Chairman, Board of Instructors
John Mazza has studied various martial arts for 50 years. He began his training in Korea in 1964 studying Judo; this experience led to a deepening interest in Asian philosophies and meditation, which he began to study intensively upon returning to the United States. Realizing that his personal life path involved a disciplined practice of the martial Way, he immersed himself in the practice of various arts from that time forward.
Following his experience of Judo, Mr. Mazza intensively studied various styles of karate and Chinese martial arts. Feeling that there was still something lacking in his training, he began to explore Aikido. In August, 1977 he met the late Fumio Toyoda Shihan, and realized immediately that he had found the art and teacher he wished to follow; by September of 1977 he had relocated to Chicago, where he began an intensive study of both Aikido and Zen.
Mazza Sensei has served as President of Aikido International Foundation, a member of the Aikido Association of American national teaching committee, and as a Director of Aikido Association of America and Aikido Association International. He has been the Chief Instructor of the Northwestern University Aikido Club (Zanshinkan Dojo) for many years since its founding by Toyoda Sensei in 1974. He was awarded the teaching certfication of Shihandai (master's assistant) by Toyoda Sensei. Today he continues his activity with Shinjinkai, holding the rank of rokudan (6th degree) in Aikido. He is active teaching at Shinjinkai's various branches, and serves as the chairman of our board of instructors.