train in person



train In-Person

Welcome to Fresno Samurai Arts, a certified Nami ryu Aiki Heiho dojo. We provide in-person and online classes in traditional Japanese martial arts. Founded in 2008 in Fresno, California, our dojo is dedicated to the study of samurai martial arts, including Japanese sword arts and classical weaponry, Aiki-jujutsu – the root art of modern Jujutsu and Aikido, and practical self-defense applications and awareness training for modern-day threats to personal safety.

At Fresno Samurai Arts, we offer a comprehensive curriculum that remains true to the original principles of these arts, which are firmly rooted in a world where edged weapons were the norm.

Our classes are designed to cater to a wide range of students, from beginners to advanced practitioners, and are open to individuals aged 14 and older.

Our class schedule is flexible, with sessions held multiple times a week to accommodate our students’ busy lives. Each class is led by experienced instructors who are passionate about martial arts and dedicated to providing a supportive and engaging learning environment.

In our dojo, you will learn practical Aiki-jujutsu applications that are subtle and extremely effective. These techniques are taken directly from the study of Japanese sword arts (kenjutsu and iaijutsu) and knife arts (tantojutsu)1. Our goal is to teach practical self-defense and awareness skills that can be used in everyday life.

Japanese swordsmanship is the basis for learning unarmed principles, strategy, tactics, and techniques. Japanese swordsmanship (Kenjutsu) classes focus on the study of samurai martial arts and classical weaponry. Whether you’re a beginner looking to learn the basics or an experienced martial artist seeking to deepen your knowledge, our classes offer a unique opportunity to study these traditional arts in depth.

In addition to our regular classes, we offer live Zoom classes streamed during our in-person classes at the dojo. This allows our students to continue their training from the comfort of their own homes. We also provide access to our online dojo with videos for further study.

At Fresno Samurai Arts, we believe in the power of martial arts to foster discipline, respect, and self-confidence. We invite you to join us on this journey of self-discovery and personal growth. Contact us today to learn more about our classes and how you can get started.



Nami ryu means “wave style” and refers to the fact that energy travels in waves. This wave effect is one of the underlying physical principles of our art.

These and many other principles of strategy are learned through the study of the Japanese sword. The principles learned through the sword are then applied to practical skills that are applicable in modern times.

Watch the video below to see Nami ryu in action. Also, be sure to watch our Nami ryu Senseis video (link to the video on the other page) to learn more about our instructors.

meet our instructors

  • Randy George Sensei


    Chief Instructor

    Randy George Sensei began his training in Shotokan Karate in 1984 under Robert Halliburton Sensei of Fresno.

    After several years of Shotokan, he decided to study Aikido and was the first live-in student (uchi-deshi) of Patricia Hendricks Sensei (7th dan Shihan, Iwama ryu Aikido) of San Leandro, California.

    He studied and taught Aikido for over 20 years before becoming a student of James Williams Sensei, kaicho of Nami Ryu Aiki Heiho, in 2008.

    George Sensei has had a passion for Japanese culture, language, and history since an early age, all of which are interwoven in his instruction.

    In addition to the dojo, he runs a marketing agency specializing in branding and communications for family businesses.

  • JP Scott Sensei

    John "JP" Scott


    John “JP” Scott is a United States Navy veteran.

    He brings a diverse background of emergency medical experience and practical know-how in firearms and personal defense.

    He has trained in various martial arts disciples and has been practicing Nami Ryu since 2010.

  • Earl Giffen Sensei



    Earl began training in Nami Ryu in 2011. He originally trained under Randy George sensei of Fresno and subsequently moved to San Diego to train directly with James Williams sensei in 2015.

    In 2022 Earl returned to Fresno, where he currently teaches. In addition to studying martial arts, Earl is an ardent marksman and outdoorsman.

    He currently works as a systems engineering consultant.

  • Earl Giffen Sensei

    Matt Bangtson


    Matt grew up in the Midwest, studying Tae Kwon Do off and on during his teenage years

    After ending up in California, he searched for a martial art that could also teach him to use weapons.

    In 2016 he found Nami Ryu and began training under Randy George Sensei. Aside from martial arts, he enjoys the outdoors, spending time with family, and squeezing in a video game now and then.



Why Learn Japanese Swordsmanship?

Japanese swordsmanship is a sophisticated art and martial science. Through swordsmanship, we learn the applied principles of strategy (heiho).

Japanese sword arts are also the foundation of traditional Japanese jujutsu. The movements in classical jujutsu come directly from kenjutsu (Japanese sword combat arts).

What Aiki-Jujutsu techniques will you teach me?

Every student’s initial study involves learning proper breathing, movement, relaxation, awareness, and falling. You will also learn strikes, throws, and how to use training weapons to augment your practice.

Most importantly, our goal is to teach you skills to become safer, more aware, and more capable of heading off conflict before it happens.

What are the principles of Aiki-Jujutsu

Our primary principles are, 1) Move, 2) Allow (Don't contest for space), and 3) Don't be where pressure or force is applied. There are many more strategic principles that you will learn over time through dedicated training.

What ages do you teach?

We accept students 14 years and older. Please contact us if you would like to discuss further.

I've never training in martial arts. Can I learn Nami ryu?

If you have the willingness to learn, we can teach you.

Are there competitions in Nami ryu?

Classical Japanese martial arts are, at their core, schools of military strategy. While this context continues to be the foundation of Nami Ryu principles and techniques, we are dedicated to teaching personal defense and the defense of loved ones. With this in mind, we do not have competitions or train with the mindset of competing for points. Competitions and tournaments can be beneficial on many levels, but they are not designed to address modern self-defense scenarios so they are not part of our training.

Rather, in accordance with Classical Japanese training methods, our instructors expose students to increased pressure as they progress in the Nami Ryu training curriculum. This pressure takes the form of working against skilled opponents and learning to handle a wide variety of potential situations.  

Ultimately, our goal is to avoid conflicts and bad situations while training for the functional ability to de-escalate them or quickly solve them with an appropriate response.

Still have questions?