Jon Marshall Shihan
Jon Marshall Shihan started Aikido in 1985 under long-time teacher Joe Thambu Shihan at the renowned Aikido Shudokan in Melbourne. From the age of 10 via the children’s class, the young Jon Marshall showed an aptitude and talent in what is to be an enduring dedication to Budo. At age 15, he tested and received his Shodan (1st degree black belt) then five years later tested and received his Nidan (2nd black belt); the highlight of which was being tested by Gozo Shioda’s last uchi-deshi (live-in disciple) Mori Michiharu Shihan. In 1996, with a strong desire to further his knowledge and practice of Aikido, he decided to move to Japan and train at the Yoshinkan Aikido Honbu (HQ) in Tokyo.
From 1997-1998, he undertook the rigorous but renowned Senshusei/Instructors Course at the Honbu dojo, and upon completion was awarded the rank of 3rd Dan. His enthusiasm and talent was recognised throughout the arduous Senshusei course and as a result was appointed an Instructor at the Yoshinkan Honbu dojo, where he taught other Senshusei and the international classes. Whilst living in Japan, he accompanied senior Honbu instructors overseas to assist with frequent seminars also. Jon Marshall Sensei tested to the rank of fourth dan black belt in 2001.
In 2002, he returned after living and training for 7 years to commence his tertiary studies in Osteopathy. He was appointed the senior instructor of the Aikido Shudokan under Joe Thambu Shihan and accompanied him on numerous international tours where he has taught in a number of countries namely: Japan, Malaysia, Indonesia, United Kingdom, Poland and the United States.
In 2006, he returned to Japan and was tested to the level of Godan (5th black belt) by eminent Yoshinkan instructors, Inoue Kyoichi Kancho and Chida Tsutomu Shihan making him the youngest foreigner outside Japan to attain the rank of 5th dan at 31 years of age.
In recognition of his dedication and skill he received the rank of 6th dan in 2012 from Yoshinkan pioneer and legend Kyoichi Inoue Sense. In October 2017, The Yoshinkan honbu dojo in Tokyo awarded him with the title of Shihan (Master) after 32 years of training and as recognition of his skill and effort to teach and promote Yoshinkan Aikido throughout Australia as well as internationally.
In addition to training in Yoshinkan Aikido, Jon Marshall also holds the rank of 5th dan in Gyokushin ryu Aikido and was awarded his teaching licence directly from the founder, Terumi Washizu Sensei. He was also awarded the rare distinction of being appointed the head of Gyokushin ryu in Australia with the title of Shibucho and only the second dojo outside Japan that is authorised to teach and grade students in Gyokushin ryu Aikido. In April 2017, Jon Marshall was awarded the rank of Shihan (Master) from the Gyokushin ryu honbu dojo. He makes frequent trips to Shizuoka, Japan to continue his study of this fascinating form of budo.
Initially establishing his own dojo in the iconic Rialto Towers in the heart of the Melbourne CBD, the dojo subsequently upgraded to a larger space in Brunswick St, Fitzroy and was renamed the Melbourne Budo Academy. In March 2018, the dojo relocated to the present site at Level 1, 96a Hoddle St, Abbotsford.
The dojo assembles world class instructors in various Martial Arts, and it is here that he shares the Aikido that has been passed down to him by his teachers and lessons he has learnt in Budo. He believes in the virtues that come from training budo and ultimately its role in bringing harmony to an individual’s life and the world around them.
In April, 2018, he established the Aikido Yobukai, an organisation whose aim is to promote, teach and research pre-war Aikido and to integrate Yoshinkan ,Gyokushin ryu Aikido and newza (ground techniques). The Yobukai is unique among Aikido schools in that students are taught both traditional Aikido techniques and weapons, sutemi waza (sacrifice throws) and newaza (ground fighting/submissions)