About Jim

About Jim

“It’s all about relationships and communication.”

Jim Robertson has been an instructor of aboriginal skills and wilderness survival training for over 20 years. He teaches regularly in the Greater Los Angeles area (Santa Monica Mountains, San Gabriel Mountains, etc.) and is a volunteer naturalist for the Santa Monica Mountains. Additionally he sometimes teaches in much more distant areas. The skills that Jim teaches help people to connect in very deep, meaningful, fun, and personal ways with their natural environment (and themselves).  This connection motivates and inspires people to become good stewards of the land and of themselves… which is Jim’s goal.

Learning Aboriginal skills is a pathway to a deeper, more intimate and meaningful relationship with the natural world.  Practicing these skills greatly enhance your personal, unique connection to the natural environment.  As a result you will become a healthier, happier, and more peaceful person.  This will guide you into becoming a protector of the land that loves us all unconditionally.


Jim’s Brief Autobiography:

I was born in Oakland, California August 12, 1939. My Mom, Dad, and older

brothers Tod & Art lived in a nice little house at the base of the Oakland foothills. By the

time I was five years old I was already an avid hiker and explorer of the wild

open spaces around us that began just behind our backyard fence. My two older

brothers and I built shelters, hunted, and fished -- along with other neighborhood kid

friends. My athletic abilities were obvious from the start as I excelled at various

sports and similar endeavors.

When I was eleven years old our family moved to La Jolla, California where we

kids spent almost every day skindiving for fish, abalone, lobster, etc. (having

made our own sling spears, abalone irons and lobster/crab/fish traps), surfing,

exploring the hills behind La Jolla, and playing many sports.

After living in La Jolla for three years, our family moved to Santa Monica, California where

I enrolled at Santa Monica High School as a tenth grader. My skindiving, spear

fishing, hunting, and surfing continued as I also honed my skills as a baseball

pitcher (mentored by Dad) and signed a contract to play professional ball with the

Pittsburgh Pirates organization right out of high school. It turned out to be a short

pro career as I incurred an arm injury the first year of pro ball.

Confused and disappointed, I came back to Santa Monica and attended Santa

Monica College seeking direction and purpose.  I then joined the military to get

my obligation out of the way as the draft was on at that time; in the Army I played baseball too,

and won every single game I played in.

I came out of the service still looking for direction and went ski bumming in the Lake

Tahoe area for a year. After meeting a beautiful girl there and considering marriage at

age twenty-one, I decided to look for a more “prestigious” career, so I entered the

financial market as a stockbroker trainee.

After a year of being quite bored with that work I choose to become a bartender,

which I thought would be much more fun and interesting. I was fired from my first

job for being too slow … but determined not to give up, I slowly honed my skills

and became one of the fastest bartenders in the Los Angeles area. People

would come into the bars where I worked just to watch me perform.

After seven years of tending bar all over Los Angeles and Hawaii, I went into the

insurance business to sell casualty insurance, as an old buddy from the stock

market was emphatically convincing me to share his insurance practice.

Again I started out slow... but with much determination and a couple of years of hard

knocks, I became a top producer for many years in my district. I enjoyed meeting

people one-on-one and saving them lots of money. This went on for about fifteen


I started in the insurance business around 1966, which is the same time I started

training as a yoga instructor in addition to practicing many forms of martial arts …

both are still significant parts of my life.

Through yoga I was introduced to therapeutic body work and became a

professional, licensed therapeutic body worker using a wide range of modalities

and continued that work for over thirty years. Along the way I became a certified

nutritional counselor and certified hypnotherapist.

Around 1996 I first encountered aboriginal skills schools, wilderness survival schools, 

and primitive skills gatherings; it felt like a real homecoming! I started attending schools

 all over the western U. S., Canada, and Mexico. After several years of practice, people surprised me by

suggesting that I become an instructor … which is what I’ve been doing for several years now.

In addition to teaching my own classes, I’m also a volunteer naturalist and trainer in the Santa Monica 

Mountains, affiliated with state and national parks where I spend a good deal of time taking

school kids into the wild and facilitating their connection with the natural environment

in a good way. It's so enjoyable!

I find this practice of Aboriginal Skills and the deep-rooted connection — and

relationship it fosters with our mother earth — is just what we all need for a

healthy, happy life. It is deeply satisfying for me to share these skills, this way of

being, with all who are interested. The learning never stops for any of us … we

simply continue our journey into a deeper, more joyful, harmonious way of being.

P.S. I have two great children, Christopher age 51 and Marisa age 50 who were

and are among the greatest magical joys of my life!

P.P.S. I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life and will continue to do so.

However, I have chosen to learn, grow, and become a better person as a

result of every single one of them that I can consciously remember - and I will

continue to hold that intention. I have learned that for me to have a good life, it is

necessary for me to give, forgive, to be a kind compassionate person and to love

unconditionally. The result of living this way is that I feel fulfilled as a human

being, feeling fully alive, consciously connected with all of life.

For me living a good life is mostly about deepening our relationships and

communication with everyone and everything. As an Aboriginal Skills instructor

we practice many skills. I see them all as pathways to the greatest skill of all …

which is how we are with one another and all of life. In other words, to give and

receive love continuously and unconditionally! When we fail we pick ourselves

up, dust ourselves off, apologize to anyone we've hurt, and we continue with our purposeful intention of

living the good life. There's no need to wait … the time is now!


Once you are on the MAILING LIST, you will receive announcements for all upcoming public classes.  These classes are typically held once or twice per month, all year long. 

Contact Jim Robertson at:

Jim is looking forward to hearing from you.