About Shihan Amato - What We Teach - Chief Amato - Chief Amato in the News - Directions
Grand Master Victor “Buddy” Amato is a 10th degree Black belt in Karate and the Chief of Police for the Monmouth County SPCA. Beginning his karate training at the age of 4, he has achieved black belts in multiple martial arts and innovated a system recognized internationally as Amato’s Goju Ryu Karate.

Shihan Amato has owned and operated his Karate School since 1972. He opened his first dojo at the age of 18, when he was still a student at Keansburg High School and Captain of the Varsity Football Team. He was also selected for the all shore, all county team as well as track, tennis and basketball.

He was the first person to promote children to black belt level in the Jersey shore area, and has been in business for over Forty years. Shihan Amato owns and operates not only the largest Karate and Weapons school in the state of NJ, but one of the largest dojos in the world.

During the Vietnam War Shihan Amato served as the personal body guard to the Children of Cambodian President Lon Nol. He not only protected Dura and Rith Lon Nol, but also instructed them in Karate.

He has appeared in motion pictures and on television, and produced his own cable TV show "Amato's Fight Nights." He was the only martial artist to ever put on half time shows at Giants Stadium . His Demo Team performs at events across the State of NJ.

A businessman who gives back to the community, he has generated hundreds of thousands of dollars for all types of charities and fund raisers for sick children.

Shihan Amato has five daughters: Danielle, Nicole, Lauren, Samantha and Raven. Almost all of them are black belts.

In addition to being one of the very few to attain the level of 10th Degree Black Belt, Grand Master Amato has been inducted into 23 halls of fame and is on the board of directors for most of them.

His life story has appeared in all major Martial arts publications including:

  • Black Belt Magazine
  • Karate Illustrated
  • World Karate
  • M.A.P.R.O. Magazine
  • Who’s Who Magazine

In the past, Shihan Amato was also a highly decorated full time Police officer. He is a member of the elite Honor Legion of Police for the State of New Jersey, honored for saving lives and heroism in the line of duty. He graduated Top Gun out of the DOD Police academy and was selected as Captain of Cadets at the Middlesex County Police Academy. He also won the P.T.C. Police’s Training Commission Award, the highest award top contenders can receive. In 2002, Shihan Amato was appointed to the Sheriffs Advisory Board Council.

In 2003 Shihan Amato protected the President of the NAACP during a protest in Keansburg, NJ. For his actions, he was awarded the NAACP award and featured in NAACP publications during Black History Month.

9 11 Memorial

    Shihan Amato erected the world’s first monument in memory of the victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. The large granite memorial stands in front of Amato’s Karate and Weapons Academy in Hazlet, NJ. It is dedicated to all who lost their lives in the attacks and bears the names of two dojo parents .

    For several years Shihan Amato wrote a weekly martial arts column, "WORDS FROM THE DOJO," for the Courier newspaper. He has published a martial arts book on the Karate Obi/belt and also created a DVD on katas and forms.

    Today Grand Master Amato continues to own and operate his Karate and Weapons Academy, while serving as Chief of Police for the Monmouth County SPCA. He is regularly featured in the news for his tireless enforcement of animal cruelty laws, bringing countless offenders to justice.

What We Teach

At our NJ-based Karate School / Martial Arts and Weapons Academy, we teach numerous styles including:

  • Goju-Ryu Karate - Japanese for "Hard-soft style", Goju-Ryu karate utilizes a combination of both hard and soft techniques. Hard techniques include striking attacks (kicks/punches) with the softer, blending/circular motions for blocking, throws and the like. We also provide sparring classes for children and adults alike.

  • Aikido - Aikido is the Japanese martial art that was created by Morihei Ueshiba. It focuses upon using one's own personal energy to gain the upper hand in combat and incorporates a plethora of dynamic, circular, smooth motions. We offer both adult and kids Aikido classes. Our kids' Aikido class is one of the most popular programs in the dojo!

  • Nunchaku - Nunchaku (sometimes called "nun-chucks") is a flailing weapon comprised of two sticks that are held together by a rope or chain. We offer beginner and advanced nunchaku classes. All weapons used in class are comprised of rubber or foam.

  • Kenjutsu - Kenjutsu is the art of sword techniques in battle. Kenjutsu students utlize both the bokken (wooden training sword) and the Katana (live steel sword) when learning techniques and katas. Kendo and Iado are both derived from Kenjutsu.

  • Kendo - Kendo is the non-combat interpretation of Kenjustu. It is a modern Japanese sport derived from traditional swordsmanship. Kendo employs the Shinai , a bamboo training sword, for sparring matches.

  • Iaido - Iaido differs from Kendo in that it's a precise Martial Arts discipline that focuses upon katas only. It is the non-battle interpretation of Iaijustu (the art of unsheathing the sword, striking to kill and end the fight, and then sheathing it again...all in once stance).

  • Katas - Katas date back to the earliest styles of Martial Arts. Katas are a set sequence of combinations and movements to simulate a multiple-attackers fighting scenario. Katas range from beginner to advanced, and come from various styles including Goju-Ryu, Ryobu-Kai, and weapons.

  • Bo-staff - The Bo Staff is a traditional kabudo weapon developed from a farming tool. Our Okinawan style of bo staff implores both strong offensive and defensive techniques skillfully interwoven in tradition and more modern self-defense scenarios.

  • Escrima - Escrima is both a Japanese and Philipino style of stickfighting. The styles range from one handed, two handed, and stick and knife forms. All three are offered at Amato's.

  • Sai - The Sai is a pointed, dagger-like, metal baton with two curved prongs projecting from the handle. A traditional Okinawan weapon, the sai is typically used in pairs. A pair of Sai can be used to block weapon attacks, strike and impale opponents and break swords.

  • Cane Class - A simple walking cane can be used as a very effective self-defense tool. It uses striking, grappling, and take-downs to render an opponent helpless. Best of all, a cane can be taken anywhere, even on an airplane.

As you can see, our offerings are many and diverse. Please check out our schedule to see what works best for you!

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Owned and Maintained by Amato's Karate & Weapons Academy

589 Palmer Ave, Hazlet Township (W. Keansburg), NJ 07734
Serving the Karate and Martial Arts Needs of the Middletown,
Hazlet, Holmdel, Keyport, Keansburg, and Monmouth County Areas
(732) 671-9555
Directions to our Karate Martial Arts studio