Shinmyoken Dojo

Westchester | New York

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Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Martial Arts: Don’t Memorize Kata

Martial Arts: Don’t Memorize Kata

We are fortunate to have so many wonderful kata that transmit the Bujinkan feeling in our martial arts training, but as a martial arts student trying to capture that feeling, how should we approach it?

What are some of the stages to consider in training kata?

The first, is naturally, being able to assemble the movements.

Working on just what is going on, and how one is moving using the methods of the Bujinkan- at this stage in the learning, while we are trying to always move in a smooth, relaxed, and natural way, breaking it down to steps is fine.

Step one, step two, step three, etc.

Work on getting the flow.

As you begin to assemble the parts of the kata and become a bit more confident, begin to focus on the distance, timing, and balance of it between you and your training partner.

At this point there is a bit of memorization going on, but ideally we don’t want to *memorize* the kata and get locked in.

Learning the kata is not just having it shown to you in a physical form or watching a video of it.

Learning involves having the kata done to you, catching the feeling of it, by various teachers, seniors, and shihan in the art.

When I am fortunate enough to meet shihan in the Bujinkan who are sharing kata, I’m always ready to be uke- can I catch the feeling that they are transmitting?

This arrives us at a point beyond memorization, being able to transmit and create what we have felt and experienced through the training.

Don’t turn it into an academic process.

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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: