New Women's Self Defense Classes

The Benevolent Heart Dojo is celebrating its new BedStuy training location with a NEW WOMEN'S SELF DEFENSE class:

- Education : learn what your own individual strengths and weaknesses are, and then learn to apply individualized tactics and strategies.
- Efficiency : efficiently spend your time learning movements and techniques which give you the best chances.
- Effectiveness : learn from an instructor with 20+ years of martial arts teaching experience, including teaching law enforcement professionals.
- Empowerment : the culmination of your training experience.

1 Hour class will be held every Tuesday at 8PM

Affordable, individualized classes:

Suggested Donation $20
Minimum $5

If you are interested in more information please contact Josh:

Highlights from an E-mail written May 26, 2017:


When I was attending Oberlin College I taught my first official self-defense / martial arts class. The Oberlin students attending the class as well as I were given official school credit, albeit very little. To my surprise about 18 women signed up for the semester long class and zero men. When I realized that there were ZERO men signed up for the class I scrambled to change the curriculum to match the needs of the women who enrolled. At the time my mentor and teacher, who had just recently returned from living and training in Japan with the Bujinkan grandmaster Masaaki Hatsumi was a woman (coincidently also a Harvard Alum.) and a victim of years of domestic violence. She helped guide me on teaching the self-defense class at Oberlin.


One of my closer feminist friends who I've known from kindergarten has spent years professionally in education and non-profits aimed at gender inequality and rape prevention. He has taught and organized groups on campuses all over the county for Men Can Stop Rape. Having known me for almost my entire life he has encouraged me to perhaps start teaching more specialized classes for women who would like to learn self-defense.

Coincidentally enough, this coming Monday, May 29th, the Benevolent Heart Dojo will be hosting our first women's self-defense class (which is open to non-members) and being taught by my master Dr. Kacem Zoughari. This is the first women's class I will be involved in since my days at teaching in Oberlin. My teacher will be running the class and I will be assisting. Most of the participants have ZERO to only a slight bit of martial arts experience.

If the class goes well and there is interest we may create an ongoing program. If you are interested in participating please let me know. We would be happy to answer in person any questions or to converse further on any topics which interest you.

-Joshua Noro Polier Shidôshi, LMT

The class went great, and we have started the new program.

-Scheduled on Tuesday nights and found on the class schedule in purple.

New R9D Classes

-Rolling Nine Deep: Guiding the next generation of martial artists.™

Rolling- a modern western term for 乱取り randori or getting on the mat and "fighting" or "competing." The term randori is frequently used by Judo (Olympic Martial Sport) practitioners and the term Rolling is used by modern JJ and BJJ practitioners.

Nine- 九 honor to the "Nine Schools," the source of the R9D flow.

Deep- an homage to the master, 師匠 - Shishō, to always go deeper in one's practice.

-Scheduled on Tuesday nights and found on the class schedule in red.

New Kid's Classes

Guiding the next-next generation of martial artists.™

-Scheduled mostly on Sundays (with a few substitue Saturdays) and found on the class schedule in orange.

Upcoming Events & Seminars

Next NYC Kaceminar tentatively planned for October 2018. As soon as the information is available it wil be posted here.

Kacem Zoughari

Kacem Trailer Videos:

For an assortment of past Seminar Videos, as well as Dr. Kacem Zoughari's Biography please visit his Biography Page

Examples of past Kacem Zoughari on the East Coast USA

Kacem Zoughari

Kacem Zoughari
When: August 17 & 18, 2013 NYC
Topic: Tsurugi, Ken, Jo, Hanbo, Koppou-Jutsu, Kosshi-Jutsu

When: March 16 & 17, 2013 Syracuse N.Y.
Topic: Sappo, and Hanbo

When: January 28-29, 2012 NYC
Topic: Takagiyoshinryu Iaijutsu and Secret Taijutsu

When: October 8-9, 2011, Poughkeepsie NY
Topic: Naginata, Ken, Kodachi, Hekito Gata and Koppojutsu

When: July 16-17, 2011, Poughkeepsie NY
Topic: Takagi Yoshin Ryu Chuden Level + Spear

