Tip Harris 'KISSAKI' Sensei
3rd Degree Black Belt (San-dan)
Tip Harris Sensei has been practicing Aikido for more than a quarter century (since 1984) and has been teaching for over 15 years. Before that he studied the Japanese art of Judo.
He began his Aikido training under Ed Peteroy Sensei at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs and earned all black belts from Hiroshi Ikeda Shihan of Boulder, Colorado.
Sean Hannon Sensei
Yudansha (Black Belt) - Ni-Dan Iaido
Sean Hannon began his study of martial arts in the 1980s. He earned his black belt in OKINAWA KARATE in the 1990s and began training Japanese AIKIDO with 5th degree black belt, Greg O'Connor Sensei of Aikido Centers of New Jersey in the mid 1990s. He later continued his AIKIDO training with KANESHI-MESA MASAYUKI Sensei in Rock Island, Illinois and again with 7th degree black belt, David Shaner Sensei in Greenville, South Carolina, before earning his black belt at Castle Rock AIKIDO.
Sean has also had the privilege of training in seminar with SAOTOME MITSUGI Shihan, IKEDA HIROSHI Shihan, SAKABE MUNETSUGU Sensei from KYUSHU, Japan, Cindy HAYASHI Sensei, Mary Heiny Sensei, George Ledyard Sensei, Frank Doran Sensei, Donovan Waite Shihan, Greg Olson Sensei, David ITO Sensei of Los Angeles, Victor Hung Sensei, Skip Chapman Sensei, Hal Lehrman Sensei from New York Aikikai and many others.
Sean earned his black belt in IAIDO, the art of traditional Japanese sword-drawing, under IWAKABE Monica Sensei and IWAKABE HIDEKI Sensei. He's also had the privilege of training in seminar with KONNO TATSUHIKO Sensei from Seattle, ODA KATSUO Sensei from SHIZUOKA, Japan, SAKONO YASUO Sensei from FUKOUKA, Japan, and MITANTI TERUO Sensei from KOICHI, Japan. In the summer of 2013, Sean placed 1st for the Murakami Cup at the annual AUSKF national Iaido competition.
Sean studies KYUDO, "the Way of the Bow" or Japanese archery, under SHIBATA KANJURO Sensei in Boulder, Colorado at ZENKO KYUDOJO. SHIBATA SENSEI is the 21st generation masterbow maker and a 4th generation ONYUMISHI or "official bowmaker to the Emperor of Japan." Sean also is learning JODO, “the Way of the Staff” from 5th degree black belt Tom Groendal Sensei.
Sean is an accomplished writer on the subjects of Aikido and classic Japanese martial arts philosophy. His writings have been cited and/or published in The Castle Rock News Press, The Denver Post, The Wall Street Journal, The Aikido Journal, Aikido Centrum Luar Biasa (a European Aikido publication), a graduate thesis at Texas A&M, and he was featured in a 2009 issue of Aikido Instructors Organization Magazine (AIO).
Harris Sensei has also had the privilege of training in seminar with many talented Aikido practitioners including Hiroshi Ikeda Shihan, Mitsugi Saotome Shihan, Frank Doran Shihan, Ed Peteroy Sensei, George Bevins Sensei, Mary Heiny Sensei, Kevin Choate Sensei, Tres Hofmeister Sensei, Cyndy Hayashi Sensei, Linda Holliday Sensei, Jim Alverez Sensei, George Ledyard Sensei, Gaku Homma Sensei, Wendy Whited Sensei, Agust Dragt Sensei, Raso Hultgren Sensei, Toby Threadgill Sensei, Debbie Noblett Sensei, and Wayne Perkins Sensei.
Harris Sensei retired from his full-time career in 2004 and since then has committed much more time to continuing his learning and teaching of the art of Aikido. He attends between four and five Aikido seminars each year. He has also traveled throughout Japan on multiple occasions.
A Colorado resident since 1968, Harris Sensei has been married for more than 45 years and has 4 raised children. At over 70 years old, Harris Sensei credits decades of Aikido training for his continued agility, flexibility, strength, and power.
IWAKABE, Monica Sensei
5th Degree Black Belt (Go-dan Iaido)
4th Degree Black Belt (Yon-dan Kendo)
Iwakabe, Monica Sensei began her martial arts study in 1991 while Germany serving in the United States Army. After two years training in Shotokan Karate, she was fortunate enough to be transferred to Colorado where she began her training at Rocky Mountain Budokan with Iwakabe, Hideki Sensei. There, she continued her study of Shotokan Karate in 1993, took up Kendo (the Japanese ‘way of the sword,’ a sword-fighting art) in 1998, and finally added Iaido to her martial arts resume in 2000.
She has had many opportunities to train with several instructors throughout the United States and Japan at AUSKF National Kendo & Iaido seminars, the Foreign Kendo Leaders’ Seminar, and many other venues. Iwakabe Sensei has successfully placed in several competitive tournaments on both the local and national levels. In 2007, she took second in the national Nakanishi Cup for 3rd degree black belts and above held in Omaha, Nebraska. In 2011, she again placed second in the national Yamaguchi Cup tournament held in Kent, Ohio. She also currently holds the rank of 4th degree black belt (yon-dan) in Shotokan Karate; and, continues to train in all three disciplines under the guidance of her instructor, Iwakabe, Hideki Sensei.
