—Welcome to Spirit Aikido! I am extremely excited that you have found our club online. As we continue training, please do not hesitate to ask any questions you may have. My goal is to train you to become dynamically proficient in the application of our techniques, but that means you must train hard and consistently.
—The focus of our martial arts school is on physical fitness, character development and self-defense. Our overarching goal is in building our student’s character. When you become a martial arts student, you join a community that works together toward improved physical strength and stamina, better focus and concentration, greater self-discipline, competency in self-defense, and most importantly, increased self-confidence.
—For us at Spirit Aikido, the practice of martial arts means respecting each other, encouraging and supporting each other, and celebrating each other’s successes. Our goal is to deliver all of the benefits of martial arts, including improved muscle tone, increased cardiovascular fitness, lower stress levels, increased energy, and greater flexibility as you continue your journey.
—Self-defense is also emphasized, but it’s always tempered with the training on how to seek alternatives to conflict. Spirit Aikido is committed to teaching the physical skills while applying attitude-shaping exercises aimed at bringing out the best character and physical potential in each student.
What is Nihon Goshin Aikido?
—Nihon (Japanese) Goshin (Self-Defense) Aikido was founded by Master Shodo Morita in Hokkaido, Japan. Soke (founder) Shodo Morita was a student of Sokaku Takeda and Yoshida Kotaro in Daito Ryu Aiki Jiu-Jitsu. Additionally, Master Morita trained in other methods of self-defense, such as Aikido, Karate, Judo, Kendo, Bo-Jitsu, Jiu-Jitsu, and Yawara. He combined techniques from each style to form a practical, well-rounded and efficient martial art. He called it Nihon Goshin Aikido.
—Shihan Richard Bowe introduced the art of Nihon Goshin Aikido to the United States. During his military career he was stationed in Hokkaido, Japan where he reviewed a variety of martial art systems and was ultimately accepted as a student of Master Shodo Morita. Upon completing his training with Master Morita, he was awarded the rank of black belt and later returned to the United States. In 1963 he established the first Nihon Goshin Aikido dojo in the United States.
—Mr. Kevin Hovan (pictured center) is the chief instructor at Spirit Aikido. He began his martial arts journey in the art of Nihon Goshin Aikido under the instruction of Joe Beckham Sensei (pictured left) in March of 1996 in Greenville, South Carolina. He aggressively attended classes and earned the rank of I-Kyu (brown belt) before being called to West Virginia in his pastoral profession in 2001. He studied Yoshinkan Aikido under Roger Jarrett Sensei while there.
—Mr. Hovan joined the U.S. Army, and in 2014, while stationed at Fort Jackson, he was able to return to his Nihon Goshin Aikido roots and studied under John Carter Sensei (pictured right), earning the rank of Sho-Dan very shortly before taking an assignment in Korea. Now stationed in Germany, Mr. Hovan is pleased and excited to share this great and versatile art to Soldiers and dependents in the garrison of USAG-Bavaria.