History of Tiger’s Claw Martial Arts

In the early 1970’s while practicing the Martial Arts in his back yard, Professor Ronald Allen Mertz was approached by a newspaper delivery boy who was interested in studying the Martial Arts. Professor Mertz, who had taught in both the Bronx, NY and Princeton, NJ areas prior to┬áhis arrival to River Vale, NJ, was not interested in teaching at the time. The newsboy would not take no for an answer, and after demonstrating great determination and perseverance, Professor Mertz consented to teach privately in his basement. A studio was set up and word traveled quickly among the student’s young friends. Soon 5 were studying, then 10, then 20, then 30. When numbers hit over 50 the decision was made to open a school. Eventually there were three schools running with over 300 students.

In the late 1990’s after a brief period of not teaching, Professor Mertz was again approached by a determined student seeking lessons. The student had been researching and found Professor’s present location. Like the last, this student would not take no for an answer. Consequently, with his wife, Maureen MacDougall/Mertz, this student and the help of two of his Black Belts: Sensei Bill Gauff and Sensei Jay Greenspan. Classes began in the new location. Master Franco Musano soon came aboard at the new location for the Tiger’s Claw Martial Arts Association in Hillsdale, NJ was up and running. It was in the summer of 1999. The Grand Opening weekend was prevented by a flood. With no power, no telephone, and roads blocked, a few students ventured to the school anyway. To this day, several of these dedicated students continue to study with Professor Mertz.

About Us


Tiger's Claw Martial Arts is an American family owned & operated dojo. Our Black Belts have a combined 140 years of training directly under our Head Instructor, Professor Ronald A. Mertz, 10th Degree Black Belt.

New students are welcome to join at any time. We offer classes from ages 3.5 and up, no experience necessary.

Contact Info


Thank you for visiting our website, we hope that we have provided you with enough information to help you in your search for a Martial Arts training facility. Please call to set up your FREE TRIAL CLASS

Phone: 201-263-1983
Email: tigersclawma@verizon.net Address: 49B Prospect Pl,
                  Rear Door, 2nd Fl
                  Hillsdale, NJ 07642

Like Us on Facebook


Follow Us on Twitter