When: April 16-17, 2011, Poughkeepsie NY
Topic: Ken, Jo and Jutte

When: February 5-6, 2011 NYC
Topic: Iaijutsu and Kusari-Fundo

When: October 9-10, 2010, 2010 Poughkeepsie NY
Topic: Koppou-Jutsu and Yari-Jutsu

When: July 10th - 11th, 2010 Poughkeepsie NY
Topic: TakagiyoshinRyu Ura Gata and Tojutsu

When:January 17 - 18, 2009 DC
Topic:Kacem Zoughari Togakure Ryu - Bojutsu Seminar

When: Oct 18 - 19, 2008 NYC
Topic: Takagiyoshinryu Jutaijutsu and Takagiyoshinryu Nawa Jutsu - High Tree, Raised Heart School and "Takagiyoshinryu" Rope Technique

When: September 6-7, 2008 Poughkeepsie NY

When: March 8 - 9, 2008 NYC
Topic: Togakure Ryu (Part II), Gyokko Ryu Chuden Waza, Ken (Sword)

When: July 7 - 8, 2007 DC
Topic: Kukishinden Ryu Chuden

When: March 10 - 11, 2007 NYC
10am - 6pm Both Days
Topics: Kukishinden Ryu DakenTaijutsu Shoden, Chuden gata and Hanbo Jutsu

When: May 27 - 28, 2006 NYC
Topics: "Shinken Kihon" and "Bukiwaza" - real fighting fundamentals and weapon techniques

When: January 7 - 8, 2006 Poughkeepsie NY
Topics: Jissen Kihon Happo

Letter to the Dojo

Soke and BHD Instructors

Justin, Ignacio and I just returned from training in Japan. This trip was spur of the moment as we decided to take advantage of the lull in gaijin practitioners in Noda. We experienced classes with Hatsumi Soke which only had around 25 people per class. I haven't experienced Soke's classes with so few people since my trip to Japan in 1992. We trained with Ishizuka sensei and his top disciples morning and night (when we were not attending Hatsumi Soke's classes). It was an intense and personal experience.

I view the members of our dojo as very fortunate; because of Kacem's generosity quite a few of you have been to Japan for training and have experienced what it is like training and living in Ishizuka sensei's dojo. For me the experience of training in Ishizuka's dojo has evolved over time. While always exceedingly generous, during this latest trip Ishizuka Sensei and his disciples were extraordinarily generous in their patience and what they revealed to us.

Personally speaking this trip represented an opportunity for me to dive deeper into my practice and to aim for higher goals and standards for myself. I urged Justin and Ignacio to do the same and spoke to both of them in some length about the opportunity. The real purpose of this email is to extend this invitation to all of you.

Over the last few years we have all experienced heart-wrenching difficulties and challenges (including Kacem). Many of you have told me of the pain and difficulties in your life and I have in turn told you of mine. Many of you feel you are in some of the deepest, darkest and melancholy times of your life. I can tell you, we are all in the same boat, almost all of us have or will experience the same or similar hardships in life. However we all have a kinship in Ninjutsu and Ninpo. This art was created in hardship and its practitioners persevered through the pain. This is the only reason why to this day we are blessed to be able to experience the art of Ninjutsu.

Let us all help each other pull through the hard times. I strongly encourage all of you to join me Justin and Ignacio and reinvigorate your commitment to yourself, the dojo, and The Art. Begin shedding all the excuses in your mind, begin to strengthen your body and continue to dive deeper into your heart to find the benevolence within. We all have the opportunity to make a new beginning, not by changing our immediate situation but by changing our interpretation of our current existence. In my opinion, the internal interpretation and manipulation of one's own self and view of one's own life and the world around us is the highest level of "kyojitsu tenkan ho" that one can practice. I invite all of you to begin practice anew, with a beginner's mind, with enthusiasm and openness to change and to look forward to the future ahead. Let us practice together and renew our commitment to ourselves, the dojo, and The Art.


Joshua Noro Polier
LMT, Shidôshi