Shihan Matthew Woodard

Matthew Woodard

Sogyo-sha (創業者) “Founder”

Matthew Woodard has been training in Martial Arts for over 30 years, and has several black belts from various arts. He has specifically dedicated the last 20 years to his pursuit of Bujinkan Ninpo Taijutsu, and has the highest rank attainable for a Martial Arts Instructor in our art: Judan Kugyo Happo Biken (10th degree – 5th level black belt). Matt founded our Martial Arts School in 2003.

His experience includes being a former member of the Cincinnati Police Department, a Criminal Apprehension Team Member, and has been on the protection details of many high-profile clientele – including the Dali Lama himself.

In 2012, Matt gave the reigns of Todai Dojo to his student, Scott Hamilton who is now the current owner and head instructor.


Scott Hamilton

Dojo Cho (道場長) “Owner/Head Instructor”

Scott Hamilton was able to achieve his 1st dan in a year under Shihan Woodard, and travels regularly to Japan to train. In 2012 he passed his Godan test to recieve the rank of Shidoshi (“Teacher of the Warrior Ways”) to become fully recognized as an official Martial Arts instructor by the Bujinkan.

Shidoshi Hamilton has also recieved in depth weapons and shooting training from Shihan Woodard and others. He also speaks conversational Spanish and Japanese. Scott is currently ranked 八段 “Hachidan” (8th Degree Blackbelt).

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Pablo Lazaro

Pablo has been training in martial arts for over 10 years. He has a Shodan (1st Degree Black Belt) and 5 years of training in Goju Ryu Karate, and 2 years training in Aikido. He began training at Todai in 2013, and has traveled to the Hombu dojo in Japan. In addition, he continues to study historic Japanese battle tactics.

Pablo also has experience in both real-world weapons (clubs/bats,knives, handguns) and survivalist experience. He is currently ranked Nidan (2nd Degree Black Belt) in the Bujinkan.


Rich Polakoff

Rich is a long time martial artist and has experience in Kung Fu, Judo, Aikido and is currently the Head of the California Ronin Kenjutsu Ryu. Rich is the top student of the founder of Ronin Kenjutsu, Mick Chambers. Rich offers specialized training in Tameshigiri (sword cutting) at Todai Bujinkan Dojo.