I have been studying martial arts for 26-years, of which, 18-years have been with Shihan Reynosa in Aikido and hold the rank of Sandan. Prior to studying Aikido, I studied other martial arts and achieved dan ranks in Tae Kwon Do, Combat Hapkido, and Progressive Jujitsu. In 1995, I opened my first dojo, Golden Dragon Tae Kwon Do, in Illinois. I first met Reynosa Shihan at a seminar he hosted at Santa Barbara Zoo for Steven Seagal Shihan, who was his teacher at that time. I attended two subsequent seminars with Reynosa Shihan and Seagal Shihan in Boulder, CO and found myself continually awe-struck at the power, elegance, fluidity and beauty of the Aikido that was before me. That ethereal experience resonated with me on levels at which I had only imagined. I was moved physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I was immediately absorbed with the authenticity and real-world applicability which Aikido offered as taught by Sensei Reynosa.
Soon thereafter, I began my Aikido career with Reynosa Shihan at Makoto Dojo in January of 1999 by living 10-months in the dojo serving as uchi deshi to Reynosa Shihan. In September of that year the T.S.A.A. (Ten Shin Aikido Association) was formed and I was appointed Secretary of that organization. When the T.S.A.A. was dissolved in 2002 and re-created as the M.A.K. (Makoto Aikido Kyokai) I remained on as Secretary. Additionally, I serve as the Secretary to the board of the Makoto Dojo School of Aikido, Inc. I have been able to accompany Reynosa Shihan to France, Germany, and Japan; training at both Hombu Dojo and Iwama Dojo.
In 2005, I moved to Arizona and opened Seishin Dojo, a name christened by Reynosa Shihan, as a certified dojo of the M.A.K. I returned to California in 2007 and resumed my studies at Makoto Dojo. Over the years, I have been involved with the children, youth, and adult classes, as well as, college classes. Additionally, I studied Tai Chi and Chi Lel Qigong for several years while at Makoto Dojo.
There is so much to explore and learn in the world of Aikido; the journey is never ending. Although we all have our own separate purposes behind our search within the realm of Martial Arts, I believe the ultimate attainment is becoming a great human being. What I find special and valuable about Aikido and the way it’s taught at Makoto Dojo is it gives you the tools to deal with the realities of the real world in meaningful and positive ways. The lessons have practicalities which extend beyond the mat and out into our homes, work, streets, and our lives. The training can be demanding, however, walking the path allows us the opportunities to not only survive the harshest events life will bring; it also gives us the ability to be compassionate. Aikido teaches us understanding, acceptance, and cooperation, while at the same time being a strong, formidable, and humble human being.