Born on October, 12th in Ventura, California.
Rod Sanford was studying Judo.
He had left Judo and was studying traditional Japanese Karate (Chito-Ryu).
From 1965 into the ’70s he also studied Kodenkan Ju-Jitsu under Master J. Chow-Hoon.
In the mid ’60s, he joined the Zen Bei Butoku Kai and began to study Shorinji-Ryu under Dr. Richard Kim at the San Francisco Chinese Y.M.C.A. Under Richard Kim, he studied Shorinji-Ryu Karate, Kobudo, Aiki-Jujutsu, T’ai Chi Chuan, Hsing Yi, P’a Kua and Chi Kung. In the later part of 1967, Sanford began running a dojo under the watchful eye of his Sensei. For many years, he taught through various school and community centers.
He began to teach Martial Arts on a full-time basis and moved into his present 6,000 square foot dojo in Soquel, California.
Sanford began to study Aikido and police tactics with Robert Koga. Sanford continued to study with Koga until the mid ’90s. He has trained in Aikijujutsu under Soshi Siego Okamoto of the Daito-Ryu Aikijujutsu Roppokai, Japan and Soke Don Angier, successor of Yanagi-Ryu Aikijujutsu.
With Richard Kim’s introduction, Sanford has trained in Goju-Ryu Karate with Tomoharu Kisaki and Morio Higaonna. He has trained in Shito-Ryu Karate with Kenei Mabuni and has studied Shotokan Karate with such greats as Hidetaka Nishiyama, Masatoshi Nakayama, Hiroshi Shirai, Keinosuke Enoeda, Takeshi Ohishi and Taiji Kase. He has also had the opportunity to train in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with members of the Gracie family. After studying engineering and law enforcement in college, Sanford went on to study Vocational Education and Adult Learning at the University of California. He holds a Community College Instructor’s credential. After graduating, Sanford joined the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Department. He received the rank of operations sergeant. While with the department he was a S.W.A.T. team leader and was specially trained in dignitary protection.
He founded the Pacific Institute of Defensive Tactics. Through the Institute he teaches a wide range of police tactical programs and is a well known author on police tactics.
He was nominated for the Governor’s Award for his contributions to law enforcement training in California. Sanford now runs his dojo in Soquel with the help of his wife, Bedelia, and son, Sean. He and his staff offer traditional instruction in Shorinji-Ryu Karate-Do, Kobudo, Tai Chi Chuan, Chi Kung and Aikijujutsu.
Rod Sanford is nominated Hanshi by Kokusai Butokukai.
He is awarded his Ku-Dan (9th dan) by the Kokusai Butokukai.