Our Student Online Reviews


June 2, 2017- Google Review:Great school for adults and children, Shihan has the experience and teaching abilities to guide anyone who is looking for a great self-defense style. He works great with kids, my daughter's look forward to class every week. He keeps it fun and age appropriate so they don't become bored. I would 100% recommend this school to both adults and children.

Mrs. McLean

May 5, 2016 - Google Review: Professional experience, gentle approach with the children and good results. This type of martial arts teaches children and adults self-defense in real-life situations. These classes could eventually save you or your child's life.

Facebook review: Daniel Glover reviewed Southern School of Martial Arts and Rivers Edge Bujinkan Dojo with 5 stars on February 21, 2017and left this comment. This is a great place to learn real self-defense, both of my girls have been going here for the last 3 months and they love it. Mark Murdock is great with the kids. I would highly recommend to other parents looking for a place for the kid's to learn martial arts.

Facebook review: Ted Surette reviewed Southern School of Martial Arts and Rivers Edge Bujnkan Dojo with 5 stars on June 27, 2017


Facebook review: Debbie Squires Poole reviewed Southern School of Martial Arts and Rivers Edge Bujinkan Dojo with 5 stars on May 24, 2017.



Facebook review: Beth Kuhaneck reviewed Southern Schoolof Martial Arts and Rivers Edge Bujinkan Dojo with 5 stars and left this comment. This is an excellent school. My daughters have learned a lot about different types of martial arts, self defense, and many other life lessons. I'm grateful for the impact this has had on their lives.


Facebook Review: Blessed BGod reviewed Southern School of Martial Arts and Rivers Edge Bujinkan Dojo with 5 stars on July 12, 2016 and left this comment. If you want good, solid instruction in self-defense with a professional atmosphere, then bring yourself or your children to McGee's Crossroad to work with Shihan Mark Murdock. He's gentle with the children and pushes the adults and teens to have a rock-solid knowledge of defending oneself in a bad situation. It could possibly save your life one day.


YP.com review, Mrs. M. July 12, 2016, The Instructor has thorough knowledge of self defense and teaches the children and adults real-life situations but with a gental approach.


Facebook Review: Roxanne Valdez reviewed Southern School of Martial Arts and Rivers Edge Bujinkan Dojo with 5 star, on July 30, 2015


Facebook Review: Amy Lowman reviewed Southern School of Martial Arts and Rivers Edge Bujinkan Dojo with 5 stars, on July 29, 2015



When my son was six, my wife and I looked for a martial arts program that would teach loyalty, honor, discipline, and proper techniques to help my child properly defend himself. I looked at all martial art programs within the Cary, Fuquay-Varina, Apex, Clayton and surrounding areas. 
After months of looking we found Mark Murdock, the Southern School of Martial Arts, and started my son in the Kobushi-Do program. My son has been in the Kabushi-Do program for four years and it has provided my child with the necessary skills to be successful later in life.
Mark Murdock and his staff are professionals that inspire children and adults. The values and techniques learned at the Southern School of Martial Arts has truly been an awarding experience. 


YP.com review: Mrs M. 07/12/2016Older reviews below:


Older Reviews Below:

Provided by YP.com

Excellent Martial Arts program. I have been attending this class for a while and I feel that it has given me enough skill so that if I had to use it I could. Luckily, I haven't needed to. Shihan really places a lot of emphasis on the basics. He then builds up from that. In his class you really get to meet the mat, so you really learn to fall well. Overall Shihan is a good instructor and a great guy.

    Great place

    Provided by YP.com
    I have trained at this school for 6 months and I love every minute of it. We start with strong foundation of basics and build a large and flowing natural feeling library of techniques to use. I have never been to another dojo that trains the students to react instinctively to real life situations. I am also very impressed that we don't separate the higher belts from the lower belts, we all train together. We all learn together, and we all get along very well. This is a great place to bring you children, the Kobushi-do class is awesome. I strongly recommend every one is interested in self defense try this School.

    Great Dojo and Great instructor!

