Shihan Robert Nichols has been studying martial arts for 24 years. Mr. Nichols currently holds 10 Black Belts from various schools and in different styles of Martial Arts. He is a fifth-degree black belt in TaeKwonDo as well as a 7th degree Black Belt in Ninjitsu. He is currently the highest ranking SAMI Knife Fighting Instructor in America and in 2017 became the first sanctioned SAMI Training Center owner in America.
Mr. Nichols has run Union’s UTA for over 15 years. Mr. Nichols is a four time New Jersey state Top Ten champion and has won three national competitions. He is the heir to the Fudo Myo Ninpo ryu; whose Grand Master bestowed upon Mr. Nichols the honor of “Shihan,” Master instructor of the enlightened ways. In 2012 Mr. Nichols was inducted into the United States Martial Arts Hall Of Fame as “Instructor of the year,” and inducted again in 2013 in the category of “Ninjutsu Master.” He has recently been inducted to the Action Magazine Hall of Fame for his contributions to the martial arts and the USA Martial Arts Hall of Fame as International Instructor of the Year.
When not running the academy, Mr. Nichols spends his days in the local elementary and secondary schools volunteering his time teaching the Bully Busters Program as well as various other non-violent conflict resolution skills. He has taught the Bully Busters Program to every grade in every school in the Union Public School district as well as an after school program at Saint James Private School in Springfield for over ten years. On average this program is taught to 5000 children in the Union and Essex county areas. He also works with the D.A.R.E. program affiliated with the public school system. Mr. Nichols has received numerous awards and accolades from various sources including the Mayor of Union Township, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the March of Dimes Foundation, The NJ Center for Outreach and Services to the Autism Community (COSAC), the US Marshals, the Union Board of Education as well as volunteering for the National Night Out Against Crime.