American Indian Fighting Arts Association
Home of Chulukua-Ryu
The first original American martial arts system
accredited by the International Society of Black Belts.
Our dojo is the global headquarters of the American Indian Fighting Arts Association (AIFAA), the first genuinely American martial arts organization accredited by the International Society of Black Belts.
We honor and pay our respects to the late great Grandfather Tom "Two Bears" Wilson, Navajo Medicine Man and former President of the Navajo Native American Church, for handing down many of the teachings of this unique martial arts system. Upon Grandfather's crossing over in 1980, SwiftDeer became the worldwide Soke of the AIFAA.
Harley SwiftDeer Reagan is of Cherokee and Irish decent. Over a period of 25 years, Soke SwiftDeer visited approximately 178 different Native American tribes who shared with him some of their unique martial arts or "warrior arts." To those who trust us with this sacred and extraordinary knowledge, we give many thanks for the privilege of carrying this rich heritage. In total, SwiftDeer received a staggering 175 techniques that ranged from simple but effective Apache hand throws to tomahawk techniques to scissor kicks against an opponent on horseback. Holding 9th-Degree Red/White/Black Belts in Jiu-Jitsu and Karate, SwiftDeer weaved all these systems together to synthesize an entirely new martial art which he dubbed "Chulukua Ryu."
Accredited by the International Society of Black Belts in 1970, Chulukua Ryu is the first original American martial arts system so accredited. It was specifically for this enormous contribution to the martial arts that SwiftDeer received the Golden Life Achievement Award from the World Martial Arts Hall of Fame in 1994.
"Chulukua" (pronounced Choo-La'-Ka) is a Cherokee/Mayan word that was taken from the word "Chuluaqui" (Shoo'-loo-quay), which is the primordial life-force energy from which everything is created. This energy is also called "Ki" in Japanese martial arts. "Ryu" is a Japanese word that means 'style', 'tradition' or 'school'. Some of the Chulukua-Ryu techniques were used by Geronimo, who is without question one of the greatest and fiercest warriors that ever lived. In our dojo, this style will teach you, among other skills, how to fight a standing opponent while lying on the ground.