Shinmyoken Dojo

Westchester | New York

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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Bojutsu Training: Six Foot Stick Martial Arts

It certainly looked like bojutsu- the Japanese art of the six foot stick.

You had body postures, strikes, and alternating methods of using the length of the stick to control distance and timing. 

It was just Japanese stick fighting right? 

No, there is something more. 

But one had to get to this level. 

Not in terms of status, or time in grade, but in ability through the kihon of bojutsu. 

The basic use of the stick. 

When one joins our dojo, while taijutsu is the focus, one also begins to learn bojutsu. 

Is this odd or out of place? 

Aren’t those things supposed to be black belt only level? 

Only if one views the stick as just that- a stick. 

At this basic level we are looking at two areas of using the stick. 

The first is as a training tool to learn total body coordination and unified movement. 

This idea in our movement that the upper and lower half of the body should be moving at the same time, in perfect harmony. 

Bojutsu furigata is the ability to spin the stick around to control distance and timing, to create openings, it is part of the bojutsu kihon. 

In order to spin the stick you have to be able to do it in timing with the feet and arms, failing this, you hit yourself. Bojutsu is a great tool to teach you that, along with angles, which can sometimes be hard to approach and see early on- the stick is used as a training tool to teach that. 

Well, as long as you are learning that, we might as will start learning the other basics of bojutsu. And for many the effective use of the stick is all that is needed, and truly the Japanese methods of using stick are amazing in themselves. 

Yet, in this way beyond kihon and kata, the stick is used to transmit an aspect of the martial arts through the *straightness* and *directness* of the stick. 

The stick as a tool to create a feeling and understand what is going on, a method of transmission

Kasumi no bo. 

A transmission of jitsu, a transmission of feeling that needs to be felt. 

Something of feeling, a way of doing things that can be carried over to taijutsu, or other training tool as in they are all the same- just a way of moving the body naturally. Once you experience it, you have it. 

So why not just jump right in, right away? 

My turn to get up and work on some bojutsu. 

Receiving various attacks- ukemi. 

In theory, assuming that I am truthful with myself, and am able to approach this moment with the correct heart of being in the moment, and allowing myself to experience what is being thrown against me, I might be able to have the perception of what is going on. 

If I don’t know how to receive ukemi with the bo, how to use it, the kihon, I’ll be busy *thinking* about how to do that, or moving trying to do that, instead of allowing myself to experience what is coming my way in that moment. 

Which if done correctly means I will always come up on the short end of the stick. 

Maybe not thinking of kasumi no bo, as a set of techniques, but as an art to be grabbed from the heart. 

See you on the mat!
The aim of the Shinmyoken dojo (school of the life giving sword) is to understand nature and the movement of being zero through taijutsu. The school exists to create and transmit this through the experience of isshi soden.

Located in Westchester New York, the Shinmyoken dojo is a martial arts training group founded in 2005 with the aim of coming together as martial arts friends to study the Japanese martial arts of Masaaki Hatsumi through the lessons of the Bujinkan dojo. 

As friends (buyu) we come together to grow, learn, and share our individual potential in this wonderful martial art. In our group there is no beginner or advanced classes, as we all have the capacity to learn the martial arts in great stride. 

No previous martial arts experience is needed, new members, and out of town or traveling Bujinkan buyu are always welcome. 

The focus of the group is to make progress each week in learning the martial arts, developing skill, self-defense ability, and an understanding of how and why people move. 

Training is supervised by Fred Feddeck who has been studying the Bujinkan dojo martial arts since 1993. 

In 2003 he was honored to take the godan shinsha with the training group later forming as a vehicle to study what he has been taught and experienced in the Bujinkan dojo martial arts. 

Joe Maurantonio, dai-shihan, is and continues to be his teacher and mentor. 


Training in budo taijutsu through our dojo is offered in three class formats. 

The first is our weekly Saturday morning classes from 9-11 AM at a local park in Yonkers which is accessible by car, bus, and Metro North train. 

Second is our regular weekly zoom class as a way to build on the physical practice-paired movements explored in our Saturday classes. 

Third is our monthly discussion class exploring martial arts philosophy, history, tactics, and kuden. 


Membership in the dojo is open to those eighteen years of age or older and who can abide by the rules of the Bujinkan. 

Those interested in joining the dojo will be asked to fill out a brief questionnaire as an introduction and meet with the head instructor before an invitation to watch a class will be extended, general martial arts questions and other training inquiries are also welcome. 

Questions, comments, feedback, and inquiries may be emailed here:


In that moment of action, regardless of style, technique, or application in the martial arts there is only movement. 

The point in time when action takes over and there is only you and the other person- will you know what to do? 

What are the martial arts?

How are these arts transmitted to the next generation? 

How does one “learn” the martial arts?  

Our martial arts are about movement and understanding how the human body works mechanically.  

There are no techniques or set forms- the transition of the art is in understanding the manipulating of distance and timing. It is the passing of eternal ideas and strategies from teacher to student as it was done by the Japanese samurai for hundreds of years before. 

Our practice is about illustrating the concepts so one can better understand them and begin to see them in the day to day movement of people. 

First you understand yourself and how you move, then how others move, and finally by combining the two one arrives at the transmission of the art. 

Our art is about creating opportunity in the moment, an opportunity to put yourself in a better situation, an opportunity to neutralize a situation, and opportunity above all others to escape a situation and make it back home safely. 

These are the questions we explore in each class, and the solution to that moment of action- in that moment of critical decision there is only movement.  

Training Principals:

Control the distance, timing, & rhythm.

Movement will open up opportunities for techniques. 

Always keep moving! 

Self-defense is NOT about fighting, it is about escaping and extracting yourself from a dangerous situation.

Forget the notion of beginner or advanced, every moment in training has the opportunity for a personal breakthrough.

The most important martial arts skill is not about fighting, it is awareness of the situation before, during, and after.

First you become aware of how your own body moves in the martial arts, then how your training partner’s body moves, and then you prevent them from moving with the awareness of how you move.

Training incorporates a variety of movement skills, including strikes, throws, locks, and immobilizations, along with studying a number of traditional Japanese training tools such as the sword, stick, and spear: kenjutsu, bojutsu, sojutsu.

These martial arts lessons are used as a way to understand human movement, how the individual moves, how other people move, and how they all move when it come together, allowing for the practitioner to adapt appropriately for the situation at hand.

Shinmyoken Dojo

Westchester | New York

Email Contact: