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About Our School

The Chapel Hill Quest Center was the first To-Shin Do school to open in North Carolina, and is conveniently located to serve the Chapel Hill, Carrboro and Durham area of the North Carolina Triangle. Founded in 1998 by Dr. Richard S. Stack, M.D., the school is a unique facility designed by award-winning architect Richard Gurlitz to rival the finest dojo training halls in Japan. Dr. Stack is a sixth degree black belt and one of few Master Instructors in Ninjutsu. He is also a personal student of both Stephen K. Hayes and Grand Master Masaaki Hatsumi, with whom he has trained extensively in the United States and in Japan for over 20 years. Dr. Stack also serves on the Advanced Curriculum Advisory Board chaired by Stephen K. Hayes. Dr. Stack eventually chose to pass the school to his own student, W. Hardee Merritt, and it is now known as Chapel Hill Quest Martial Arts.

Mr. Merritt, fifth degree master practitioner, began training soon after the school’s opening and became one of its primary instructors shortly after. Since he began training, he has introduced our school to an amazing variety of training opportunities including urban/wilderness survival, security tactics, and combat ground fighting. He also pioneered the school's hugely-successful after-school enrichment and summer programs. The dojo now offers classes and summer camps to pre-school, elementary and middle schools throughout the Triangle area.

Our school is not like a gym, where individuals train in relative isolation; it is a community. Our instructors and staff work hard to get to know each individual, and work to accommodate the individual needs of our students. Stop by today and see for yourself why Chapel Hill Quest Martial Arts is the Triangle’s premier martial arts dojo.