Pathways Dojo – Our Story

About Pathways Dojo

About Pathways Dojo Healing, Fitness and Martial Arts

At Pathways Dojo, we believe that the path towards transformation and self-improvement is an integral part of both the martial arts and the healing arts. The name “Pathways” grew out of the desire to fuse these arts and support the many paths to self-growth. 

Mission Statement

The mission of Pathways Dojo is to encourage and guide individuals toward their fullest potential physically, mentally,and spiritually. Through the discipline, depth, and dynamism of the martial arts, we seek to provide quality instruction and products that are geared towards the development of these essential human elements. Our programs are designed for individuals across a broad spectrum of capability, from children, to fitness and law enforcement professionals, to those simply seeking greater confidence and the knowledge of self-awareness and self-defense. Above all, we strive to accomplish our goals within a safe environment where patience, community, and mutual respect are core values.

Pathways Dojo History

Pathways Dojo began in early 2013 with the intention of creating a dojo (school) that would combine the martial and healing arts under one roof. Our vision—to emphasize the healing arts in conjunction with the martial arts—stems from a desire to accentuate a more holistic approach to the warrior stereotype. We realized that, especially in the context of a modern society, the path towards self-improvement was a necessary developmental goal of both of these arts.

Training began with Ninjutsu classes (the art of the ninja) and Qi Gong, as well as workshops and private studies in various arts. Classes were held in several different locations until, after a lengthy search for a permanent home, Pathways settled in its current location in early 2015. In our new location we have a large, fully padded training space and a smaller room for healing arts and private instruction. In addition to our programs in Ninjutsu and Qi Gong, we are now a Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Certified Training Center.

We have also developed an exciting new Ninjas in Nature program designed to get adults and children out into nature, training in martial arts, bushcraft, nature awareness, and traditional survival skills. Our Ninjas in Nature training takes place in the beautiful Santa Cruz mountains.

As Pathways Dojo continues to grow, we remain true to our mission: to help all individuals on their path toward their personal best. 







Meet the Instructors-Bujinkan

Mark Roemke

Known for his contagious positive energy and enthusiasm to live life to the fullest, Sensei Mark Roemke has been passionate about martial arts since before he started formal training at age 7. As a youngster he was the New York State Tae Kwon Do champion and began study of Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu as a young adult. He currently holds a 15th Dan rank with a license to teach from Grand Master Masaaki Hatsumi. Sensei Roemke believes strongly in keeping an open mind when it comes to martial arts training. As a result, he continues to learn new techniques and styles whenever possible and incorporate them into his teaching. His open-minded “no ego” philosophy has enabled him to study extensively in numerous other martial arts including Enshin Itto Ryu Battojutsu (the art of sword drawing and cutting), Kenpo Kung Fu, DeCuerdas Eskrima, Seibukan Jujutsu,and Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

As an instructor, Sensei Roemke has a gift for conveying the knowledge and skills he’s acquired through decades of enthusiastic study and training. Those who know Sensei Roemke will tell you that he is always stoked with a true passion for learning, sharing,and life in general. Most recently, through a cooperative effort with a community of gifted mentors who share Sensei Roemke’s belief that connecting people, especially children, to nature is vital for true health and harmony, the 18 “lost” skills of the ninja are now being taught at Pathways Dojo through the Ninjas in Nature program.  

To learn more about the “Art of the Ninja” as taught by Sensei Mark Roemke, click here.


Paul Del Mazo 

Paul has been training in multiple martial arts for many years and holds Black Belts in Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu, Seibukan Jujutsu, Enshin Itto Ryu Battojutsu. He is know for his precision of movement and is a constant believer in studying the basics. 


Brian Alexakis 

Brian Alexakis first started training under Sensei Mark Roemke with the student group at UCSC in 2006.  In Brian's words "I've been addicted ever since".


Shaine Pollard 

Shaine loves to teach and is a constant student of many different studies of ninjutsu. He is a great father and has been to Japan to train with Hatsumi Sensei in person. He will show you how to make rope weapons with his vast knowledge of Knots. He is an avid hockey player and loves to Bang on the mats with people who love to train hard.


Brandon Brown

Brandon is a really hard working Ninja to the core. His relentless study of the arts ancient knowledge brings depth to his classes. He has a degree in anthropology which is why research of the old weapons and techniques comes naturally to him. He is a great instructor and a master at the Rokushaku Bo.


Kyle Connally

Kyle Connally, has been studying martial arts for 20+ years with experience in Kenpo, Aikido, Jujitsu, Filipino stick and knife fighting, Bujinkan Ninjutsu, as well as Chi Kung energy work.  He has been studying Tai Chi Chuan for 15 years and is familiar with many different family styles.  





Check out our Bujinkan Classes!

Santa Cruz Bujinkan Ninjutsu Classes

Pathways Dojo is proud to be a Gracie Certified Training Center!

Gracie Certified Training Center

Find out more...

What Our Students Say

  • The Ninjutsu classes have taught me balance and patience. My confidence is stronger and I no longer feel afraid at school. – Joseph, 9 yrs.

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2724 Soquel Ave, Ste D/E • Santa Cruz, CA 95062

(831) 465-8236 • [email protected]
(831) 332-9876 • [email protected]