had been dabbling with the idea himself. So, on 8 December 2012, the decision was made to keep the programs in Missouri going at both the Willard and Lebanon locations and to move the hanbo (home school) to Killdeer, North Dakota. Suffice it to say--it's the same symphony only being conducted by different men. Click on your state's road sign on the index menu to learn more about classes in your area and how to contact our Chief Instructor in that jurisdiction.
WELL! Thats It!
No one in the history of the world has ever been convinced to try martial arts because of someone's advertising and never should be. The proof is, as they say, in the pudding. Suffice it to say that we would enjoy your presence at our Academy and we are so sure that our system may be what you are looking for that we are willing to literally put our money where our mouth is! Accordingly, if you have logged on to this website, call (701) 764-7052 and schedule an interview with Mr. Merriman. He won't bite!
How can I contact you? Call us at the telephone number listed above, the number[s] listed on your state's web-page on this site, the e-mail link on this sit on this site or, feel free to contact us at the new hanbo's mailing address. Or, just stop by a class in your neck of the woods during regular class sessions. No appointment is necessary, so, if you want to attend a class and observe the club, please call or come by!
REMEMBER, WE ARE A WORLD-CLASS, ACCREDITED SCHOOL by both the World AND United States Martial Arts Halls of Fame!
OUR Class Schedule...
[for specifics, click on your state's road sign in the main menu or click below]
Killdeer, ND: Monday thru Thursday evenings 3 classes conducted from 6:00-9:00 PM MDT
*All Killdeer, North Dakota class times are the local, Mountain Time Zone!
Lebanon, MO: [to be announced]
Rolla, MO: [to be announced]
Willard, MO: [to be announced]
Skiatook, Oklahoma: Tuesday & Thursday, 6-8:30 P.M.; Saturday 10 A.M.-Noon
Each Session Lasts One Hour!
"Instead of picking up the telephone, pull on your sweat pants and a plain, white T-shirt and call us for a session. The class will only cost you one hour of your time. If you don't like the work-out, no hard feelings! I have built this Academy on hard work, friendship and honesty. We won't change that policy just to get one extra student." -Pat J. Merriman