An interior view of Itten Dojo, showing jo-seki (the “upper seat” of the dojo).

The Dojo

Itten Dojo was founded in 1992 and is South Central Pennsylvania’s oldest school of traditional, Japanese martial arts. Now in its fourth decade, Itten Dojo has established an international reputation for excellence, a reputation earned entirely on the basis of the exceptional individuals that have trained here.

Over the course of our history, we’ve become convinced that the most important thing is the people that comprise the membership of the dojo and what we are doing together. We’ve trained in many different arts, but the single, consistent factor has been the relationships that have been built within the dojo—friendships that have lasted, even after one or both people no longer trained. The experience of striving together, helping each other toward a common goal, means everything.

In the same way a Japanese sword is created through the heat and pressure of a forge, a martial artist is crafted by means of the intensity and shared purpose of a dojo. The literal translation of the word dojo is “way-place,” and the term implies that the dojo is a unique environment in which students through their chosen art discover and increase their true capabilities and recognize the application of their training to their daily lives. Within the dojo, rank is determined solely on the basis of demonstrated performance, and expectations of women are the same as those for men of comparable size.

New students—especially those without prior martial arts experience or current participation in athletics—are guided very carefully in their early training, so that they are able to build the requisite level of physical conditioning and basic skill without undue risk of injury or discouragement. Previous experience is absolutely not required.

Follow these links to learn about applying for membership or to see a detailed explanation of the cost of tuition and required equipment.

While the necessary uniforms and equipment required for training can be obtained through the dojo, only the prospective student can provide the most important ingredients for the creation of a martial artist—enthusiasm, dedication, a strong sense of fun and adventure, and the ability to retain forever the receptiveness of a beginner’s mind.

Call or email today for an appointment and come see for yourself — visitors are always welcome!