Michael Cline, 7th Dan Kyoshi
Head of the Shin Ken Kan Dojo, Fargo
Kyoshi Michael Cline who currently resides in Minnesota began his martial arts training while in High School in 1973 at a small Japanese Karate school in his home state of Kentucky. After graduation he entered the US Army as a Military Police officer and was sent to his first duty station in Korea. He continued his martial arts training throughout a six year tour in the service. After leaving the service he continued to train in other Japanese Martial Arts and finally began a life long journey with Taika Seiyu Oyata in 1984.
In 1987 Michael opened the Hidden Teachings Okinawan Martial Arts School in Fargo, North Dakota and has been trying his best to pass the teaching of Taika Oyata on to the public ever since. In 1994 Michael was one of the original group of loyal students asked by Taika Oyata to become a member of Oyata Shin Shu Ho Ryu®. In February 1998, Taika Oyata gave a public demonstration at the Budokan in Tokyo, Japan. Michael was one of the seven students asked to accompany Taika and, although nervous, performed weapons kata in the demonstration.
Kyoshi Cline and the Hidden Teachings Dojo have been hosting public seminars with Taika Oyata since 1990 and have had many successful demonstrations to benefit the local Food Pantry. Michael is a certified Defensive Tactics Instructor for law enforcement officers and is chief of police for the city of Glyndon, Minnesota.
Kevin Tobosa, 6th Dan Renshi
I’m most interested in the conceptual ideas of defense/offense and how Taika would hide his offense within the defensive movements.
My favorite weapon to train is Manji Sai – the history behind the manji as a symbol of power is a fascinating one that can be traced back to ancient Tibet. Training the manji requires drawing power from your foundation and distributing it through your hips and core to move and control the weapon. Your arms, hands and fingers simply follow. This is true of any weapon or technique but when I train with the manji I feel much stronger than I do with any other weapon.
I enjoy traditional archery. Shooting a longbow well, like any martial art takes constant practice and is a lifelong pursuit. I enjoy shooting with the old timers who make it look so easy – just like Taika did whenever he demonstrated a technique or concept.
What I enjoy most about RyuTe is its ability to become art. Like poetry, every reader's interpretation is different. Like a musical composition, what you exclude - the silence between notes - are just as important than the notes themselves. Ten photographers shooting the same scene will create tendifferent images. No two martial artists will ever move in exactly the same way or apply the teachings in the exact same way. Though we learn from the same source, how the art comes to life from our hands is unique to each of us.
Outside the dojo, I split my time with my family, my job, my church, and the archery club. Occasionally, I make time to hunt and fish.
Jody Bakken, 5th Dan Renshi
Jody Bakken began his martial arts training in 1982 studying the Korean martial art of Tae Kwon Do. The school was called Moorhead Black Belt Karate School and his instructor was Master Tim Coty. In 1986, Jody’s senior year of high school he received the rank of 1st degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do. He continued to train Tae Kwon Do for a few more years before his instructor closed the school and moved to Minneapolis.
After trying out several different martial arts schools in the Fargo Moorhead area, Jody began training Ryu Te Ren Mei at the Hidden Teachings Dojo under Kyoshi Mike Cline and has been training at this dojo for over 20 years. Jody received the rank of Go Dan in 2008 at which time he also was honored to become a member ofOyata Shin Shu Ho Ryu, Taika Oyata’s family art.
Aside from Jody’s interest in training in Oyata’s Life protection art, he enjoysriding motorcycle, shooting firearms, and spending time outdoors. Family is important to Jody and he cherishes the time that he gets to spend with his daughters and grandchildren.
Greg Swanstrom, 5th Dan Renshi
Bio Coming Soon
Matt Bernier, 5th Dan Renshi
Matt Bernier has spent the last 20 years studying Ryu Te Renmei karate at the Shin Ken Kan dojo.
Matt received his rank of Godan in 2008 as well as having the honor of being invited to join Oyata Shin Shu Ho Ryu, Taika Oyata's family art. Recently, Matt also tested to become only a handful of Ryu Te Renmei Certified Regional Instructors. These people are authorized by the Ryu Te organization as being qualified to teach regional seminars and help to pass on Taika Oyata's art.
Aside from Matt's love for the Ryukyu martial arts, he is an avid hunter, woodworker and graphic artist. He is also the father of two small children and a family man, he loves seeing the spark and light of understanding when people begin to learn something new. As well as creating a learning environment that is safe yet challenging for both adults and children.