In December of 1982 I was introduced to the art of Ninjutsu through my late father Larry Dutton. He asked me if I knew what Ninjutsu is. He then started by telling me what it is, and the history thereof. He took me to a shop called “Sharp Edge” and showed me the weaponry the Shinobi Warriors used back in the day. I was hooked immediately and wanted to learn more. I will always remember his words: ‘’I see you becoming a Shinobi Warrior one day.” He further told me that it will change your life and thinking processes forever because it becomes a part of you.
In 1984 I met Sensei Danie van Eck who specialized in the art of Kuji-Kiri-Ryu-Ninjutsu and Sulsa-Ryu-Ninjutsu. I studied with Sensei van Eck from 1984 to 1987. Sensei Danie was hardcore and very strict in his training methods. During my time with him he also introduced me to the forbidden fighting techniques of the Shinobi Warrior (Sulsa-Ryu-Ninjutsu). Unfortunately, he passed away tragically early in 1987.
After Sensiei van Eck’s passing I was introduced during that same year to Sensei Ben Mangles and joined his school in Westering. Sensei Mangles specialized in Atemi Ryu and unarmed combat. My studies with Master Mangles were short lived as I was enlisted into the South African Police Services during late 1988. I was placed in Unit 19 which was a Specialized Riot Squad. Here my studies came to good effect and at times saved my own life and my partners that worked with me.
Although I stopped physical training in Ninjutsu it remained a part of my life and I remained mentally fit by concentrating more on the philosophy and mental approach of Ninjutsu. During this period, I focused on the Godai (the 5 elements of nature) and Kuji-Kiri-Ryu Ninjutsu. It became very clear to me that in order to promote peace within, the ultimate goal should be that fighting is the last resort and only when my life is in danger. True and Traditional Martial Arts for me is all about a way of life, finding the balance and finding your true self.
During 2013 I was introduced to Renshi Hendrik Strauss and under his mentorship and training I was able to sharpen some of my techniques. I proceeded to go through the grading processes and graded in 2016 to the level of 1st Dan Black Belt. Shihan Strauss handed The House of Koga Port Elizabeth over to me in 2017. During the takeover I realized that my late fathers’ words were true.
Shihan Du Plessis from Graaff-Reinette became my mentor and Instructor. In 2019 I was promoted to the level of 2nd Dan by Shihan Du Plessis. My understanding and development grew tremendously as I learned and understood what lies within myself. Up until 2020, I taught various students, irrespective of their challenges. I kept reminding them what Ninjutsu is all about and found ways to adapt according to their needs.
Shihan Du Plessis, and Shihan Henri Gouws saw it fit to promote me during September 2020 to the level of 5th Dan – Renshi, after taking into consideration my years of experience. I also received recognition from the Black Dragon Fighting Society.
I also need to add that I received additional training from Sensei Yuji Wada of Osaka, Japan in the Katayama-Ryu Shibu-no-Kai (training in the Katana Sword). I travelled to Japan in 2017 and 2019 to receive training.
I take the art of Ninjutsu very seriously and have committed myself to train others in the Art of Traditional and Modern Ninjutsu through proper self-defence. I focus on teaching them in using the mind and also the body – if required. I am currently studying the poison hand techniques or Dim Mak and the striking or kicking of nerve points thus rendering the opponent fight less. My outlook and beliefs are very traditional and deeply rooted.