In the mid 1960’s, Bud Fuller and Kitty Smith were training at the Chico Judo & Jujitsu Academy with Professor Bud Estes. In 1966 they started their own dojo the Nibukikan on Oroville Avenue in Chico. In April of 1972, Bud and Kitty moved out of town and the dojo was handed over to Professor Lamar Fisher.
The Nibukikan began with Judo and Jujitsu, but later added Karate and Aikido. The Karate class was originally taught by Bud Fuller, then was handed off to his top student Pat Haley. When Haley’s class grew too large for the existing location, he moved out and started his own dojo (Haley’s Martial Arts Center). Another karate student from the early years who opened his own dojo was Mike Evans (Chico Dojo). Other arts that have shared mat space at the Nibukikan include Tai Chi, Yoga, Judo, Aikido, and Wing Chung.
In 1994, the owners of the building on Oroville Avenue decided not to renew the lease. A search began for a new location and in December of 1994, the Nibukikan officially moved to its present location on Nord Avenue. The new dojo, while smaller than before, provides a central location in close proximity to Chico State University.
Throughout its history the Nibukikan has been operating under the highest standards of martial arts training. It is a nonprofit club operated by the students, for the students. Our goal is not to train fighters, but teachers and healers who can pass on the ancient arts of Jujitsu and have a positive impact on the lives of those around them.
The word “Nibukikan” is not true Japanese, but was created by Bud Fuller and Kitty Fowler when they opened their first dojo. Its original meaning was “school of two weapons”, with the two weapons being the mind and the body. Today it is also translated into “school of two martial spirits”.
In July, 2012 the dojo received its non-profit 501(c)(3) status from the IRS and is a registered public benefit corporation.