SHIHAN DEAN ROSTOHAR – SHINRYU

Dean Rostohar Shihan, the teacher, the founder and Shibu Cho of Bujinkan Seishin Dojo Zagreb and Bujinkan Dojo Croatia, was born 1965, in Zagreb, Croatia. He practiced various Martial arts since 1975, from the age of 10. Thus, he continued to practice Martial arts for more than 36 years, achieving master levels in some of them. His Bugo (Warrior name) is Shinryu – Dragon heart.

He has practiced many different Martial arts (among the others, Shotokan karate, Judo, Ju jutsu, Aikido, Budokai, Tae kwon Do, Wrestling, Thai box, Kick box, Full & Semi Contact, Wing Chun, Jeet Kun Do) and he was competing in some of them. However, he was not satisfied with the way of their teaching and with their presentation. These were performed and presented as sports, lacking true moral, psychological, physical, mental, philosophical and spiritual values, and Dean Rostohar was not satisfied with that. Finally, he discovered the true value in the Warrior art of Ninjutsu/Ninpo Budo Taijutsu.

He understood Ninjutsu as the philosophy of life. According to his opinion, while other arts grew into sports, losing their essence, their nature and the spirit of the true art in that process, Ninjutsu preserved all the features of the true warrior art.

Dean Rostohar become acquainted with Ninjutsu for the first time in 1986, through the book “NINJA – The invisible assassins”, written by Andrew Adams. From that moment on, his interest grew. He has started gathering information and training Ninjutsu. He traveled almoust around whole world to study and learn this art. Last seventeen years he travel regulary to Japan to learn and study this warrior art. He has met many teachers, from whom he has learned. Later, following the request of Soke Hatsumi, in 1993, Dean Rostohar opened the first original school of Bujinkan Ninjutsu in Croatia, patronized by Soke Hatsumi.

Dean Rostohar practices Ninpo Budo Taijutsu/Ninjutsu for more than 26 years. To expand his understanding and to learn more of this Warrior art, he makes the regular study visits to Japan, the homeland of Ninjas. Each year, while in Japan, he spends his time as a personal student of the Masaaki Hatsumi Soke, Headmaster of Bujinkan. Also, he learns from his best students – Shihans (senior instructors) Yukio Noguchi, Toshiro Nagato, Oguri Koichi, Hideo Seno, Hiroshi Nagase, Someya Ken’Ichi, Isamu Shiraishi (He has also learned with Fumio Manaka, while He was in Bujinkan Dojo.).

Dean Rostohar has attended many Tai Kai seminars all over the World led by Hatsumi Soke. He has attended also many seminars led by highly regarded masters and teachers of Ninpo Budo Taijutsu/Ninjutsu. Being involved in these seminars also gave Rostohar the opportunity to establish beautiful and deep friendships with many international instructors. It is impossible to list all these friends here.

 In 1996, Dean Rostohar passed the Sakki test (Haragei), ‘the test of killing intention’, requested and performed by Hatsumi Soke, in Budokan Tokyo, Japan. He has been awarded the title of Shihan (senior instructor). Now he holds the master level of 15th Dan Kugyo Happo Biken. He is also representative and responsible person of Hatsumi Soke Bujinkan in Croatia, and that has been requested and authorized by Masaaki Hatsumi Soke.

In 1995, for his knowledge, contributions, efforts and merit in Ninpo, Rostohar received a rare award “Bujinkan Golden Dragon Medal” from Hatsumi Soke. At September 11th, 2011, in a brief ceremony that was held in Bujinden Hombu Dojo, Soke Masaaki Hatsumi awarded Shihan Dean Rostohar with a very rare diploma called “Shin Gi Tai Bufu Ikkan Menkyo“. By his words, Soke Hatsumi awards only his best and most loyal students with this kind of diploma. Thus, receiving this award is an exceptional honor for Shihan Rostohar and for true Bujinkan in Croatia as well.

Shihan Dean Rostohar leads trainings and seminars in a traditional, but very realistic way, in order to enable the students of Bujinkan Dojo to understand the essence of this Warrior art, and also to improve themselves through Ninjutsu – as persons of pure heart, but as Warriors as well.
The teachings of Shihan Rostohar are hard and traditional, emphasizing realistic and aggressive fighting. In teaching and demonstrations, he has been using not only the Japanese traditional weapons, but also modern weapons as well. The teaching of Shihan Rostohar is based on Ninpo philosophy and psychology, emphasizing also the spiritual and mental use of this Warrior art through everyday life.

Dean Rostohar is very proud of his students and their accomplishments in Bujinkan Ninpo Budo Taijutsu/Ninjutsu, in Croatia and all over the world. He considers the fact that he is one of the students of Great master of Ninpo, Hatsumi Soke, as an exceptional honor. During the trainings in Bujinden and Budokan Dojo, in Japan, Hatsumi Soke very often calls out Dean Rostohar, to demonstrate, show and teach his efficient and realistic manner of fighting.

Dean Rostohar has written many articles and other texts concerning Warrior skills. He gave many interviews about Ninpo Budo Taijutsu/Ninjutsu, which were published in various Martial arts magazines. He was interviewed for numerous daily and weekly magazines (foreign and Croatian), among the others for “Japan Times”, “Noda shi Today”, and for “San Francisco Tribune”. Rostohar has also given a ‘grand interview’ for the famous and the most appreciated Japanese Martial and Warrior arts magazine, “Hidden Budo & Bujutsu”. Besides that, representing Croatia and the Warrior art of Ninjutsu, Dean Rostohar was also invited as a guest in many TV shows. Among others, he was filmed and gave interviews for Croatian TV networks HTV, RTL, OTV, Nov@, Z3, Slavonian TV, for Hungarian DUNA TV and RTL Plus, for Austrian National TV. Japanese TV Asahi come to Croatia to make interview and report about Bujinkan Croatia and Shihan Dean Rostohar which was shown in Japan.

Dean Rostohar is a volunteer and a veteran of the Croatian Independence War since 1991. He is a retired officier of an elite unit of Croatian Special Police, “Alfa”. Dean Rostohar was also a member of the Organizational committee of the Association of the Special Police Veterans from the “Alfa”, and a Vice-president of their Supervisory Board. He is also a member of IPA “International Police Association”.

Despite the fact that he was heavily wounded during the Croatian Homeland War, Dean Rostohar holds and leads trainings and seminars, improving his knowledge and skills. For his contributions and valor during the Croatian Homeland War, Dean Rostohar has been decorated with many medals and acknowledgments by The President of the Republic of Croatia.

In order to further expand his knowledge and skills, and to continue the study of combat and warrior arts, Dean Rostohar founded The Warrior Arts Club Specwog® (Special Warrior Operation Group) where he holds the position of Director and Chief Instructor. The Specwog® was founded in 2001, when Dean Rostohar organized a small group of enthusiasts who wanted to train and explore all the aspects of combat and warrior arts, exploring and studying all the forms of tactical trainings, in all their segments, and in every field of combat. The Specwog has a wide range of interest – from combat and warrior arts of self-defense, to antiterrorism, from unarmed combat to fighting with weapons with blades and batons, from the use of various firearms and equipment for personal protection, and survival in extreme conditions. Because of that He organized his Tactical Techniques Combat System (T.T.C.S.). Specwog Instructors perform all their trainings and practices seriously and professionally, and they have thus achieved notable results. Until now, they have been training and teaching many members of Special Forces, members of various Croatian and foreign official organizations, and other interested individuals.

Shihan Dean Rostohar is also designer and inventor of now well known and respected Specwog Warrior Combat knife. This knife is designed upon Shihan Dean Rostohar Tactical Techniques Combat System and his way of knife fighting.

Shihan Dean Rostohar like to share his experience and knowledge. He has been travelling around the world, teaching and holding training sessions and seminars. Because of his knowledge, skills and real life expirience he has been invited to hold many seminars. Up to now, Shihan Dean Rostohar has held more than 80 seminars across the whole Europe (in Slovenia, Austria, Hungary, Germany, Finland, Sweden, Swisse, Ukraine, France, Bulgaria, Spain) and about 100 seminars in Croatia.

Soke Masaaki Hatsumi and Dean Rostohar trough many years of studying and many happy moments:

Shihan Dean Rostohar with Japanese Shihans from whom he have learned in Japan for many years: