Our Instructors and Senior Students
Greg Kowalski - head instructor
Mr. Greg Kowalski is the head instructor at New England Ninjutsu in Wallingford, CT.
Greg first became involved in the martial arts in the early 1970's and began training in Budo Taijutsu (Ninjutsu) under Stephen K Hayes in 1981. Prior to and concurrent with this he trained in several schools and styles including; Aikido, Tae Kwon Do and Washin Ryu Karate do with world-famous Karate Master, Hidy Ochiai.
After attending the first Bujinkan Taikai (training festival) in Japan held at Yumoa Mura in 1983, Greg became one of the first and only foreigners to live and train in Japan with the Grandmaster.
Greg moved to Japan to immerse himself in long-term, intensive training with Dr. Hatsumi and the senior instructors of the Bujinkan. Those who were involved at the time know that the eighties saw a veritable explosion of interest in the art, with countless people traveling to Noda city for one or two-week visits. In those early years, before and as the "Ninja Boom" was reaching it's peak, Greg was one of only two Americans living in Japan specifically to train with the Grandmaster. During that time he became one of the first Americans/Foreigners and the first from the Northeast to receive Dan (black-belt) ranking in the art. He was also one of the first to pass the Godan (5th-degree) test in the Hombu Dojo. While the resident Gaijin (foreign) community had grown by the time Greg returned to America, there was still only a small handful that had made the commitment to live and train in Japan.
Besides his experiences and accomplishments in the Bujinkan, during his stay in Japan he became involved with a number of other Japanese Martial Arts and Groups including membership in the Satsuki-kai Naginata-do dojo. He fought in several tournaments as a team member and captain on Japanese karate and kempo teams including representing Chiba prefecture in Goju Ryu Karate championships, as well as a member of the three-man Prefectural Championship, Shorinji Kempo team.
Greg returned to the U.S. in the summer of 1989 and began teaching a small group in his hometown of Wallingford, Connecticut. He has taught seminars and workshops around the U.S. and in Canada, teaching the art as he learned it in Japan and helping to correct misinterpretations about the art, as well as many of it's teachers and practitioners. Greg continues to update his training as often as possible, traveling back to Japan, attending Tai Kai and hosting visits from some of the senior and most knowledgeable practitioners from Japan.
Steve Suchy - 4th Dan (yondan)
Steve is a fourth degree black belt under Mr. Greg Kowalski.
Steve began his training at NEN in 1990 under the instruction of Mr. Kowalski.
Steve served in the United States Marine Corps from 1975 to 1981 and retired as a Staff Sgt. Steve was a member of the North Haven (CT) Police Dept from 1982 to 2010. During his service as a police officer, he had been a member of the SWAT team since 1985 and was the Senior Dept Training Officer for Defensive Tactics, SWAT tactics and various lethal and non-lethal weaponry.
His additional martial arts background includes 12 years of Karate and 16 years training in and teaching Aikido, in which he has a 4th degree Black Belt.
Peter Carbutti - 4th Dan (yondan)
Peter is a fourth degree black belt under Mr. Greg Kowalski.
Peter began his training at NEN in 1993 under the instruction of Mr. Kowalski and has attended countless training functions in the USA and went to Japan in 1995 including training with Muramatsu Sensei of the Myofu-An Dojo. His martial arts background prior to NEN includes Shotokan karate in his youth and he also currently trains and competes in BJJ (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu) at Soulcraft BJJ in Hamden where he is a brown belt under Brad Wolfson.
Peter has been instructing youth classes at NEN since 2000 and brings excitement and patience to his teaching of the martial arts. His love for the art and genuine concern for all of the students shows in his teaching.
Chris Sullivan - 2nd Dan (nidan)
Chris is a second degree black belt under Mr. Greg Kowalski.
Chris began training at NEN in 2002 under the instruction of Mr. Kowalski and has trained with various senior Bujinkan Instructors as well as attending the New Jersey Taikai in 2003.
His prior martial arts background includes Tae Kwon do and Kenpo and he has been training in Toyama Ryu Iaido since 2005.