Rob Eis: Unbridled Martial Arts School Organizer & Instructor

I have been a resident of Bellingham since 1979, and I began my martial arts training at the age of 10.

My teaching experience in the martial arts is extensive. For well over twenty-five years I have taught both women and men from as young as 5 to as old as 75. I am skilled at structuring classes that accommodate & engage both genders of all ages.

My belief is that a solid foundation in basic practice is paramount for a student’s growth and incremental progression. Dedication to the fundamentals is crucial because that is the platform from which the student later propels himself or herself. Ever try jumping from an unsturdy surface? Then you get my point… In time the student achieves the ability in adapting to the continually changing conditions of combat. Hence, practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.


Sensibility and practicality are essential to my curriculum. My training methods can be defined as less “ritualistic” and more “realistic.” My ambition for the growth of martial arts in the community is similar to those views of two legendary pioneers in the art of Japanese Karate; Gichin Funakoshi and Mas Oyama.

Funakoshi, the founder of Modern Karate, felt everyone should study martial arts and in the 1920’s he became something of a karate ambassador. He believed the practice of his martial art cultivated a spirit of humility while developing the whole body as an instrument of self-defense. Through strong, disciplined training, he saw that it strengthened people mentally and physically so that a better harmony among people could be realized. His goal was to popularize his art to the Japanese and ultimately internationalize karate.

Oyama, the founder of Kyokushin karate, was an enigmatic man whose legendary exploits ranged from killing a bull with his bare hands to accepting challenges that totaled over 270 undefeated fights in one year’s time. Throughout his life he rose to any occasion that helped demonstrate his powerful art. Overall, he believed the ultimate goal of martial arts was world peace–that it could make a practitioner a better person and in turn make the world a better place.


It is my hope that the people I teach progress from enjoying the positive effects that their training has on their own life, to recognizing the positive influence they can have on the lives of others.

Compared to Funakoshi and Oyama, my dreams for the positive influence of martial arts are on a much smaller scale. Theirs was a global ambition whereas mine is focused on a small community.

Simply put, I believe Martial arts can first and foremost teach a student how to keep their “cool”. If, through arduous practice, you develop a sense of calm in the heart of chaos and you learn you can weather any storm, then your compassion increases as you discover there is always potential to cause harm and how easily it can happen. As it influences your every day endeavors, you find you remain cool in traffic jams and exhibit patience when waiting in line. Thus, you exude a peace that may influence others. If not, at least YOU’RE cool. It all starts with you.

Funakoshi1  Oyama1 Oyama2 Oyama3

Instructor’s Background:

  • 37 years of martial arts experience.
  • Began Traditional Karate in 1981: Shito-Ryu & Goju Ryu.
  • 1st Degree Blackbelt in Shito-Ryu Karate granted by Dr. Julius Thiry (President of USA National Karate Federation and founder of Washington Karate Association).
  • 2nd Degree Blackbelt granted by Kenzo Mabuni (youngest son of Kenwa Mabuni, the founder of Shito-Ryu Karate-Do).
  • 3rd Degree Blackbelt granted by the Filipino Martial Arts Academy under Chris Petrilli.
  • Former Assistant Instructor for Pacific Martial Arts (
  • International competitor -Competed on US Junior National Karate Team in the Pan-American Games at the age of 15.
  • USANKF* State and Regional Champion in point-fighting, forms, and weapons.
  • Formerly Certified US State Judge/ Referee in Sport Karate.
  • 1st Grade Black Belt in Doce Pares Eskrima granted by Grand Master Ciriaco “Cacoy” Canete (12th-degree black belt and last surviving, highest ranking member of the famed Doce Pares Eskrima Club, founded in 1932).
  • Certified Level 2 Instructor in Shamrock Submission Fighting (by Frank Shamrock -UFC World Champion, King of Pancrase, two-time Hall Of Fame Inductee, & Guinness Book of World Record Holder for “fastest championship victory in full contact fighting.”)
  • Received personal training in authentic Muay Thai (Thai Boxing) at the world famous Fairtex Training Camp in Thailand (2005).
  • Level I Control Tactics Instructor certified by the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC*).
  • Level II Defensive Tactics Instructor certified by the WSCJTC.
  • HIGH GEAR™ Scenario Instructor Level 1 Certification from Blauer Tactical Systems.
  • Certified Shocknife™ Safety Monitor (Shocknife™ is a revolutionary training knife for developing real world self-defense skills against an edged weapon attack.) More info: click here.
  • Certified Crossfit Kettlebell Instructor.
  • Certified TRX Instructor.
  • Certified Progressive Fighting Systems (PFS) Apprentice Instructor by PFS founder, Paul Vunak.
  • Certified PFS Edged Weapons Defensive Tactics Instructor by Paul Vunak.
  • Experienced in Muay Thai Kickboxing, Western Boxing, Judo, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Kobudo (Traditional Okinawan weaponry), Escrima, as well as Filipino and Indonesian empty hand systems.
  • Instructor for Western Washington University’s Kickboxing course -offered Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer quarter.  (1 credit from Elective Special Interest course)
  • Instructor for Western Washington University’s Martial Arts course -offered Fall, Winter, and Spring quarter.
  • Self-Defense Fitness Instructor for Western Washington University’s Faculty & Staff Wellness program.  (WWU students are included as well)
  • Since September 2003, Instructor of an adaptive Martial Arts program for developmentally disabled adults. The Max Higbee Recreational Center, Bellingham, WA.

