Traditional Japanese Martial Arts 

At DMAA, we teach authentic Japanese martial arts, including karate, aikido, and samurai class weapons. 



Our students engage in the centuries old tradition of Shorinryu karate.  Its highly disciplined nature provides students with a great opportunity to develop a variety of invaluable skills. Through regular practice children and parents alike will notice improved focus, better strength and balance and the development of a true sense of confidence. Each class offers a wide variety of strength and conditioning drills as well as a strong dedication to developing practical self defense techniques.



Darien Martial Arts Academy teaches the oldest style and arguably most effective style of aikido in the Japanese martial arts.  Daito-ryu aikibujiutsu is a weaponless style of martial arts created by the samurai over 800 years ago.  It was originally born during battle when the samurai either lost or broke their swords. It later evolved under the infamous samurai, Sokaku Takeda.  Takeda sensei lived in Hokkaido and was known for his unparalleled skills in aikibujiutsu.   He is responsible for producing world renowned martial artists such as Yukiyoshi Sagawa sensei and Morihei Ueshiba sensei.  

Today we use these teachings not only as a means to effectively study self defense but also to engage in an intellectual and spiritual training not commonly found in other styles of martial arts.  However, in order to be effective in Daito-ryu there is a very small allowable margin of error.  A great deal of commitment and discipline must accompany training in aikido in order to achieve proficiency.

Bo & Jo Jiutsu


The weapons class is held once each week and focuses on two traditional weapons.  Bo (the six foot staff) and Jo (the four foot staff).  These weapons date back to the days of the samurai.  In this class students learn to perfect the many forms each weapon has to offer.



The art of the sword.  Another martial art passed down to us by the samurai class in Japan.  The primary weapon of the samurai was the katana or sword.  Historically the samurai trained tirelessly to achieve superiority on the battlefield but today’s iaido practitioners can expect to develope a stronger body and mind through this art.  It is a highly disciplined martial art that demands the full focus and commitment of the practitioner.  In this class students engage in the replication of traditional forms.  All students begin by using training swords and as they develop their skills are encouraged to consider using live blades.  Increased strength, balance and focus are some of the benefits practitioners of iaido can expect to develop in addition to an ongoing history of the samurai.



Kobudo is loosely translated as the ancient styles of martial arts.  This includes the manriki gusari (the chain), shuriken (throwing spikes) tegiri and hishigi (wooden dowels).  These weapons are discreet and easily concealed and can be used effectively against attackers using weapons.  As in aikido and iaido, in order to be effective the margin of error in kobudo is quite small. A great deal of commitment, discipline and focus must accompany training in kobudo, particularly with the manriki gusari.

Contrary to popular belief, the kusari and shuriken are not ninja class weapons. They are samurai class weapons which would be worn either on the outside of the hakama or concealed within the upper garments.