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Fukuoka: American Grand Master Opens Ninjutsu Dojo

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Matt Keiser demonstrates a ninja pose.

FUKUOKA — An American man who loves ninja is teaching ninjutsu at a dojo in Fukuoka as a grand master.

Matt Keiser, 49, has long admired ninja in anime and magazines, and had studied at a dojo in Chiba Prefecture since 1999. Last July, he opened Fukuoka Tenjin Bujinkan Dojo in the city, where he has taught about 30 students so far.

Ninjutsu is not superhuman techniques such as disappearing or running across rooftops. Rather, at the dojo students learn how to defend themselves against attacks with a minimum of movement and force, using bare hands and wooden sticks. According to Keiser, an important mission for a ninja is to gather information, and the key thing is “not to fight” in order to bring the information back safely.

At the dojo, half of the training is devoted to learning how to communicate smoothly with others and how to control emotions. The fee for one two-hour practice session is ¥3,000.

Keiser said that ninjutsu trains both mind and body, and he hopes people can use it to improve their lives.