Mamoru Martial Arts is celebrating opening the doors at their new location, 155 East 2nd North Studio B in the Rexburg Arts Center, this Friday at noon.

Mamoru Martial Arts is the newest dojo in Rexburg and the only one teaching Judo, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Karate. They offer lessons to every age and have two other locations, another in Rexburg and one in Rigby.

The activities will last throughout the day with music, fitness activities, games and martial arts demonstrations.

Two people grappling in jiu-jitsu.

Two students grapple during practice. Photo credit: Cat Menlove

All ages are invited to come watch or participate.

“I have never had physiatrists call and say, ‘This kid needs to do football or basketball,'” said Alexander Greenfield, a teacher at the dojo and adjunct professor at Brigham Young University-Idaho. “But many have said, ‘This kid needs to do martial arts.'”

Greenfield is a black belt in judo and karate and is working towards achieving his purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

He explained how he loves seeing people change and gain confidence, especially after going through traumatic events and by their participation in martial arts he aims to provide an affordable option for everyone to experience this positive change.

Several BYU-I students participate on scholarship at the dojo.

Lessons at the dojo begin with stretching, mild conditioning and some basic drills. Participants then get to spar with one another in a controlled setting to practice technique.

A dojo featuring several pairs of sparing students.

Students practice while Greenfield overlooks. Photo credit: Cat Menlove

Mamoru is especially unique because it offers Judo and JiuJitsu training in tandem.

“Judo is a Japanese martial art that focuses on throws and grappling techniques to subdue opponents…The aim is to throw the opponent to the ground with force or hold them down for a certain amount of time,” according to Olympics.com.

Judo first appeared in the Olympics in 1964, was excluded from the 1968 games, but then was reinstated.

Inclusion in the Olympics helps standardize the practices and procedures for a sport, Greenfield explained.

The sport draws participants from a variety of nationalities. Mamoru Martial Arts currently has participants from the homelands of both sports, Brazil and Japan, creating a diverse dojo where each member brings a myriad of skills to share.

Smiling judo students.

Students pose after practice with their instructor. Photo credit: Cat Menlove

Three experienced instructors teach at Mamoru, including Greenfield.

Ned Sands, a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, has been studying Jiu-Jitsu for over 17 years. He is also a retired Captain in the United States Navy.

Ryan Christensen has studied martial arts for 20 years and is a black belt in multiple styles of Karate.

Rexburg’s newest dojo offers over 57 collective years of experience.

For more information, visit the Mamoru website.