Instructor Biography

imagesFirst Class – Curt Jones and Mike Jones

Mike Jones Sensei was practically born in the dojo; at the age of four he began his study of Okinawan Gojuryu Karate (Jundokan Lineage) at the Komakai Academy (Gas City) in 1977 under the direction of his father, Curt Jones Sensei. In 1979, his father began to share a dojo with Bud McCullar and Gary Galbreth, from who sensei also studied Kobayashi Shorinryu (Yamashita-ha).

In 1982, his father took him to his sensei and he also began training under the legendary Glenn R. Keeney Sensei. From 1985 to 1989, he lived in Arizona where he trained in Shuri-ryu with the father of American Karate, Robert Trias Sensei, and while in Arizona he also trained in Kobayashi Shorinryu with Jiro Shiroma Sensei, Aikido with Tsuneji Sakakibara Sensei and in Uechi-Ryu with Al Sadler Sensei.

In 1989, Jones sensei returned to Indiana and began training at the Komakai Academy in Alexandria for a short time, before assisting his father in opening another Komakai Academy in Marion.  After the dojo opened Jones Sensei became an Uchi Deshi or live in student at the dojo. Sleeping, Eating and spending all of his time in the dojo.

In the 1990s, Jones Sensei began traveling and training with several people; he spent a great deal of time extending his Kobudo studies under the direction of Master Phillip Koeppel, Eddie Bethea Kyoshi and John Lennox Shihan. From 1990 to the present he began training with Lloyd C. Johnson III Sensei and his instructor, Nantambu C. Bomani Sensei, at the Kentucky Jundokan, and was appointed Indiana Jundokan Shibu cho.

From 1990-1992 he trained with Chuck Phillips Sensei at the Nippon Academy learning Japanese Gojuryu (Yamaguchi-ha). He also trained in Jujutsu with Young Park, Dan Buchea and Tom Short. Under Tom Short he also began training in Seidokan Motoburyu. In 1992 he assisted his father in opening the Indianapolis Komakai and he was appointed the Chief Instructor for the Marion Komakai. Sensei also continued to learn, he began to study Masumura Seito Shorinryu under Master Phillip Koeppel, and he also had the opportunity to study with Grandmasters; Yuichi Kuda and Fuse Kise.

In 1993, Sensei and his wife (Amber) had two twin boys, Curtis and Alecs. In December  of 1993 the Marion Komakai closed and on January 2, 1994 Sensei founded his own dojo, first called Mike Jones Karate-do Budokai, which was later re-named Yushikan.

In 1995, Sensei took new employment and moved his family to Carmel, Indiana, where he promptly set up training and began teaching new students, in September sensei again had the joys of fatherhood with another son, Nicholas. After moving to Carmel, sensei was asked to teach several seminars, and eventually was asked to serve as a guest instructor and then Kobudo instructor at the American Martial Arts Institute, while there sensei joined in and began learning Motobu-ha Shitoryu, all this while still maintaining his own teachings.

In 1996 he became the Kobudo Instructor at the Okinawan Karate Institute and in 1997; he became the Kobudo Instructor at the Pyramid Karate Association of Carmel Dojo.  In 1999, He meet and trained several times with Kimo Wall Sensei of the Higa Gojuryu Lineage, he also meet and became good friends with Roy Hobbs Sensei learing a multitue of fighting arts, he became the vice president of Hobbs Sensei’s Dentokan organization. The same year he also traveled to Okinawa and spent two weeks training in the birth place of karate, while there he was able to train with the legendary Eiichi Miyazato Sensei and several of the Jundokan / OGKK Seniors, in addition he was able to train with Yoshio Kuba Sensei of the Kenbukan and meet with Ko Uehara Sensei of the Jikishinkan. After his return from Okinawa, Sensei opened a new larger dojo in Carmel.

In 2001 the dojo was closed after sensei was injured at work and was unable to teach. Classes were moved to his home where he would teach from a chair. In 2002, Jones Sensei decided to change professions and became a law enforcement officer. In June his good friend Koei Nohara Hanshi of Kobayashi Shorinryu, visited the USA and stayed at Sensei home for several weeks, later in November Sensei won the US-Okinawan World Championships and accompanied his good friend Koei Nohara Sensei to California to teach several seminars. He also met Len Pellman Sensei of Muso Jikishin Eishinryu Iaido and Seito Shitoryu, and over the years since both of them have become good friends and often advise each other on matters of budo.

In late 2003, sensei was hit by a car while on duty and had to change the way he trained. From 2003 – 2006 also he trained with Meitatsu Yagi Sensei of the Meibukan, and was appointed the Chief Instructor for Indiana Meibukai. In 2005, Sensei moved his family to Swayzee, and became the Chief Deputy of the Swayzee Police Department. He promptly bought a house and built a dojo.

In 2006 Jones Sensei was accepted as a direct student of Koshin Iha Sensei, the successor to Eiichi Miyazato, he was appointed Shibu-Cho for the OGKK in Indiana. In 2007 he was appointed the USA Chief Instructor of the International Gojuryu Karate Association and in 2010 he was appointed Pan American chief Instructor for the IGKA.

In 2010 Jones Sensei was appointed as North American director for the World Okinawakan Gojuryu Karate association. After the passing of Koshin Iha Sensei in February of 2012, Jones Sensei was accepted as a direct student of Kiichi Nakamoto Sensei. He was able to train with Nakamoto Sensei and Tokumura Kensho Sensei. In 2012, Jones Sensei travelled and trained again with Nakamoto Sensei.

