Instructor Bio

Nate Hill
Nate Hill
Nate has a lifelong history with martial arts. As a child, he started out with Karate classes, changing over to Taekwondo as a young adult. After some basic instruction in arts such as Iaido and Aikido, he found his true passion in Danzan Ryu Jujitsu and began training in 2008 with Sensei Dan Browning.

Nate currently holds the rank of Nidan in the AJJF. In the tradition of the DZR founder, Seshiro Okazaki, Nate earned his Bodywork Technician Certificate in Danzan Ryu Restorative Therapy from the Danzan Ryu Seifukujitsu Institute in 2011. He enjoys giving back to his students and friends by providing restoration treatments.

Nate demonstrated his dedication and commitment by taking on the role of Head Instructor for Shinzen Kai in 2013. He continues the tradition of providing high quality instruction to all comers in a friendly and safe environment.


Dan Browning
Dan Browning
Dan is a godan in Danzan Ryu jujitsu. He obtained his shodan and nidan ranks from Prof. Lamar Fisher, judan, of Chico, Calif., and his sandan and yondan from Ward Melenich, of Duluth, Minn.. Browning is a member of the American Judo and Jujitsu Federation, the world's largest promoter of Danzan Ryu jujitsu. He operated the Shinzen Kai dojo at the University of Oregon in Eugene from 1979-81. He then went on to study Aikido in Singapore and Alaska, Danzan Ryu with Prof. Joe Holck in Tucson, Ariz., and escrima and kickboxing in St. Louis. After a 10-year parenting hiatus from the martial arts, he took up Aikido in the Twin Cities, and reconstituted Shinzen Kai dojo in 2000. In addition to his jujitsu practice, he is a student at Aikido of Minnesota, an affiliate of Shihan Okimura Z and his World Aikido Aikikai Inc.


Tom Thiel
Tom Thiel
Tom is a daddy


Dan Pederson
Dan Pederson
Dan became impressed with jujitsu through his close association with Sensei Dan Browning and began his practice of Danzan Ryu in 2001. He currently holds the rank of Shodan in the AJJF. He has studied Aiki Toho Iaido and currently holds the rank of yondan in Aikido, an art he has been practicing for over 20 years, most recently under Rev. Zenko Okimura, Shihan.

Dan earned his Bodywork Technician Certificate in Danzan Ryu Restorative Therapy from the Danzan Ryu Seifukujitsu Institute in 2011 and is a practicing massage/shiatsu therapist.

Dan is married and the father of 2 grown children and 2 grandchildren. He enjoys reading, playing and listening to music, being with friends and family, and learning to apply martial arts principles to daily life.



Juha Nyman
Juha Nyman
Juha currently holds the rank of Shodan in the AJJF, received from Sensei Dan Browning, Godan. He has studied jujitsu both in Finland at Hokutoryu JuJitsu and in Ireland at Irish Jujitsu Kai. In addition to his jujitsu practice, he holds rank in Finnish Shaolin Kung Fu (Sanda).




Melissa Ranum
Melissa began her study of Danzan Ryu Jujitsu in 2008 with Sensei Dan Browning and currently holds the rank of Shodan in the AJJF. Okazaki's belief that the fighting spirit should be balanced by the healing spirit prompted her to attain her Bodywork Technician Certificate in Danzan Ryu Restorative Therapy from the Danzan Ryu Seifukujitsu Institute in 2011. She volunteers within the AJJF organization and is presently developing a Women's Self Defense Course for Shinzen Kai, while continuing her training under Sensei Browning and Sensei Hill.