Shinmyoken Dojo

Westchester | New York

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Friday, February 3, 2023

Sojutsu: Japanese Spear Training - Yari

Just how long is this thing?

It’s one thing to use a six foot stick- rokushaku bojutsu, but now add another few feet, and the stick changes to the spear- yari in the Japanese martial arts.

Studying the importance of kamae with the spear- how body postures are important, especially given that our practice with this historical training tool is outside.

With virtually unlimited space, compared to the artificial confines of being inside, it’s natural to want to slip past the spear thrust, and enter to get to the person…

…while at the same time, using footwork through kamae to keep your training partner at the end of the spear at all times.

This thing seems longer than nine feet?

There is a mysteriousness with the spear, always being at the end of the spear with no ability to move past it, despite nothing but space to move.

How is that possible?

The yari is one of the historical training tools of the samurai that we practice with in the dojo, and despite being a historical tool, it has a very modern application.

Naturally we are learning about historical samurai culture through the transmission of the spear, but there is a practical reason behind it- the essence of budo.

Martial arts as a way of moving the body, a particular body art, a particular taijutsu, taking a spear in hand, the quality of the movement should be the same. If you have correct and good taijutsu, that will naturally come out in the use of the spear, a natural transmission, a test of sorts.

If you take the spear in hand, and you don’t have good and correct movement with it, one needs to redeploy and examine taijutsu.

The spear as a training tool to test your movement in that moment.

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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: