• Japanese Swordsmanship

    Japanese Swordsmanship of Gwinnett
    (JSoG) is a traditional martial arts dojo, providing instruction in Samurai martial arts to people of good character, under the direction of Nayef Z. Smith, Branch Director. JSoG is a member International Shinkendo Federation dojo under the leadership of founder Obata Toshishiro (Kaiso) and Master Yukishiro Obata (Soke).

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  • our principles

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  • JSoG Training

    Training at Japanese Swordsmanship of Gwinnett is traditional
    emphasizing Reiho (Etiquette), discipline, and safety through Shugyo (serious training). Training starts with Shinkendo, learning the safe and respectful handling of the Japanese sword through practice with a bokuto (wooden sword).

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    International Shikendo Federation Shokai Reel

    International Shinkendo Federation - Shokai Reel from Onyx Cinema

  • find us

    Japanese Swordsmanship of Gwinnett

    1977 Scenic Hwy 124 Snellville, GA 30039

    Telephone:+1 404 918 8701
    E-mail: snellvilleshinkendo@gmail.com

    get in touch

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  • find us

    Japanese Swordsmanship of Gwinnett

    1977 Scenic Hwy 124 Snellville, GA 30039

    Telephone:+1 404 918 8701

    Dojo Directions



    The dojo is located in the Scenic Sqaure Shopping plaza at 1977 Scenic Hwy N. Snellville, GA 30078, at the corner of Ronald Regan parkway and Scenic Highway 124 in Snellville, in the building next to Dollar Tree. We are colocated with Charles Minter Tae Kwon Do Karate at the headquarters branch.

  • About Us

    Japanese Swordsmanship of Gwinnett is a traditional martial arts dojo, providing instruction in Samurai martial arts to people of good character, under the direction of Nayef Z. Smith, Branch Director. JSoG is a member International Shinkendo Federation dojo under the leadership of founder Obata Toshishiro (Kaiso) and Master Yukishiro Obata (Soke).

    Japanese Swordsmanship of Gwinnett (JSoG) offers instruction in the martial arts of Shinkendo, Toyama-Ryu, Bojutsu and Aiki-bujutsu. Instruction is given in a traditional format, paced uniquely per individual, suitable for beginners and experienced martial artists. Martial arts provides many benefits to personal growth and individual quality of life. We believe in the improvement of life - body, mind and spirit - through the pursuit of Shinkendo. Jinsei Shinkendo! (Life is Shinkendo)

    The dojo is located at 1977 Scenic Hwy N. Snellville, GA 30078, at the corner of Ronald Regan parkway and Scenic Highway 124 in Snellville.

    Our class schedule and calendar of events can be found on our website calendar page.

  • Instructor Bios

    Branch Director
    Sensei Nayef Z. Smith

    International Shinkendo Federation
    Chuden Renshi

    Aikibujutsu Tanren Kenkyukai
    Shidoin

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    Our Staff

    Instructor Bios
    All JSoG instructors are certified by the International Shinkendo Federation to teach Shinkendo and ISF related arts. Click on the links below to read instructor bio information.



  • Instructor Bios

    Assistant Branch Director
    Sensei Mike Schmidt

    International Shinkendo Federation
    Shoden Renshi

    Instructor Bio

    Studied Shinkendo and Toyama ryu for 10 years under the direction of Sensei Nayef Smith and Kaiso  Toshishiro  Obata.

    Practicing martial arts for more than 20 years and holds rank in Shinkendo,Toyama-Ryu, Bojitsu, Kenpo Karate, Iwama  Aikido and Yang style Tai Chi.

      Some of my interests: I am an avid  horseman, traditional archer, pistol shooter and visual artist. I have owned and operated the Framers Outlet.inc.(www.framersoutlet.com) for over 30 years.

  • Instructor Bios

    Instructor Bio

    Branch Director
    Sensei Nayef Z. Smith

    In 1988 I began my formal martial arts training under the instruction of Sam Bi Num Rhoberta Prosser, of San Hwan Chung's Moo Sool Do Black Belt Academy in Lithonia, GA.
    I continued to train under Master Prossers while at Teikyo Marycrest University and established a Moo Sool Do study group on campus. I began formal study of the Japanese language during my first year of college and learned a great deal about Japanese culture from many of my friends who were exchange students from Japan.
    During my first summer break, I returned to White Plains, New York, where I spent the summer learning Wu Shu from Sifu Pedro. I fell in love with the pure athletisism of Wu Shu which expanded my perspective on martial arts further.

    Returning to school, I cross trained with friends from the QCA and from Japan who practiced American Karate & Enshin-Ryu. In the fall of 1993, I was introduced to Shinkendo by Dr. David Birdsell Shihan. At the time, he sent a copy of "The Naked Blade" to our school athletic director in hopes of establishing a dojo on campus. The athletic director gave me the book and introduced me to Dr. Birdsell and I began my study of Shinkendo. In the spring of 1994, I met Kaiso and began to train with him at seminars and continue to train with him to this day.

  • Instructor Bio

    Begain Martial Arts in 1982 through a friend in Shotokan Karate in Jacksonville FL. I had worked my way up to blue belt and then was transferred to Atlanta GA.      At that time in 1984 there was not a Shotokan school remotely close which was odd to me as large as Atlanta was.      However a Tae Kwon Do school opened up just down the street from our home and I was anxious to continue my training. Turns out that the Instructor was just came from Korea and opened his school and was ranked as a 8th Dan Master who had held titles as Korea National Champion 1968, 1969, and 1971. Being he was direct from Korea I quickly found out that he enjoyed hard traditional style training as I was accustomed to in Shotokan. I had trained in Tae Kwon Do for 4 years earning my 1st Dan and had gained tremendous experience as an instructor my last 2 years. In 1989, I had found by accident that a Shotokan school had opened up in Atlanta and after visiting I felt the need to switch back to Shotokan. The students were great as well as the instructors, traditional hard training with great comradey. I had trained with the Shotokan School until 1992 where I had earned my Brown belt (2nd Kyu) when I was again transferred to Detroit of all places.  I found a school in Detroit and I trained there for a year until 1993 where I again transferred to Louisville KY.  I trained in Louisville for 2 additional years and was awarded my 1st Dan at this school in Shotokan in 1994.

    Once again I transferred back to Atlanta and trained Shotokan until 1996 where I picked up competitive shooting after visiting the Olympic shooting venue.   I was hooked and began competitive pistol activities in 1996 and still do it today where I am a Master level combat pistol shooter, NRA instructor in Pistol, Rifle, and Shotgun as well as a Safety Officer and Instructor.  In 2001 I took back up Tae Kwon Do and trained through 2004 earning my 2nd Dan in Tae Kwon Do.      While doing TKD I found Shinkendo and some time in my early martial arts career I decided I wanted as a life goal to achieve Black Belts in three separate styles.    So in 2003 I took up Shinkendo and achieved my Hyakue (Black Belt) rank in 2008.   While in Shinkendo I have also earned ranks in Bo and Toyama Ryu where I still plan as long as I am able earn Black Belt Ranks in these areas as well.   I have enjoyed my time in martial arts and I assure you it has given me more than I can ever share.   Less as much in the physical sense but more in the mental that has allowed me to be of calm mind and has built my character as it is today so to treat people with dignity and respect, help those in need, and defend those who cannot help themselves.  Now doubt martial arts and the fellowships I have made over all these years has guided me to the beliefs that if one puts one’s mind to something, with hard work and focus one can achieve most anything they can dream of.

  • Instructor Bios

    Shidoin Wayne Ortman

    Instructor Bio

    Wayne Ortman began his Shinkendo in February of 2003 as a student of Japanese Swordsmanship of Gwinnett.

     He earned his current student rank of Goho Mokuroku in 2011. He is currently an assistant instructor with the rank of Kenshuin which was awarded in 2004. In addition to his Shinkendo ranks, he also holds rank in Toyamo Rya, and Bojitsu.

    Wayne is a graduate of the University of Georgia’s Terry School of Business and is employed as an Associate Director supporting mission critical applications within the telecomunnications industry. 

  • Instructor Bios

    Kenshuin Ashley Lockwood

    International Shinkendo Federation Ranks

    Inka Rank – Goho

    Instructor’s Rank – Kenshuin

    Aikibujutsu Tanren Kenkyukai Rank - Gokyu

    Instructor Bio

    In the summer of 2005, I joined Japanese Swordsmanship of Gwinnett and began my journey into the diverse world of martial arts. Shinkendo is my first marital art, and I intend to continue my training throughout my life. My time with Japanese Swordsmanship has also allowed me to cross-train in the arts of Aikijutsu, Toyama Ryu, and Bojutsu.

    Shinkendo has given me a place to work towards the betterment of myself as well as my classmates – both in a physical and mental sense. My ultimate goal in training is not only the mastery of the art, but also the application of Shinkendo’s principles in everyday life.

  • Instructor Bios

    Kenshuin Jimimy Kincaid

    International Shinkendo Federation Ranks

    Inka Rank – Hyaku-e

    Instructor’s Rank – Kenshuin

    Instructor Bio

    I grew up watching Chuck Norris movies and "Kung Fu" reruns, playing , and reading fantasy novels.  Strapping a sword to my hip and going on an adventure was my dream. After having some issues with bullying in school, my father enrolled my older brother and I in a martial arts program instructed by a coworker named Mike Jolley at the Fitness Factory in Cleveland, TN.  Saya Mike Jolley instructed in Bando - a Burmese martial arts system that incorporated animal styles.  My brother and I sparred incessantly inside the dojo and out.  It was commonplace to see us throwing down in the back yard in the summertime.  We attended class for about 2 years, but continued to train long after.

    After graduating high school in 1989, I took my first rafting trip down the Ocoee River/ with a friend and was instantly hooked.  I immediately began training as a river guide at Cripple Creek Expeditions.  A few months layer, I was a full fledged river guide taking several trips a day down the class III-IV river.  I guided 6 seasons on the Ocoee and went on to guide two seasons on the class V Uppler Gauly River in WV. I learned to kayak early on in my rafting career, and I paddled many creeks and rivers all over the Eastern US.  I was a regular on the Green River and was fortunate enough to have run Bear Creek on two occasions.  My kayaking partner Jason Murrell and I are credited with the first descent by kayak of Rock Creek on Chillhowee Mountain TN.  At the end of my rafting career, I was a trip leader responsible for the saftey of 80+ people per trip.  I picked up a wide variety of skills and training as a guide including first responder, swiftwater rescue, climbing/rappelling, etc.

    I met my then future wife in the fall of 1997.  We moved to Atlanta a year later so she could attend UGA while I took an IT job.  For several years, we frequently traveled to raft and kayak.  We started a family, and it became increasingly more difficult to travel for whitewater.  As a result, my lifestyle became increasingly more sedentary.  After 10 years of riding a desk, it was time for a change.  In October of 2008 I traded my kayak and paddle for a sword and a staff and began my Shinkendo journey under Sensei Nayef Smith.  I have since attended many local seminars taught by Kaiso Obata and Soke Obata as well as attended two instructor seminars at Honbu in LA.  I also lead regular weekly study group sessions in Shinkendo, Bojutsu, & Toyama Ryu.

    Since 1998, I have been employed by a prominent Atlanta university/hospital.  In my current role as Communications Architect, I am responsible for designing high speed enterprise class data and voice networks.  I am a huge advocate of health and fitness through scientifically proven natural methods i.e. Hunter Gatherer Diet and High Intensity Training .

  • JSoG FAQ

    • What are the startup requirements & costs?

      • No previous martial arts experience is required to start.  Students are required to watch one class first before signing up.  Students are required to have a uniform, practice weapon and pay first month's tuition.  This usually totals $165.

    • How much do lessons cost?

      • New student enrollment costs $165 which includes uniform, bokuto (wooden sword) and first month's tuition. Full time enrollment (unlimitted classes) costs $90 a month. An annual fee of $50 and is required prior to your first rank or certification.

        Students of Charles Minter Tae Kwon Do recieve a special discount. Please contact Sensei Smith for details.

    • Are there any age requirements?

      • The Shinkendo minimum age is 13 at JSoG.  Any student younger than 13 wishing to study will require a special entrance interview.

    • What are the Class Times?

      • Refer to the calendar link above for class and event schedules

  • Shinkendo Training

    This was a great article posted on Black Belt Magazine's website.  The link below will take you to the site with all of the pictures and technique pages.

    by Matthew Lynch

    "Samurai Training: Toshishiro Obata and the Five Rings of Shinkendo Japanese Swordsmanship"

    If you want to be a swordsman, you have your work cut out for you. For true samurai education, you must learn how to properly handle and maintain a real blade. You must master the basic body-sword mechanics and train safely and effectively in two-person and solo forms. You must study combat strategy, etiquette and the philosophy of the warrior — all elements of the samurai code of bushido. It’s a tall order, to be sure.

    For guidance in this quest for samurai education, which is one of the most popular in the martial arts, Black Belt turned to Toshishiro Obata, a renowned master in samurai training who now heads the International Shinkendo Federation in Los Angeles. Before delving into the essence of samurai education and samurai training according to Obata, some background information will help put things in perspective.

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  • Shinkendo Training

    Training at Japanese Swordsmanship of Gwinnett is traditional, emphasizing Reiho (Etiquette), discipline, and safety through Shugyo (serious training).  Training starts with Shinkendo, learning the safe and respectful handling of the Japanese sword through practice with a bokuto (wooden sword).  The shinken (sword) is arguably the most prominent symbol of the Japanese martial tradition.  A Shinkendoka (Shinkendo students) must learn to handle the sword with dignity, establishing the foundations for safe practice and understanding the culture, traditions and origins of japanese swordsmanship.  Balance, coordination, strength, speed & flexibility are developed through detail oriented, hard training emphasizing practical movement and classical martial arts skills.

    Visit our About Us section for links to Shinkendo.com and more information about Shinkendo training.