Tip Harris ‘KISSAKI’ Sensei
Tip Harris Sensei has been practicing Aikido for more than 35 year and has been teaching for over 20 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 his first, second, and third degree black belts from Hiroshi Ikeda Shihan of Boulder, Colorado. He presently holds the rank of 4th degree black belt.
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 a half century and has 4 raised children. At over 75 years old, Harris Sensei credits decades of Aikido training for his continued agility, flexibility, strength, and power.
Sean Hannon Sensei
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 5th degree black belt, 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 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 studied KYUDO, “the Way of the Bow” or Japanese archery, for several years 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 presently studies JODO, “the Way of the Staff” under 6th degree black belt Tom Groendal Sensei from Portland, Oregon and Sean teaches the Castle Rock JODO program.
Sean is an avid 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).
Sean travels out of Colorado regularly to teach AIKIDO seminars at fellow AIKIDO DOJO. You can view portions of some of these out-of-state seminars on the Castle Rock AIKIDO YouTube channel. If you would like Hannon Sensei to teach a seminar or workshop at your AIKIDO DOJO, you may contact him directly by e-mail.
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.
Lee Barnhill Sensei
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. 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 returning to the mainland, Lee joined Castle Rock AIKIDO where he continued his training under the instruction of Ryan Goettsche Sensei and Tip Harris Sensei. Lee was awarded the rank of Ni-Dan (2nd Dan) by the International Aikido Federation (IAF) President and Chief Instructor of Aikikai Tanshinjuku, Kei Izawa Sensei (6th Dan) in May 2014. He was awarded the rank of San-Dan (3rd Dan) by Aikido Shimbokukai Director, Lisa Tomoleoni Sensei (6th Dan) in September 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 has earned black belt ranks in, Japanese Jiu-jitsu, Israeli Krav Maga and Korean Tae Kwon Do. He also has considerable experience in arts such as Shorin-Ryu Karate, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, and firearms.
Aleksey Nikolayev Sensei
Aleksey Nikolayev began training AIKIDO in 1989 at Moscow State University in Russia where he trained with multiple AIKIKAI HONBU DOJO instructors visiting Russia on international business. Upon moving to the United States, he continued training AIKIDO at Carnegie Mellon University. Aleksey’s style involves a very “sticky” MUSUBI described by students as “bewildering” to would-be attackers. His classes are always fun and fluid.
Brad Manosevitz Sensei
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.
Monica Iwakabe Sensei
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 presently holds the rank of Go-Dan (5th degree black belt) in Iaido and Yon-Dan (4th degree black belt) in Kendo.
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.
Iwakabe Sensei is the Iaido instructor (the art of drawing the samurai katana) at Castle Rock AIKIDO. She teaches a style of Iaido called Musoshinden-ryu Iai.
Tom Groendal Sensei
Tom Groendal Sensei is a 6th degree black belt in the art of JODO. He learned this esoteric martial art while living in Japan for more than 10 years. Groendal Sensei is also high ranking in Daito-Ryu, a foundational art of Aikido. 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.