John Goss, Jr. is the Founder and Chief Instructor of the Aiki Martial Arts Institute. He began his study of Korindo Aikido under Dennis Mikata Sensei in 1973 and currently holds the position of Kaicho (Administrative Chief and Caretaker) for Mikata-ha Korindo Aikido. Goss Sensei has been a martial arts practitioner for over 50 years and has a background that includes the study of Chinese, Japanese, Okinawan, and Korean martial arts. In addition to his study of Korindo, he has also studied aikido under the Aikido Association of America, Aikido of Hawaii International, and the Aikikai Foundation. He is a direct student of Katsuyuki Kondo Sensei (Menkyo Kaiden, Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Somucho) and founder of the first (Mainline) Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Study Group that was authorized by Kondo Sensei in the United States (1998).
Internationally known for his unique style and mastery of hanbojutsu, Goss Sensei was invited to participate in the prestigious Aiki Expo Friendship Demonstrations in 2002, 2003 and 2005. He has traveled to Japan multiple times and has trained at the Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Hombu, Aikikai Hombu, Nihon Korinkai Hombu, Aikido Kobayashi Dojo, Yoshinkan, and Tendokan. As a full-time martial arts practitioner and instructor, Goss Sensei continues to be instrumental in the dissemination of both Mikata-ha Korindo Aikido and (Mainline) Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu in the United States.
John Goss Sensei holds the following ranks:
- 7th dan Shihan Korindo Aikido (Mikata family)
- 5th dan Shidoin Aikikai Aikido (Aikido World Headquarters)
- 5th dan Aikido (International Martial Arts Federation)
- 3rd dan Aikido (Aikido Association of America)
- 4th degree black belt Korean Karate (International Taekwon-Do Federation)
- 1st dan Isshin-ryu Karate (The Order of Isshin-ryu)
Goss Sensei has worked as a consultant to various local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, including both the Baltimore County S.W.A.T. School and the Maryland State Police S.T.A.T.E. (Special Tactical Assault Team Element) Team. He is a certified self-defense instructor with both the United States Department of Defense and the United States Department of Justice. John Goss formerly held a position as an Associate Professor of Martial Arts Instruction at Towson University and developed aikido programs for the Baltimore County Board of Education. Goss Sensei is the author of the popular selling book, “Hanbo -The Aiki Way,” used as a teaching tool for those wishing to learn how to incorporate this weapon into their aikido practice.
John Goss Sensei (2021)
John Goss began his study of the martial arts in 1968, training in Southern Style Shaolin Kung Fu and western boxing as a child. He later went on to study Isshin-ryu Karate under Master John Remick Senior (School of Isshin-ryu) and Korean Karate under Master Fred Ocampo (Arbutus Martial Arts).
Upon attending Towson University, John Goss met and befriended Dennis Mikata Sensei. After discovering that his family had a rich history in Japanese martial arts, John Goss began to study Korindo Aikido, hanbojutsu and iaido at the family’s private residential dojo in Hagerstown, Maryland. In 1990 Dennis Mikata Sensei retired from teaching and moved out of state. Prior to leaving, he advised John Goss to join the Aikikai Foundation, as it was the largest aikido organization in the United States and could provide further instruction and support. As a result of this advice, John Goss actively sought affiliation with aikido teachers that had a legitimate connection to the Aikido World Headquarters. This led Goss Sensei to study aikido under both Fumio Toyoda Sensei (6th dan Shihan / Aikido Association of America) and Robert Kubo Sensei (8th dan Shihan / Aikido of Hawaii International).
In 2002, after over a decade of separation and newly found political disagreements, John Goss reunited with Dennis Mikata Sensei upon his return to the Maryland area. He then received the final teachings of Mikata family budo and was awarded 6th dan and Shihan (Master Instructor License). In 2005, John Goss was promoted to 7th dan and appointed to the position of Kaicho (Administrative Chief and Official Representative) of Mikata-ha Korindo Aikido.
Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu and the Study of Aiki
After decades of studying aikido, John Goss began to explore the history and development of aiki, as understood from its old-world forms to the present. With an understanding that the concept of aiki, as it applies to aikido, was directly linked to art of Daito-ryu, John Goss established a relationship with Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Hombucho, Katsuyuki Kondo (introduction made in 1997 by Stanley Pranin) and hosted the first (Mainline) Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu seminar in North America.
John Goss Sensei and Katsuyuki Kondo Sensei
In 1998 Goss Sensei received written authorization from Kondo Sensei to establish the first (Mainline) Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Study Group in the United States. In 2002, Goss Sensei hosted the first (Mainline) Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu yudansha testing outside of Japan and to date has overseen the promotion of eight (08) students to black belt rankings in (Mainline) Daito-ryu.
John Goss Sensei and Katsuyuki Kondo Sensei (1998)
Maryland Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Study Group (2002)
In addition to his study of Korindo Aikido under the Mikata family, Goss Sensei’s mentors have included:
- Shinjuro Narita (9th dan Shihan, Nihon Korinkai Hombu-cho)
- Fumio Toyoda (6th dan Shihan / President Aikido Association of America)
- Robert Kubo (8th dan Shihan / President Aikido of Hawaii International)
- Katsuyuki Kondo (Menkyo Kaiden / Daito-ryu Aikijujutsu Somucho)
- Stanley Pranin (5th dan Aikikai / Aikido Journal Editor-in-Chief)
Goss Sensei has also had the pleasure to train with many aikido luminaries to include the following:
- Kisshomaru Ueshiba (Nidai Aikikai Doshu)
- Moriteru Ueshiba (Sandai Aikikai Doshu)
- Hiroshi Tada (9th dan Aikikai)
- Seishiro Endo (8th dan Aikikai)
- Ikuo Iimura (8th dan Aikikai)
- Yasuo Kobayashi (8th dan Aikikai)
- Yoshimitsu Yamada (8th dan Aikikai)
- Saigo Yamaguchi (8th dan Aikikai)
- Shoji Seki (7th dan Aikikai)
- Takeji Tomita (7th dan Aikikai)
- Steven Seagal (7th dan Aikikai)
- Takafumi Takeno (8th dan Yoshinkan)
- Isutomu Chida (7th dan Yoshinkan)
- Kenji Shimizu (8th dan IMAF)