About Zenki Dojo

Zenki Dojo in Los Feliz offers a practical approach to self-defense and fighting—along with a state-of-the-art gym and personal fitness training.

The word Zenki combines two concepts: Zen refers to the meditative practice and a calm state of mind; Ki means energy, life-force, breath. Zenki Dojo’s approach embodies both these concepts.

Tim Santos, Zenki Dojo’s founder, had a diverse martial arts curriculum in mind when he opened the school in 1997. The variety of classes at Zenki Dojo reflect Santos’ own extensive martial arts training background—white crane kung fu, judo, muay thai and Gracie jiu jitsu.

Sensei Santos is a fifth-degree black belt in kenpo jitsu ryu—a form of karate that blends the circular motions of kung fu with the power punches of shotokan and the paralyzing grips and limb-locks of jujitsu. It's a modern style, steeped in tradition.

The iconic Bruce Lee combined fighting styles to create his own martial art form. Santos follows that example and continues to pursue a multi-disciplinary approach to kenpo jitsi ryu and other martial arts in his own practice and in the Zenki Dojo curriculum.

Zenki Dojo offers a wide variety of classes


With Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) everywhere you look, it’s hard to imagine a time when the concept of martial arts was uncommon in American culture. But the power of martial arts didn’t take root in the U.S. until the 1970’s, when Hong Kong and Hollywood-produced martial arts films starring Bruce Lee pushed it into the mainstream. Brazilian jiu jitsu champion Royce Gracie popularized Brazilian jiu jitsu with his UFC victories beginning in 1993, beginning the through-line to MMA.

The Asian martial arts that influence Zenki Dojo’s classes are rooted in this recent past.

But they trace back to ancient tradition.

Bodhidharma, a Buddhist monk and the son of an Indian king who traveled to China in the 6 th century, is credited with developing Asian martial arts moves. Bodhidharma based them on yoga poses. His idea: build the stamina of the Shaolin monks who spent their sedentary days in meditation and study. We are certain that martial arts movements were first practiced as a form of exercise and spiritual enhancement.

The Shaolin eventually evolved into a means of self-defense, incorporating the dynamic motion of animals into their own movements to develop distinct styles within martial arts. Later, the Japanese translated this into Karate--originally known as Kenpo. Modern arts are rooted in these traditional arts of ancient China and Japan.

Benefits of Martial Arts Training