Duff Culp - Sanami Defense Academy, TX | Owner Since 2009

Greetings from Austin, TX! A lifelong resident of this vibrant city, I am appreciative of the enriching experiences and community spirit it has offered. My martial arts odyssey commenced with Aikido, evolving into Bujinkan at the age of 17 in 1997, laying the groundwork for a profound exploration of martial arts.

My diverse journey has been shaped by a spectrum of roles, starting as a bouncer on 6th Street at 15. Progressing through lighting direction, drum technology for a touring band, and diverse construction trades, I eventually became a superintendent for a multi-million-dollar home project. Professional avenues extended into armed security, executive protection, and private investigation.

In my personal life, I am happily married, celebrating two decades of companionship. Beyond martial arts, my interests encompass carving, pyrography, leatherworking, bonsai, music, and various art forms. I dedicate time to refining my skills in firearm proficiency, engaging in medical training, and indulging my passion for military history.

Sanami Defense Academy - Update Statement:

Over the past three years, amid global shifts, Sanami Defense Academy has confidently embraced new horizons. Our focus has shifted towards the unconventional facets of martial arts, a trajectory initiated by my personal training outside the Bujinkan Sanami Dojo. While remaining committed to the Bujinkan schools, the retirement of Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi Sensei prompted a nuanced shift, propelling us further into our distinctive path. The enduring essence of Bujinkan, cultivated since 1997, persists with gratitude for experiences and friendships.

The dojo, flourishing since 2009, stands as a testament to the passion of our students. Evolving beyond the Bujinkan mainframe, we embrace the identity of Sanami Defense Academy. Gratitude extends to all instructors and peers, both constructive and challenging, who have influenced this journey. Special acknowledgment to Shawn Gray Sensei for facilitating my journey to Japan, introducing me to the Hombu dojo, and inspiring the trajectory I now traverse.

I eagerly anticipate welcoming you onto the mats!

Duff Culp



Jason Hester – Sanami Defense Academy - Round Rock, TX

While growing up in Houston, TX I was fortunate to meet some serious martial artists at a young age whose inspiration would follow me for life. Taking Karate at the age of 7, I was bitten by the Budo bug.

Although I was not be able to truly train until much later in my life, I am blessed to now live and work in the Austin area and have met so many great people here with similar interests in the physical, mental, and spiritual benefits of martial arts.

During my 20’s I joined the Navy and worked as an Electronics Warfare Technician while forward deployed in the Western Pacific. As I traveled the world, this experience was fundamental in developing the kind of mental and physical strength, determination, and most importantly perseverance through failure that would benefit me on my martial path.

For the better part of the last 15 years I have been training in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, boxing, firearms, and field trauma with my friend and mentor Duff Culp. Over those years, my understanding of Budo has evolved and cultivated many great benefits to my personal and professional life outside the dojo in addition to the obvious self-defense benefits.

I am currently expanding my application of the teachings culminated over those years with a new study group in Round Rock, TX on Tuesday evenings. I hope as a junior instructor to give back at least a small portion of the gifts that have been shared with me.

See you at the park!

Jason Hester