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Our unique approach
We believe that nature is the ultimate teacher. While the vast majority of dojos on the planet train only indoors, in padded and climate-controlled rooms, we take our art back to where it all began...in nature! The ancient art of ninjutsu relied on the natural world to build strength, awareness, agility, and to hone the techniques of self defense. Not only do we teach self defense arts, but we also teach nature survival and awareness training. If you walk into one of our forest dojos, you are likely to encounter students practicing self defense with hand carved wooden training tools, fire being made by friction, silent stealth movement, or camouflaged youth quickly disappearing up trees.
Who is our training for?
Our curriculum is designed for ages 7 and older. Yes, we consider adults in the "older" category as the survival, awareness, and ninjutsu skills that we teach are valuable for any age, and in our modern world, these skills are greatly needed in our adult leaders. These skills are also amazing for connecting parents to their kids. Adults can become certified instructors by leading youth through these skills.
The skills that we teach with our curricular pathways include survival (shelter, fire, water, food, and attitude), awareness (sensory, tracking, and species identification), invisibility (stealth movement, hiding, and camouflage), helper (first aid, natural hazards, and assisting with teaching), and more. You can learn these skills on your own in your own back yard with our Home Training Programs, or as part of one of our in person classes or summer camps.
The Art of the Ninja
Our ninjutsu (the art of the ninja) curriculum is led by Dai Shihan Mark Roemke, one of the highest ranked ninjas on the planet who is licensed to teach by the Grandmaster of ninjutsu, Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi. With our outdoor NiN Programs, we take the dojo back to nature where it originated and teach these skills. Pathways Dojo is a White to Black Belt school, and students can earn belt rank in addition to our NiN Ranking System described below. Our ranks are based on Basics, Intermediate, and Advanced level training. During our forest dojo training sessions, we spend time training together as one large group, and then break out by level to focus on rank skill requirements. Our ninjutsu curriculum focuses on three themes: Junan taiso (body conditioning), empty hand ninjutsu, and training with our Ancient Ninja Tools (hanbo, rokushaku bo, kusari fundo, escrima, bokken, and kyoketsu shoge).
The NiN Ranks
Just as you can earn rank with our Pathways Ninja Training indoor martial arts program, with our NiN training, students can progress through a ranking system with their training in nature.
There are 5 Guardian Animal Levels (ranks) to earn with our training.
Check out our NiN Rank Info Page to learn more about requirements for each level.
Complete curricular Pathways. Earn new rank after finishing a certain number of new Pathways. Access a Pathway membership (below) to begin your training. Each membership includes easy to follow written instruction plus tutorial videos for each skill. Simply show your students the skills videos then go do the skills. It's that easy!
Our Ninjas in Nature or "NiN" program leads students down curricular "Pathways". As students complete Pathways, they earn patches. Each rank above requires a certain number of patches to earn. The NiN Basics Pathway (below) is the first pathway to complete. There are 4 basic skills to learn with this level. After this training we expand on the number of skills to learn for each subsequent Pathway, with each level becoming more challenging and more fun!
After Level 1 NiN Basics, students complete our Knife Safety Pathway, and then enter into our "Elemental Pathways" which include Earth, Water, Fire, Wind, and Void Pathways. Our training is designed for adults to lead youth through the curriculum. We provide step-by-step details and tutorial videos for all skills and games.
Train At Home
Got a young ninja in your life that would love this training? Say no more. We've got you covered. We offer easy to learn, step by step video lessons plus pdf training manuals for each of our curricular "Pathways". Simply show the video lesson to your young ninja and then supervise their training (to keep things safe). When the training is done, you submit photos to us documenting their training for us to review for certification and rank promotion. You can then order certificates, shirts, and patches. Then, it is on to the next training Pathway. It all begins with our NiN Basics Pathway. Students earn rank as they completed a required number of Pathways.
In Person Training
If one of our certified ninja instructors is in your region, join us for a live, in person program. Check out the current open registrations through the link below.
Ninja Code of Conduct
When we bow in at the home dojo with Sensei Roemke, we say "shiken haramitsu daikomyo". One meaning of this Japanese phrase is "through every encounter, may we reach the highest light." By training together and supporting each other in a positive manner, we will all reach our fullest potential. To participate in our programs we ask parents/guardians to review our ninja code of conduct below with their youth. We ask students to agree to uphold these standards at home and in nature to participate in our program. Our code of conduct has the acronym C.A.R.E.
Contribute— assist the instructor, and occasionally help teach new students skills. Contributing also includes communicating with an instructor (if there are any issues that are bothering them) or giving an instructor constructive feedback (this includes parent feedback which we value).
Awareness— personal safety, safety of others (including using our best words), and cleaning up after yourself
Respect— respect for self, others, instructors, parents, elders, and teachers (at home and at our nature dojo).
Endure — "nin" as in "ninja" means to persevere or endure. Simply put, show up to train. Have a positive attitude. Try your best.
We ask that families review and agree to our code of conduct as part of our application process. To earn rank with our Nature or Ninjutsu arts, students must be upholding this code of conduct. We review this conduct with families prior to promotion.
Interested in NiN in your area?
If you'd like to learn more about our program offerings including home training, in-person programs, and instructor certification, we'd love to hear from you. Simply complete the short contact form below and a staff member will reach out to you.