Milwaukee Shobukan

Aikido Instructors

Nicole Di Bernardo Sensei photo by Jim Moy

Nicole Di Bernardo Sensei

Chief Instructor, Sandan

Chief Instructor, Nicole Di Bernardo Sensei, began her Aikido training in 2000 while attending the Univerisity of Wisconsin- La Crosse. She had seen a poster on campus advertising an Aikido demonstration by the local dojo. Having had an avid interest in martial arts for years, she went to check it out. The rest is history, as they say.

In 2009, as part of a collaborative endeavor to open a dojo, Di Bernardo Sensei facilitated the start of a student Aikido club at the West Bend High School where she teaches. She has served as both the senior senpai and as an instructor since that time.

Di Bernardo Sensei has trained around the country, and in London, England while living there for a semester in college. She regularly attends Aikido seminars with Wendy Whited Sensei and other senior ASU instructors. She is an attendee of week long summer camps in Colorado and Washington DC.

Nicole in action
John Gralton Sensei

John Gralton Sensei

Dojo-Cho, Nidan

John Gralton Sensei gained an interest in martial concepts at the age of eleven as a wrestler. He wrestled from 1989 through 1994. His martial arts training began in 1993 when he started the study of Kenpo Karate. Gralton Sensei was working on his brown belt certification in Kenpo when he moved to Minneapolis to begin work on his bachelor degree at the University of Minnesota in 1997.

It was at the University of Minnesota where he discovered the art of Aikido. Intrigued by the elegant power and serene energy being demonstrated, he began studying Aikido at the Twin Cities Aikido Center in 1999.

He has sincerely pursued the art of Aikido for the last 17 years at various dojos since moving back to Wisconsin, including the Milwaukee Aikido Club, Inaka Dojo, Kettle Moraine Aikido Club, and most recently Aikido of West Bend. He truly enjoys studying the marriage of martial application and life enriching artistic expression. Gralton Sensei has served as Dojo-Cho of the Milwaukee Shobukan since November, 2017.

John in action
Jim Moy Sensei

Jim Moy Sensei

Instructor, Nidan

Jim Moy Sensei started in 1992. This was during the height of Steven Seagal's movie career and it was Moy Sensei's first introduction to Aikido. It didn't look like any other martial art he'd seen before. A friend who studied martial arts in California told him more about it and encouraged him to check it out. He first began his training at the Milwaukee Aikido Club.

He visited the dojo and in his own words, "...saw this little old Asian man tossing people around". This happened to be Norio Mamura Sensei, one of the highest ranked Aikidoist in the Midwest Aikido Federation. He signed up on the spot!

Moy Sensei finds the most interesting thing about this martial art is that it's not fighting. If done properly, one doesn't require a lot of strength. You can offer a target and evade. With practice anyone can do it, regardless of athletic ability or strength. On the mats Moy Sensei strives to always remain positive. It's very easy to be negative, since that's part of human nature. He encourages students to train with lots of different instructors and partners!

Jamey Johnston Sensei

Jamey Johnston Sensei

Instructor, Shodan

Jamey Johnston Sensei has trained in aikido since 1999. He began his practice of the art in Des Moines, IA. His interest in the non-competitive aspect, and the cooperative nature of aikido practice is what drew him to pursue training.

In 2002 he moved to Kenosha, WI to pursue his graduate degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It was at this time he joined the Parkside college aikido club. Together with M. Rock Lazo Sensei, Jamey helped start the Kenosha Aikikai over summer of 2003 after the college club lost its space. For the next 6 years, Jamey ran the day-to-day operations of the dojo and owned the legal business entity.

In 2011, after a 2 year hiatus to start his acupuncture clinic, Jamey resumed his aikido practice. He has been a member of Aikido of West Bend/Milwaukee Shobukan since 2012. Jamey regularly visits the Kenosha Aikikai, Aikido of Wales, Inaka Dojo, and other area dojo. He has had the privilege to attend seminars taught by a number of O Sensei's uchideshi including Saotome Shihan, Yamada Shihan, Tamura Shihan, and Kurita Shihan.