Ryan Goettsche Sensei
4th Degree Black Belt (Yon-dan)
Ryan Goettsche Sensei began his study of Aikido in January 1994 and over those many years earned the rank of yon-dan or 4th degree black belt. In addition to teaching at Castle Rock AIKIDO, Goettsche Sensei has also been the head instructor of an Aikido school in Colorado Springs since 2008 and has been affiliated with John Sabo Sensei, founder of Jugensoku Aikido of San Diego and the Colorado Purple Mountain Dojo / Dojang Association. In 2011, Goettsche Sensei opened Aikido Koshin Shuri near Academy Boulevard and Austin Bluffs Parkway in Colorado Springs, CO.
Goettsche Sensei has attended many seminars through the years with Sabo Sensei, Meno Sensei, Saito Sensei, Bookman Sensei, Perello Sensei, Isoyama Sensei, Kashiwaya Sensei, Maida Sensei, Saotome Sensei, Ikeda Sensei, and has spent personal time with each of them discussing Aikido, its history and ultimately its goal to better the world.
Goettsche Sensei is a native of Colorado and resides in Colorado Springs with his wife and three children. He works as a senior database administrator in the Denver area.
Tom Groendal Sensei
6th Degree Black Belt (Roku-dan) JODO
Tom Groendal Sensei is a 6th degree black belt in the art of JODO – the art of defending yourself from a sword with a wooden staff. He learned this rather esoteric martial art from GOTO SENSEI while living in Japan for more than 10 years.
He serves as the All United States Kendo Federation’s (AUSKF) technical director for the art of JODO and he teaches the art throughout the United States and Canada. He has groups training JODO under his guidance in Portland, OR, Seattle, WA, Vancouver, BC, Boulder, CO and, of course, Castle Rock, Colorado.
Groendal Sensei is also high ranking in Daito-Ryu, a foundational art of Aikido.
Assistant Aikido Instructors
Brad Manosevitz Sensei
Yudansha (Black Belt)
Brad Manosevitz Sensei began studying Aikido in 1990 under the direction of Linda Holiday Sensei in Santa Cruz, California. In addition to his training, he assisted, taught, and administered the Young People’s Program at Aikido of Santa Cruz for several years. Brad Sensei is a San-Dan (3rd Degree Black Belt) and Chief Instructor of Aikido Aspen, where he has been active in the Aikido community since his move to the area in January, 2001. He is an adjunct instructor at Castle Rock AIKIDO, leading special classes and workshops.
Upon returning to Hawai’i his training continued at Manoa but he also began training at Kailua Aikido Club under the instruction of the late Robert Kubo Shihan (8th Dan), Thomas Kaulukukui Sensei (7th Dan) and Wayne Kozuma Sensei (6th Dan). After moving to Colorado, Lee continued his training at a Denver area dojo from 2011-2016 at numerous Aikido dojo. Lee was awarded the rank of San-Dan (3rd Dan) by Lisa Tomeoloni Sensei of Shimobukukai in 2018. In 2015, Lee received the 'Gan-Ryu' Award for his commitment at Castle Rock AIKIDO where he teaches two classes at Castle Rock AIKIDO: an Ukemi class focusing on the art of falling and a Koshi-Nage class focusing on the art of hip throwing.
Lee has experience in several other martial arts as well. They all contribute to his diverse, personal style and have helped shape his unique perspective on self-defense. Lee also holds rank in Seki-Ryu Jiu-Jitsu, Tae Kwon Do, Shorin-Ryu Karate, Brazilian Jiu-Jistu, and Krav Maga.
Iwakabe Sensei is the Kendo and Iaido instructor (the art of drawing the samurai katana) at Castle Rock AIKIDO. She teaches a style of Iaido called Musoshinden-ryu Iai.
Traditional Japanese Martial Arts for Adults
Lee Barnhill Sensei
Yudansha (Black Belt)
Lee Barnhill's Aikido training began in 2008 in Hawai’i at Kane’ohe Marine Corps Aikido Club under the instruction of Herbert Kondo Sensei (6th Dan). He also trained in Hawai’i at Manoa Aikido Dojo under the instruction of “Doc” Shigemi Sugiki Sensei (6th Dan) and Larry Takenishi Sensei (5th Dan). He traveled to Guam where he spent six months vigorously training at Guam Aikikai under the instruction the highest ranking female instructor to be promoted directly by the Aikikai Headquarters in Tokyo, Mutsuko Minegishi Sensei (7th Dan). Lee was awarded the rank of Sho-Dan by Minegishi Sensei in December 2010.
Lastly, Sean is the author of the two-time award-winning martial arts philosophy book, Inner Bushido: Strength without Conflict. The book is an evaluation of the seven virtues of Japanese Bushido and how to apply such values to modern Western society. Inner Bushido is available in paperback on Amazon or in digital format on Kindle and Smashwords. Or, you can get a signed copy of the book by clicking HERE.