Shinmyoken Dojo

Westchester | New York

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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Dojo Senior Student

In the Japanese martial arts we have the concept of the senior and junior student, the sempai and kohai.

Senior/junior in this case does not refer to age, but rather expectations.

Who is senior and who is junior?

It’s easy.

Everybody who started before you is a senior, and everybody after you a junior.

Your relationships with others in the dojo is always one or the other, with you personally in the middle.

So why the system?

Many reasons, but harmony is one.

Time spent each week in class is limited, the idea is to get the most out of the experience, have the most amount of time for the teacher to transmit the lessons, not waste time or deal with mundane things.

This is one of the reasons why we see students setting up the dojo as a group before class, or taking care of certain things- this way when the teacher or instructor arrives, they can well teach, as everything is ready to go.

Questions are normal in class, and the junior/senior system is a way to resolve it.

As your senior why something is the way it is, or why something is done that way.

Seniors are also responsibly for helping junior students get up to speed and learn the customs of the dojo- simple stuff like how to tie a belt, and perhaps more complicated stuff like bowing or certain ideas or phrases in the dojo.

Sempai/kohai as a system of harmony in the dojo.

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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:

Shinmyoken Dojo

Westchester | New York

Email Contact: