Ventura County Ninjutsu School


The Todai Clan – Ventura County Ninjutsu School

Todai in Japanese means “lighthouse” (lit. “Big Light”). When Shihan Matthew Woodard founded Todai Dojo in 2003, he chose this name as a metaphor for “guiding others in the darkness” as a lighthouse does for ships at sea – keeping them safe. Shihan Woodard felt that this martial art, Ninjutsu, helped people become guiding lights to others; they became “warrior protectors” to guide others out of the darkness. He felt that this was the perfect name for his Ninjutsu school.


What Sets Todai Bujinkan Dojo Apart?

Our History

Since it’s founding in 2003, Todai has been home to thousands of students in Ventura County over the years; some adults, some families, some just kids. In fact, several of the students that were here in the beginning still train to this day in our Ninjutsu School (and some teach classes as well). This has allowed the lineage of Ninjutsu to continue and has created it’s own traditions through the “Todai Clan”. Like in Japan, these arts are passed through family clans, and we very much consider those who train with us as part of our family.

In 2012, Shihan Woodard took the opportunity to become part of one of the most elite executive protection agencies in the country (possibly the world), taking him away from being able to teach full-time at Todai. When faced with this, one of his Uchi Deshi – Shidoshi Scott Hamilton – elected to purchase the Ninjutsu school and  continue Todai Dojo in his abscence – keeping the Todai lineage alive. With the help of the other personal students of Shihan Woodard, Todai continues to shine it’s light of confidence through practical self-defense, adhering to the values that Todai was built upon.

Our Training

When it comes to what we teach, the rule of our Ninjutsu school is “it has to be effective for self-defense”. While studying martial arts has a wide variety of benefits – confidence, discipline, fitness, etc., and you will find those things here – it is most important to us the that the training gives students the ability to protect themselves. By doing this, students build a real sense of self-confidence – not a false sense of security. This is also why we focus on our specific martial art, Ninjutsu, because we feel it is the most effective martial art in terms of self-protection and self-defense.

Our Values

These core values are how we keep the Todai light burning bright and guide us in all that we do as a Martial Arts school, a family, and as a clan:


We will always be honest with eachother, no matter the consequence. We believe as being as transparent as possible in how we operate, and in our motivations.


We are loyal to our students and all those that support us. No matter the circumstance, we believe in putting our students first.


We believe we have a responsibility to our students and to the community as a whole to protect each other. We have the responsibility to make the world a safer place.


We believe in the security of our students – secure in their safety as well as secure in their way of life. What ever you may be faced with, you should feel secure that you are capable of dealing with it, and that you have a whole community behind you to support you.

Our Promise

We promise that if you decide to become a part of Todai, that we will do everything we can to help you become a guiding light to others, to give you the skills to protect yourself and those around you, to give you the confidence to face life’s challenges,  and to adhere to our values of Honesty, Loyalty, Responsibility and Security in everything we do.

We hope that you decide to join us, become that guiding light to others and discover how to become the greater you.


Try a Class for Free

See if this is what you’ve been looking for by being a guest in one of our classes.