The Makotokan Dojo was formed in 1997 by Steve Nickerson Shihan at the direct encouragement of the Honbu Dojo and the International Yoshinkan Aikido Federation in Japan. The Makotokan is an internationally recognized Dojo registered at the Honbu (World Headquarters) who have sanctioned its name and provided it s registration. The name Makotokan translates as MAKOTO – to be sincere and KAN – house. MAKOTOKAN  therefore means the House of Sincerity – Oneness in Word and Deed.

The highest virtue of the warrior is Makoto; to be true to oneself and to everyone else. Makoto is said to be the origin of Aiki. It requires living in the moment, beyond self-seeking motivation, selfishness or pride. Makoto is sincerity and honesty, trust and compassion, loyalty and friendship.

Within Japanese Budo, this term means more than simply studying correct Aikido techniques. Training in Aikido involves developing the physical, mental, spiritual and social aspects of human existence and daily life.

The instructors and students at the Makotokan Dojo cordially extend a warm invitation to any person who may wish to study this martial art. Classes are conducted in a friendly, harmonious and non-competitive atmosphere. Please feel very welcome.

Aikido is a modern martial art derived from the Samurai fighting techniques of ancient Japan. Developed during the 1920s, the technical foundations of Aikido can be traced back to Aiki-jujutsu which evolved in early Japan. Aiki-jujutsu techniques were practiced by Prince Tejin, son of the Emperor Seiwa (850-880 AD), and passed on to succeeding generations of the Minamoto family.

Morihei Ueshiba (1883-1969) became a recognized master of Aiki-jujutsu and several other arts. He also believed in peace and in 1925, he organized a style of Aiki-jujutsu to assist his own spiritual and physical development. The result was modern Aikido.

Aikido is not a conventional fighting art or sport. Instead, it is a martial art which develops the ability to harmonize with opposing forces rather than combat them. Because of this, many circular and spherical movements are involved in Aikido to redirect opposing forces towards a less harmful destination.

Ueshiba Sensei’s top student was Gozo Shioda (1915-1994), and in 1955, after receiving 9th Dan, Gozo Shioda Sensei formed the Aikido Yoshinkan Foundation. Shioda Sensei’s style of Aikido is known as Yoshinkan, a name that he inherited from his father. “Yo” means cultivating, “Shin” means spirit or mind and “Kan” means house.

The world headquarters (Honbu Dojo) for Yoshinkan Aikido is located at the heart of Tokyo in Shinjuku and has over 1,000 students training every month. There are over 90 schools of Yoshinkan Aikido in Japan and the Yoshinkan style has become world recognized and is taught to the Tokyo Riot Police in Japan. Large numbers of Western students train at the Honbu, and to support overseas instructors, Shioda Sensei created an intensive 11-month International Instructor’s course in 1991.

In Yoshinkan Aikido, the emphasis is on the study of fundamental movements and solid basic techniques as well as gaining philosophical insight into the conduct of life and human relationships. Yoshinkan Aikido as a martial art is non-competitive and non-violent. Cooperation and harmony are more important than aggression. Timing and control are more important than strength. With the development of solid basics, Yoshinkan Aikido provides a very powerful means of self defense without undue aggression.

The International Yoshinkan Aikido Federation (IYAF) was formed by Shioda Sensei in 1990 to promote the development of Yoshinkan Aikido worldwide. Gozo Shioda’s official title is Soke which translates as founder and director.

The highest virtue of the warrior is Makoto; to be true to oneself and to everyone else. Makoto is said to be the origin of Aiki. It requires living in the moment, beyond self-seeking motivation, selfishness or pride. Makoto is sincerity and honesty, trust and compassion, loyalty and friendship.

Within Japanese Budo, this term means more than simply studying correct Aikido techniques. Training in Aikido involves developing the physical, mental, spiritual and social aspects of human existence and daily life.

The instructors and students at the Makotokan Dojo cordially extend a warm invitation to any person who may wish to study this martial art. Classes are conducted in a friendly, harmonious and non-competitive atmosphere. Please feel very welcome.

Patrick Potter

4th Dan


Patrick Potter, 4th Dan, started Aikido in 2000. Patrick is very active in supporting the operation of the Dojo and is one of the primary coordinators of the Wednesday night training. Patrick has attended many clinics with senior instructors. Patrick teaches both the adult and children’s classes.

Zan Rosborough

4th Dan


Alexander (Zan) Rosborough, 4th Dan, started Aikido in 1999. Zan has attended many clinics with top instructors from across North America and Japan. Zan has visited Japan in 2004 and again in 2005 during the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Yoshinkan Aikido. Zan teaches both adult and children’s classes at the Makotokan Dojo.

Jamie Corlett

4th Dan


Jamie Corlett, 4th Dan, started Aikido at the age of 7 in 1997 and attained the rank of Junior 2nd Degree Black Belt in the Children’s program in 2005. Jamie was the first Yoshinkan Aikido Junior Black Belt in Eastern Canada. In 2015, Jamie trained intensively at the Honbu Dojo in Tokyo, Japan. Jamie is an instructor for both the adult and children’s programs.

Dave Kay

4th Dan


Dave Kay, 4th Dan, started Aikido in 2001. Dave has attended many clinics with senior instructors from across North America. Dave has taken an active roll in supporting the operation of the Dojo as the main coordinator of the Wednesday night training. Dave is very active in teaching both the adult and children’s classes at the Makotokan Dojo.