Shinmyoken Dojo

Westchester | New York

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Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Shinobi-Zue: Ninja Hidden Stick Training

One of the historical training tools that we explore in our training is the shinobi zue- the hidden staff.

Traditionally the shinobi zue had many different designs, all revolving around the idea of hollowing out and hiding something inside a staff, usually of jo- 5 foot length.

This secret inside the stick could be blinding powder, a dirk or dagger, or even a bar of iron to change the staff to a mace with a heavier impact. It was not so much one specific thing, but rather an idea.

The idea that one uses bojutsu or jujutsu as a stick, and that is what the training partner expects, and then when the opportunity presents itself, the hidden part of the stick is used.

We have many shinobi zue at the dojo, and the picture above is one such idea.

It is based on a hardwood jo (5 foot stick) with the top part of the staff being of reinforced iron, and the lower half ending with an iron end-cap.

This particular jo is designed to be used against swords and other edged weapons, and in immediately looking at it, that appears to be its function.

Yet, inside is a weighted chain that one is able to let out and use to extend the reach of the stick, while also now using chain and weight techniques.

What place does such a training tool have in the here and now of today?

Taijutsu is the art of naturally moving the body, and this body centric art means being able to use other training tools, through the use of the body. Unlike other martial arts, there is no difference between being armed or unarmed, movement is movement.

Pick up the sinobi zue and use it with movement, it is just taijutsu, can you do that?

The shinobi zue is also about opportunity and creativity in movement.

With your training partner, can you use the possibility of the shinobi zue stick to create something in that moment? Can you use it to influence distance, timing, and balance in ways that your training partner can’t see or react against?

The shinobi zue is a way to explore ideas and principals in hidden movement.

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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: