About this time last year, The Enterprise introduced readers to Sifu Scott Dinger of North Wind Martial Arts, in White Salmon and Trout Lake.
At the time, Dinger’s student Jim Pytel had just earned a black belt in the art of Kajukenbo and was the first to come out of Dinger’s White Salmon school. Now, Dinger has taught a second black belt — Jesse Fry. In addition, Dinger has earned the title of a 9th degree Grand Master by the Kajukenbo governing body.
Kajukenbo is a mixed martial art from Hawaii which incorporates striking, kicking, throwing, grappling, and weapon disarmament.
“It’s often referred to as ‘street fighting’ because you mix these different styles of martial arts but also learn to use the environment around you in a self-defense situation,” said Dinger.
“The goal a lot of the time is to disarm your would-be attacker or opponent,” said Fry.
Like most martial arts, there is a spiritual aspect behind the sport and the athleticism. For Dinger and his students, that spirit is in holding his students accountable for their actions.
“I make it very clear to my students that they do not use what they learn here unless it is absolutely necessary,” said Dinger.
Dinger has been teaching in White Salmon and Trout Lake for about 11 years but has been teaching Kajukenbo globally, for 40 years. That was one of the requirements for him earning the title of Grand Master.
“To earn the title, you need to have been teaching for about 35 years and have taught students to the point where they become black belts and have students of their own becoming black belts. It’s a sort of torch passing cycle,” said Dinger.
It takes five to eight years for a student to become a black belt. Dinger has taught two that have come out of his White Salmon class but has taught hundreds over his 40-year career.
Kajukenbo itself is a breakdown of four types of fighting and self-defense, Karate, Jujitsu, Kenpo, and Boxing. As time has gone on, Dinger has included elements of other martial arts, like Brazilian Jujitsu, which has a focus on grappling and taking your opponent down. Recently, Dinger has introduced Arnis, a form of stick fighting from the Philippines.
“It goes along with the concept of using your environment to defend yourself. I have been very fortunate to be allowed to incorporate these different types of fighting and defense over the years. The students enjoy it and it’s a cultural learning experience,” said Dinger.
Dinger offers classes from September to May in both White Salmon and Trout Lake. There is currently a wait list to get into his classes.
“I only take in about 15 students, but I always volunteer to help out around the community and teach what I know,” said Dinger.