Shinmyoken Dojo

Westchester | New York

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Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Understanding How Martial Arts Techniques Are Demonstrated

I felt pretty good with the kata.  

It was one that I had seen many times, been taught many times, felt that I had the transmission down- so why was I getting hit?  Keep this image in mind for a moment...  

How does one learn a martial arts technique?  

In many classes the transmission of a technique begins with the teacher or instructor physically demonstrating a waza or movement. 

They may mention the name of the movement, but with this first step it is all visual.  

A chance to see the movement in action and catch the points of movement.  

The development of *budo eyes*, to see the movement and understand it.  

This cultivates the ability to see a form of movement and instantly understand the distance, timing, and rhythm that is in play.  

After this point the class will often break up in partnered pairs- a chance to practice back and forth with a training partner and drill the points of the technique.  

Often the instructor or a senior student will walk over and make individual correction or adjustments as needed for each student.  

Building on this, sometimes the instructor will call the group back and once again demonstrate the technique, or at this point mention some of the finer points or action points of the lesson.  

So what was I getting wrong?  

Why was I getting hit?  

This was the mistake I made, took about a dozen or so tries at correcting it before I realized it...  

When my teacher demonstrated the technique- koku, it was one that I had seen many times, one that I felt confident in understanding, in being able to demonstrate is called on.  

Yet I made a fatal calculation while it was being demonstrated.  

Because I had *seen* it many times before, I thought I knew it, and missed the fact that my teacher had changed the timing a bit. I missed seeing that point because I did not approach it as if I was seeing it for the very first time.  

Even when something is being demonstrated that you have seen it before, one should *always* approach it from seeing it with budo eyes as if it was the first time.  

As soon as I realized that and corrected it, I stopped getting hit.

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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: