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School History


Our school has a long history here in Clifton, New Jersey.  It began in the 1960s as the American Budokwai, one of the first Judo institutes in the country.  Though the school changed locations two or three times, it always stayed here in Clifton.  Our teacher, Harold Glackin, or Sensei Harry as he is lovingly known, eventually took over the responsibilities of ownership.  Sensei Harry was and remains today a well-respected member of the martial arts community both in the New York / New Jersey area and across the country.  He eventually renamed the school Martial Arts Training Academy (later Martial Arts Training Center), where Karate, Judo, JiuJitsu, and Aikido would in one form or another be shared with countless students over the following decades.

Sensei Harry later developed a system of modern martial arts he titled Goshin-Do, meaning "The Way of Self Defense" and ranked students in his style of Jiu-Jitsu and Karate.  He published a series of books outlining the particular Jiu-Jitsu techniques he incorporated in this system.


In 2013, Sensei Harry decided to officially retire and offered Mark Bigica, his highest ranking Karate student at the school, ownership of the Academy. 


Mark agreed to take on the responsibility of ownership with his fellow martial artist Luis F. Hernandez, a Bujinkan Budo Ninjutsu instructor who had been training at the Academy for several years.


Together, Mark and Luis reformed the Martial Arts Training Academy Center into the Academy of Martial Arts, LLC.  Chris Christides, another of Sensei Harry's high ranking students, joined with them to help ensure the Academy would continue to be a successful school.  With the full support of the students and their families, the Academy has flourished and grown in the years that followed.


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