Meet our Sensei & Teachers
Hans Goto 7th Dan, has over 40 years experience in martial arts. His main focus has been Aikido, with extended residential training in Iwama, Japan at the Aikido Shrine under Morihiro Saito Shihan. Goto Sensei is the first non-Japanese citizen to undergo this intensive traditional style training. Goto Sensei is Head Instructor and founder of Bay Marin Aikido. He is also Shihan for the Takemusu Aikido Association with over 75 dojos under his direction.
Ron Wada holds a 5th degree black belt (godan) in Aikido. He began his Aikido training in 1979 under the late Steve Sasaki Sensei in Berkeley, CA. He has also trained under Hiroshi Ikeda Sensei, the late Akira Tohei Sensei, and the late Kazuo Chiba Sensei. Ron has been training and teaching Aikido under Hans Goto Shihan at Bay Marin Aikido since 1998. Ron’s classes focus on learning and practicing how to fall safely (ukemi), how to create a strong, grounded yet flexible core structure for executing technique, and how to move effectively. He strives to help each student experience the exhilaration and joy of training.
Lichen Brown started aikido in 1995 and joined Bay Marin Aikido in 2001. She holds the rank of 4th degree black belt (yondan). Lichen is interested in the Diamond-Willow-Water-Air framework of aikido as taught by our Chief Instructor, Hans Goto Sensei, from his teacher Morihiro Saito Sensei. This framework explores the progression from hard, static, basic technique to softer, flowing, more advanced form. In this study, Ron Wada Sensei is influential. Saito Sensei’s teachings focus on kihon (basics) and emphasize the parallels between taijitsu (empty-handed techniques) and training with aikido weapons such as the jo (short staff) and bokken (wooden sword). In Saito Sensei’s (Iwama) lineage, Lichen’s other influences include Hoa Newens Sensei and Ginny Breeland Sensei. Lichen has also trained in the Motomichi Anno Sensei (Shingu) lineage under Anno Sensei, Mary Heiny Sensei, Linda Holiday Sensei, and others in that lineage. Lichen’s classes focus on core principles foundational to the practice of aikido, imparted through experiential learning, and taking to heart O’Sensei’s teaching that aikido should always be practiced with a feeling of pleasurable exhilaration!
Simone Wedell, at 50, started Aïkido with Hans Goto Shihan; Now, 83, as 4th degree black belt (yondan), she still trains with Goto Shihan. Her inspiration and commitment to Aïkido are from: Goto Sensei’s dedication and skills, Saïto Sensei”s thorough structural techniques, Anno Sensei’s power and gentleness, John Stevens’ philosophical bridge from the East to the West. For Simone, teaching on a safe and friendly mat, is sharing the efficiency and the great fun of Aïkido.
Scott has studied at Bay Marin Aikido with Sensei Goto for 21 years. He holds the rank of Yondan in Aikido and practices other physical arts such as Bok Fu, Kick Boxing, and Gracie Combatives. In class, you’ll see Scott bring new ideas into the dojo to keep training fresh. Currently, he focuses on smoothing out basic movements through ki extensions.
Bob Bates holds a 4th degree black belt (yondan) in Aikido. He started his training in 2002 at Bay Marin Aikido with Hans Goto Shihan. Bob has also trained extensively in the area of embodied leadership with the Strozzi Institute and Leadership Embodiment International. Embodied leadership brings together the Aikido principles of spirit and harmony with leadership best practices, helping leaders build compassion, connection and confidence. These Aikido based practices have had a profound impact on Bob’s own life and the lives of his executive coaching clients in Silicon Valley. Bob is also an advanced student in the Israeli self-defense system Krav Maga. His classes primarily focus on the practical aspects of Aikido as a method of self-defense while adhering to O’Sensei’s vision of bringing peace and harmony to the world.
Micheline A. Côté
Micheline A. Côté holds a 2nd degree black belt (nidan) in Aikido. She started her Aikido training in Point Reyes Station under David Gamble Sensei and Robert Paton Sensei in 1997 and has practiced for the last 18 years (with a 3 year hiatus to heal her knee). She continued her training from 2000 to the present with Hans Goto Shihan. The focus of her classes is to emulate Goto Sensei’s instructions and to develop a connection with the Kototama and misogi (purification). She also has practiced TaiChi under Ellen Serber in Point Reyes Station for two years. Côté integrates her Aikido into a daily practice of cultivating awareness. Her trips to Japan have opened a door to gratitude, beauty and grace that she expresses on the mat. The refinement of her practice can also be seen in the flower arrangements throughout the dojo.
Silvia Desinano holds a 2nd black belt (Nidan) in Aikido. She began her Aikido training in 1996 under Daniel Morales Sensei and Kurata Sensei in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She moved to the US in 2014, and she is training and teaching under Hans Goto Shihan at Bay Marin Aikido. She also practices Tai chi as a complement to develop Chi, working blocked parts of the body where the Chi is trapped, differentiating strength and intrinsic energy. Silvia’s classes focus in the concept of being centered, in contact with the partner (Nage-Uke), and no resistance. She is a seeker of the integration of body, mind and spirituality. What happens in the mind affects the body and vice versa. The path of Aikido helps us to evolve as humans beings, and to learn other ways to resolve conflict.