In 2015, Sensei opened the Okinawan Martial Arts Center in Marion Indiana. In 2016 Sensei was awarded Menkyo-Kaiden in Aikijujutsu and was appointed as the president of the International Karate Kobudo Association. In 2017 whie training in Okinawa Jones Sensei was awarded 8th Dan Kyoshi in Ufuchiku Kobujutsu by Kiichi Nakamoto Soke.

In 2019 Jones Sensei resigned from the Okinawakan and became a direct student in Gojuryu of Kenei Shimabukuro Sensei and in Kobudo of Josei Yogi Sensei.

Over the last 40+ years Jones Sensei has trained with many leading figures of the Gojuryu system and other Ryu-ha. He holds or has held numerous positions with several International karate organizations. He had a competitive career that lasted from 1977-2004 holding a large number of state, national and world titles in several different divisions and organizations. Although Gojuryu has been his primary art, Jones Sensei has managed to train in several other disciplines and has earned black belt rankings in several of them.

Since the 1990s, Jones Sensei has traveled a lot and attended many seminars trying to improve his understanding in the martial arts. He attended seminars and or trained in the dojos of the following Masters; Eiichi Miyazato, Koshin Iha, Kenei Shimabukuro, Nakamoto Kiichi, Tetsunosuke Yasuda, Nakano Minei, Yoshio Hichiya, Terou Chinen, Morio Higaonna, HIroshi Ganaha, Gosei Yamaguchi, Motto Yamakura, Seiyu Oyata, Shian Toma, Seikichi Odo, Yuichi Kuda, Fuse Kise, Chi Yoon Tsai, Kiyoushi Nishima, Hidetaka Fukuda, Takayoshi Nagamine, Bill Wallace, Philip Koeppel, Gus Albear, Marvin Labbatt, Koei Nohara, Tatsunori Azuma, Sogen Oyakawa, Rudy Croswell, Mike Sadler, Bill Stockey, Fred McKinley, Ron Rollins, Paul Whitsell, Eddie Bathea, Tom Ward, John Lennox, Young Park, Jiro Shiroma, Ron Lindsey, Patrick McCarthey, Bruce Hileman, Ron Richards, Ron Lindsey, Natambu Bomani, Moritoshi Nakaema, Takamora Kensho and Mikio Nishiuchi

Jones Sensei was a life member, instructor, and student at Komakai Academy (Gas City, Marion, Anderson, Alexandria, and Indianapolis) from 1977-2004 when Hanshi Keeney decided to retire and sold the dojo.  He was also a member, student and guest instructor at the Kentucky Jundokan from 1990 – 2004, He still maintains a relationship with this dojo but after the OGKK / Jundokan Split, it became the OGKK Kentucky Shibu.

Jones Sensei continues to teach at the Yushikan and his various branch dojos, he also continues to assist his father at his dojo and he continues to train, teach, attend seminars and teach seminars.

Martial Arts Leadership Positions:

  • President, Sekai Budo Hozonkai
  • USA Shibu-Cho, Okinawa Gojuryu Karate-do Goeikai
Former positions*;
  • President Okinawakan International (2015-2019)
  • North American Chief Instructor, Okinawakan (2010-2019)
  • Vice President, Sekai Dentokan Budo Renmei (1999-2019)
  • International Vice President, International Gojuryu Karate Association (2007-2018)
  • Pan American Chief Instructor, IGKA (2010 – 2018)
  • USA Chief Instructor, IGKA (2007 – 2018)
  • Member Executive Committee – IGKA (2007 – 2018)
  • Vice President, RKKK (2012-2018)
  • President USNGKA (2016-2018)
  • USA Coordinator World Gojuryu Karate Federation (2016-2018)
  • USA Vice President – WUKO (2016-2018)
  • Vice President, OGKK USA (2009 – 2012)
  • Shibu-cho, Indiana, Okinawa Gojuryu Karate-do Kyokai (2004-2012)
  • President, Okinawa Gojuryu Karate Kenpo Renmei (1999-2008)
  • Chief Instructor, Indiana Meibukan (2003-2006)
  • Mid-West USA Director, Okinawa Karate-do Gojuryu Seibukai (1999-2000)
  • North American Director, Okinawa Gojuryu Karate Kenpo Renmei (1996-1999)
  • Gojuryu representative, Kokusai Dentokan (1999-2007)
  • Mid-Western Director, Okinawa Gojuryu Karate Kenpo Renmei (1994-1996)
  • Indiana Shibu-Cho, Okinawa Gojuryu Karate Kenpo Renmei (1992-1994)
  • Member, Shihankai, Kokusai Dentokan Budo Bugei Renmei (1999-2007, 2009-Present)
  • Member, Shihankai, Zen Okinawa Seidokan Karate Kobudo Renmei
  • Shibu-Cho, Indiana – Jundokan OGKK USA (1990-2004)
Teaching Positions;
  • Chief Instructor – Yushikan (1994 – Present)
  • Chief Instructor – Okinawan Martial Arts Center (2015- Present)
  • Kobudo Instructor, Pyramid Karate Carmel (1995-2000)
  • Chief Instructor – Marion Komakai (1992-1994)
  • Instructor – Marion Komakai (1990-1992), Indianapolis Komakai (1992-1996)
  • Staff Instructor – Komakai Honbu (2002-2004)
  • Advisor/ Guest Instructor – IWU Budokai (2003-2013)

*Resigned on good terms