History of the Madison Dojo:

The Madison Traditional Japanese Sword Arts Dojo was founded in 1989 by Pat Nichols Sensei. Nichols Sensei began studying martial arts in 1970 and began training in Katori Shinto-Ryu in 1985. He received the Kyoshi (teacher's license) from Tetsutaka Sugawara Sensei who is the chief instructor from Tokyo, Japan. Nichols Sensei holds rank in Ju-Jitsu, Aikido, Iai-Do and Karate and has a Masters of Education degree in counseling psychology. Though Nichols Sensei no longer trains at the Madison Dojo, he is a big part of our history and dedicated many years with us as a dedicated teacher and training partner.

From Japan to the United States:

Madison Traditional Japanese Sword Arts Dojo is directly associated with Sugawara Martial Arts Institute (Sugawara Budo) in Tokyo Japan. Tetsutaka Sugawara Sensei began studying Katori in 1975, receiving his Kyoshi (instructor's license) in 1986. Sugawara Sensei is also a teacher in the art of Aikido. In 1960 he began Aikido at the Hombu Dojo, Tokyo, under O-Sensei Morihei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido. In 1961 he became uchideshi (in-house student) under O-Sensei at the Ibaraki Dojo. In May of 1995 he was awarded the rank of 7th Dan by Kisshomaru Ueshiba. He has also trained in Okinawan Goju-ryu Karate-do, receiving the instructor’s license in 1992 from Yasuichi Miyagi.

The "Way" of the Gods:

Tenshin Shoden Katori Shinto-Ryu Dojo translated from the Japanese means "The martial tradition which is the way of the gods." It is a style of Japanese swordsmanship and weapons training which was founded in 1447 by Choisai Sensei and was the first martial art designated a "national living cultural treasure" by the government of Japan. It is the oldest continuously practiced martial tradition of Japan.