In 1984, James Loriega founded the New York Ninpokai, a training facility which soon came to be regarded as “the premier academy for the traditional ninjutsu in NYC.” Loriega began his formal martial arts training in 1967 with the late Grandmaster Ronald Duncan, the first non-Japanese to teach the ninja arts in the United States—and the acknowledged Father of American Ninjutsu. Though he later trained with other Japanese ninjutsu masters, it was from Duncan-sensei that Loriega learned the myriad strategies, tactics, and disciplines that compise ninjutsu.
During the mid-80s, he began writing extensively around that same time, and from 1985 to 1995 served as Technical Consultant and Contributing Editor for Ninja magazine, an international publication dedicated exclusively to ninjutsu. His overseas travels to teach ninjutsu also exposed Loriega to the western martial arts of Europe and the Mediterranean, and his subsequent training in those arts led to instructor ranks in other disciplines.
In January of 2002, Loriega was recognized as a master in western arts by the International Masters-at-Arms Federation (IMAF), based in Milan, Italy. The IMAF, now dissolved, was an organization of professional instructors of Historical and Classical edged weapons. In February of 2018, he was recognized by the Martial Arts University’s President, Michael DePaquale, as a Martial Arts Icon—an individual who is symbolic of an idea and leaves a memorable mark on the lives of those he teaches. In April of 2018, he was recognized as a Ninjutsu Scholar and inducted by President Dan McEaddy into the International Circle of Masters (ICM).
Loriega holds instructor ranks in Ninjutsu, Jujutsu, and Aikijujutsu, as well as in a number of Western martial arts. He has published over a dozen books on martial arts and martial culture, and his extensive writings have appeared in mainstream martial arts publications such as Black Belt, Inside Kung-Fu, Ninja, and Tactical Knives.