Professor Ukiyo

Professor Ukiyo

Professor Ukiyo was born in California and raised in the Nevada County area. He studied carpentry and Japanese Timber Framing under a few highly skilled contractors eventually receiving his own general B contractors license in the state of California issued to “Ukiyo Construction” in 2005. In 2006 he went to visit his uncle living on a small island in the Caribbean off the coast of Honduras for 2 weeks. Little did he know this would someday be the place of his residence. Two years leading up to the financial housing burst in 2008, new construction work was very scarce, and many contractors needed to chase work. After a Google search for highest paying labor jobs he found himself on his way to Seattle, Washington to interview with the fishing company of Alaska. From 2006 to 2008 he worked aboard a factory trawler in the Bearing Sea, based out of Dutch Harbor, Alaska. During his three seasons aboard the boat in the blistering cold with a work schedule of 12 hours on, 6 hours off, 7 days a week, he often thought of that sunny little island.

After returning to Nevada County he worked as a tree climber before landing a job with DC construction building high-end pole barns, horse arenas, and homes. This job had him flying all over the US and Canada to different job sites. One day while working in Redmond, Washington after 40 plus days of rain and cold he called his uncle in Honduras. His uncle, now in his mid-70s was eager to have someone he could trust help him on his property and invited him to move in full-time. After his arrival he got to work using his construction skills to transform the property into what is now Guanaja Backpackers Hostel. Now 10 years later the property has been signed over to him by his uncle, who still lives in his own house over the sea and gets to enjoy interacting with the many guests that come to stay at Guanaja Backpackers Hostel.

The year was 1995. At the age of 19, Ukiyo was working in a small grocery store in Penn Valley, California as a checker and stocker when he met his teacher, Senior Grandmaster Crimi. There was something that always caught his attention the way the man would come in to do his shopping. It was the fluidity at first that caught his attention. It always looked as though he just floated through the store, even the way he would fill his basket amazed him. It was as if the items would just fall perfectly into it with the flick of a finger or a last-second reach as rounding the aisle. One day Ukiyo decided to show off for Senior Grandmaster by following him into the parking lot and doing a front flip. Senior Grandmaster asked the young man if he would like to come to his dojo and “show that to his black belts.” He quickly agreed not realizing his lessons had already begun in regards to one’s own ego, pride, and humility. The few days leading up to their scheduled meeting, his head was filled with excitement of all the things he’d heard about the martial arts. He had heard about teachers that held on to traditional systems lost to others, and he was sure he had found one. He was right!

After arriving at the dojo he signed up for private lessons. From that moment on Martial Arts was his life. As he rose up through the Mudansha ranks over the years he found himself spending more and more time at the dojo every day. Ukiyo describes his Shodan exam as the most intense and life-changing experience he had ever had, and it still is the most magical experience of his life. He was given the option of fasting and sleep deprivation prior to his exam and neither ate nor slept 3 days prior. As he rose through the Yudansha ranks he had the incredible privilege of accompanying Senior Grandmaster as he taught classes and seminars around the world as his Uke. He was intricately involved in the construction of the current Dojo, working alongside Grandmaster Shizumi and Senior Grandmaster Crimi from start to finish; often times working 16 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Presently, Professor Ukiyo is teaching Hikari Ryuza Bujutsu in Guanaja off the coast of Honduras. According to Senior Grandmaster Crimi, Professor Ukiyo is one of the best Yudansha’s that he’s ever produced.