John Messores is ranked as shihan (master instructor) and nanadan (7th degree black belt) in Aikido. He is one of the most senior instructors in the Aikido Schools of Ueshiba organization, and among the highest ranked Americans affiliated with Aikido Hombu (the world Aikikai headquarters).
Messores Shihan was born in New Jersey in 1950, and began his martial arts training in Karate under Mark Smith in 1968. He started training in Aikido in Sarasota, Florida under Bill McIntyre Sensei in 1973. He was a member of the original Aikido dojo that invited Shihan Mitsugi Saotome to come to America in 1975, which became Saotome Shihan’s first dojo in the United States. In those initial years after Saotome Shihan came to America, Messores Shihan and a few other early students trained with him several hours a day under very intensive conditions for several years as Saotome Shihan’s true deshi (apprentices / disciples). Messores Shihan has been a personal student of Saotome Shihan for nearly forty years.
Messores Shihan was featured in the 1986 book Aikido and the Harmony of Nature (Shambhala Press) by Mitsugi Saotome Shihan, the 2002 production The Budo Experience (Budo Productions LLC), and the 2002 Aiki Expo Demo video. He also has an Aikido encyclopedia listing with the Aikido Journal and the Aikido FAQ.
Messores Shihan has been the senior and supervising Tampa Bay ASU Aikido instructor since the early 1980s. He has taught dozens of invited seminars and demonstrations all over the United States and abroad, and both he and his students have a strong reputation wthin the Aikido community.