HURRICANE – A Hurricane martial arts instructor has had the honor of becoming the first person outside of Japan to be made a member of the Musashi Ninshi (or Ninja) clan, a prestigious samurai order dating back more than four centuries.
Raven Cain, who owns and operates Raven Self Defense Academy in Hurricane, said he received official permission to use the Musashi name in his dojo’s title.
“Having a direct connection to an ancient shinobi samurai clan is quite unique,” Cain told St. George News. “It’s pretty neat because that’s probably one of the greatest things you can achieve as a martial artist. I haven’t really achieved it; it’s more of an honor to be a part of it.”
Cain said the Musashi clan was part of the Tokugawa shogunate, which arose in 1582.
The shinobi samurai were the instructors who trained and taught the samurai to master various skills, Cain noted.
Today, the shinobi samurai within the Musashi clan continue to offer specialized training in a variety of disciplines, he added.
“It’s not just about martial arts and weapons training,” Cain said. “They collect a lot of information. There are also people who specialize in horses, falconry and oriental medicine.”
The samurai didn’t just learn to be warriors, he added, noting that many of them were also proficient gardeners, musicians, cooks, and artists.
“You always had that other side,” he said. “It was never just about war and fighting. It was always about improving yourself and following these different things that help you grow as an individual.”
Along the same lines, Cain says the skills he teaches in his dojo can be applied to a variety of life situations.
“You may never get into a fight, but martial arts can help you in all the different aspects of your life,” he said. “That’s what I’m really good at: showing you how to use these combat skills to not only defend yourself, but if you have a business, how do you use this strategy?” Or if you want to improve your relationship with your spouse, how do you use that if you want to have better communication skills with him or with other people around you? How do you use it when you want to get a promotion?”
Another aspect that martial arts teach is control over one’s body, according to Cain.
“Personally, I once fell from a waterfall that nearly killed me,” he said. “But because of my martial arts skills, I landed on a boulder and, avoiding serious injury, rolled back into the water and then fell off another waterfall. Nevertheless I survived. I got out of the water and I was fine. I had scrapes and bruises but I hadn’t broken anything and I wasn’t dead. Most people who took the fall I took would have died.”
“Martial arts is knowing how to relax and stay calm under pressure,” he said. “You have to know how to maneuver your body and how to fall properly.”
Martial arts principles can also be easily applied to team sports, Cain added.
“Ultimately you’re competing against yourself, whether it’s football, baseball or ice skating,” he said. “It’s always going to be you against you… you’re getting better, and yes, the team. But the team supports the collective. So when everyone gets better, the whole team gets better.”
Cain spoke of his love for Japanese culture as he proudly displayed the new certificate dated March 21, 2022 hanging in the front of his shop proclaiming the “Utaka-Ha Honbu Dojo” (RavenHawk Official Martial Arts Place) as a member of Musashi-Ninshi Clans. Cain was also given the honorary title “O-sensei”, meaning master teacher.
“Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always been very fascinated with Japanese culture,” he said. “At the age of five, when I was introduced to judo and jiu-jitsu and the beauty of the culture, the respect and the discipline.”
“It’s just fascinated me my whole life,” he said, adding that it even led him to become a follower of Buddhism.
“It’s incredible to get a direct connection to an ancient Japanese shinobi samurai clan,” he said. “This is the greatest honor of my entire life. I cannot stress the importance because it is an incredible honor to be the only official American representative…the only one who can say that you represent the Musashi clan.”
“For me, it’s like being nominated President of the United States,” he added. “This is so important to me. It’s such a big deal.”
“And now the cool thing is that I can show people the authentic Japanese style of martial arts, but from a modern American perspective. So keep the reality, the realistic nature of our culture, but apply the beauty, the philosophy and the authenticity of Japanese culture right here in southern Utah.”
Click here to learn more about the Musashi Ninshi (Ninja) clan here to watch a five-minute introductory video on YouTube.
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