Instructors/Shidoin

Mike Gallo, Dojo Cho, 6th Dan

Gallo Sensei has been teaching Aikido for 28 years and training in martial arts for over 49 years. He currently holds the rank of Rokudan (6th degree black belt) in Aikido issued by Aiki Hombu Dojo (Aikido Headquarters) in Tokyo, Japan; where he visited many times to train with O’Sensei’s son Kisshomaru Ueshiba, and grandson Moriteru Ueshiba, the third and current Doshu of Aiki Kai. On November 26, 2015 Gallo Sensei received his Menkyo Shihan 7th Dan in Daito Ryu Aiki Jujitsu. His training in other martial arts includes: Yanagi Ryu Aiki Jujitsu, Shotokan Karate, and Kenpo Karate, as well as a number of weapons arts. He is a NRA certified firearms instructor.

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Garrett Fuller 4th Dan

Garrett Fuller began his martial arts training in Tae Kwon Do in 1988 and achieved the rank of 1st Dan. In 1993 Mr. Fuller was introduced to Aikido at the Virginia Tech Aikido club in Blacksburg, VA where he studied with John Hayes for two years ( a student of TK Lee Sensei. In 1995 Mr. Fuller studied at the Greensboro Kodokan Dojo with Sensei John Grinnell, A year later, Mr. Fuller moved to the Washington D.C. area and joined the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba studying primarily with Robert Galeone Sensei and Jim Sorrentino Sensei. Mr. Fuller moved to Philadelphia in 2001 and studied with Sensei David Goldberg. In 2003 Mr. Fuller established Aikido Suimei in Phoenixville, PA, now known as Great Valley Aikido. In 2008 Mr. Fuller relocated to San Diego, CA and joined Birankai North America as a student of Coryl Crane Sensei. Mr. Fuller received his 4th dan in Aikido in January 2014.

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Gerald Gemmell 3rd Dan

Gemmell Sensei started his Aikido career as a United States Marine in 1979 at Yani Dojo Iwakuni Japan. He continued training in Japan while stationed at Hiroshima under Katsuya Nakamura, and promoted to 3rd kyu. In 1980 Gemmell Sensei military career moved him to San Diego California where he continued his Aikido training with Sensei Mark Murashiga at the Budokan ( now Sunset Cliffs Aikido). January 1981 Kazuo Chiba Sensei opened San Diego Aiki Kai and Gemmell Sensei became his dedicated student. In April 1982 Gerald Gemmell received his Shodan from Chiba Sensei; the very first Shodan rank issued by Chiba Sensei in the United States. Gemmell Sensei established Oceanside Aiki Kai in 1986. Gemmell Sensei received his Nidan rank from Kazuo Chiba Sensei in 1991. Gerry started training with Francis Takahashi in 1995 and received his Sandan from him in 1998. In 1999 Gemmell Sensei started teaching at Hidden Valley Aiki Kai under Chief Instructor Mike Gallo Sensei. In 2001 Gemmell Sensei received his Shidoin Certificate from Kubo Shihan, and in November 2015 Gemmell Sensei received his 4th Dan in Daito Ryu Aiki Jujitsu.

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Assistant Instructors / Fukushidoin

Paul Ulich, 3rd Dan

Paul’s interest in Martial Arts began at the age of five, after his grandmother signed him up for Judo classes at the local community center. After a couple years his family moved leading him to his next art, the art of TaeKwondo. In his teen’s Paul began the study of Danzen Ryu Jujitsu, a system of martial and healing arts that captures the essence of traditional Japanese Budo (Warrior Skills) and delivers it with the warmth and power of Hawai’inei (Hawaiian Culture). A method of close combat for defeating an armed and armored opponent in which one uses no weapon for defense. Paul studied Jujitsu all throughout high school but it was his quest for further knowledge that led him to discover in the schools library a little book titled, “Aikido And The Dynamic Sphere” Paul graduated High School and entered the service in search of high adventure’s. But the seed had been planted by that little book. After serving as an Infantry Paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division he returned to his family, who now resided in San Diego California. While adjusting to civilian life he began his higher education at Palomar College. It was here that Paul said he was introduced to Aikido San Marcos, Paul began his study with us that week, Friday, March 3, 1995 and never looked back. Paul has been a dedicated student of Gallo Sensei for 21 years. He currently holds the rank of Sandan, 3rd degree black belt) in Aikido issued by Aikikai Hombu Dojo in 2014. In 2015 Paul received his Sandan in Daito Ryu Aiki Jujitsu.

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Thomas Stuppy, 3rd Dan

Thomas Stuppy began studying Martial Arts with several years of intensive training in Wing Chun. Thomas also cross trained in Shorin-Ryu during this period. He has always been interested in the Japanese sword, and European fencing arts; training extensively in both, and leading the Kendo club at Hidden Valley Aiki Kai for many years. These interests led to his years of the study of traditional Aiki Jujitsu. Thomas Stuppy has been a dedicated student of Gallo Sensei for 18 years. He currently holds the rank of Sandan (3rd degree black belt) in Aikido issued by Aikikai Hombu Dojo in 2014.
In 2015 Thomas received his Sandan in Daito Ryu Aiki Jujitsu.

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Hiro Yuki Tatsumi, 2nd Dan

Hiroyuki Tatsumi has been studying Aikido , Ju-jitsu, and Kenjitsu  since he was a small child under the tutelage of his Grandfather Inosuke Tatsumi at Toyama Dojo. His Judo career began in 1987 with Takagi Sensei at Tsukaguchi Dojo. In 1990 he practiced Shorinjiryu Karate-do with Kaku Sensei at Amagasaki-Kita Dojo. For 15 years Hiroyuki studied at Fukushima Dojo with his Grandfather and later with Steven Seagal Sensei. In 1994 Hiroyuki moved to San Diego to continue his Medical training, shortly after he began his training at Hidden Valley Aiki Kai  under Michael Gallo Sensei, and received his Shodan in 2000, and Nidan in 2006. During his tenure at Hidden Valley Aiki Kai, (Aikido San Marcos) Hiroyuki instructed many U. S. Marines, as they comprised a major part of the student body there, because of its location and long term relationship with Camp
Pendleton. Hiroyuki is a licensed Medical Doctor in Japan and California. Hiroyuki has been a dedicated student, instructor, and supporter of Aikido San Marcos for 20 years.

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Diana Jones, 2nd Dan

Diana Jones began her Martial Arts training during her career in the U.S. Navy . After her Honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy she entered  the field of Law Enforcement. Diana has served at the State and Federal level as a Law Enforcement officer. Diana received advanced self defense, and tactical training as a Federal Law Enforcement officer. She began her Aikido career with Gallo Sensei in  June 2009, and received her Shodan rank from him in 2013, and her Nidan rank in 2017. Diana also trains in Brazilian Jujitsu, and has competed at the National level taking 3rd place.

 

 

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