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Define Your Path
At the West Los Angeles Dojo, you will build strength and confidence, develop discipline and coordination, and improve physical health and mental focus while learning the self-defense techniques of Samurai era, classical Japanese martial arts.
Classes are taught in a non-competitive environment, focusing on coordinated movement utilizing hand-to-hand combat methodologies (jujutsu), as well as a vast array of Japanese weapons including sword (Kenpo), pole arms, knife wielding and defense techniques, flexible weapons, and throwing blades (shuriken).
The West Los Angeles Dojo is located near the 10 freeway and a short walk away from the Downtown Culver City Expo metro line.
To learn more about us and schedule a membership interview, use the form below.
Classes & Schedule
Tuesday & Thursday
Our Beginner-Intermediate Taijutsu classes are the perfect place to learn the fundamentals of martial arts. You will learn basic unarmed movement and footwork coordination skills, striking and defense patterns, joint-locks, throws, chokes, break-falling, tumbling and escapes. This is taught in a non-competitive environment with our experienced instructors.
Tuesday & Thursday
These classes are taught in a quarterly rotating curriculum and will provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to master attack & defense techniques and strategies related to the Sword, Staff, Knife, throwing blades, spear, naginata, and other weapons utilized by Samurai and Ninja. Our instructors will equip you with the skills and confidence to understand weapon utilization and defense skills and techniques.
At our Dojo, our Black Belt Class is designed for students who have achieved the "Yudansha" black belt level. Students will be practice advanced concepts and skills, as well as a more rigorous and higher intensity training. This class will also include controlled sparring (Randori) to help students hone their martial arts skills. Our Black Belt Class is the perfect opportunity for students to take their martial arts training to the next level.
Black Belt Level
The West Los Angeles Dojo is an official branch of the international Bujinkan Organization, headed by our Soke, Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi (初見 良昭). The Bujinkan is a school of classical Japanese martial arts that is comprised of nine samurai lineages or Ryu-ha, each with different styles and philosophies that reflect their history. Together, they are a comprehensive system of martial arts that includes everything from battlefield sword and spear fighting, to unarmed techniques for bodyguards, and everything in between. At the highest level, these skills and philosophies of endurance against all odds are known as Ninpo or more commonly Ninjutsu.
This is a living tradition, sustained through practice with one's brothers and sisters on the path of martial arts. Together we improve our skills and learn how to help each other, to carry this art on into the future. We want to know the people we invite to train with us, which is why we interview all newcomers prior to joining.
Mark Franco, L.Ac. (Dojo-Cho)
The West Los Angeles Dojo is headed by Mark Franco, L.Ac.
He is a recognized Shihan (Senior Instructor) in the Bujinkan under Soke Masaaki Hatsumi, with over 30 years of experience in the organization.
In addition to classical Japanese martial arts, Mark Franco holds a Master of Science degree in Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine and has also studied Chinese internal arts (Tai Ji Chuan, Shing Yi Chuan and Ba Gua Zhang), as well as Daoist Chi Gong, Nei Gong and Zen Buddhism (zazen/meditation).
JOIN & LEARN
Taijutsu - Body Movement
Taijutsu is the "operating system", which sets the foundation for both armed and unarmed strategies and tactics
We will teach you:
Balance, Flexibility & Strength
Coordination encompassed in effective movement and timing.
Footwork and subtle positioning to gain a strategic advantage, without relying on speed or strength.
Awareness & Mindset
Jujutsu - Combat Techniques
Classical Japanese Jujutsu is an armed and unarmed combat methodology within the study of Taijutsu that develops .
Attacks & Defenses
Joint locks & Throws
Leaping, Rolling & Breakfalls
Chokes (application and escapes)
Kenjutsu - Sword Art
Within the study of Classical Japanese Martial Arts, there is a vast array of traditional weapons that were utilized by Samurai and within Ninjutsu. The symbiotic relationship between weapons and taijutsu cultivates the ability to incorporate any weapon at any time
In class you will learn:
Knife/Short Sword (Tanto/Kodachijutsu)
6' Staff (Rokushaku Boujutsu)
3' Half-Staff (Hanboujutsu)
Seminars and Private Lessons will cover:
Naginata / Halberd (Naginatajutsu)
Jutte / Truncheon, an anti-sword weapon (Juttejutsu)
Weighted Chain (Kusarijutsu)
Throwing Blades (Shurikenjutsu)
Hidden Weapons (Kakushi Bukijutsu)
Kenjutsu ("Sword Technique") is a primary study within the weapons curriculum and Taijutsu development. Kenjutsu applies the lessons you learn of Taijutsu, and will cultivate your timing, accuracy and concentration.
You will learn:
Katana Etiquette (Saho)
Sword Drawing (Batto/Iaijutsu)
Paired Training (Kumitachi)
Movement and Footwork (Tai Sabaki)
Two Swords (Nito/Shinken Gata)
Capturing/Evading Sword attacks while unarmed (Muto Dori)
Ninpo & Ninjutsu
Much of what has been depicted through media regarding Ninja and Ninjutsu portrays a shadowy figure dressed in black garb, shrouded in secrets. Historically, the Ninja or Shinobi were a specialized warriors utilizing unconventional techniques and strategies for combat, intelligence gathering and special covert operations. They would make use of disguises and superstition, train in various skills to get any advantage, and escape when necessary. In many ways, one could compare the Ninja to special forces of today. They could be samurai-class or commoners, men or women.
Ninpo & Ninjutsu harmoniously are the balance of the spirituality and philosophy (Ninpo), and physical training (Ninjutsu).
At its most fundamental level, "Nin" refers to the concept of "perseverance." To survive against all odds, to protect those who are close to you, and to never give up.
This is the spirit that guides our training.