Richard Van Donk
have the courage to live what you love and to love what
Van Donk was born in Stockton, Calif. in July, 1950.
Warrior names: Kofukuryu (Happy Dragon), Mr. Happy &
Yee Ha by Soke Hatsumi.
Spiritual Name: Ananda
Master Richard Van Donk's Martial Arts Profile
Richard started formal martial arts training at the age of 17,
informal at age 11. Master Van Donk is the Founder and Director
of the IBDA/American Bujinkan Dojos (Ninjutsu) and Bushindo
Martial Arts University operating world wide in over 60 countries
with its International Dojo Headquarters in Middletown, (Northern)
California, U.S.A. His wife, Linda, a Shidoshi (10th dan)
is the Assistant Director of Training for the American Bujinkan
is one of the highest ranking Bujinkan Ninjutsu Shidoshi (Instructors)
outside of Japan (10th Dan in Ninjutsu / 15th dan in Budo Taijutsu
from Grandmaster Masaaki Hatsumi) and an internationally acclaimed
Eskrima Grandmaster (personal student and inheriting Grandmaster
of the late DeCuerdas Grandmaster Gilbert Tenio). Also has been
awarded blackbelt levels or above in Karate, Jujitsu, Tae Kwon
Do, Muso Tenshin Ryu Iaijutsu (yondan), Aikido, and Enshin Ryu
Iaido and BattoJutsu (from Grandmaster Kenshinsai Machida).
In 1996 and in 1997 the World Head of Family Sokeship Council
awarded Master Van Donk with its most prestigious award of Grandmaster
of the Year for his contributions to martial arts. He has been
inducted into many Master and Grandmaster councils.
Van Donk is a personal student of Ninjutsu Grandmaster Masaaki
Hatsumi of Noda city, Japan and has traveled to train with him
at least twice a year since 1985 when he received his (Nidan)
2nd degree Blackbelt and Shidoshi-ho (Junior teaching license)
directly from Soke Hatsumi. At this time Soke Hatsumi also made
him a personal student in a special ceremony at Shihan Ishizuka's
In early 1987 Richard passed his 5th degree test in Japan in
front of a panel of Japanese Shihan. At that time Richard was
told he was only the 9th non-Japanese person to be awarded this
rank in the art's alomst 2,000 year history. Soke Hatsumi awarded
Shihan Van Donk his 10th degree Blackbelt Menkyo license on
Dec. 2, 1995 (Soke Hatsumi's Birthday) and his 11th dan on Takamatsu's
Birthday March 2000. Soke Hatsumi awarded Richard the rank of
Junidan** (12th Degree blackbelt) on March 28th, 2001. Soke
Hatsumi awarded Richard the rank of Ju-sandan*** (13th Degree
blackbelt) on December 2nd, 2002 (Soke Hatsumi's Birthday),
Soke Hatsumi awarded Richard the rank of Ju-Yondan**** (14th
Degree blackbelt) on April 2nd, 2004 (Takamatsu Resurrection)
and his Menkyo Kaiden Ju-Godan***** (15th Degree blackbelt)
on Dec 2nd, 2004 (Hatsumi's Birthday). Master Van Donk has been
responsible for pioneering the current ranking structures used
by many instructors throughout the Bujinkan. In 1991 Master
Van Donk was awarded the Golden Dragon Medal from Soke Hatsumi
for his pioneering efforts. Shihan Van Donk continues to travel
the world training with Soke Hatsumi in Japan and at international
events called Tai Kais.
True DeCuerdas is a pure blade fighting system that is one of
the rarest mother systems of Eskrima. DeCuerdas means to windup
as in winding a watch ('spring forward') and has deep spiritual
and philosophical roots as well as a very powerful weapons art..
Master Van Donk was given the rare title of Master (Professor)
in DeCuerdas Eskrima from the late Grandmaster Gilbert Tenio,
who then passed his art down to Master Van Donk before his death
making him the next designated Grandmaster of the Tenio DeCuerdas
Eskrima System. Richard studied diligently with Grandmaster
Tenio for 14 years and much of his training was received one
on one. Grandmaster Tenio had mastered 17 different Eskrima
styles and was world renowned for his disarming ability. He
was a great master who is truly missed. GrandMaster Van Donk
calls his system Dynamic DeCuerdas Eskrima.