    Provided by YP.com
    I train there as time permits. Shihan Mark Murdock is a very good instructor both in Manabi-Masho JuiJitsu and Ninjutsu. He allows students to try things on their own and figure out how the techniques works for them. He is patient and willing to correct or improve your technique. I have trained in Karate, Aikido, Judo, and JuiJitsu before. His method of teaching is the most realistic I have ever found. His methods instruct you in what to avoid on the Street as strategies and why. He stresses using whatever is available for locks. His knife defense teachings are based on not staying there to get cut. Escape, evade, surprise, and generally, do not get cut! Practical adaptation of available resources, such as a plastic shopping bag, serve as weapons as well. The use of your jacket to escape. Shihan teaches single and multiple attacker situations. Fear is utilized to enable us, not to paralyze us. I have gotten to the point where having somebody attacking me in the less than 3 foot range no longer scares me. His stress on correct falls works to drive your fear away. The ground is a friend, but not the ultimate destination.

    The major advantage that I have seen with his school is the training to not allow your mind to block what you need to do. His emphasis on flow and be open to whatever happens stops the predictability. Not every defense or offense is appropriate or applicable every time. Sometimes simply escaping the best. He incorporates that philosophy at every stage. The training is rigorous and effective. It has improved my movement and my fluidity beyond that of my prior training.

    In all, I highly recommend this dojo and instructor.

    The Real Deal

    Provided by YP.com
    I've been a student here for a couple of years. Having trained previously in Tang Soo Do and Kung Fu, I can tell you Shihan Murdock is the real deal. A good friend of mine who teaches Ninjutsu at another school knows Shihan Murdock and vouches for the system here. The Manabi-Masho is particularly effective and street ready. And I really like the fact that I'm not training with a bunch of kids in the adult classes, though they do have plenty of kids in other classes.
A Great Place to Learn Morals, Values, and Self-Defense all at One Location

***** Provided by dojolocator.com

Nov 16 2010 by anomar71 (Parent of a Student with 1 - 3 Years Experience at this school)

Quality of Instruction:
Other aspects:

My two children have been attending the Southern School of Martial Arts for almost two years. One is in the children's Kobushi-Do Class and the oldest is in the adult Manabi-Masho Class. Shihan Murdock is a great instructor who teaches self-defense techniques for real life situations. His number one self-defense technique is to avoid the situation if at all possible, but he demonstrates many usable techniques if avoidance is not possible. All techniques will not work the same in every situation. Also, what works in one situation may not work in others, but Shihan Murdock teaches a good variety so that a person's level of survival in a bad situation is greatly increased. He even shows techniques on surviving an encounter with multiple attackers, and attackers with weapons such as knives, sticks, and guns. Shihan Murdock works in a controlled environment and monitors the use of the shown techniques in order to prevent injury. He is however, a certified paramedic on the rare occasion that injury does occur. He also teaches values and morals to live by in both the adult and children's classes. Overall I think this is an outstanding class!

A great place to learn how to defend yourself

***** Provided by dojolocator.com

Nov 13 2010 by JM (Former Student with 6 Months - 1 Year Experience at this school)

Quality of Instruction:
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This martial art is so dynamic. It has striking techniques, finger, wrist and arm locks, It has several great ground techniques and weapon disarms from knives, sticks and guns. If you're looking for a school that will teach how to defend yourself this is the one.

A martial art school that specializes in realistic and practical martial arts and self defense

Provided by dojolocator.com *****

Nov 17 2010 by Jbot1230 (Former Student with 1 - 3 Years Experience at this school)

Quality of Instruction:
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I used to train there a few years ago when the school was in Mr. Murdock's garage at his home. I had to leave to relocate for a job. I've had a difficult time where I'm at now trying to find a dojo that teaches a realistic martial art like Manabi-Masho Ju-Jitsu. There's a Karate school and couple of Tae Kwon Do schools were I live now, but their focus is more on sport, forms and competing in tournaments and so on. I went to one of these schools to observe one night and asked if they taught any kind of self defense classes. They told me they did, but what I saw looked nothing like what I learned at Mr. Murdock's. What they demonstrated looked choppy, choreographed and had no natural flow. I liked how Mr. Murdock taught self defense from realistic, random and practical approach. He told me that your martial arts has to be natural and without thought. I really miss training there. I'm glad to see the school has expanded. I highly recommend this school to anyone who is looking for the real deal. Mr. Murdock also teaches the children's class in the same realistic way.


Provided by Magicyellowpages.com
Ratings Comments Feedback
***** (5)
great place to take martial arts classes.
the good:  Nice training area, nice rates and easy to find.
the bad:  There is no bad points.
the details:  A very effective martial arts style and great children's program. The instructor has several years of experience and knows what he is doing.

