The Teachers

Tom Duffy, Shihan-Dai, Chief instructor

Thomas is the USA representative of the Yamato-Ryu Nippon Budo Kai (YNBK) under Sensei’s Marc Mebis in Europe and Jeff Driscoll in PA. He is responsible for the instruction of Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu Iaijutsu in America for the YNBK. This organization and its ranks are recognized by the Dai Nippon Butoku Kai in Kyoto Japan.

Thomas has been a student of martial arts for over 35 years. His Martial Arts journey started in 1983 when he took his first shotokan Karate lesson at the local YMCA. His journey has taken him to several arts including full contact kickboxing at New England Tae Kwon Do. Aikido, Jujutsu, Kempo and eventually Iaido, Jojutsu and Kenjutsu which he has been training in passionately.

He currently holds Various Dan ranks in Iaido, Iaijutsu and Kempo/Jujutsu and has had extensive training in Aikido, Jojutsu, Kendo and TKD

Odds are, every student in a martial arts class has a different preferred learning style with different levels of experience. This can make it difficult for instructors to be effective.  Thomas’s background in several different arts leads to a very unique style of instruction which accommodates different approaches for both beginner an advanced students with great success.

Valerie Carroll, Nidan

Valerie holds the title of Fuku-Shidion (Assistant 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 protecting women from violence and harassment. 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. 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 training in Kempo/Jujutsu and Jo .

Chris Earwood, Nidan


Chris holds the title of Fuku-Shidion (Assistant Instructor)

Chris is one of our original Yudansha of the dojo and his cutting skills demonstrate that. His passion for sword arts and teaching new students are apparent each day he is on the floor. His background in Kempo helps him both as a teacher and a student as his knowledge of body mechanics and natural laws always come into play when demonstrating. He hopes to one day run his own dojo and we think he will Succeed.

Chris holds Dan rankings in Iaijutsu/Kenjutsu and has had training and ranks in various styles of Kempo as well as Jojutsu training


Melissa DiVozzi, Nidan

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

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

Erik Mikklesen, Nidan

For Several years, Erik has been a student of both sword and the art of Japanese Calligraphy called “Shodo”. His teaching skills on paper match his sword teaching skills. His dedication to these arts are obvious when training with him. He periodically hosts “Shodo night” at the dojo.

Erik is a direct student of the Gohitsu Shodo Kai, an independent western Japanese calligraphy society founded by Sensei Esteban Martinez. Erik holds Dan ranks in Iaijutsu and Kenjutsu as well as ranking in Kempo/Jujutsu and Shodo.

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