CHIEF INSTRUCTOR: Jobe Groot, Shihan, 6th Dan
Jobe Groot Sensei started Aikido in 1977 at Victoria Aikikai, and has studied and trained in Aikido, Japanese swordsmanship and mind-body fitness practices for over 4 decades. His Aikido foundations were developed during intensive training with F.I. Ishiyama Shihan and with Y. Kawahara Shihan (Technical Director of the Canadian Aikido Federation).
In 1985 he was invited by Kawahara Sensei to open the Okanagan Aikikai-Kelowna dojo, where he served as principal instructor for two years. Returning to Vancouver in 1987 to continue his training under Kawahara Sensei, he served as assistant instructor at Vancouver Aikikai and the University of British Columbia Aikido Club from 1987 through 1991. In 1991, he founded Mountain Coast Aikikai (originally Richmond Aikikai), where he has served as Chief Instructor since the dojo opened.
A memorable encounter with T.K. Chiba Shihan in the mid-1980s left a deep impression and from 1989 on, Groot Sensei resolved to train with Chiba Sensei at every opportunity, travelling often to train with Chiba Sensei at San Diego Aikikai, as well as at numerous US Aikido Federation-Western Region (and later Birankai North America) seminars, instructor intensives and summer camps. Over time, a unique and special relationship developed and Chiba Sensei invited Groot Sensei to formally join Birankai North America in 2005.
Groot Sensei currently holds the Aikido rank of 6th dan and the teaching certification of Shihan (Master Instructor), recognized by Aikikai Hombu Dojo – Aikido World Headquarters and Birankai.
Groot Sensei is a member of the Senior Council of Birankai North America and a former member of the Examination Committee of Birankai North America. He is a Co-Founder and currently serves as the Secretary-Treasurer of the organization. Groot Sensei is also a Co-founder and Director of Ryushin Shouchi Ryu Canada.
In addition to his long-time study of Aikido and Japanese swordsmanship, Groot Sensei has pursued periods of intensive training and study in a number of other Japanese martial arts including: Kenjutsu, Jujitsu, Iaijutsu and Iaido, as well as mind-body disciplines such as: Zen meditation (Zazen), integral movement and physical autonomy training.
Groot Sensei has trained and conducted seminars and intensives in Canada, United States, Europe and South-East Asia.