Coronavirus (COVID-19)


Students, Parents & Family,


Mia and I have been prayerfully considering what effect Coronavirus (COVID-19) was going to have on Yama Bushi Dojo. For the last couple of weeks, our hope was that nothing would come of it in our community, but we had resolved that we would follow the local school district(s) lead in our response. As you probably know by now, the local school districts have closed for the next two weeks, extending the spring break to two weeks (March 16-27). I’m sure at some point in the coming weeks, the school district will reassess and announce their intent to reopen, or to remain closed longer. Only time will tell.

Add on top of that, as most of you are aware, I am currently still scheduled for surgery during the week of April 5. As of today, those plans have NOT changed. Again, only time will tell if that still happens.

Working at the hospital, I do have some excellent resources to information regarding COVID-19. While we may not currently have any active cases in Montezuma County, the seriousness and precautions needed are very real. I’ve found that martial arts schools are fairly split as to whether they are remaining open or closing. Many of the schools that are staying open are adjusting their lesson plans to incorporate “social distancing”, which to me indicates that they’re concerned, but not ready/able to eliminate classes all together. Below is a good article from a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu school regarding COVID. While I don’t endorse his language, I do endorse his message.

With that all said, we have decided to suspend our classes immediately. We will begin this on 3/16 and will continue thru 4/13 at least. At that time we will determine if classes start back up that week, or the next. We’re hoping so but reopening will be dependent on what is happening within our community.

We will credit March tuition by half for a future month. April is already scheduled for a “1/2 price month”, so assuming classes resume around the 13th, anyone that has paid for March will not have to pay.

Finally, our local hospital has some excellent resources and information about COVID-19. You can find that information, as well as a good information video from UNM University Hospital at the below links:

We encourage all our students (and families) to take care of themselves during this time. We apologize for the inconvenience, and especially for those that were going to test 3/18 & 3/19. However, we feel that it is the prudent and right thing to do right now. For our students, take the next few weeks, and practice at home! We are available by phone or e-mail if you have any questions.

Travis & Mia Parker

Yama Bushi Dojo

Yama Bushi Dojo Schedule of Events

No upcoming events.

About Us


Yama Bushi Dojo History

Sensei’s Mia, Tomas, & Travis Parker

  • Sensei’s Mia & Travis hold the rank of Nidan (2nd Degree Black Belt).
  • Sensei’s Mia & Travis began the study of Uechi Ryu under the tutelage of Sensei Linda Diffendaffer in 1999. 
  • Sensei Tomas began the study of Uechi Ryu under the tutelage of Sensei Rose Dyer in 1994, and achieved the rank of Junior Nidan. Tested in 2015 for the rank of adult Shodan. 
  • Sensei’s Parker assumed ownership of Yama Bushi Dojo in 2013.   

All of the Sensei’s Parker intend to continue their training and test for rank.    

Sensei’s have discovered that the best teaching comes from teaching others. Sensei’s Parker believe that this endeavor will not only benefit your student, but teach them as well!   


What is Karate?

Karate translated either means "Chinese hand" or "Empty hand" depending on which Japanese or Chinese characters you use to write it.   

Okinawan Karate styles tend to be hard and external. In defense they tend to be circular, and in offense linear. Okinawan Karate styles tend to place more emphasis on rigorous physical conditioning than the Japanese styles.  

Both tend to be high commitment, and tend to emphasize kicks and punches, blocks, strikes, evasions, throws, joint manipulations and a strong offense as a good defense. Karate techniques consist basically of hand and foot techniques. Other important elements of Karate include stances, posture, body shifting, hip rotation, and breathing.    

Karate did not originally develop as a military art to be used on the battlefield. It was never a sport, confined by rules, but developed as a no-holds-barred system to protect your life and defeat your opponent without discrimination, at all costs and by any means.   

Training differs widely, but most of the Karate styles emphasize a fairly equal measure of basic technique training (kihon), sparring (kumite), and forms (kata). Forms are stylized patterns of attacks and defenses done in sequence for training purposes.    

Achieving a level of growth in Karate increases health and vigor, in addition to developing self-defense. The discipline required for Karate development teaches hei jo shin, the presence of mind to be prepared to confront obstacles at any time. The obstacle may not be an aggressor. Challenges such as work related stress, raising your children, or worrying about how to pay your bills require the same mental fortitude developed in Karate practice.                       

An art of self-defense as well as a sport, Karate has in recent decades proliferated worldwide. It is one of the most widely practiced of the Asian martial arts, with a large following in the U.S., Japan and Europe.

"True karate is this: that in daily life one's mind and body be trained and developed in a spirit of humility, and that in critical times, one be devoted utterly to the cause of justice."
-- Gichin Funakoshi


Uechi Ryu Karate History

The history of Uechi Ryu style of karate began in China. Kanbun Uechi, the founder of our style, left his home in Okinawa at the age of 19 to study martial arts under Shushiwa (shoe‐z‐wa). The Chinese name for the system he studied is Fawn-Nun or Pangai‐Noon (pwang‐ga‐noon), which means “half hard, half soft”. This represents a hard outer shell of muscle, while breathing to remain soft (relaxed, controlled) on the inside. Kanbun studied for 10 years with Shushiwa; from there he became a teacher. He was the first Okinawan to open a training hall in China. In 1940 Kanbun Uechi became a Grand Master in this style. In honor of Kanbun, after his death in 1948, his students changed the name from Pangai‐Noon to Uechi Ryu, (way‐chi‐roo), Ryu meaning “style”.

Kanbun Uechi's son, Kanei Uechi, taught the style at the Futenma City Dojo, Okinawa, and was considered the first Okinawan to sanction the teaching to foreigners. One of Kanei's senior students, Ryuko Tomoyose, taught a young American serviceman named George Mattson, formerly of Boston and now residing in Florida, who authored several books on the subject and is largely responsible for popularizing the style in America. Uechi Ryu emphasizes toughness of the body with quick hand and foot strikes. Several of the more distinctive weapons of Uechi practitioners are the one‐knuckle punch (shoken), spear-hand (nukite), and the toe kick (shomen geri). Because of this emphasis on simplicity, stability, and a combination of linear and circular motions, proponents claim that the style is more practical for self‐defense than most other martial arts.   

Uechi Ryu was brought to the United States from Okinawa in 1958 by Sensei (teacher or instructor) George Mattson, who brought the 3 main kata’s (mold or form), arm pounding, and kumite (crossing hands), Today Mr. George Mattson is still very active in the Uechi community, and holds the highest rank here in the United States.    

Uechi Ryu is principally based on the movements of animals: the Tiger, Dragon, and Crane. Uechi Ryu is a close-in method of self-defense that concentrates on the use of techniques unique only to this style.    

Uechi Ryu is governed by a national federation, IUKF that regulates and certifies all black belt ranks.  

The NEW Yama Bushi Dojo!

310 West Arbecam

Cortez, CO