The Teachers

Our instructors are a committed group of martial artists who are passionate about their martial arts training and giving their students the best possible experience.

As with anything success comes through preparation.

Instructors meet weekly to discuss new and better ways to serve our students and they’re growth and success.

Classes are taught in a relaxed but challenging atmosphere gearing the student towards constant, steady improvement in their lives as well as in their martial arts skills. Sensei Tom Duffy takes a personal interest in the development of each individual student.

Our Goals in teaching Budo include:

  • The importance of creating a high energy environment for teaching to bring out the best in our martial artists.
  • Helping students become comfortable with accepting new challenges in order to take them to more exciting levels of accomplishment and spirit.
  • Teaching the value of discipline, hard work, commitment, and not giving up when things become difficult in order that our students can achieve their goals both in and out of the martial arts classroom
  • The importance of helping students feel safe, comfortable, and able to have fun, while immersed in Budo
  • Our instructors use simple but very effective teaching and communication techniques to bring out the very best in you.

Tom Duffy, Chief instructor

Thomas Duffy,  is the co-founder and chief instructor at the Academy. His Martial Arts journey started in the mid 80’s when he trained and competed in full contact kickboxing at New England Tae Kwon Do and also Aikido at the late Shihan John Saviano’s dojo in Pawtucket.

After college Thomas continued Aikido training for several years at both the USAF Brown University Aikido club and AAA Aikido in Cranston RI. He then discovered Iaido while training at New England Aikikai in Cambridge MA

Tom Duffy teaching at the European Gathering in Belgium

Looking for Iaido more locally, Thomas was introduced to Shihan Michael Brown of the Sei Kosho Shorei Kai at the Rhode Island Martial arts academy and dedicated his training there in Eishin ryu sword arts and Sho Chiku bai Jujutsu. Thomas also met and trained with teachers from the Jikishin Kai International and their instructor seminars in Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaijutsu. He is currently a direct student of Sensei Jeff Driscoll in PA, and continues his training with him and the other Yudansha of the Sei Kosho Shorei Kai .

Thomas is a recognized instructor with the Sei Kosho Shorei Kai International and holds various Dan ranks in the organization in Kempo/Jujutsu and Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaijustsu.


Valerie Carroll, Instructor

Sensei Valerie Carroll’s martial arts journey started over 14 years ago at the New England Martial Arts Dojo. A practitioner and teacher for over 14 years in traditional Japanese Shotokan Karate, as well as several years in Kempo/Jujutsu , Iaijutsu and Kenjutsu.

Valerie’s specialty is violence, harassment and abuse against woman and her highly regarded sessions always leave women of all ages with increased confidence and self worth as well as the skills needed for a safer future. Valerie teaches woman’s self defense both at the dojo and on location with other black belts from the New England Martial Arts Dojo. Her passion in teaching women’s psychological empowerment against crime in unmatched.

Valerie holds Dan rankings in both traditional Shotokan Karate and Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaijutsu along with high ranks in Sho Chiku Bai Jujutsu. Valerie also holds the title of Sempai in the academy (Senior Yudansha).

Melissa DiVozzi, Instructor

Sensei Missy’s Martial Arts journey started in the 80’s with Full contact Kickboxing training alongside some notable Taekwondo and Boxing trainers in the New England Area. A martial arts practitioner and teacher for over 30 years in these combative arts as well as several years in Jujutsu, Iaijutsu and Kenjutsu in the Sei Kosho Shorei Kai International.

Sensei Missy’s teaching style of perseverance & indomitable spirit is inspiring. Her continual passion, dedication, & experience as a martial arts teacher has members interested & coming back for more. She is a skillful teacher creating challenging classes for all skill levels while encouraging each individual student in their progress.

Missy holds various Dan rankings in both traditional Taekwondo and Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaijutsu/Kenjutsu along with high ranks in Kosho Ryu Kempo/Jujutsu

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