Martial Arts You Can use and fun too!

***** Provided by YP.com

***** Provided by Dojolocator.com 

***** Provided by Merchant Circle.com 

I've tried martial arts of various forms in a vain search for true personal defense. Every school I found that taught various forms such as tae kwon do, karate, jujitsu (other styles), judo etc. All seemed to have a competition focus and taught you to pull everything.

There are no rules in a real world assault/attack. Your attacker will not hold back from hurting you! However, with Mark Murdock's training, you've got a real chance of surviving with minimal injury to yourself which may not be true for your attacker.

If you want to survive in this crazy world and learn real martial arts that you can use, then come train with Mark Murdock. With Mark's teaching style, you will get all the things other schools advertise like discipline, respect, fitness etc. Mark takes a realistic approach and covers all bases. Most important, after only a few classes, you will be better prepared for an attack than after years of training in most other schools.

If you are looking for personal defense, look no further, this place is your home. You will love it!

***** Martial Arts for the Real World

Provided by Merchant Circle.com

I've been training Ju-Jitsu with Shihan Murdock for a couple of months now and I really enjoy it. The training is intense and very dynamic. You learn how to apply the skills to what you could face when you walk out the door. It works and age doesn't matter. Being the Father of a teenage daughter I want to know my girl can take care of herself so I've been trying to convince her to join us.

November 23, 2010 by Bryan in Four Oaks, NC

 ***** An Excellent School

Provided by Merchant Circle.com

I highly recommend this school. Mark Murdock teaches a blended martial arts style that is based on Japanese Ju-Jitsu. He has classes for children and adults. The new location is a really nice dojo.

November 26, 2010 by NC Martial Artist in Dunn, NC


*****Awesome Martial Arts School

Provided by Google places


Very effective self defense and a great instructor.


***** Great Martial Artist

Provided by Merchant Circle.com

I've been studying Karate for 21.5 years and am a 4th Dan for a locally based school, as well as a 4th Dan in Bill Wallace's Superfoot System (our school is listed under Bill's website at www.superfoot.com). I've been studying with Mark Murdock 4.5 years so that I could diversify my background involving grappling, locks and the "real world" elements of street defense. I've found Mr. Murdock's mantra of you don't win trophies, you win your life to be very applicable. His take no prisoners approach is practical and helps compliment the style that I have studied for several years. The components that make this style so effective are the combination of Ju-Jitsu, Judo, Aikido and Karate. I've worked out with eclectic pioneers in the martial arts such as Bill Wallace, Remy Presas, Michael DePasquale Jr., Joe Hess, as well as local pillars such as Dennis Pritt, Ron Martin, Johnny Holbrook and Charles Mann. I endorse Mark's teaching methods and the martial artists he prepares.

December 13, 2010 by M Barefoot in Raleigh, NC


 Provided by Google

***** By DMK 12 July 2011: The realistic instruction., The instructor, The facilities, The price


***** By Zachary Parks October 21, 2011: I'm 22 and I have never learned martial arts before but knew I always wanted to. I wanted whatever dojo I found to have an element of formal tradition and be real life applicable as well. I started learning and training at the Southern School of Martial Arts in August 2011 and I found both and then some at SSMA. I love the two hour classes and the mix of different martial arts so you become very well rounded, and learn to flow everything together. You learn the foreign names of the techniques used. The instructor, Shihan Mark Murdock, is an excellent teacher, martial artist, and a great and friendly person, he really makes you feel welcome. You really learn what will work in the streets, and you will feel it in class. Shihan also teaches many different kinds of weapons techniques. I found exactly what I was looking for in martial arts and I would strongly recommend this school to anyone, young or old. This is real martial arts being taught for self defense combat. SSMA is a great and friendly school with great people and lots of respect and I always have lots of fun training. Check us out. You won't be disappointed.
***** By Bobby Currin on Facebook, July, 2013
My son has been attending Southern School of Martial Arts for approximately 14 months. Shihan Mark Murdock is an excellent instructor with over thirty years of training. My son has been taught a well blend of martial arts, which in return makes him a better person as well as a better martial artist. He has learned various other things, such as courage, honesty, words of wisdom and handling bullying. Shihan Murdock teaches children as well as adults. I highly recommend him and his school.

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