*United States of America National Karate-do Federation (USANKF) is the U.S. Olympic committee governing body for sport karate.

*WSCJTC provides training for law enforcement, corrections and other public safety professionals in Washington State.

I need to thank the prominent teachers in my life who have helped me along the path and have graciously shared their wisdom and spirit with me:

Sensei Charles Wixson, Sensei Michael Cain & Sensei Marsha McKenzie, Sensei Jerry Jenkins, Sensei Jerry Ferguson, Sensei Linda Marquardt, Sensei Teruo Chinen, Sensei Mark Glaser, Sensei Joel Carlson, Sensei Jeremy Corbell, Sifu Michael Frison, Sigung Bob Anderson, Coach James Ferguson, Chris Petrilli, Frank Shamrock, Sifu Paul Vunak, Tony Blauer and most of all my teacher and friend Tom Weissmuller.

Learn more about Unbridled Martial Arts:
Student Testimonials | About UMA’s Program | Class Schedule | Enrollment

If you hear a voice within you say `you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.

Vincent Van Gogh

When I first decided to join UMA, it was a massive leap out of my comfort zone. I can attest that at whatever level you join UMA, whether it’s athletically gifted, or Average Joe, the course structure of UMA is undoubtedly welcoming, inviting, and fits those who want to learn or sharpen their skills. My initial goal was to lose weight and hopefully not embarrass myself. I started at UMA at 200 lbs in 2014 and now after almost 2 years I am at 165, far more lean and muscular than when I started, and on top of that I gained confidence, discipline, and a skill set that I have no doubt I could use to defend myself or others if needed. I began with the striking classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays and got comfortable, but I found myself wanting more, so I started attending the grappling class, then eventually the weapons class. I not only accomplished my weight loss goals, I found a lifelong passion. I never considered martial arts as something I would venture into, but Rob’s enthusiasm and passion for martial arts inspired me to continue. The students were just as impressive, I never felt out of place. From day one, those in attendance were willing to work with me and teach me, I did not feel as though my lack of training hindered someone else’s progress. Since my first day, I have continued the same level of respect and eagerness to work with and teach new students that I was shown in my early training.
My experience at UMA has had a massive impact on my life and I can’t even begin to put it into words, I am struggling to make this concise enough to be a window into my experience and not a novel. This testimonial is just a small attempt at helping someone else possibly find what they are looking for. If you want practical self-defense instruction from a knowledgeable instructor at a ridiculously affordable price (especially considering the cashback rebate), Unbridled Martial Arts is the place to go. Thanks Rob!

~ Michael Leach, Cook, Prepared Foods, Wholefoods

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