Shinmyoken Dojo

Westchester | New York

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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Martial Arts: What Is Shu Ha Ri?

The transmission of the martial art is laid out in a very specific manner, to ensure not only correct movement, but also correct ability if it is needed in that moment of interaction.

Consider what happens if your martial arts don’t work.

That is why we not only train hard with an aim for perfection in the dojo, but also train in a specific way.

A template of sorts, which is especially important for new students to the art. As a new student, one wants to lay not only a solid foundation, but also learn the mechanics of the martial arts so as new and more advanced movement lessons are given, the student can do them.

There is no limit to what you can do, so why limit yourself?

In the Japanese martial arts the concept of shu ha ri is a training template for understanding all of the lessons, and when it is time to move to the next level or layer of the lesson.

Let’s explore this temple, no skipping levels in your training.

Shu is the first phase of the training, the foundation, the base. At this point you copy and perform the martial arts movements exactly as you are shown them. No changes, no going off script, no counters. Doing the movements thousands of time so they not only become second nature, but they also become perfect.

Ha is the next step.

At this stage you start to experiment with change, adding and subtracting movement, changing movement, exploring different scenarios based on the foundation Shu movements.

Ha doesn’t mean making stuff up and freelancing, it means using the base as a jumping off point, and as an ending point.

The final step is Ri.

At this stage, you leave all the forms behind and just act. There is just movement in the martial arts.

However, to get to that level, you have to progress through the first two.

No skipping!

See you on the mat!

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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: