Our Chief Instructor

          
      

Chief Instructor

Richard (Rick) Jones Jr. has been involved in the martial arts since 1977.  
The initial foray into the arts was due to his designated 'hyperactive' nature.  His parents enrolled him to provide some guidance for that hyperactivity and from the first step on that path...a lifelong journey began.

Jones Sensei started at the Aikido School of Self Defense under the tutelage of Joe Conti Sensei.  At that time the school was part of the Nihon Goshin Aikido Schools headed by Richard A. Bowe Sensei.  The curriculum included all aspects of the Nihon Goshin System, with additional Karate influence from Conti Sensei's study under Gary Alexander Sensei of Isshinryu.

After 3 years of study Jones Sensei was able to participate as a child in the early 1980's in "The Master's World of Karate and Kung Fu" demonstrations run by John Hamilton Sensei of Pittsburgh, PA.  This provided an exposure to the Japanese, Okinawan and Chinese arts that was the spark that perpetuates Jones Sensei's love and study of the arts to this day.

At the time the Nihon Goshin System had a curriculum based on the teachings of Shodo Morita.  Morita Sensei was noted as studying Daito Ryu Aikijujutsu under such noted teachers as Yoshida Kotaro.  Conti Sensei felt that the mother art of Daito Ryu had more depth to allow for further development in the Aiki arts and began studying and assimilating the teachings of the Daito Ryu Kodokai into the teachings at the dojo.

During this time period Jones Sensei was a teenager and saw the morphing of his teacher into a more well-rounded martial artist.
To continue progression n the Okinawan arts, Shorin Ryu began to be absorbed into the Dojo's curriculum via the teachings of Vince Ward and John Hamilton of the Sho-Ha Shorin Ryu System (Shorin No Tora Dojo).  This included influence from the Shobayashi, Kobayashi and Matsumura Seito style of Shorin Ryu.

This was an explosive growth period for the Dojo and Jones Sensei.  Conti Sensei was able to have other teachers conduct classes at the school allowing a broader exposure to the varying arts and expand Jones Sensei's training.

After a short hiatus during high school, Jones Sensei returned to the dojo and teacher he missed, donned a white belt again and continued on his journey.

Over the next 7 years Jones Sensei became one of the primary Uke (receiver of technique) for Conti Sensei during demonstrations throughout NJ, honing the skills to not only perform the techniques, but the finesse and insight to teach them as well.

Jones Sensei rose through the ranks and earned his Sho Dan in 1997 in Shorin Ryu, and his Ni Dan in the Bujutsu arts from Conti Sensei in April of 1999.  During that time he taught beginners to advanced students in the dojo in both class and private lesson settings.  He was a lead teacher for 4 years at remote locations for local school and adult school programs.

In 2003 Jones Sensei earned his San Dan and embarked on a study of the Daito Ryu Kodokai Makimono, or scroll of teachings with Conti Sensei, as his teacher had before. 

In 2006 he earned the rank of Yon Dan (Renshi) and currently holds the rank of 4th Degree Black Belt in Sho Ha Shorin Ryu Karate, as well as 4th Degree in the Bujutsu arts taught by Conti Sensei which include the tenets of Nihon Goshin Aikido and Daito Ryu Akijujutsu Kodokai.

In 2008 he had the privilege of assisting Conti Sensei on a weekend seminar in France, at the invitation from Sensei Patrice Ligneul, where the Jo was taught to the European Federation of Karate and Traditional Martial Arts (FEKAMPT).  Other instructors included, Gilbert Gruss, Guy Sauvin, Philippe Renault and Dominique Pierre (noted as a French Representative in Jodo, the Way of the Stick by Krieger).  The techniques and kata were eventually used as part of the FEKAMPT curriculum along with the kata and waza of the Ni Tan Bo (2 short staffs) taught at the dojo.(Nihon Bujutsu Seibukan-France)

Thanks to the understanding of his original teacher and his thirst for knowledge, Jones Sensei has had the pleasure of visiting Roy Suenaka Sensei's Dojo in North Charleston (Wadokai Aikido) and Dr. Stephen Fabian (US. Hontai Yoshin Ryu) located in New Jersey and will continue to search out the roots and systems that may enhance and broaden his knowledge.

Jones Sensei has an Architectural Degree from the NJ Institute of Technology, has owned his own Design business and currently works as a project manager for a global internet and technology engineering firm.  He is married for 21 years, has two daughters and lives in beautiful Jackson, NJ.

(Conti Sensei)  



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