Castle Rock AIKIDO – Instructors

Q: “Are there any AIKIDO instructors near me?”

Absolutely. We’ve been teaching AIKIDO self-defense classes and traditional Japanese martial arts to the greater Denver, Castle Rock, Monument, and Colorado Springs area since 2007.

Tip Harris ‘KISSAKI’ Sensei

Castle Rock AIKIDO instructors near me

Tip Harris SENSEI has practiced AIKIDO for more than 40 years and taught for over twenty. Before that he studied the Japanese art of JUDO.

He began his AIKIDO training under Ed Peteroy at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs. Harris SENSEI earned his first, second, and third degree black belts from HIROSHI IKEDA SHIHAN of Boulder, Colorado.  He holds the rank of 4th degree black belt.

Over four decades, Harris SENSEI trained in seminar with an enormous docket of talented AIKIDO instructors. These include HIROSHI IKEDA, MITSUGI SAOTOME SHIHAN, and Frank Doran.  He’s also trained in seminar with well-known female AIKIDO instructors such as Mary Heiny, Cyndy Hayashi, and Linda Holliday. Others he’s trained with in seminar include Jim Alverez, George Ledyard, GAKU HOMMA, and Agust.

Since retiring from his career in 20024, Harris SENSEI 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 is married for over 50 years and raised four children. At over 80 years old, Harris Sensei credits decades of AIKIDO training for his continued agility, flexibility, strength, and power.

Sean Hannon Sensei

AIKIDO near Highlands Ranch and Parker Sean HannonSean began training in the 1980s, earning his black belt in OKINAWA KARATE in the 1990s. He discovered Japanese AIKIDO in the mid 1990s and studied with 5th DAN, Greg O’Connor of AIKIDO Centers of New Jersey. After leaving the East Coast, he continued with 5th DAN, KANESHI-MESA MASAYUKI in Illinois. While in graduate school, he trained with 7th DAN, David Shaner in South Carolina. He earned his black belt at Castle Rock.

For 14 years, Sean studied Japanese sword-drawing (called IAIDO) under IWAKABE Monica SENSEI and IWAKABE HIDEKI SENSEI. He’s trained in seminar with KONNO TATSUHIKO from Seattle, ODA KATSUO from SHIZUOKA, Japan, SAKONO YASUO from FUKOUKA, Japan, and MITANTI TERUO from KOICHI, Japan. In the 2013, Sean won the MURAKAMI Cup at a national IAIDO competition. Sean instructs the Castle Rock IAIDO program.

6th DAN, Tom Groendal SENSEI of Portland, OR has been Sean’s JODO instructor since 2014. JODO is a traditional Japanese weapons combat art. Sean teaches the Castle Rock JODO program.

Sean studied Japanese archery (KYUDO) for several years under SHIBATA KANJURO SENSEI in Colorado. SHIBATA SENSEI is the 21st generation masterbow maker and a 4th generation ONYUMISHI or “official bowmaker to the Emperor of Japan.”

Sean authored the award-winning martial arts philosophy book, INNER BUSHIDO: Strength without Conflict. The book evaluates the seven virtues of BUSHIDO and how to apply such values to modern, Western society. INNER BUSHIDO is available in on Amazon or in digital format on Kindle.

He travels to teach AIKIDO seminars at fellow AIKIDO DOJO. You can view clips from these seminars on the Castle Rock AIKIDO YouTube channel.   To book Sean SENSEI for a seminar at your AIKIDO DOJO, e-mail him.

Lee Barnhill Sensei

Lee Barnhill Sensei AKIDO Self-defense close to south Denver metro areaLee Barnhill began training AIKIDO in 2008 in Hawai’i at Kane’ohe Marine Corps AIKIDO Club. He trained under the instruction of Herbert KONDO (6th DAN).  He also trained at Manoa AIKIDO DOJO under “Doc” SHIGEMI SUGIKI (6th DAN) and Larry TAKENISHI (5th DAN).  In Guam,  he vigorously trained for six months under MUTSUKO MINEGISHI (7th DAN). MINEGISHI SENSEI is the highest ranking female instructor promoted by AIKIKAI Headquarters in TOKYO.

Lee was awarded the rank of SHO-DAN in December 2010 by MINEGISH SENSEI.  Upon returning to Hawai’i his training continued at Kailua AIKIDO Club under Robert KUBO (8th DAN), Thomas Kaulukukui (7th DAN) and Wayne KOZUMA (6th DAN).

After returning to the mainland, Lee continued his training with Ryan Goettsche SENSEI (5th DAN) and Tip Harris SENSEI (4th DAN) at Castle Rock.  Lee was awarded the rank of NI-DAN (2nd DAN) by the International AIKIDO Federation President, KEI IZAWA (6th DAN) in May 2014.   In 2015, Lee received the ‘GAN-RYU’ Award for his 10-year commitment at Castle Rock AIKIDO. He was awarded the rank of SAN-DAN (3rd DAN) by AIKIDO SHIMBOKUKAI Director, Lisa Tomoleoni (6th DAN) in September 2018.

Lee has substantial experience in several additional martial arts, all of which contribute to his personal style.  All have helped shape his unique perspective on self-defense.  He has earned black belt ranks in, Japanese JIU-JUTSU, Israeli Krav Maga and Korean Tae Kwon Do. He has considerable experience in arts such as SHORIN-RYU KARATE, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, and firearms.

Aleksey Nikolayev Sensei

AIKIDO instructor near Denver Colorado Springs Aleksey NikolayevAleksey Nikolayev began training AIKIDO in 1989 at Moscow State University in Russia. He trained with multiple AIKIKAI HONBU DOJO instructors visiting Russia on business. Upon moving to the United States, he continued training AIKIDO at Carnegie Mellon University.

Aleksey’s style involves a highly sought after “sticky” MUSUBI described by students as “bewildering” to would-be attackers. His classes are always fun and fluid. His dry, yet deeply philosophical sense of humor always keeps you guessing. Aleksey SENSEI works as a chemist in the Front Range of Colorado.

Brad Manosevitz Sensei

Brad Manosevitz Sensei AIKIDO martial arts classes Monument ColoradoBrad Manosevitz SENSEI’s AIKIDO training started in 1990 under Linda Holiday SENSEI in Santa Cruz, California. There he assisted, taught, and administered the Young People’s Program at AIKIDO of Santa Cruz for several years. Brad SENSEI is a YON-DAN (4th Degree Black Belt) and was Chief Instructor of AIKIDO Aspen. He has been active in the Aspen AIKIDO community since his move to the area in January, 2001.

In 2023, Brad SENSEI has traveled to Japan with Holiday SENSEI to visit 8th Degree Black Belt, MOTOMICH ANNO SENSEI. ANNO SENSEI is one of the few remaining direct students of AIKIDO’s Founder, MORIHEI UESHIBA.  Brad SENSEI has gifted several beautiful SHODOU calligraphy scrolls personally inked by ANNO SENSEI to Castle ROck AIKIDO. Today, those scrolls hang framed in the Castle Rock AIKIDO lobby. Brad SENSEI is an adjunct instructor at Castle Rock AIKIDO, leading special classes and workshops. “It is such a pleasure having some many AIKIDO instructors near me here in Colorado’s front range.”

Tom Groendal Sensei

Tom Groendal JODO SENSEI traditional weaponsThomas Groendal SENSEI is a 6th degree black belt in the traditional Japanese weapons art of JODO. He lived lived in NAGOYA, TOKYO, OSAKA, and OITA, Japan for ten years. Of course, he is highly fluent in the Japanese language and culture. As such, Groendal SENSEI is uniquely qualified to teach this esoteric and powerful 400-year-old weapons curriculum.

Groendal SENSEI is also high ranking in DAITO-RYU, a foundational art of AIKIDO. He serves as the JODO technical advisor for the All United States KENDO Federation’s (AUSKF). He also teaches JODO throughout the United States and Canada.  He oversees groups training JODO in Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Washington, Vancouver, BC, Boulder, Colorado and, of course, Castle Rock, Colorado. He travels to Colorado 2-3 times each year to teach seminars at Castle Rock AIKIDO.

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