Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the Bujinkan New York Dojo?
The Bujinkan Dojo, or "divine warrior training hall," is an international martial arts organization based in Japan. Founded by Masaaki Hatsumi [1931-] who inherited three ninja and six samurai martial arts traditions from his teacher, Toshitsugu Takamatsu [1889-1972].
The Bujinkan New York Dojo was established by Joe Maurantonio (shidoshi) who began his ninjutsu training in 1982 and became a formal member of the Bujinkan in 1983. Four years later , he created the Bujinkan New York Dojo to offer lessons in New York City and Westchester County.
By the way, Bujinkan is pronounced "boo-gin-khan" and Dojo is "doe-joe."
2. What lessons are taught?
We offer training in ninja and samurai martial arts. Specifically, ninjutsu, jujutsu, kosshijutsu, koppojutsu, dakentaijutsu and a variety of buki (weaponry). Collectively, we call these arts "bujinkan budo taijutsu" (or "taijutsu" for short).
Whether a man or woman, you will find our lessons can easily be applied because they place emphasis on control of distance, subtle angling and proper timing. It is through kamae "positioning," shisei "alignment" and nagare "relaxed, natural movement" we learn to overcome an opponent's speed and strength.
Weaponry, striking, grappling, choking and throwing as well as methods of leaping and rolling are all skills incorporated into our curriculum. Our martial arts training focuses on personal growth and has no interest in sport competition. Our training emphasizes shinken gata - combat survival techniques.
As you progress in your training, you will learn waza (partnered forms) which reflect combat encounters. In these waza we learn how to defend using taijutsu principles. The class atmosphere is friendly and "family" oriented.
3. When are classes offered?
Classes are offered weekly on Tuesdays and Thursays. For exact times, see our SCHEDULE page.
Additionally, the Bujinkan New York Dojo holds a monthly Saturday afternoon workshop. The workshop is approximately 2.5 hours long. Contact us for more WORKSHOP information.
4. Where is the school located?
After 17 years at our old location, we moved to a new facilty at:
Martial Arts Center
West Center Church
101 Pondfield Road West
Yonkers, NY 10708
Our new location offers a spacious training room. When visiting, please arrive about 10 - 15 minutes before class and ring the bell for "Tai Chi." (As one of our students recently said about this, "What do you expect us to put on the doorbell, Press here for Ninja)."
5. Why is the training unique?
Any good martial art can teach you to kick, grapple or use a weapon. The Bujinkan arts differ in that we pursue the essence of the martial arts: living and training with the proper spirit. This can lead to a just and prosperous life... devoid of this spirit, one can be lead to ruin.
The Bujinkan arts emphasize the development of character. The qualities we strive for are honesty, desire to learn and perseverance. A warrior is always calm and never surprised by any situation. In this way, we neutralize an opponent's ability through an effective economy of movement.
The majority of classes are open to students of all skill levels. While most martial arts offer sequential learning (can be limiting), our teaching methodology is to immerse students directly into the training. This provides immediate access to the "big picture" while allowing the individual to refine details. Though this may be overwhelming for some new students, perseverance will ensure success.
After the instructor demonstrates a lesson the students will pair up. The senior student will mentor their junior partner while refining his or her own skills. Both students push their limits by approaching each lesson as layered. For instance, if a form has several movements a newer student should concentrate on the first move while still performing the rest. The senior student will work on the flow of the form while refining their control, posture, economy of motion, etc.
6. How may I join the Bujinkan New York Dojo?
We recommend signing up for a trial program. That tuition includes training for two weeks of Tuesday and Thursday classes. Through participation you will better understand if our martial arts training is right for you. Be sure to ask questions and make note of any feedback you receive. After your first weeks, you will meet with the instructor and decide if you would like to continue training (absolutely no obligation). Your monthly tuition then entitles you to unlimited classes!.
7. I have visited several other schools... Why is your school less expensive? What's the catch?
Every instructor at the Bujinkan New York Dojo has a "day job." The money collected is used for paying rent, utilities and for continuing training.
8. When can I schedule my first visit?
You will receive an email within 72 hours of purchasing a trial program. That email will include all information for scheduling your first visit. The reason we NO LONGER ALLOW "drop in visits" is so that our teachers and students can focus on martial arts training. Please, Click Here For Our Trial Program deal.
9. How long before I receive a black belt?
Learning, the road to mastery, begins the day you walk in the dojo and ends the day you quit or die. A black belt is like a certificate, that says "Getting better; still working on it." As Mr Miyagi in the original Karate Kid movie said, "Belt... JC Penney. $3.98... Belt mean no need rope to hold up pants."
In our dojo, black belt rank means you have solid grasp of our basics and you have commited to learning our art. It usually takes between three to five years.
10. What weapons will I learn?
Our training places emphasis on learning both sword and staff but throughout the year we train with many other weapons like walking stick (hanbo), throwing blades (shuriken) and short cord (kusari fundo). Lastly, from time to time we study more "exotic" weapons like the kyoketsu shoge, naginata, yari, etc.
11. Do you study any ninja religion or use religion in your class?
No. For instance, when bowing to a fellow student or teacher you are doing so out of respect, not religious belief.
12. Is there anything else I should know about the training?
We feel it is very important to let people know this training is not for everyone. Our school is most concerned about students who are committed to personal development. Students who join our school usually stay for many years. So, please consider your dedication when you join.
13. Do you teach real ninja and samurai arts?
Yes. Yes, we do.