Shinmyoken Dojo

Westchester | New York

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Wednesday, March 8, 2023

How Long Does It Take To Get A Martial Arts Black Belt?

How long does it take to get a black belt in the martial arts? 

As a new student to the 'arts this is a natural question as it implies progress in the martial arts, the ability to achieve a goal. 

One is often curious in asking this as a way to make sure they are on the right path. It it takes six years on average to get a black belt, one can map progress along the way. So how long does it take to get a black belt? 

Let's start with a definition for a black belt. 

Here in the West a black belt is often thought of as a kind of master status, a master in the martial arts. Certainly there is a physical mastery required and represented, but a black belt is more of a gateway to serious study. It represents that one has been accepted by the tradition and is now a full student in the tradition, ready to dedicate and explore further. 

Regarding a black belt there are two aspects to the rank. The first is certainly a physical proficiency in the basics of the tradition or style, as the martial arts *are* a physical art. 

But there is also a second component to a black belt- concepts being present such as fighting spirit, dedication, focus, and a martial arts heart. 

Many often focus on the physical aspects, but don't neglect the cultivation of these other aspects when moving through the kyu ranks.

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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: