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Desert Monkey Dojo is the teaching arm of Temple of the Circus Monkey
Desert Monkey Dojo is serious training for less than serious people. We’re a martial arts type school catering to students who are more interested in self improvement than violence, sport, or trophies. Our classes are small, intimate, intense, and fun. We believe in training hard but always with a sense of Joy . We are not a traditional dojo. We don’t teach martial arts in the traditional ways. In fact, we don’t even have a traditional dojo space.
If you have questions or want to set up training or seminars, please contact our business manager, Faye at (702) 488-9929 or email Faye@DesertMonkeyDojo.org
We move around. We like to train in different locations. Any place with a floor and a decent temperature is good enough for us. Check out our new classes page for information on how to schedule your own classes.
Martial arts are steeped in tradition, some of it good, some of it anachronistic, and much of it just damn silly. At DMD we try to rid ourselves of the last two categories. Here are a few examples of what we mean:
- I live in the early 21st century in Las Vegas. I don’t live in feudal Japan or a monastery in China. I kind of don’t care how they did things. We don’t train with swords or farm implements, we train with guns and canes. We don’t do Suwari-waza and we do Hanmi Handachi from a chair because I likely won’t be attacked by bandits or ninjas while planting rice or while in seiza.
- Most Asian martial arts were brought to the US by soldiers returning from duty overseas. When they opened dojos they set them up with along military traditions with rank based systems, strict discipline, uniforms, absolute authority of the higher ranks, etc. While we appreciate and honor the military we don’t feel that this needs to be the basis of teaching the arts.
- Many dojos preach a lofty and strange mysticism based on a code of honor and respect. We think those things should be earned, not mandated. Your relationship with a God or the Universe is your business. Being a martial artist should make you calmer, but it won’t make you wiser or deeper.
- Every art claims to the “best” or “truest path.” Such a thing does not exist. Every art is only as good as the practitioner and the teacher. Every art has strengths and weaknesses. Every art has value.
- Many teachers claim to be the “true descendant” of some tradition or lineage. So what. This is an utterly meaningless tradition.
- We do not belong to any associations or groups. We have no “head of lineage” in some other city who oversees the dojo and takes a cut. I’ve had great teachers. What I am is largely due to them and I love them for it, but they have their own schools. They don’t need a piece of this one. It’s also my experience that martial arts organizational politics are just as petty and stupid as anyone else’s.
- We honor those teachers that came before us. We do not worship them.
- Many dojos have a very codified and rigid curriculum. We don’t. It’s art, not a science.
- We do not compete with each other, spar, or fight. Our only competition is with our own demons and weaknesses. If you want to be aggressive I’d be happy to suggest a Krav Maga teacher.
- We don’t do combat sports. We don’t expect to ‘toughen you up” or make you good street fighter. We increase skill to gain choice, protect others including your attacker, and put an attacker down quickly if necessary. If you want to fight I’d strongly suggest the boxing gym next door. I hear they’re really good.
Angus has been training in the martial arts since 1986. He’s also trained in Zen meditation, Chi Gong, firearms, and various other things that caught his attention. He’s worked with AIDS patients, abused children, biker gangs, and pretty much everybody in between. He rides a Harley and drinks a bit of whiskey. He’s a Scottish Lord and the Archbishop of the Temple of the Circus Monkey.
EVERY day at work I am using the language, thoughts, and actions that I have learned working with Angus and Sharon. ~ Jason W, high school principal
Having a great experience at the Desert Monkey Dojo. Great students and absolutely excellent teacher in Angus McIntosh. See you all there! ~ Bryan D
Angus is an excellent instructor. He’s very patient and obviously knowledgeable about what he teaches. Besides techniques, he also has a vast store of knowledge based on experience that makes his classes truly comprehensive and applicable to the real world. And on top of all that, he’s a great guy who makes training fun. ~ T.W.