Chief Instructor John Thomas Read


Northcoast School of Aikido was founded by John Thomas Read, chief instructor, who is widely recognized for his ability to teach the full variety of Aikido technique in a concise, clear, and powerful way. Both at Northcoast Aikido and in seminars throughout the country, Read Sensei has spent the past thirty years teaching both practical technique, and a complete philosophical basis for power through non-resistance.

Read Sensei began Aikido study in 1969 after a concentrated period of study in traditional karate. Drawn to Aikido as a way to deepen his study of Zen and meditation, he eventually moved to Japan where he underwent a particularly rigorous tutelage under Masters Michio Hikitsuchi (10th dan), Yasushi Tojima, and other instructors of the Kumano Juku Dojo.

On returning from Japan, Sensei Read opened Northcoast Aikido in October of 1977 with formal sanction from Master Hikitsuchi, to provide an environment dedicated to study of the art of Aikido. Since that time, Northcoast Aikido has gained a reputation as one of the oldest, one of the best, and one of the most unorthodox, Aikido dojos in the country.

In addition, Read Sensei is the Founder of Aikibojitsu, the art of the staff.  For more information on this powerful and beautiful art, please see