Howard Popkin Joe Brogna, Head Instructors

About Popkin-Brogna Jujitsu Center in West Hempstead, New York

Meet Joe Brogna & Howard Popkin

Owner and Chief Instructor at
Popkin-Brogna Jujitsu Center in West Hempstead
4th Dan

Howard Popkin began his training in Goshin Budo Jujitsu in 1979, under the tutelage of Jeffrey D . Lovering. He continued to train under Lovering until 1992. While training under Lovering, Howard was exposed to many of the nations' top Jujitsu instructors, but it was the Daitoryu Aikijujitsu Kodokai of Roy Goldberg and Kiyama Hayawo that Howard found most interesting.

In 1986, with Mr. Lovering's approval, Howard began to study Daitoryu Kodokai under Roy Goldberg. Howard studied diligently with the Goldberg and Kiyama in the Kodokai until 1992.

After a few years of training with training partners, Howard realized that he missed the Daitoryu and sought out one of the world's great practitioners, Okamoto Seigo of the Daitoryu Aikijujutsu Roppokai and immediately became a student of Okamoto.

Joe Brogna began his training in Goshin Budo Jujitsu in 1991, under the tutelage of Robert Hansen. He continued to train under Hansen until December 2006, when he began construction of the Popkin - Brogna Self Defense Center.

In 1998, Howard Popkin brought Okamoto Sensei, Headmaster of the Daito Ryu Aikijujitsu Roppokai, to NY to teach a seminar. At that seminar, Howard Popkin was introduced to Joe Brogna. Joe was immediately intrigued with the skills and techniques of Okamoto. During that same seminar, Joe had the opportunity to work with Ole Kingston, Okamoto's top non-Japanese student. Ole's ability to off balance Joe at will, regardless of being paraplegic, sealed his decision to pursue the Roppokai. Later that year, Joe joined the New York Roppokai study group, under the leadership of Howard Popkin. At that time, the study group was in Howard's garage and classes were held 4 days a week.

Okamoto would come to New York 3-4 times a year to teach his art. These in depth seminars took place over 4-7 days, lasting 3 hours per night on the weekdays and 7-8 hours on the weekend. When Howard Popkin moved to Japan in 2000 for 3 months, Joe Brogna assisted running by the New York Roppokai branch.

In October 2009, at the suggestion of Howard, Joe attended an internal energy seminar taught by Dan Harden. Joe and Howard found Dan's approach to internal energy development to be an essential addition to their studies.

In October 2010, Sensei Popkin & Sensei Brogna respectfully resigned from the Roppokai due to political reasons. Later that same year, Popkin and Brogna began laying the foundation of what would become the Daito Ryu Aikijujitsu Ginjukai.

Our dojo here in West Hempstead, NY is a brand new/ traditional styled facility that incorporates the best of old world traditional values into a modern package suitable for everyone. Popkin-Brogna Jujitsu Center is a family oriented school that offers classes for student's ages 3-76 years old (that is our oldest current student). Our classes are high-energy, fun filled, and both mentally and physically challenging. Our goal is to provide you with a solid foundation of self-defense skills, based on traditional and modern Jujitsu systems that are street applicable and effective.

Looking for a Kids Martial Arts program or an Adult Martial Arts program? Look no further, Popkin-Brogna Jujitsu Center in West Hempstead, NY has something for you! All you have to do is click on a program that most interests you and have the opportunity to sign-up right here on our site for one of our awesome web specials. Be sure to also check out our Birthday Parties that we offer here at our West Hempstead Martial Arts facility. Also feel free to give us a call directly if you have any other questions or concerns at (516) 489-1278. Our staff looks forward to speaking with you soon and having you come be part of our West Hempstead Martial Arts family!

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