View Full Version : Aikijujutsu in Southern California?

3rd November 2001, 23:04
Are there any aikijujustu schools in orange county california that anyone would recommend.


Greg Quaresma

Nathan Scott
5th November 2001, 07:15
Hello Mr. Quaresma,

I live here in Los Angeles. If you'd like, send me a PM and maybe I can guide you in the right direction, or, get together and meet to talk more about it.

Depending on what you're looking for, I might be able to offer some assistance.


Jake McKee
23rd January 2003, 20:47
Does anyone know if Mark Sumi is still teaching Daito Ryu in Los Angeles?

24th January 2003, 15:06
Are there any dojo for Daito Ryu in or near San Diego? The only Aikijujutsu that I have found is Fredrick Lovret, and I have read enough to know that I wouldn't feel comfortable learning from him.

Are there any reputable instructors out there?

Glenn Marquay

Nathan Scott
24th January 2003, 21:40
Mr. Marquay,

I don't know of any legit Daito ryu in San Diego. But if your seriously interested, maybe I can put you in touch with instructors that could help you. But it would require some driving.

Mr. McKee,

I never heard of Mark Sumi. What line of Daito ryu does he claim to teach?


Jake McKee
25th January 2003, 17:11
Greetings Nathan,

Sumi Sensei is a mainline Daito Ryu teacher. According to Katsuyuki Kondo's DVD (http://www.budovideos.com/katkondvd.html), Mr. Sumi was his uchi deshi for 9 years. The video was produced in 2001 and Kondo Sensei mentions that Sumi Sensei is teaching in LA. I'd never heard of him before either so if he is here, he's keeping a really low profile!


Nathan Scott
27th January 2003, 03:24
Huh. Imagine my surprise. I'll see if I can dig something up.


Nathan Scott
7th March 2003, 01:06
BTW, I've not mentioned the line of "aikibujutsu" under Obata Toshishiro that I study and teach here in this forum much, and have recently come to the conclusion that there is really no reason not to.

A long time ago, I confirmed in this forum that the Aiki Buken does not contain Daito ryu type "aiki". Since then, I've come to learn more about what aiki and DR aiki is, and the wide variance in levels between the different Daito ryu branches when it comes to the level of aiki used.

The Aikibujutsu Tanren Kenkyukai (Aiki-Buken) contains elements of Aikibujutsu as well as elements of Aikido, among other things. Those of you who have seen the "Samurai Aikijutsu" video by Obata Sensei would understand what I mean, and Aiki Buken instructors will tend to emphasize those ares of training that most closely suit their interests and personality. Our Aikibujutsu methods are not unlike the kinds of methods performed by mainline Daito ryu, Takumakai and other more "jujutsu" oriented branches (Hiden techniques), and contain many of the same tactics. We do not have "no touch" throws, but we do have a wide range of techniques and training methods.

Obata Sensei was a long time uchi-deshi under Shioda Sensei (Yoshinkan Aikido) well over 20 years ago, and as such learned a lot of additional methods that were not taught to the visiting students. Anyone that has taken a seminar by or been thrown by Obata Sensei can attest to the cleaness and effectiveness of his technique.

While the Aiki Buken does not claim to teach Daito ryu, and does not claim to teach higher level DR aiki, it does contain "aiki", and teach similar methods to that of perhaps the majority of legitimate lines of Daito ryu that use the term Aikijujutsu. As such, I don't see why this line should not be listed here as a training option for those in the Los Angeles area - with the above disclaimers taken into consideration.

Our headquarters is located in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Obata Sensei usually teaches at the dojo personally 5 days a week (M-F). For more information, visit:

Home page:

or our Honbu dojo page:

Feel free to post questions to me privately or publicly to a thread in the main AJJ forum.


25th March 2003, 15:26
Hey folks I need some help in finding a good Aikijujutsu Dojo in Riverside county CA. I can go some what out to get a good school but I don't know of any. Can anybody help. I've seen in the fourm that some of the schools in San Diego are not rated that good.

B McGuire

Richard Elias
5th October 2003, 19:03
Richard Elias, John Lovato, and Joe Neal, in collaboration with Tony Alvarez, would like to announce the opening of their new dojo in Costa Mesa California.

The dojo will be the new home of Yoshida-Ha Bujutsu and the Senpokan dojo.

Training in Yoshida-Ha Bujutsu, with Elias, Lovato, and Neal, will include instruction in the arts passed on by the Yoshida family. It is a comprehensive traditional system containing within its teachings all of the major sub-arts that were taught to the bushi for the performance of their duties as samurai.

Aiki Jujutsu Empty-hand arts
Kenjutsu Sword arts
Tantojutsu Knife arts
Naginatajutsu Glaive arts
Tessenjutsu Iron Fan arts
Jojutsu Staff arts
Juttejutsu Arresting-truncheon arts
Hojojutsu Rope binding arts


Training in the arts of the Senpokan, with Tony Alvarez, will include instruction in:

Yamazaki-Ha Tate Do - This style is a form of Iai and Kenjutsu and is based on of the teachings that Kiyoshi Yamazaki Sensei received in both Batto Jutsu and Kashima Shinto Ryu Kenjutsu.

Toyama Ryu Battojutsu - Tony is the West Coast representative for the Zen Nihon Toyama Ryu Iaido Renmei under Hataya Mitsuo Kaicho.

Mugai Ryu Tony is Shibucho of North American Mugai ryu Iai Hyodo Renmei as appointed by Gyokusui Toyoaki Niina, the 16th Soke of Mugai ryu.

Training in Senpokan will focus on Iai, Kenjutsu, Kodachi, Yari, and Tameshigiri.


Our new dojo will also be the home of a Takamura-Ha Shindo Yoshin Ryu study group lead by Richard Elias and Tony Alvarez, under the guidance of Menkyo Kaiden Toby Threadgill.

Enrollment in all of the above will be limited by available mat space.


775 Newton Way
Costa Mesa, CA 92627

For student inquiries and information on class times and directions please email:

Yoshida-Ha Bujutsu yoshidaha@hotmail.com

Senpokan bigtony@senpokan.com

Shindo Yoshin Ryu study group
Richard Elias - shidare@hotmail.com
Tony Alvarez - bigtony@senpokan.com

Ron Tisdale
11th October 2005, 19:52
Mark Sumi was at the latest Mainline Daito ryu seminar in Maryland. I do not think he is currently teaching, but if you contact Aiki Martial Arts outside Baltimore, they may be able to put you in touch with him. I really enjoyed having his expertise available at the seminar.


Nathan Scott
15th October 2005, 05:46
Hey Ron,

You just found this thread? ;)

Anyway, Mark isn't teaching Daito-ryu at this time. Immediately after I posted my reply about him earlier in this thread from a few years ago asking who he was, I stumbled across him in one of the dojo I train in (another art). Coincidentally, he ended up being a new student there. Since then we've become friends.

Mark assisted Kondo Sensei at the 2005 Aiki Expo here in SoCal, and can also be seen in one of the two Daito-ryu demo videos sold by AJ (I forget which one), demonstrating with his kids class in Japan.

As far as teaching goes, he told me a few years ago that people have approached him before about training, but they never end up being very serious minded about it, and since he is a busy guy, he hasn't pursued it. Too bad, but I feel his pain. It's increasingly harder to come across prospective students looking to actually train properly in traditional arts anymore. Nobody wants to work to earn something anymore, or, to be subordinate to something "bigger" than themselves...


Ron Tisdale
17th October 2005, 16:51
Hey Ron,

You just found this thread?


Having just met Mark for the first time, I did some searches on his name, and came accross this thread. Thought I'd post an update. Good to know Mark knows good folk out there!


18th February 2006, 20:09
Does anyone know of Daito Ryu in San Diego? I have heard of one school which I think is run by John Denora. Does anyone know of this person ? I ask because he has some link to John Williams and F Lovett (sp.?). I have read topics on this site which have caused me concern. The martial arts school is in Poway and I'm a little leery of a school that professes so much knowledge of so many different arts.

Thanks for any help,

James Wilson
e-mail: james.wilson@adelphia.net

Nathan Scott
21st February 2006, 01:47
Mr. Wilson,

I've merged your thread with an existing one to enhance search results and responses. As far as San Diego goes, I can't help you much there.

BTW, a little use of the search function will help you a lot with questions about instructors:

Daito ryu USA (John Denora) (http://www.e-budo.com/forum/showthread.php?t=4156)


24th February 2006, 22:28

Thanks for the link and the reply.

James Wilson

28th March 2006, 05:46
I'll be in port hueneme on business until the end of April. I'm looking for a place to train in Yanagi Ryu (or any Yoshida family derived art) in the Santa Barbara/Los Angeles/ Ventura area. Anyone who can help please email me at fc3pearson@hotmail.com. Thank you very much.

28th March 2006, 06:42
Check out www.yoshidahabujutsu.com.

Elias Sensei and Lovato Sensei both post on this board.

Nathan Scott
2nd July 2009, 05:49
Hi all,

The following is only remotely related to this thread, but it still seemed like the most appropriate place to drop this announcement.

My dojo (Tsuki Kage Dojo) has been in a state of political "flux" since roughly March of 2005. Since then, the dojo has more or less dropped off the map pending a conclusion to some pressing issues. In November of 2008, these issues finally came to an abrupt resolution, allowing us to continue forward again in a clear direction. As such, I've updated our main page and major supporting pages to reflect the arts we currently teach and new structure (for those interested or simply morbidly curious):


Among other things, most of the contact info that was previously posted on the web page now redirects to someone else (for those of you who like to cheat when calling or sending emails!). The layout and design of the pages still in need of being overhauled at some point, but the information is pretty solid.

All the changes made with the dojo were for the best, and from a functional standpoint, cause very little change in the way the dojo was already operating - outside of course being "uncloaked" now.