One of Richard's great loves is the bladed arts and the sword
became a passion and was the first reason to travel to Japan
to train with Soke Hatsumi in Ninjutsu. Ninjutsu teaches Kobudo,
real battlefield sword fighting skills. Richard has been given
a 15th dan in Budo Taijutsu from Soke Hatsumi which includes
much battlefield sword use. Richard also wanted to learn the
presence of being taught in a formal Iaido (way of the draw)
sword school and battojutsu (cutting on the draw and real traditional
fighting skills). So early in 1990 he began training with Kancho
(Head of Family) Kenshinsai Machida a renowned Japanese Sword
Grandmaster of several systems. Richard received a Chudan level
makimono scroll in Enshin Ryu Iaido and BattoJutsu, and a nidan
level in Takeda Ryu Aikido in a short time. In March 2001 Richard
was first non-Japanese person to be awarded the Shoden level
makimono in Muso Tenshin Ryu Iaijutsu (universal heart sword
school) from Grandmaster Kenshinsai Machida. In March 2003 Master
Van Donk was awarded Chuden Mokuroku level (5th dan) in Muso
Ikken Ryu Batto Jutsu from Kancho Machida. The highest rank
issued to anyone outside of Japan. A beautiful handwritten densho
scroll was also transmitted and given as well during a Mikkyo
ritual ceremony. This balance of study between several sword
systems was challenging and also very rewarding. As a note Kancho
Machida can cut 10 rolled tatami mats in ONE cut. Yes, ten mats.
Oh did I tell you he is 72 years old. heheehe there is still
hope for us youngsters.
Richard considers himself to be a perpetual student of life.
Always questing the divine within everything and every one.
This journey of self discovery has brought Richard all over
the world to discover everlasting Truth, Consciousness and Bliss.
On his path to wisdom and spiritual growth he went to every
holy sacred site he could and found the wisest teacher, guru,
mystic, priest, priestess, or shaman to share with him their
knowledge. Richard spent time visiting such sacred places and
people as the Pyramids & Nile temples in Egypt, Machu Picchu
in Peru, Satgurus & Temples all over India, the Dali Lama,
the holylands of Israel, Stonehenge & Glatsonbury &
Avebury in England, Ephesus & Delphi & Instanbul in
Turkey, Mt. Shasta, Ca., American Indian holy sites, Mikkyo
Temples in Japan, Hunas of Hawaii, Central American ancient
civilizations of Palenque, Teotihuacan and several others deep
in the jungles of Mexico, Etc. searching and studying aspects
of spirituality. Richard is now studying Mikkyo (and kuji kiri
) with a master teacher in Japan and Hamsa Kriya Kundalini Yoga
from a Himalayan Nath Yogi (Richard is now certified and inititated
at senior advanced teacher level- Swami Hamsa Achrya) Master
Van Donk was first ordained as a minister in 1975 and one of
the first empowered Reiki practioners in the United States (about
1976) from Hawayo Takata herself.
Due to his tremendous amount of worldwide research Master Van
Donk is considered a Philosopher by many. He has taken the best
from all these sacred civilizations and teachers and formulated
an Enlightenment processes called 'Sourcing' which he has taught
worldwide. His core teaching are embodied in Uni-DynamicsTM
"The science of being One". Richard initiated a World
Peace 2000 Breath of Peace at the start of the new millennium.
He is now helping organize the World Peace Project IV with the
Dali Lama and other spiritual leaders to be held in 2002.
When not doing personal consulting or teaching Richard spends
his spare time playing music, doing yoga, writing and soaking
in hot springs. He is happily married to his wife Linda* and
has grown children, Danny a Golf Pro and Kimberly a college
undergraduate Speech Therapy student. Richard started formal
martial arts training at the age of 17, informal at age 11.
Master Van Donk is the Founder and Director of the American
Bujinkan (Ninjutsu) Dojos and Bushindo Martial Arts University
operating world wide in over 65 countries with its International
Dojo Headquarters residing in Middletown, California U.S.A.
He is married to his lovely wife, Linda, a Shidoshi (10th dan)
and Assistant Director of Training for the American Bujinkan
Dojos and has two children Danny (Golf Pro) and Kim (Speach
Therapist College student working on her masters).
Happy" is his motto and his slogan is "Make it Better"