About us

Cactus Sage School (CSS) is a martial arts,self defense, and empowerment organization striving for excellence, inclusivity, empowerment, and to better the lives for the students and the community in which it operates. All instruction is conducted by a staff of nationally certified black Belts, coaches, or Instructors specific to the each courses nationally recognized body.
  • Mission Statement: The Cactus Sage School, is a nonprofit martial arts school dedicated to the advancement and growth of martial arts and self defense programs* through traditional training, coaching techniques to all demographics, but with special emphasis on inner city youth, adults, and the LGBT community. 

  • History:  The history and lineage of Cactus Sage School is one that is a unique amalgamation of Japanese, American and Arizonian stories and peoples. 

  • Dr. Kanō Jigorō (嘉納 治五郎), 10 December 1860 – 4 May 1938) was a Japanese educator and athlete, the founder of Judo. Judo was the first Japanese martial art to gain widespread international recognition, and the first to become an official Olympic sportPedagogical innovations attributed to Kanō include the use of black and white belts, and the introduction of dan ranking to show the relative ranking among members of a martial art style. Well-known mottoes attributed to Kanō include "Maximum Efficiency with Minimum Effort" (精力善用 Sei-ryoku Zen-you)and "Mutual Welfare and Benefit"(自他共栄 Ji-ta Kyou-ei

    •         Kyuzo Mifune (三船 久蔵) Mifune Kyūzō, April 21, 1883 – January 27, 1965) has been categorized as one of the greatest exponents of the art of judo after the founder,[1] Kanō Jigorō. He is considered by many to be the greatest judo technician ever, after Kanō. It is said that after 60 years of daily practice, and going undefeated in randori, Mifune was called the 'God of Judo'. Mifune Sensei acted as one of the primary instructors of Judo at the Kodokan following Kano's Death in 1938. Shortly before his death, Mifune Sensei wrote and published 'The Canon of Judo', widely regarded as the most comprehensive and highly regarded text on the subject. 

  • M.Sgt Shoichi 'Thomas' Kadomoto (正一 。トーマス 。角本), August 24, 1917 – March 28, 2006)   born from Japanese migrant farmers in Phoenix Arizona. After growing up in  Arizona, Tom and the      rest of his family returned to Japan for the primary purpose of getting a proper Japanese education.   He went on to attend a private high school in Japan from 1929-1936, paid by the sizable life        insurance of his late father who passed away hours after returning to Japan. It was during this time    that Tom learned Kodokan Judo under the supervision of Kyuzo Mifune. In 1937, to avoid being    drafted into the Japanese Imperial Army, he returned to the United States and entered into The  United States Military Service as a army medical officer the following year. During his time in active  duty he operated as an intelligence agent, and front line interrogator, and acted as the primary  translator and interpreter for General Douglas MacArthur for the duration of the Pacific theater. Tom  was and still is a true American hero, achieving 23 'Firsts' as a Asian American, including being one of  the first to volunteer for service during WWII, the first Japanese American to receive a bronze star, to  own and operate a insurance agency, an honorary adviser of The Asian Chamber of Commerce and as the first Honorary Ambassador to Japan of Arizona. Tom dedicated his life to his pursuits as an educator, education administrator, an active participant in local diplomacy as well as a scholar in early Asian American studies and a translator of Buddhist texts.  Tom is recorded and honored by the cities, towns and universities of Arizona.

  • Current Staff: 
 Robert Dale Nolan - Judo Ikkyu- Founder, Head Coach
Born Feb 2, 1987. A native Phoenician and former amateur boxer, started his Judo training in 2010 at Phoenix College chiefly under the instruction of Sensei Anthony Enriquez and Brett Little. There he served as captain and president of the Phoenix College Judo and Jujitsu Club from 2010 - 2013. In the spring of 2013 he was granted a scholarship to briefly study abroad through the Japan Foundation or (国際交流基金 Kokusai Kōryū Kikin), a part of Japan’s Foreign ministry to study the language, culture and religion of Japan. During this time he studied at the Kodokan under Shimoyama Harukuni, and Makoto Sakashita. Going forward, he went on to win 1st place in the "Arizona Freestyle Open" (2012) and 1st & 2nd place in USJA Regional "Wild West Judo Classic" (2014 - 2015 respectively). During the spring of 2013, he began his primary study of Judo under Robert Chavez Corella whom he considers his root instructor. In the Summer of 2015 he founded the cornerstone program of Cactus Sage School, the Cactus Sage Judo Club, where he continues his training under the guidance of Sensei 'Bob' Corella and Kevin Scarbrough. He currently holds Academic degrees in International & American Indian Studies, International Languages (Japanese) and is currently a student with the University of Arizona's school of Global and Intercultural studies. Robert is currently a member of the USJA (United States Judo Association) where he is a nationally certified coach and also holds certification in SafeSport, Heads-Up Concussion, CPR/AED/First Aid for children/adults.
 Robert Chavez Corella - Judo Yodan - Emeritus instructor, technical adviser
Born, December 13, 1946. Sensei Corella first started his martial arts training with Tom 'Shoichi' Kadomoto, training in Judo in September of 1961. Sensei Corella now holds the rank of 4-Dan in Judo after nearly a lifetime of service and instruction. His iaido training began in September of 1983 in Himeji, Japan. He is now a 4 dan in Araki Ryu Iaido. Sensei Corella has a B.A. in Education and a Masters degree in Education Leadership. His minor was Japanese language and he also obtained an Asian Studies Certificate from Arizona State University. He has traveled to Japan 20 times to study Judo and Iaido. While in Japan he learned how to repair various parts of Japanese swords. Including making scabbards, lacquering and wrapping handles. His hobbies include collecting Japanese antiques and bonsai. He has been president of the Japan-America Society of Arizona for the past 7 years. He is active in many local and national Japanese organizations. He was the first person to introduce Iaido to the state of Arizona in 1985.