Best Of

Best martial arts school


Imagine having the rare opportunity to train with the last living ninja, Grandmaster Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi. Instructors Jeff Christian and Rob Flanagan of Muzosa Bujinkan Dojo take students to Noda, Japan, each year, where they have the chance to learn advanced budo taijutsu (ninjitsu) techniques from the grandmaster himself. Students are also encouraged to experience the annual event “Campaign” (designed by Jeff Christian and his wife–business partner, Loren Christian). “Campaign” teaches students about infantry and espionage by using 16th-century samurai and ninja battlefield tactics. Muzosa also offers field trips like rock climbing at Chelsea Piers and classes in Central Park. At the park, students learn how to fight in all weather conditions— falling and rolling in snow, grappling in the mud, and dodging knives during a rainstorm. For an extreme challenge, try fighting blindfolded against multiple attackers or defending yourself against katana (samurai swords) in weapons class. Loren Christian emphasizes, “It’s about protecting yourself, people you love, even strangers.” All types of students are encouraged to try a free class. Jeff Christian requires that “students be at least 15 years old, and they gotta have a pulse.”