Tactical Studies Group

Tactical Studies Group

5.0 (2)
1 employee
35 years in business

About this pro

For a detailed description please go to www.tacticalstudiesgroup.com. Thanks.

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New York, NY 10025
Email verified
Phone verified

2 Reviews


  • Mark

    I've been a student of James Berkley for 10+ years. Jim offers a comprehensive program of instruction in various martial arts techniques, with a focus on practicality in real life. His experience in the field is extensive and diverse, and he is able to break down techniques in a very clear and systemic fashion. I would recommend Jim without hesitation.

  • Dom Genzano

    I've trained with Jim Berkley for well over a decade. His instruction has been instrumental in advancing my understanding of martial art and my skills. I would strongly recommend Mr. Berkley to anyone who is interested in developing strong capability in martial art. He has an extensive background in, and understanding of, a broad range of martial arts systems, and a talent for teaching this to others.


What is your typical process for working with a new student?

Introduce and discuss subject matter. This may include any or all of the six elements of the curriculum, which are: Philosophy, Policy, Logistics, Strategy, Tactics and skills. It is a continuing process of Q&A and R&D.

Assign and discuss reading.

Explain methods and skills as they arise. Demonstrate at slow, moderate, fast pace; light, moderate, high power. Break movement down into component parts. Direct and correct student in imitating movement.

Link parts together to produce one move. Link moves together to produce solo sequences. Same process with partnered sequences to produce drills. The student proceeds to memorize the drill, learn the drill, train the drill, understand the drill. 

The instructor then assists the student to "mine" the drill by finding and exploiting its various opportunities for tactical and mechanical application.

The instructor assists the student in learning to "defeat" the drill, by working through counters and recounters to all its applications.

Eventually, the student learns to discard the drill, by understanding the fundamental underlying principles that drive all the drills and applications, so that appropriate, efficient, spontaneous engagement becomes possible.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

Fifty one years of study, training and practice; forty years of teaching.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

One on one: $100.00/lesson.

Pairs of partners: $50.00/lesson each client.

Small group $100.00/month.

Private clients training twice a month or more, have access to the group class free of charge.

How did you get started teaching?

I was assigned to teach beginners by my teachers when I was a trainee. Eventually I was assigned to teach classes and private clients without supervision. Later it was suggested to me at various times by both teachers and trainees, that I open a school. I was reluctant to do this for many years. Eventually, for various reasons, it seemed feasible to take up teaching as a profession.

What types of students have you worked with?

Civilian, law enforcement, military; all races, classes, sexes, professions.

No small children, please. Young persons capable of training with adults are welcome with permission from parents or guardians.

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

Sorry; I do not understand the meaning of this question. 

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Seek compatibility, clarity of communication, courtesy, patience, attention to detail, ability to demonstrate technical skill, flexibility of mind, willingness to answer technical questions, willingness to admit ignorance and to seek answers to those questions which the teacher is not immediately prepared to answer.

Every time one says "I don't know," there is an opportunity to learn. Embarassment at ignorance; fear of scorn, is one of the greatest obstacles to learning. To acknowledge ignorance without fear is not only the first step to the acquisition of information, understanding and capability, but to the achievement of good character and conduct.

Therefore, the instructor should never rely on negative reinforcement as a means of teaching. When possible, observe these qualities also in the teacher's students. An old Japanese adage says: "Rather than spend five years training, spend five years searching for the right teacher."

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

What are your objectives? What are you willing and able to do to achieve these objectives? Is martial art the appropriate means for pursuing these ends?

Can you afford the time and money required? Are you willing to accept and to overcome inconvenience, discomfort, pain, injury, fear and frustration?

Can you sustain effort and concentration in the long term? Training can be fun and satisfying; but it can also be boring, gruelling, exasperating and dangerous. Are you able to accept all the components of study and training in order to achieve your objectives?

Adachi Masahiro said, "Martial art is like a bird with two wings. One wing is theory; one wing is practice. Without both wings, the bird cannot fly." Are you able to put aside your preconceptions and assumptions in order to learn?

Siddartha Gautama said, "Believe nothing on the authority of teachers or priests. Accept as true and as the guide for your life, only that which advances your own well being and that of others." Are you willing to take responsibility for your own convictions, actions and speech?

Martial art involves matters of life and death. It will not do to imitate and repeat mindlessly, the actions and words of your instructor. Are you willing to work you intellect as hard as you work your body?

These and many other things must be considered carefully, whether before, during or after engaging a particular instructor.

The Japanese people have a saying: "Learning continues until death." Socrates said, "The unexamined life is not worth living." Are you willing to learn from all experience and to subject yourself to critical scrutiny and discipline permanently as a matter of policy?

Are you willing to take the trouble to put principle into practice; to govern your own life methodically according to philosophic, strategic and tactical principles?

An old proverb says, "For want of a nail a kingdom was lost." Are you willing to take responsibility for attending routinely to many small details all day, every day, which may have serious implications for the safety and well being of yourself and those near you?

Without this sort of self discipline and thoughtful attention, all the fighting skill in the world will be worse than useless.